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How to Create Motivation for Yourself

When we think about the new year, we are thinking about resolutions, health targets, personal goals, relationship goals and career aspirations we have set for ourselves. For example, we may desire to lose 10kg, run a marathon, give up alcohol, stop smoking or start a new career. These resolutions are often short-lived when the light-bulb moment never seems to strike, it feels a lot easier just to sit and wait for things to happen. Despite having awareness of the benefits of achieving these goals, these goals are difficult to achieve and be maintained.

Why is it so hard to get motivated?

We traditionally view motivation as the secret ingredient for action. One of the most common responses of in-action is “I don’t have any motivation”. The belief that we need to feel motivated before anything can be done is counter-productive. Such beliefs about waiting for something to happen to get me motivated could keep people stuck for a very long time. One of the reasons advice alone is unlikely to get people started is fear and anxiety of potential failure. “If I do, I may fail” thoughts like this may resonate with many who suffer from depression and anxiety and are too scared to move an inch.  The truth is motivation is a result of action rather than a prerequisite for change. The idea of waiting for the light-bulb moment to strike could become a crutch, perpetuate worries about the gap between where you are and the insurmountable place you are trying to get to. This can maintain or exacerbate depression. There are many psychological theories on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and strategies to stay motivated. However, for those who are severely depressed, motivation may seem as out of reach as the Himalayan mountains, even getting out of bed could feel like a tremendous struggle. When motivation is close to nil, it may be counter-productive to talk about big goals like finding a new job, or get yourself together, because people are constantly reminded of how far they have to go, adding to our fears and anxiety. 

Motivation and Values

Increasing research showed that hedonic reward (e.g. feeling good) is insufficient in maintaining motivation, because it is often short lived. Another kind of reward Eudaimonia, on the other hand, appears to be associated with long-lasting change. Eudaimonia refers to a sense of meaning and purpose, in other words, connects you to what is important in life, your values. Neuroscience research showed that Eudaimonia activates the brain’s reward region the ventral striatum, which is associated with alleviation of depression and increased sense of wellbeing. Finding your values helps to create motivation. For example, a mother who has been battling with alcohol addiction for decades manages to get rid of all alcohol in the house, chooses to break ties with old drinking buddies and engages in a daily wellness routine because she wants to enjoy the longest possible time with her children. Another example, a burned-out chief executive re-prioritises competing demands, makes time to slow down, redelegate responsibilities, say no to unnecessary requests because he cares about his basic health needs and wants to engage and be present with family. You may have got the picture, eudaimonia is activated through a continues process that is congruent to one’s own values. Value-based action creates feeling of success which leads to motivation and more success.

How to create a process to get to where you want to be?

As we previously mentioned, motivation isn’t something you receive from somewhere, motivation is a something you create for yourself. Jeff Haden in his book the motivation myth stated that by choosing to start, you are choosing to change. Success is never guaranteed, but if you do not choose to start, you are almost certainly guaranteed to fail. 

The good news is that you don't have to reinvent the wheels to change. Many people have created a process that allows them to get to where they want to be. Sure, they put in effort to get to where they are, but it's the focus on that process that will also get you there. The treatment programme at Capri Sanctuary helps you to identify your values, create a process that allows you to get to where you want to go, and transform your goals into action steps required to get you there and put in lots of little chunks of effort every single day. All you need to focus on is what you are set out to do today, with support, you will get your daily doses of motivation to keep going. What’s the best part? You get to feel good about yourself every day, as you achieve what you set out to do.

To sit and wait could take a long time as that feeling of spark may never happen. As the famous motivational speaker Tony Robinson once said “We overestimate what we will achieve in a year, but underestimate what we can achieve in a day”

Start a partnership with Capri Sanctuary Today. We are here to help you to create a process to get you to where you want to be, one day at a time. 

Hope is to be attributed to tomorrow, today is all about action - Buddha

Capri Sanctuary 2018

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“Thank you Brent and the team at Capri Sanctuary for making me feel I can have a life worth living, and providing me with the tools and resources to deal with life's problems. ” — MH (Warkworth)

“I came to Capri Sanctuary with some complex issues and my stay has changed my life! I left feeling confident in myself and happier than ever. Everything was perfect during my stay.” — DG (Hawkes Bay)

“A Wonderful experience, I wish the Sanctuary had been available to me many years ago. I'm leaving a totally different person compared to who I was when I arrived. Thank you Brent and the team. Highly recommended. ” — SG (Melbourne, Australia)