How to Get Motivated
Do you ever wonder why can’t I feel motivated? I hear from clients all the time I don’t understand why I can’t do things. It’s especially confusing when those things are activities that you previously enjoyed doing. Well we can usually thank depression for that. The magic question is what are you suppose to do about it? As much as we sometimes want to, we can’t just sit around and do nothing.
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin is one of my favorite resources when trying to answer the magic question. In this book, Rubin answers the question “How do I respond to expectations?” Your tendency shows how you respond to outer expectations and inner expectations. You’re either an upholder, obliger, questioner, or rebel.
I’m going to break this down in my words and understanding and tell you how I go from “How do I respond to expectations?” to “How can I get motivated?”
To put it simply motivation is linked to how we respond to expectations. If we feel expected to do something then we are more likely to do it. I have found that how you can get motivated is closely linked to your tendency. Let me break down the tendencies with some motivational tips.
Upholders- You will meet inner expectations and outer expectations so basically you’ve got it easiest. Congrats! You can decide you’re going to do something and feel motivated to do it and you can be told do something and feel motivated to do it. I have a feeling there a very few upholders reading this because upholders rarely have a hard time with motivation. If you have landed on this page, see tips from obligers and questioners. They should both work for you.
Obligers- You will meet outer expectations. Think typical people pleasers, however, not all people pleasers are obligers. To help yourself get motivated find yourself an accountability partner. Ask this person to tell you to do things. For example, you may have a friend that reminds you to go workout or maybe even a really good friend that plans to workout with you.
Questioners- You will meet inner expectations. This is what I typically hear from a spouse of a questioner- Once they set their mind to something, there is no changing it. That determination is a great quality, but how do you control it to work for your own good. The answer is research. If you’re trying to motivate yourself, start looking into it- YouTube, reddit, blog posts (like this one), etc. Your questioner self will be so happy to be finding the answer that once you find THE answer you will feel more motivated to complete the task.
Rebels- To my fellow rebels, I am sorry to say that we will neither meet inner expectation nor outer expectations. I’m going to guess that most of the people that landed on this page are in this category because motivation is the hardest for us, but it’s not impossible. Expectations just aren’t are thing. Think the kid that you tell to do the dishes and then they feel like doing anything but. Rebels are motivated by what they feel like doing. This feels practically uncontrollable. Here’s two tips for you. Number one feel better. Do what it takes to increase your mood and productivity may be soon to follow.
Since that’s not always possible here’s tip two. As a Rebel, you’re motivated through your identity. That can mean a variety of different things but I will give a person example. Part of my identity was being a good student which meant someone who got good grades, was accepted into a good school, took rigorous classes etc. To motivate myself to do homework and study, I came from a place of preserving my identity. That also meant that I would procrastinate and wait until the last minute to do almost everything because as a rebel motivation is hard and the pressure to do something didn’t kick in until the last minute.
These things aren’t a motivational fix-all because its not this simple but I hope these simple tips will help you get that workout routine in motion or that homework done. If you’re an upholder or obliger then I’m telling you now get that thing done. If you’re a questioner or rebel, forget I ever said anything.
You can take the quiz here to find out what type you are https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com
This blog post was written by Tess Wright, MEd, APC
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