There is much written about how to improve motivation and hold onto it. Unfortunately, motivation is one of those things that easily elude us. Where does motivation come from? How do we get it and make it stick? Can we really do or say anything to motivate another person if it has to come from within?

These are hard questions with no easy answers. The truth is that we need to find what works for us personally, and what style of motivating matches the others person’s values and desires. Google ‘Motivation’, pick a couple of tools, and try them out. And it’s important to remember that once you’ve got it yourself, that doesn’t mean its here to stay: we need to keep working on our motivation whenever the need comes up. We have to renew it constantly and work hard at it (the irony is that we have to be motivated to stay motivated!)

So it’s not an easy thing, but as I mentioned, there are some tools to help draw out that elusive drive from within. One of the things that works for me is to ensure that my environment is set up in a way that helps my motivation rather than hinder it.

For example, like many of us, exercise is the tough one for me. I’m not much of a ‘get up and go to the gym’ type of person, and so I’d rather keep in shape at home. I have the bench and weights, elliptical trainer, and yoga mat – but unfortunately they’ve experienced a lot of darkness and dust over the years.

Fairly recently, however, I’ve created a space that actually makes me want to be there; and that’s made all the difference in the world. I painted the walls in the ‘exercise room’ and put a little stereo in there, as well as a couch and TV: all the comforts of home, so to speak (of course you can go too far: if I also decided to go with the beer fridge, for example, the exercise plan might have gone down the drain!) So now I’m back on track and it feels good – and it really didn’t cost much.

Where can you ‘create a space’? Think about your home or work environment, for instance: is it cluttered and dull, or is it a clean, organized, exhilarating and inspiring place to be? ‘Exhilarating’ may sound like an exaggeration when you’re thinking of a workspace, but it’s really not: read about colour and aroma therapies, for example – there’s some good research to back these up (or even feng shui if that’s your thing; although the evidence on that one is rather lacking).

And remember, a cluttered environment makes for a cluttered mind. There are some good professional organizers out here who can help, if this isn’t your strength – don’t be afraid to use the resources available. And don’t forget to change it up periodically: we habituate to our surroundings after awhile, and so we need to keep it fresh to keep those neurons stimulated!

Author's Bio: 

Chris Hammer, Ph.D. is a certified professional coach and licensed psychologist. He offers leadership and life coaching services, as well as various self-development tools for people who are passionate about reaching higher levels of success and becoming the best they can be.

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