Gain Back Motivation: 2 science-based techniques

Do you have an important goal that takes a long time to achieve?

For example, do you have an important exam for which you have to study for maybe six months, maybe a year? Or maybe you want to immigrate and it takes up to 3-4 years to settle in the new country? Or maybe you’ve started a business and you know that the first one or two years you have to keep working hard without making any money?

Dr. Heidi Halvorson, one of the scientists who has done extensive research on goal setting, willpower and motivation, has two solutions for you so you can gain back your motivation re-energized:

1- Review why you started this path in the first place. Ask yourself, 'Why did I start studying for this test?” “Why did I apply for immigration?” "Why did I decide to start my own business?" And do not write just one reason. Write several reasons: the more, the better! Write down how achieving your goal will benefit you. Also think about how it will benefit others, your family, your community, and perhaps the whole world! Why is writing several reasons more effective? Because writing down the reasons strengthens the neural pathways in your brain, and as the neural pathways in your brain become stronger, so will your will and motivation to achieve the goal.

2- Pick a ‘growth’ goal instead of a ‘performance’ goal. What do I mean by that? That is, instead of focusing on the result and putting yourself under pressure to, for example, rank first or second on that particular test, or to have settled down fully in a certain country in two years, or to have some predefined amount of sales in six months, set a growth goal for yourself. That means, just expect to grow every month/season compared to the previous month/season. For example, on the upcoming test, try to perform ten percent better than the previous test. In your business, compared to this season, your sales should have increased by ten percent next season. Doing this helps you experience less stress, because the ‘stretch’ goal will be within reach and feasible. 

There you have it: If you have a goal that is very important and takes time to achieve, constantly remind yourself why you started this path, and define growth goals for yourself instead of performance goals. 


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