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  • Tamara Cavenett

What you need to know to get motivated

adeiaide psychologist adelaide

What you need to know to get motivated

Great news, you are wired for motivation. You are not designed to be inactive. So how can you harness this inherent motivation?

Clinical psychologists always think in terms of reinforcement, so activating dopamine (the brains reward chemical) can help you to maximise motivation. But what motivates you is individual; it won’t be the same as your siblings or friends. So ditch the concept of what you ‘should’ enjoy.

I’ve always admired those who like living life on the edge, taking risks and having adventures. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who would land in a foreign country with no plans and nothing but a back pack. If this is you, then a skydiving, bungee jumping, extreme sports holiday might get you motivated.

On the other hand if your more like me, you might enjoy the predictable; a quiet wine or a coffee with a group of regular friends at your favourite local. Basically, what will trigger your dopamine receptors is specific to you. Want to figure out what motivates you?

Start by listing activities you’ve previously enjoyed, or really great experiences from your past. They don’t have to be huge life events, just anything that made you feel really good. Then ask yourself, ‘what about these did I enjoy?’ Of these experiences, get to the best moment that captures what you enjoyed most. This is your reward system firing and this is what dopamine feels like.

With this knowledge you are in a better position to create a motivational strategy unique to you. Are you doing more of what’s important?

Grab your calendar. Is what you’re spending your time doing linked to what motivate you? Are you using your own natural reward chemicals to enjoy life to its fullest? Life gets busy, you get pulled in multiple directions, but are you using what little down time you have to the maximum?

Who and what gets the best of you? Don’t forget to consider what relationships are worth your energy? Now more than ever, we have a huge array of options at our finger tips and a vast number of demands on our time. So it important to decide which commitments are the right ones for you? Let your body guide you.

Set up each day in a way that makes the best use of this knowledge.

It’s important to do what you love, and spend time doing the things that make you happiest.

Want help with how to get that goal or change a habit, contact us?

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