Have you ever wanted to run a marathon? How about buy a house or get a new job? While dreams and aspirations are great, nothing comes to fruition until we utilize motivation. Motivation, known as the drive or the passion behind all great (and even mundane) ideas powers us to do things. Technically defined, the word motivation is “the process of stimulating people to action, in order to accomplish goals”. But what really is motivation and how does it work? To break it down, we have to take a look at the components that make up our drive to “do things”.
Motivation as its core can be subcategorized into 3 major steps: Activation, Persistence, and Intensity.
Activation is the decision we make to initiate action. This could be as simple as the “just do it” state of mind. What to enroll in school? Fill out that college application! Want to get fit? Signup for that aerobics class! We know that everything starts with action, but it doesn’t happen until you make it happen. So, to get started on your goal you have to take action on the first step.
Persistence is a continued and consistent effort toward a goal, regardless of what issues or obstacles may arise. If action is what gets the ball rolling, persistence is what keeps it moving. If you start something, you often need the motivation to see it through, and that might mean training or studying at a regular basis, realigning expectations, or keeping at it no matter what gets in the way. The point of persistence is to keep your goal attainable and do whatever you need to do to achieve it.
Intensity is the extra effort, hard work, and dedication you put toward accomplishing a goal. Just like persistence, intensity kicks in when we realize that we need to put more effort in, work harder, or go beyond the expected parameters to achieve the goal. This might mean taking a night class to add to your knowledge of the subject or signing up for a personal trainer to get in the shape you need to start your race training schedule.
As much as we’d like it to be, life isn’t as simple as “shooting for the stars”. We need more than just the thought or plan behind a goal, and this requires real effort or true motivation. While it may sound simple, there is a process, and the components of action, persistence and intensity will drive us to accomplish our goals. So, do what you want to do, but make sure you go out and get it. Now that you have the magic formula, anything is possible.