The Science of Self-Motivation: How to Stay Inspired

Are you the kind of person who is self-motivated or do you struggle with it?

Motivation is the driving force behind many of our actions and the foundation of goal-setting.

Let’s explore the science of self-motivation to understand how it plays a critical role in your journey towards success.

The role of dopamine

Dopamine is the feel good neuro-transmitter that plays a significant role in motivation. When you set goals and achieve them, this chemical is released in the body. It is a part of the reward system in your body. As humans, we are hard wired to do things that make us happy. That’s why when you achieve your goals, the release of dopamine reinforces your behaviour and keeps you motivated, wanting you to repeat the experience.

Find your why

Simon Sinek’s TED talk is one of the best to understand ‘your why’ is the most important for us to reach our goals. If your ‘why’ is not yours or compelling, you will not be motivated to take steps towards your goals. This is exactly why your friend might be smashing their goals while you struggle to keep up your actions towards achieving a similar goal.

Setting Micro-Goals

If setting goals is the first step, then breaking it into actionable steps is the next step. Without doing this, your brain will get overwhelmed and you may feel stuck. Breaking your larger goals into smaller ones can help you stay motivated. Celebrating your small wins and reinforcing the dopamine release can be the trick to achieving your goals.

There are many ways you can celebrate your wins. I have a box full of papers with different kinds of rewards – some like taking an afternoon nap to booking a retreat. Every time I achieve a goal, I pick a random paper and make sure I do it within a week to reinforce my achievement.

Here are seven steps to achieve your goals

Step #1: Choose goals that excite you

Step #2: Set SMART goals

Step #3: Find the path to reach your goals

Step #4: Break it into actionable steps

Step #5: Make your goal public

Step #6: Use Rewards

Step #7: Don’t do it alone