By Sandra Roberts, Reg. Counsellor and Edu-(bio)-feedback Play Attention (ADD) Practitioner

Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” – Zig Ziglar

Everyone from our boss, our spouse, our parents keep telling us to stay motivated during this time of the year, but sometimes it is difficult to stay focused and motivated even if you really care about what you are doing. Disappointments, stress and failures happen to all of us but it is how we deal with them that matters. Response to failure and disappointment is one of the core differences between people who are successful and those who are not. The difference between people that reach their goals and those that do not is staying motivated. Individuals who are motivated keep going and ultimately reach their goal.

As a counsellor, I have put together six psychological tips to keep you motivated despite the stress and hardships:

  1. Find the good ReasonsAnything that one does even the simplest task has a number of good reasons behind it. Find out what the good reasons are to keep you motivated to complete the task, especially if it is a difficult task to complete.
  2. Make a Plan/Prioritise Make a list to get an overall picture of the workload before tackling the situation.Determine what your priorities are, rank tasks in order of importance to avoid unnecessary stress. Then rearrange your time in order to have enough energy and time to complete tasks before deadlines. As each task is completed it will be one step closer to success.
  3. Create new challengesChanging your approach can help keep the task interesting. When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Think of interesting and creative ways to complete tasks that you have had to complete before so that you can be motivated to do it again. Make it fun. If you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way. And most likely, there is more than one way. If a certain approach does not work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.
  4. Set goals that can be reachedBreak down your ultimate goal into smaller goals and by achieving the smaller goals the bigger goal will not seem so difficult to achieve in the end. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal and acknowledging these smaller goals always feels good and will keep you motivated to achieve other goals.
  5. Find a social support networkCreate a group of people around you that want to help you succeed. Family and friends are usually a good start for this network and then consider mentors that can guide and help you to develop new skills. Colleagues and peers can also keep you motivated by sharing ideas and listening to you. Having people in your life who believe in you, are honest with you, and will offer their time and effort to support you is hugely helpful. If you do not have this kind of support in your life, the best way to build it is to provide it to others.
  6. Acknowledge your accomplishments Reward yourself every time you achieve a goal by doing something you enjoy. For example going to watch a movie, eating something you love like pizza, going out with friends or taking a day off and relaxing, Then move on to the next task.

The good news about all six of these things is that anyone can do them. In other words, you can come back from failure and disappointment to success by doing the same things that super-achievers do.

If you are struggling to stay motivated, and feel hopeless about your situation, seek professional assistance by contacting as at  PsychMatters Family Therapy centre  on 011 450 3576.

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