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A Recipe For Motivation

You know that pile of stuff you keep meaning to get through?  That to-do list of items you keep meaning to tackle?  That really important task you continue putting off, even though you know getting it done would be a step in the right direction, a great accomplishment, and would make you feel so much better in the long run?  Yes, I’m talking about motivation.

Creating and sustaining the momentum to remain motivated can be a really difficult task, but it’s not impossible!  If you think about starting something, finding the effort within to initiate that first push can sometimes feel really overwhelming.  But if you think about the concept of movement in-and-of itself, not only can it help you conceptualize reaching your goals, but it can also aid in reducing the sense of being overwhelmed.

If you visualize sitting on a swing for a moment, what do you need to do in order to create movement?  Exerting effort triggers movement in space, before the swinging motion can occur, and eventually becomes mostly self-sustaining.  You won’t stop using your muscles over time, of course, as you would inevitably stop moving on the swing.  Although those first few pushes can often feel the most difficult, you can move towards a phase of ease and enjoyment.  Using your arms and legs to maintain this motion can feel easier over time, as you pushed yourself initially to do so – literally and figuratively.

How about visualizing certain sports, like skiing or luge?  A huge amount of physical effort is exerted before the momentum picks up, and eventually carries you towards the finish line.  Again, you don’t stop the effort or cease paying attention to detail as you race along, but the speed you generated is created by your initial exertion.  Given my background in ballet, I know that the same theory applies towards executing a series of turns.  Pirouettes or fouettes (these are spinning movements for those who don’t know!) cannot be done without exerting energy and effort from the get-go to establish that initial push.  Once that push happens, sustaining turns can become easier as they multiply, and can even feel liberating and freeing.

My point is this: starting something – anything! – can often feel like it’s just too difficult.  Once you’re able to move past the phase of the initial push, though, a task can actually feel pleasurable as you move forward in the process.  You wind up proving to yourself that you can do it. The encouragement and validation you’ve created for yourself to keep going, and to keep it up, can be a self-sustaining motivation!  Maintaining this momentum can often set the stage for you to attain more of your unique personal goals.

Here is my “recipe” to help you tap into this process of getting, and staying, motivated!

1- Movement

Create steps towards taking action, and tap into your initial push.  Start moving!

2 – Momentum

Try things out and exert effort to get the ball rolling.  It might feel bumpy or rocky at first to find your own footing, but keep going with it to find your equilibrium!

3 – Maintenance

Keep exerting effort at specific intervals so that functioning can feel like, and even become, a self-sustaining activity.  You’re moving regularly now, you see action and results, and it can feel really enjoyable the more you stick with the process!

4 – Motivation

Having proven to yourself that you can do it often leaves you with an enhanced sense of motivation.  The satisfaction and success you feel can in turn accelerate your return to this process, which can be applied towards other areas in your life.

 

Thoughts?  Comments? Questions?  I’d be happy to help!

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