• Ciaran O’Connell

Rewire your motivation

Ever woken up in bed and thought ‘Nah not today’, knowing you have loads to do?

Join 99% of the population.

But while some struggle to get out of that thought, there are others who banish the thought and power through to get their tasks complete. How do they do it?

The first thing is to think about your ‘why’. Why do you need to do this task? If it is exercise, your why may be because your current situation is causing you heath problems. There’s your motivation right there - do exercise because otherwise you’ll cause yourself damage (pretty good motivation that).

A different example… your task is extra work, in school or a job. Your why may be for a promotion, or to get in to a certain university. Always come back to your why!

My own personal example is this. I ran the London Marathon in 2016 to raise money for Myositis UK (they work on a disease my aunt had before she passed). Every time I struggled for motivation I’d ask myself ‘why am I doing this?’, and I’d say to myself ‘Really mate, you’re doing this because a family member is suffering way worse than you ever will running. Raising money for a charity that helps her is a way of helping her’. That got me through many miles and cold wet runs. Why why why and why some more!

These are also examples of intrinsic motivation. Notice there is no external reward in those examples; just the reward specific to you. Motivation is hard to maintain when it is extrinsic (doing it for money/someone else etc).

Another easy way to stay on track with your motivation is to have manageable tasks each day.

If you fill up that reminder list on your iPhone (sorry Android users) with everything you want to get done ever, you’ll look at it and feel demoralised all the time.

The night before or in the morning, write 3/4 tasks that you believe you’ll get done that day. For example, walk the dog, do a food shop, reply to emails, and replace the light bulb. It doesn’t matter how small it is, relate it to your job or life. Ensuring we can tick off those tasks means we can add more in the day if we want, we feel accomplished, we want to set tasks for tomorrow too. It keeps the ball rolling and feels like less of a chore.

There’s so many things you can do to increase motivation. I use a lot of science backed theories with my clients to help them motivate themselves in and out of the gym. Take those little nuggets of advice in to your life and see how much they help get your towards your goal.

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