Motivation is the power behind our actions and the key to reaching our goals, whether those be personal or professional. To reach these goals, it is crucial to understand the psychology of motivation. Throughout this piece, the science of motivation will be discussed, along with its psychological
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the science of motivation, exploring its psychological underpinnings. We will also offer some practical strategies to keep you inspired and on track to reaching your goals.
Psychology of Motivation: What Drives Us?
Motivation can feel like a fire inside of us, pushing us to take action. Here we break down the factors and forces driving this motivation psychologically.
- Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation: Understanding the difference between intrinsic motivation (coming from within, driven by personal inherent satisfaction) and extrinsic motivation (motivation from external rewards or pressures).
- Dopamine: How the release of dopamine and the brain’s reward system influence our motivation.
- Self-Determination Theory: Learn about the self-determination theory, which explains how autonomy, competence, and relatedness influence our motivation.
Strategies for Staying Motivation:
Now that we have a basic understanding of the psychological underpinnings of motivation, let’s brainstorm some strategies to maintain motivation and commitment to our goals:
- Set SMART Goals: These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals that provide clarity and direction. By setting goals in this way, we can make them attainable and realistic, allowing us to reach them.
- Create a Vision Board: Visualize your goals by creating a vision board with images and quotes that uplift you.
- Break It Down: Separate your main goal into smaller, more manageable tasks. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and allow for many little wins, maintaining this motivation.
- Find Your “Why”: Ask yourself why
- your goals are important to you. When you are feeling unmotivated, think back to your why, and let determination trump your lack of motivation.
- Build a Support System: Surround yourself with supportive people who can hold you accountable while encouraging your goals. This could also consist of counselling or psychotherapy or life coaching.
- Track Your Progress: Seeing progress can boost motivation and remind you how far you have come. You can do this with a physical journal or on your phone for convenience.
- Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. When setbacks arise, learn and grow from them rather than beating yourself up.
Maintaining Motivation in the Face of Challenges:
- Combat Procrastination: Learn strategies to overpower procrastination and get focused.
- Manage Stress: Practise mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises to keep your stress levels as low as possible. Find outlets to relieve stress such as painting, working out, knitting, etc.
- Revisit and Revise Your Goals: Reflect on and adjust your goals often to ensure they are aligned with your current goals.
- Seek Inspiration: Find inspiration in media, friends, role models, or your external world to reignite your passion.
By applying the psychology of motivation and implementing techniques, you can stay inspired to reach any goal. Keep in mind that motivation can ebb and flow, but with continuous dedication and self-awareness, you can achieve your goals and make your dreams a reality.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. Plenum.
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2013). Goal setting theory, 1990. In E. A. Locke & G. P. Latham (Eds.), New developments in goal setting and task performance (pp. 3–15). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203082744
Olguin, Guzman, D. C., Garcia, E. H., & Mejia, G. B. (2016). The Role of Dopamine and Its Dysfunction as a Consequence of Oxidative Stress. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016, 9730467–13. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9730467