Back to School Volume 5


“Ugh, I do not have the motivation to do my chores today!” I’m sure all of us have said this before, but what is motivation and is there a way to increase it? Let’s chat.  Motivation is the force that energizes us to act on our goals and aspirations. Your brain’s reward system controls your motivation and this system controls the levels of dopamine (feel good stuff) in your body.

There are 2 basic types of motivation:

You are self-motivated to do something because of the way it makes you feel, not because of a reward. Ex: playing a musical instrument makes you feel good, so you practice because you enjoy learning new songs.

You complete a task or work towards a goal because of a reward you might receive OR to avoid a consequence. Ex: You play the musical instrument in order to win a competition and avoid getting chastised by your music teacher.

But how do you create motivation?

Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound) goals.

Set mini goals and rewards along the way to help with keeping momentum going.

Attempt to find how the goal will help you or make you feel good. Focusing on what you will achieve can keep boring at bay and let you focus on the outcome.

Now that you have motivation, how do you keep it going?

  • Identifying barriers to achieving your goals to better prepare for them if/when they arise.
  •  Make long term and short term goals. You will need some level of reward throughout you process.
  • Think of motivation as a learned skill and not something that comes naturally.
Alex Young, Intern

Alex Young is a Graduate Student Intern with the Mindly Group studying Mental Health Counseling. If you are interested in joining this group or want to learn more about Alex click here.