Navigating the Motivation Challenge: How Can I Discover Momentum to Accomplish Goals?

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Motivation, Psychology | 0 comments

As the year speeds by, many of us have long forgotten our New Year’s resolutions. It seems like that fresh burst of motivation has simply vanished in the blink of an eye!

You might also find yourself questioning why it is so tricky to stick to what we know we should be doing. I would like to suggest that meaning in life – yes, that ever-elusive thing we are always hunting – might be the secret ingredient to reignite our motivation. Aligning daily actions with our overarching purposes can make the elusive concept of meaning more tangible and accessible. Here are some tips to make that magic possible:

Motivation and Our Meaning Structures

Understanding the meaning structures that drive your motivation is the first crucial step in understanding our inner drive. Meaning structures are like our life goals that we value as important to us. For example, being of service to the community, having strong connections with our family, or mastering a skill in our work.

To figure out your own meaning structures, reflect on what truly matters in your personal, professional, and relational areas. Remember, values are not about avoiding stress. They are the aspirations we continually strive towards and the ideals that shape our decisions and actions. For instance, a desire to live a healthy life and to be able to play with children or grandchildren might be the meaning that drives an exercise routine.

Aligning daily actions with our overarching purposes can make the elusive concept of meaning more tangible and accessible.

Break Down Meaning into Actionable Tasks

To bring meaning closer, we need to think in images. What would you (and other people) see if you could live out this meaning today? Finding meaning in nature might translate into a weekly date to go surfing.

Consider small steps that gradually build momentum, rather than aiming for unrealistic ideals. To ensure your commitment, ask yourself whether the prospect of pursuing a particular task excites you, or at least slightly interests you! If you are ready to go the extra mile, also anticipate potential obstacles that might prevent you from doing this meaning, and plan some alternative responses. For example, if it rains, I will sit on my porch with hot cup of tea and enjoy the weather (which is still aligned with my meaning structure).

Transforming Action into Daily Habits

Like many areas in life, consistency is key. Implement these actions regularly to automate them. Over time, this can turn them into habits. Just as we don’t need to summon motivation every time we brush our teeth, developing goals into habits makes it easier to stay committed. Perfection is not the goal; occasional slip-ups are okay, just ensure you get back on track promptly. Perhaps this is a good time to remind yourself of the bigger meaning that you are trying to live out.

Motivation Through Others

Maintaining motivation during moments of weakness is more achievable with accountability and support. Share your major life goals with trusted individuals to establish a valuable support system. Or better yet, find people who share your meaning structure. Building a community around your goals enhances commitment and resilience, turning your journey into a shared and fulfilling experience.

For those who can voice and stick to their New Year’s resolutions, hats off to you! For the rest of us mere mortals, tapping into our motivation requires a deeper understanding and continuous effort to integrate it into our daily lives. If you’re struggling to find meaning or make this a daily practice, the psychologists at the Centre for Effective Living are here to support you.