The Gap between Motivation and Self-Discipline

My last couple of blog posts seem to have a particular theme focussed mostly on self-improvement. It may be because its what I find myself drawn to most of the time with regards to books, videos and even in conversation with others. But something I always find odd is that no matter how motivated we are to achieve a certain goal, the motivation seems to dry up with time. Be it a healthy lifestyle, a new hobby or working on the project of our dreams, we all seem to reach a point where we feel we have lost the drive to continue. So why does this occur?

The reality is when we start something, we are not only motivated we are also disciplined. We are willing to do whatever it takes whenever to make it happen, however, discipline wavers and soon we find ourselves dragging our feet. Many believe this to be a loss of motivation, but the reality is if our dreams are still in our minds and in our thoughts then the motivation is still there, at times like this we find ourselves lacking the discipline, not the motivation.

This is something I personally struggle, with especially now in the midst of midterms and assignments galore, but I realize that this is something that will never go away. No matter what stage of life we are in there will always be a time when we have to do something we don’t want, or would rather be doing something else. The bottom line is, successful people do the things they need to do even when they don’t want to…so how do we tackle this? Here’s my two cents..

Start with why, remember the big picture, this tasks that you do are for a greater purpose. You are studying to get into the school of your dreams, you workout so that you can be fit and healthy and there for your family and friends. Even in the toughest of times it’s always good to remember the big picture, the reason you started in the first place.

Build better habits, this one is not a secret, but the more you incorporate better habits into your life the more likely they are to stick. These habits can affect your mindset and keep you positive. An example of this is exercise, (exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make people happy…happy people just don’t kill there husbands (sorry had to throw that in there ;D (let me know if you know where this is from))). The reality is exercise does wonders for your mind set, it keeps you fit, relieves stress and gives you time to reflect on yourself. I find after exercising I can take on any task no matter how dull or unappealing.

Hold yourself accountable, build structures around you that force you to complete the task at hand. Tell a friend about your project, make a verbal commitment to the task. However you choose to do it, make sure it takes away your ability to procrastinate.

This one is the most important, remove all temptations and distractions. Find a place where you feel your most productive, for me it can be a coffee shop or the library, and sometimes my own coach. I just need to be comfortable (and warm). There are many apps available that prevent access to social media on your computer, and if you need to leave your phone in another room. If you are all out of distractions then you are all out of excuses.

I hope these ideas helped if anyone is going through a plateau in their journey.

Most importantly though,

Keep smiling,

-M

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