New Year, New Motivation
So, we’re almost all done with January. The new year is in its early stages, but the “new year, new me” mentality left the building just days after the 2017 clock struck midnight. So, how is that resolution going? If you are anything like me, you might have cringed at your lack of achievement and it’s even possible that you have lost all of your motivation. A study from the Statistic Brain Research Institute found that only 9% of Americans feel that they are successful in achieving their new year’s resolutions! But don’t worry, you can turn your year around. This new year, let’s achieve goals with new strategies for motivation!
In 2018 I’m tackling a resolution that I always seem to go back to: responding quickly to text messages. As a Millennial, many people assume that communicating through technology is practically all I do. However, I go hours without checking my phone or even forget to bring it with me when I leave the house. The result is a build-up of text messages that go unanswered, and frustrated friends, family, or colleagues. To understand why we struggle with this resolutions every year, we first have to start with understanding what actually motivates people.
This question was harder to answer than I originally thought. At a foundational level, motivation is why we get up and do things. However this is complicated by our own unique values, needs, and personalities that influence the ways that we prefer to be motivated individually. People can be extrinsically motivated by anything that acts as an incentive, such as money or rewards. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is having the desire to take action for personal satisfaction.
My immediate answer to this question was, “Me, duh, I motivate me!” And unless someone is paying you for your new year’s resolutions, your new goal is probably also going to be powered by you and your own intrinsic motivators. However, looking deeper I realized that my sense of motivation was influenced by my values of trust and positive impact. Gaining trust from others by being a positive role model is something that I naturally give importance to when developing a goal. Then, I tend to consider how it will impact other people and myself. These two factors combined together are powerful in helping me stay motivated to perform and be successful.
It’s one thing to know the different forces that act as motivators, but how do we experience motivation in action? Last year, my resolution was to not drink any soda for the entire year. I decided to give it up because I wanted to make improvements for my health. Throughout the whole year, I impressed myself with my strides towards a soda-free life. Remembering why I originally set my goal was important for me to stay motivated and follow through. Although I indulged every so often, I did not give up on my timeline or simply think “better luck next year.” I was able to see that I had the power to significantly reduce my soda intake, which for me was a major win to be celebrated! When you find a motivational tool that works for you, use it, develop it, find areas of improvement, and make it last.
So what is going to motivate you? That’s up to YOU to figure out. Consider if things like living with no regrets, developing a stable future, proving others wrong, or finding happiness could be the motivators that drive you. For me, one strategy I’m trying this year to improve is informing people close to me about my goal so they can help me to stay accountable. While this has been helpful, I am accepting of the fact that, right now, I am still not as quick to respond as I want to be. We have to be realistic and forgive ourselves for any missteps so that we stay motivated to continue to improve. It’s important to remember to be steadfast in your goals but also flexible about your practices and process. This year, don’t give up on your resolutions and find motivation to make it happen. You only fail when you stop trying!
Consider these tips to help you stay inspired:
- Keep your space positive! I love a clean room and a messy one does not motivate me at all. To stay on track with your goals, try tidying your room, making your bed, or organizing your workspace to help enhance your environment and keep you focused on your goals.
- Create a vision board! Designing a visual for your goals can be helpful in holding yourself accountable. Check out some examples on Pinterest for inspiration.
- Stay positive! Make a list of people who tend to motivate you. Talk to those people about your goals and see if they can help (moms are usually a good choice).
- Reflect! Remember why you set the goal or made the resolution in the first place. If you can envision your outcome, it can be easier to stay motivated.
*Meet the Author*
B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies from Chapman University
M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Regis University
My Favorite Quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” –Oscar Wild
Quick Facts About Me: 1) My dream job would be an SNL cast member, 2) I love to plan parties and 3) I sing in my car like I’m performing a sold out show.