Self-motivation is one of the key elements that make up emotional intelligence. People who have developed this skill achieve their objectives more frequently, are more independent and have a high level of self-esteem, because they are able to overcome problems, generate solutions and persevere.

Do we all have the capacity to motivate ourselves without external incentives or obligations to do so for us? Why do some people feel motivated in their daily lives and others fall into apathy, abandoning their objectives soon after they have set them? The reason why it is often difficult for us to achieve our goals is to give an answer to these questions, and for this it is good to understand what it means to be self-motivated.

The concept of self-motivation

Self-motivation is the ability to extract from oneself the necessary drive to perform the appropriate behaviors that bring you closer to your proposed goals. It is being able to provide yourself with the interest , the reasons and the enthusiasm necessary to continue with your projects. And yes, it is something that is within everyone’s reach.

Now, why do we always fail to achieve our goals?It’s simple. Because of a lack of habits that bring us closer to them.

The human brain has an energy-saving system that makes it tend, through inertia , to carry out day after day the behaviours it has been repeating for years . Let’s say that it prefers not to think too much and resort to what it already knows.

That is why when we try to get closer to an objective and a proposed goal we usually give up after a short time. The tendency to routine in our brain can be more than our will power. We end up getting frustrated when we see that no matter how much we want to, we do not manage to modify our behaviour, and therefore we become unmotivated.

A work plan to achieve our goals

So… how do we add a new habit to our lives without giving it up after a few days? The first thing we need is a work plan .

Contrary to what we may think, it is not as important to set a time limit (in 30 days I must have lost 7 kilos) as it is to design a plan of action that allows you to get closer to your goals every day.

The plan of action must be as detailed as possible. If we continue with the example of weight loss, the ideal would be to choose every night what you are going to eat the next day with all the details, without giving way to improvisation. It is not recommended that such a plan be too restrictive (which could lead to an over-exertion that would lead us to abandon it quickly), it is enough to provide us with a structured framework with a couple of new elements linked to our goals.

If our work plan is perfectly detailed and framed within our schedule, will be as simple as following it to slit table without stopping to doubt what will be the next step, because that is where our brain economizer will pull the resources previously used.

Find a calendar and start designing your week today, and then simply follow the directions you’ve designed yourself just like letting a GPS get you closer to your destination.

Practical guidelines for self-motivation

Once I have designed a plan of action, how do I stay self-motivated to carry it out?

1. Take it seriously

You have decided to set that goal after conscious reflection because you know what is best for you and what you want in your life. And there’s nothing more important than that. That’s why distractions or changes in the schedule are useless, try to be strict and committed to what you have set out to do.

2. Performs short, medium and long term visualization exercises

Try to imagine what your life will be like if your routines change. Keep in mind that what you do now will have repercussions in the future. That will help you avoid falling into procrastination or “I’ll do it tomorrow” syndrome.

3. Practice conscious attention

This will help you to stop working on autopilot and make consistent decisions. Add a couple of hours a week of Mindfulness or meditation, will help you to be in the here and now and make better decisions .

4. Tell Everyone Your Plan

Due to the Coherence Principle, you will feel “cognitively linked” to your words and will try harder to fulfill what is spoken.

5. Respect your sleep schedule and exercise three times a week

You will need energy and lucidity to carry out your new habits, which is why you need to be rested and have an oxygenated brain.

6. Observe each of your behaviors

Consider how far they bring you closer or further from the goal you want to reach. If necessary, make self-records; will allow you to visually observe where you are and what you need to change.

7. Choose goals or design projects you are passionate about

This is the best way to maintain motivation.

8. Reward yourself from time to time for your achievements

Use positive self-reinforcement and be the one to regulate the rewards, without expecting them to come from outside.

And finally…

Remember that making good or bad decisions every day is up to you. Keep in mind that your results are the fruit of your habits , because we live in a world governed by the law of Cause and Effect. Your “I of the future” will thank you that your actions today are healthy and consistent with your life plan.