How to Get and Stay Motivated: Everything You Need to Know
Motivation is one of the most important aspects of achieving success. Without motivation, it's difficult to stay focused and persist at work or personal goals. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about motivation: what it is, how it's related to goal setting, and how you can use something like your morning routine and physical exercise to increase your motivation levels. We'll also talk about how motivation varies with mental health and provide some tips for staying motivated even when times get tough.
What exactly is Motivation?
Put simply, motivation is the desire to achieve ones goal. Everyone has different motivation levels, and what works to motivate one person may not work for another. Motivation however, is not the same as discipline. Motivation is the desire to achieve a goal, while discipline is the ability to stick to it. For example, you may be motivated to workout five times per week, but if you don't have the discipline to follow through with that plan, you're not going to see the results. That's why it's important to understand both motivation and discipline and how each one affects the other.
On a scientific level, motivation is a complex psychological phenomenon which many people struggle to master. Research has shown that hormones can play a role in our motivation, particularly in terms of regulating energy levels and motivation to seek out rewards. Because at the end of the day, when success is achieved we feel good about that, and the way your brain is wired link them good feelings with the goal of success, is what creates the motivation for something, even if that something is getting off the couch to grab a sandwich to satisfy your hunger.
The hormone dopamine is directly linked to pleasure-seeking behaviour. Some people are addicted to certain hormones which leads to impulsive behaviour (aka sudden, acute, strong motivation) e.g. 'adrenaline junkies'. So, while hormones alone don't determine our level of motivation, they can influence it. For example, the hormone testosterone has been linked to increased aggression and risk-taking behaviour, while the hormone oxytocin has been implicated in social bonding and affiliation.
Understanding that motivation is related to your mood and hormone levels is important so you that you can begin to consciously reprogram your mind towards your desired goals. Once you understand that motivation is influenced by how you feel, then you can improve your motivation by improving your mood and general wellbeing.
Let's Talk About Mood Altering Activities
It is widely accepted that happier people are more motivated. When we're happy, we have more energy and enthusiasm for life. We're also more likely to be optimistic and take action towards our goals. So, if you want to be more motivated, why not try working on increasing your happiness? Do the things that make you happy, surround yourself with positive people, and avoid negative thinking.
Here are some effective things you can do to make sure you start each day in the best possible mindset for being happy and motivated:
1 Goal Setting
When you set a goal and then accomplish it, your brain gets a little hit of dopamine. That feels good, so you're more likely to do it again. And the more you do it, the better you get at setting and achieving goals, which means even more dopamine hits. It's a nice little feedback loop that can help propel you forward in life.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and motivation, so having higher levels can make you feel more driven and focused. Dopamine is associated with the pleasure and the reward centre of the brain, so by setting goals and accomplishing them, you are essentially training your brain that success is possible and enjoyable. This creates a direct link to your motivation levels.
2 Having a Morning Routine
Morning routines can vary from person to person. However, successful people usually have some sort of morning routine that they stick to religiously. One benefit of having a morning routine is that it helps to set the tone for the rest of your day. If you start your day off with some healthy habits and productive activities, you're more likely to keep up that momentum throughout the day. Additionally, a good morning routine can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels by giving you a sense of control over your day.
Morning routines are important to control your mind, reduce mental noise, improve creativity and concentration and they also act as a 'trigger' for setting you in the right mindset for the coming day ahead. If you are not a morning person, that's fine, your morning routine begins whenever you wake up each day. Regardless if you wake at 6 am or 6 pm, having a routine is an important part of maintaining a stable mood.
3 Regular Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins, often called the "happy hormones" because they can help improve your mood and make you feel good. Endorphins also interact with your brain chemistry to reduce cortisol levels (your stress hormone), which makes you feel more relaxed.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve mental health in several ways. It can help to increase self-confidence, combat depression and anxiety, and promote feelings of well-being and happiness. Research has shown that regular aerobic exercise is more effective than antidepressants in treating depression. So, if you're looking for an easy way to boost your mood, consider taking up walking, running or swimming! Ultimately this will keep you motivated towards your goals.
4 Sleeping Well
There are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep plays an important role in our physical and mental health. Sleep is when our brains readjust our hormone levels and recover important neurotransmitter chemicals which help us to function at peak performance.
Sleeping well can improve your mood, help you focus and concentrate, boost your immune system, and reduce stress levels. Getting enough rest can also help to prevent serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, and stroke. So make sure you get those Zzz’s – your body will thank you for it!
5 Improve Your Health at Home With A Spa Pool
A spa pool is always a great way to achieve many of these things mentioned above, a morning routine built around a swim spa can give you a relaxing morning and takes care of your daily exercise. You also get some time away from your digital devices where you can relax and think about your goals and the day ahead, and this helps to build motivation levels. Swim spas also give you the benefits of the most effective aerobic exercise (swimming) in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Many models are available with aromatherapy pods and hydrotherapy massage recliners. So you can benefit in two ways, first from regular exercise which is linked to higher endorphin levels and better sleep. Second, after a long day, you can use the hydrotherapy chair in your spa to decompress and relieve the day’s stress, preparing you for a great night’s sleep.
How Does Discipline Relate to Motivation and Depression
We talked a little earlier about discipline, self-discipline plays a role in motivation, particularly if you are suffering from depression. Depression saps your motivation levels and can lead to a self-destructive spiral of bad habits which require discipline to break. Sometimes we can have a good routine that lasts for weeks and then suddenly life throws us a curve ball and this displaces our motivation levels. Self-discipline is your ability to choose to do an activity even when you don't feel like it, even when you're depressed, or when your motivation is lacking. The secret here is using your imagination to focus on the end result of achieving your goal and how that will make you feel so that you can get a sneak peak of the good feelings you will receive once the goal is achieved. You might not feel like doing something, but you know it will be well worth it once the goal is complete, and this is the essence of your motivation and the cause of your discipline. Discipline is often described as a muscle, the more you practice being disciplined the stronger your capacity for self-discipline becomes.
We hope the tips in this blog post have given you some ideas on how to start your day well and stay motivated throughout the year. Something as simple as walking every day and sleeping well could completely change your life and it costs nothing to make these changes!
If you’re looking for a way to add regular exercise into your routine but don't like leaving home, a spa pool or swim spa from Sapphire Spas can be a great option. Our full range of professional-grade pools offer something for everyone, so take a look at our website today and find the perfect one for your needs.