Were you inspired by the Olympics or Barrack Obama achieving Presidency? Did it inspire you to finish something, start something or finally fine tune what you were already doing?
Motivation. If you have ever walked into a gym or into someone’s office you quite often see such signs as “the only time success comes before work, is in the dictionary” or “ships are safe in the harbour, but that is not what ships are built for” or when we refer back to health and fitness, the saying “harden up”. Some of these sayings stick in our minds, for awhile anyway but the question is do they last? How can we keep those mantras in our head, to enable us to keep us going?
There are many ways to define motivation; I will use Alderman (1974) who states that motivation is “the tendency for the direction and selectivity of behaviour to be controlled by its connections to consequences, and the tendency of this behaviour to persist until a goal is achieved”.
Therefore, directions refers to the purpose and the desired actions of the activity, run, ride, swim, study, or learn a new instrument. Deciding on what task to work on is the selectivity of the behaviour so you may say “today I will start and do 1km”. At times you could do with some input for this, from a group perhaps. And instead of aversive consequences to when you can’t maintain your goal or do things properly (i.e. at footy training, you drop a ball and you are asked to give the Coach 20 push ups) a more helpful motivational statement may be “if I did that today, it would be a real challenge… to complete that task, would be so fantastic, and great for my body and mind”. It becomes a positive message, rather than a critical or negative message. To refer back to my article last week, negative statements only lead to ‘negative schemas’ or poor “self perception”. They are not helpful!
To be or stay motivated we are dealing with our thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviours, its important to think and act positively, “I can do this”. The next step to picking your activity is getting started. If you cannot get started yourself, I have stated in all of my articles, join the herd, it’s always safer in the herd, not on the fringe, you are protected in the middle. There are many free group activities around, Beerwah/Landsborough/Glasshouse. Next week we will talk about starting the activities!