Remember the carrot-and-stick of traditional thinking? It still has relevance today.
Think about the past: what has motivated you to do things you didn’t want to do or that were difficult? These don’t have to be major goals, just tasks that you managed to complete in spite of yourself.
Did you plan to give yourself a reward when you completed the task? Did you think about the satisfaction you would feel when you achieved your goal? Did you think about how other people would be pleased or impressed? If these or similar approaches got you going, you are motivated by the ‘carrot’. You are motivated by the positive outcomes.
Did you think about the disappointment you would feel if you didn’t succeed? Did you think about other people’s disapproval? Did you deny yourself something until you completed your goal? If these or similar approaches helped, you are motivated by the ‘stick’. You are motivated by negative factors.
Is it sometimes the carrot and sometimes the stick? Can you see a pattern to this? Are work goals usually motivated by the stick, and home goals by the carrot? Do you ever use both at the same time? Spend some time thinking about this, and see what patterns emerge.
Whatever they are, apply this to whatever you do to help keep you motivated to achieve your heart’s desires. There isn’t a wrong or right answer to this – understanding how motivation works for you will help you achieve much more in your life.