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16 July 2021

How to get and stay motivated.

Motivation can be the recipe for success, the spark that ignites the fuel within us to achieve our goals and become the best version of ourselves.

It can help us to overcome problems, be more optimistic and provide direction for where we want to go in life.

But getting motivated is not always easy. Life is busy. And the challenges of having a disability, being in chronic pain or managing a health condition can dampen your drive.

Whatever is going on in your life, adopting a motivational mindset may help you overcome the hurdles of today and create the building blocks for tomorrow.

What is motivation?

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours.[1] It’s the enthusiasm or reason for doing something and the process for making it happen.

“I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul,” is a line from the poem Invictus by William Ernest Hemley. This mantra is regularly shared by Oprah Winfrey, who believes it’s essential for everyone to have a vision.

“Even if you don’t know the plan, you have to have a direction in which you choose to go…You want to be in the driver’s seat of your own life because if you’re not, life will drive you.” [2]

What motivates you?

Different things motivate different people. Some people are motivated by an internal desire or a wish to become better at something. Others are motivated by social factors, power or even fear.

We asked our team members to share what motivates them and were surprised at the variety of results.

“I recently read that ‘action leads to motivation’. Sometimes we think we need motivation to create action. For me, just doing something, whether it’s exercise, eating healthier or beginning a new hobby, can generate the motivation to continue.”

“I’m motivated by my purpose which is to do a great job and deliver the best results for our members.”

“I sometimes have trouble getting motivated. For me, setting goals is a good thing. I booked a skiing holiday so I have to get fit to go skiing.”

“A sense of accomplishment when I reach my goals and a desire for self-improvement keep me motivated.”

Knowing what motivates you can help you to stay focused and keep at it when things become challenging.

Tips for getting motivated.

Set goals.
Write down what you want to achieve and a plan for getting there by using a goal-setting journal, the Leap in! app or a dedicated notebook.

Just start.
Don’t worry that you don’t have all the answers yet. Start where you are, do what you can and keep going. “When you fail, you learn a lot about yourself and come back stronger. Life need not have limits. Having an opportunity in life is important but what defines you is what you do with that opportunity,” says British Paralympian Richard Whitehead.

Focus on what you can control.
“If you focus on the things you can’t control, such as the past…it’s easy to lose your vision,” explains best-selling author Tony Robbins. “Accept that you will not change the world in a day. Focus on vision and what you want, not on any setbacks you may encounter.” [3]

Take action.
Begin with small steps. Taking one step at a time is better than nothing.

Develop good habits.
According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions is the secret to driving change in our lives. James teaches that getting just 1% better at something every day builds momentum and brings about change over time.[4]

Have a goal buddy.
Working with a trusted friend can keep you accountable and amplify your results.

Ignite your passion.
Do things you are passionate about. Make time for doing what sets your soul on fire. Learn a new skill. Take lessons. Help someone else.

Be persistent.
Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can. Dylan Alcott remembers a quote that his basketball coach used to say “You’ve got to be persistent, resilient and consistent. You have to consistently put yourself out there.” [5]

Listen or read.
Stay motivated with podcasts such as Daily StoicListenABLE and Super Soul Conversations; movies like I am not your guru, talks by motivational speakers such as Michael Crossland and some of the many books you can find online or in bookstores.

Reward yourself.
Icecream. Chocolate. A trip to the coast with a mate. Dinner out. A day off work. Associate each goal with a reward that will encourage you to keep going.

As the saying goes, don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits. Be bold, believe in your potential and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

We’d love to hear what motivates you.

Got a great story to tell or have a topic you would like us to cover in the future? Please contact us by email at feedback@leapin.com.au.

We’re also here if you need help preparing for your next NDIS Plan meeting, using the Leap in! app or finding the right providers near you. Simply call us on 1300 05 78 78 or chat with us online via our website.

Further Reading

A guide to mindfulness apps.

Being active for health and wellbeing.

Free ebook: Mental health conditions and the NDIS

[1] Kendra Cherry, Very Well Mind, What is motivation?, accessed 30 June 2021.
[2] Oprah Winfrey, speech to Spelman College graduates, 23 May 2012.
[3] Team Tony Robbins, What’s your vision?, accessed 30 June 2021.
[4] James Clear, Atomic Habits, 2018.
[5]  Dylan Alcott, My advice to others so they can achieve their goals, November 2016.