is goal-directed behaviour, explains Jodie Bradham, a psychologist at
has defined two types of motivation: internal and external. Those who are
internally motivated, typically the Cathy Freemans of the world, are spurred on
by a sense of inner satisfaction that they will derive from the outcome. Others
are more externally motivated, believing that the public acclaim will make their
efforts worthwhile. This is useful information, says de Prazer, in determining
what distracts you, drives and restrains you from realizing your goals. The most
crucial step in motivating yourself is to know what it is that you want. It
sounds simplistic, but often overlooked. “We all know that we should eat
balanced meals, drink in moderation, not smoke, exercise daily”, says de
Prazer, “but sometimes we think we want one thing, then we don’t achieve it.
If we were to examine the forces that drive us and limit us, sometimes we might
find that the priority to change wasn’t really as important as something else
in our life”. Once you have determined what it is you want, the way to realize
it is to plan steping stones to get there. At the AIS athletes establish two
types of goals: an outcome goal and a performance goal, explains de Prazer.
“An outcome goal might be, “I want to make the Olympic team.” While a
performance goal is, “I want to make the Olympic track team, therefore I will
need to run 100 metres under 10 seconds. What can I do over the next six months
to do that? How can I use my training sessions each week and each month to work
towards that goal?”
way athletes are continuously meeting goals and will feel a degree of
satisfaction with their efforts whether they end up on the Olympics squad or
not. “The same principles apply to people who want to go to the gym or lose
weight”, she says. “To feel motivated about changing our behaviour, we need
to feel reasonably confident that the energy we invest will be worthwhile,”
say s Bradham. “Ensuring your goals are realistic is critical to success”.
The answer is to plan to increase your goals by achieving increments. “Success
builds success, motivation builds motivation,” says Bradham.
rewards also help maintain the momentum. De Prazer says that if there is no
reward for your hard efforts early on, you are less likely to sustain them.
“It seems more rewarding to stay under the Doona on a cold winter’s morning,
so there must be a reward of equal value to get up and go to the gym,” she
says. “A suggestion is to go with a friend so the reward will be catching up
with him or her. If your goal is to not eat junk food for a week, buy yourself a
magazine at the end of the week”. Giving yourself clear directions and
acknowledging your achievements are the keys to sustaining your motivation.
“Many people know what they need to do but they neglect to reward themselves
as they begin to make progress,” cautions Bradham. “Your ability to reward
yourself depends upon your belief in your ability to achieve a goal.”
Bradham’s suspicion is that the businessman whose resolve to lose weight
weakened in the face of the buffet has deep-seated self-beliefs that are
preventing him from acting on his desire to slim down.
brings us full circle to the difference between those who act easily on
motivation and those who struggle. The internal resilience of the likes of
Lleyton Hewitt is built on a foundation that includes his value system, his
sense of self-worth a trust in his ability to fulfil his ambitions and a belief
that he is deserving. In Robbins’s terms, he is able to surpass any
limitations he has imposed on himself and believe he will succeed.
Creative Visualisation by Shakti Gawain (Bantum New Age Books)
text taken from Sunday Life
DATE WITH SUCCESS
Psychologists agree that keeping a diary is a powerful tool.
Writing down positive, present-tense statements that foresee you reaching your goal. For example: I am relaxed and calm in the face of stress.
Write a list of everything you feel thankful for.
Make a list of everything you have succeeded at. Success builds upon success.
Compile a list of all your best qualities. The more the better.
Write your goal in one succinct sentence. Describe this as thoroughly as possible, bring it to life. Feel it, smell it, give it texture. Visualisation is a powerful tool for bringing your goals into reality.
The road to success is dotted with obstacles. Psychologist Jodie Bradham lists the most common and offers a strategy to overcome them:
If conflicting motives are at play, an honest evaluation of the situation is needed. Ask yourself what do I want? What am I willing to give up to achieve my objectives? How will I know when I have achieved my goal?
Are they realistic? Divide objectives into short-term (two to three weeks) and long-term goals (six months or more).
If you are ravenous but trying to eat healthily, have fruit at the ready to snack on. Foresee problems and avoid them.
Discuss goals with family and friends and ask for their support.
Don't let a lapse trigger a relapse. Acknowledge when you stray and be constructive about getting back on track.
BEING YOUR OWN COACH
Remind yourself of the successes you are giving and the reasons for setting your goal in the first place.