Sometimes you just have those days when your to-do list should be called the ‘never-gonna-get-done’ list, and your life goals feel more like a life sentence.
You just can’t seem to motivate yourself to do them.
Even if they’re things you actually want to do or achieve, when you’re lacking motivation, your positive challenges seemingly become negative chores.
Science may have the answer.
Research by super smart thinkers – Peter Gröpel, Ph.D., Hugo Kehr, Ph.D. and other scientists – is showing there’s an easy way to motivate yourself.
The solution lies in uncovering your implicit motive. As sinister as that sounds, implicit motives are simply those impulses, desires, and influences you find so satisfying that they subconsciously drive your performance, attitude, and actions.
The theories in this motivational psychology state there are three primary implicit motives that have the strongest effect on your motivational drive. Other motives exist but they’re less dominant. The primary motives are power, affiliation, and achievement.
While there’s the possibility that all three implicit motives could play a role in your ability to motivate yourself, there’s usually one that really drives you. Here’s how you can use the implicit motive that fits you best to boost your ‘get ‘er done’ vibes and accomplish nearly anything:
If power is your implicit motive, you love to lead. Your gratification comes from being the one in charge and setting the rules. To use this “motivate me” trait to your advantage, find ways to place yourself in leadership positions.
For example: Want to write more but you suck at holding yourself accountable to a solo writing regime? Start a writing group where you create the agenda and serve as the leader or host.
If your implicit motive is affiliation, you get fulfillment from partnering up with colleagues, friends, and family. No matter if it’s work or play, you find that tasks are better when you do them with people you love or trust.
For example: Anytime you can join forces with accountability partners, like a workout buddy or a coworking friend, the teamwork will help fuel your fire.
You thrive on challenges and healthy competition. Beating records and continually striving for better is where your drive is found. Boring, repetitious, or mundane tasks could possibly be the very bane of your existence. So, how can you spice things up if you’re powered by achievement?
For example: Find ways to compete against yourself or others. Can you perform your tasks or meet your goals more quickly than before? What about making the goal more difficult, and therefore more challenging, to overcome? Or can you compete with or against someone else. If so, you’re going to find it’s easier to get motivated.
If you can’t decide which implicit motive will best help fuel your motivation, try taking a task or a goal you’ve been struggling with and think of how you can get started on it using each of the above three motives – power, affiliation, or achievement. Whichever method gets your juices flowing is probably your dominant motivator. This may change depending on the task so, change it up if a method is no longer working for you.
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