Stay motivated from start to finish.
More often than not, we are motivated to pursue a certain goal. However, as we progress, motivation may fade. As a result, many goals are abandoned.
It seems that maintaining eagerness to follow a goal is challenging.
People are basically motivated by different things. And motivation can be in different forms.
A recent study suggests that our motivation is pretty contextual. We become more motivated or less motivated depending on where we are in our goal.
And motivation may also change its nature. At the beginning of the pursuit, people are motivated by their hopes and dreams.
Psychologists call it the “promotion motivation.” Dr. Olya Bullard and Dr. Rajesh Manchanda explain what the concept is all about:
“Promotion motivation encourages people to focus on hopes and aspirations, it makes people think of their goals in terms of attainment of something positive, and it leads individuals to favor approach-oriented “eager” strategies in goal pursuit.”
This means that at the beginning, people tend to focus on the positive outcome of their goal.
But as they progress closer to their goal, the focus will be on the avoidance of negative outcomes.
People tend to become defensive. The authors further explain this process.
“… prevention motivation encourages people to focus on responsibilities and duties, it makes people think of their goals in terms of avoiding something negative, and it leads individuals to favour avoidance-oriented “vigilant” strategies in goal pursuit.”
The possible reason for prevention motivation is fear of losing the effort that has been spent.
Every rational person will not allow to waste his/her valuable time. The closer you are to the accomplishment of your goal, the more careful you become.
If you want to stay motivated from start to finish, here are the authors’ pieces of advice.
“… focus on how reaching it will help you fulfil the hopes and aspirations you have for your life and employ approach strategies to help you stay motivated.
For example, you can make a list of the “right things” you can do to make goal progress, take note of some of the positive things you will attain by reaching your goal, and reward yourself when you make progress in the early stages of goal pursuit (as long as the “reward” does not undermine your actual goal progress of course!).”
However, as you come closer to the achievement of your goal, you may change your focus. The authors have the additional advice:
“… focus on the duties you have in your life and how goal attainment will help you feel that you are taking care of these responsibilities.
In addition, employ avoidance strategies to help you stay motivated.
To use similar examples to the above activities likely to stir up your motivation: make a list of things “not to do” to stay on course toward your goal, write down the negative things you will prevent from happening by reaching your goal, and give yourself a break from something you don’t enjoy when you make progress in later stages of goal pursuit (gain making sure that the break does not undermine your goal progress).”
Of course, there are many ways to motivate yourself. But for me, I don’t rely on motivation. I prefer to develop or practice self-discipline.
Self-discipline allows me to do the things needed to be done regardless of whether I feel good accomplishing them.
Like other people, I also feel lazy and procrastinated sometimes. But I never allow these feelings to stop me from doing what I needed to do.
Throughout the years, I found that self-discipline, not motivation, keeps me going.
How about you? What is your strategy to stay motivated from start to finish?
Feel free to leave your thoughts below.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.