Are You Trigger Happy?
I am sitting here, day 2 of my juice detox (I know, what a cliché), consuming my green concoction. Last night was a bit of a struggle as my house mates came home and cooked delicious meals and I sat there with my vegetable juice. This morning however, I feel great, I woke up to my alarm no problem (no snoozing), I also feel re-motivated to 100% stick with it.
It got me thinking, what makes us motivated?
How am I managing to resist food, and drink weird juice cocktails for 5 whole days?! There are many motivation and habit-forming theories, but all seem to agree that a ‘trigger’ makes us finally spring into action!
A trigger can be internal or external. An internal trigger, which is implicit – affecting the subconscious part of the brain, has the greatest effect on our behaviour. Internal triggers are things like people, places, emotions, situations, routines.
The trigger tells us what to do next, through association in our memory. The most effective/prominent triggers to motivate are negative emotions… Nothing like an argument with your parents to kick-start flat hunting…
So now we have been triggered, how can we make it stick?
The goals we set are essential in maintaining momentum, no matter what we’re trying to achieve. The feeling of ‘accomplishment’ when a challenge is completed, keeps us motivated. What is your goal? If you want to hear more about goal setting please go here.
The fact that we have made the decision ourselves! This is known as Self Determination Theory – a belief in your freedom to choose is a key requirement for sustained motivation. So, think about what you want to achieve and why.
When we’re having fun we don’t want to stop! If the task in hand isn’t great, plan some fun once you have done the boring bits.
Winning the game, receiving a job offer from our ‘dream company’ or simply completing a hefty application gives a sense of achievement. Reward your accomplishments, however small – they all represent progress! Take a break, watch a film, have a beer…
Lastly, and possibly the most important is our social context. If we’re not in the right environment, it’s tough to stay focused. Other triggers can play havoc with our motivation – like shopping with friends while you’re saving up for that car repair… or revising for tomorrow’s exam while your lively sociable housemates are planning their night out…
To create the right social context think about working or applying for jobs in a café, going to the library to study for exams, speaking to friends who have been in the same situation etc. Surround yourself with positive people, inspiring quotes, whatever it takes!
Motivation is a funny thing, sometimes we feel it and sometimes we just DON’T, and that’s ok. For these moments, make a list – what would you like to do and why? Just start somewhere and the momentum will build. Achieve small wins and you will find that a lot of little turns into big.
Sending you masses of motivation,