Starting new beginnings with motivation

A new stage in your life has arrived. You envision it with excitement, imagining the goals before you even begin to pursue them. It's time to establish the habit of exercising or studying every day, or perhaps the start of a new job, with all the insecurities that it entails. However, new beginnings can be challenging, and many times, they knock you down before you even make an attempt to rise.

In reality, the most challenging part is maintaining motivation throughout the process of achieving a goal. You already have the enthusiasm, the opportunity, and the desire, but you need to keep that spark alive, providing momentum to your decisions and efforts.

Motivation as an Essential Engine

Sometimes, the word "motivation" is repeated so often that it seems to lose its meaning, creating the impression that it's a mental state reserved for those who are born with it. However, motivation is present in every action and decision made throughout the day.

In fact, various psychological theories attempt to provide a universal definition of motivation. From Abraham Maslow's well-known hierarchy of needs to the expectancy theory perfected by Porter and Lawler, it is understood that this force to achieve your goals is fundamental for survival.

Without motivation, you wouldn't be able to get out of bed every day. It is defined as the mood that changes a person's behavior to direct it toward specific goals, from the smallest, like having a cup of coffee for breakfast, to the largest, like buying a house. Furthermore, motivation is the energy that guides these behaviors toward efficiency, aiming to reach the goal as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

How to Maintain Motivation in New Beginnings

It doesn't matter whether you have set a small or large goal; what will keep you moving is motivation. Without it, your efforts will be like pulling a cart by hand, without assistance and without knowing when you will reach your destination. Therefore, part of your work should involve reminding yourself why you started pulling the cart in the first place, being very clear about the purpose of your goals. Let's explore some recommendations for this.

1. Explore and Develop Your Intrinsic Motivation

According to Herzberg's dual-factor theory (1967), there are intrinsic motivators in every person, contrasting with hygiene factors. While hygiene factors, although related to motivation, are external to the task and simply refer to the need to avoid dissatisfaction with it, intrinsic motivators are found within the work itself and are the ultimate cause of motivation. These motivators are factors related to the need for growth and personal development.

Therefore, you should focus your attention on these factors. While finding assistance and support (hygiene factors) for your cause will be crucial, if you do not engage in stimulating tasks, enjoy what you do, strive to do it to the best of your ability, and relish the sense of self-realization or acknowledgment of your efforts, you will not keep motivation alive (motivation factors). This part of yourself deserves introspection and affirmation.

2. Adjust Your Expectations

The mentioned expectancy theory by Porter and Lawler (1968) posits that all human effort is made with the expectation of some level of success. Therefore, it is normal and logical to desire results from your attempts to achieve a goal.

However, where you place your expectations and what value you assign to each success is something you must consciously manage. It is true that the higher you value a goal and the higher your expectations, the greater the motivation. The problem arises when you set your expectations too high, causing the potential fall to be deeper.

Therefore, it is crucial to realistically measure your expectations and progress them, especially if your goal is long-term. This way, what you expect to achieve will be in harmony with your abilities and your perception of progress toward your goal.

3. Revel in Your Passion for What You Do

Passion can always be found in what you are doing, especially in new beginnings. Your goal might be something you want to achieve, but it may involve an unpleasant or particularly challenging path for you, such as quitting smoking, for example. Nevertheless, you will surely find something that motivates and excites you. You will discover that you have more willpower than you thought or enjoy marking off each day on the calendar without touching a cigarette. Focusing your attention on this passion, enjoying the task itself, and all it brings to your personal growth and self-realization is a motivating element in itself.

4. Divide and Organize the Steps Toward Your Goal

If you are in the present and your goal is set, let's say, for the next year, it is very easy to lose motivation along the way if you perceive it as a single process. The best way to maintain it over a long period is to break down the objectives and accomplish them one by one. Try this method used in psychology for habit formation:

Create a list of all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.

Prioritize or arrange them by necessity, time, or difficulty, for instance. It is often helpful to start with simple and small tasks.

Set deadlines for each of them.

Focus your efforts on completing each task, one at a time.

5. Reward Yourself for Achievements

This list of objectives mentioned above can keep your sights set on where you want to be, but what is motivation without reinforcement? If you are following this method of breaking goals into steps, don't hesitate to reward yourself each time you complete one of them. If possible, the reward should be related to the goal itself. This will make your journey smoother and keep your motivation high throughout the process.

6. Compare Yourself Only to Yourself

It's easy to look at others and discover that some have gone further than you or achieved better results. This will only lead to frustration or perhaps overexertion, leading to burnout.

Therefore, directing your attention away from your own path should only be used for learning or, consequently, celebrating others' successes. Compare yourself only to yourself and take pleasure in the progress you have made to date. Remember that this new beginning is for you, not to be better than others.

7. Work on Your Tolerance for Failure and Frustration

As you probably already know, obstacles appear on every path. Thinking about them in advance may not have a strong emotional impact, but when we face them, things change. This is where two concepts coined by psychology come into play and can be very useful to work on:

- Tolerance for failure:

It is the ability to face and overcome experiences related to errors and negative results of one's own behavior. It is essential to take responsibility for your mistakes and correct them without falling into feelings of guilt that do not motivate you to take action.

- Tolerance for frustration:

Your own limitations are one of the factors that can most diminish motivation. Trying something in various ways, feeling that your abilities are not sufficient, and failing again and again can be tough. It is crucial to work on resilience from the very beginning and ask yourself with each failure what you have learned that makes you more capable.

8. Seek Support from a Psychologist

You may have seen all these recommendations and thought, "Easier said than done." We all have the capacity

within us to become the best version of ourselves, but we must not forget that we are not islands. Sometimes, we need help to unlock our abilities and overcome our deepest obstacles.

In such cases, the assistance of a psychology professional may be what you need to fully boost your motivation. They will provide you with optimal resources for achieving your goals, educate you in emotional management, and accompany you during your lowest moments.

At Therapyside, you will find professionals who can advise, support, and help you reach your best version.

With motivation, even the most challenging goals become memories of triumph. Everything can fail without warning, but what remains at the end of the day are the desires to reach the goal. So, never fear new beginnings because motivation will be what lifts you out of bed every day and reminds you why you have come this far.

You can count on an online psychologist at Therapyside to continue delving into your emotions, prioritize yourself, and take care of your psychological well-being. If this article has helped you better understand this topic, we hope you feel more empowered to live a life without limitations!

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