How do people achieve their goals? How do you build new skills and break bad habits? Motivation is the driving force that gets you to achieve your goals and dreams. Without motivation, it would be very challenging to change or accomplish much of anything. While people are motivated by different things, all motivated people share a strong desire or commitment to achievement. Why is motivation so important? Here are 15 reasons why motivation matters:
#1. Motivation helps you get healthier
Exercise and a healthy diet are essential to improving your health, but making these two things a habit can be challenging for many people. That doesn’t mean change is impossible, however. Motivation is the key. When something is driving you to form healthier habits, you can significantly change health issues like high blood pressure, weak muscles, and low endurance. Motivations for a healthier life can include wanting to feel better physically, achieve certain fitness dreams, or manage chronic health conditions. With these motivations, you can build healthy habits and reap the benefits.
#2. Motivation and mental health are linked
Depression is very common; more than 280 million people are affected globally. The range of depression symptoms is complex and impacts the mind and body beyond simply feeling sad. A lack of motivation is one of the key indicators. While everyone has a hard time finding motivation from time to time, depression makes it even harder to tackle everyday tasks and personal goals. This even applies to common negative motivators, which include fear and anxiety about not completing a task. People with depression may not feel the kind of motivating stress and anxiety others do. Dealing with this lack of motivation means treating the depression with options like therapy, medication, intentional self-care and self-compassion, and routine-building.
#3. Motivation improves your relationships
Most people’s lives include relationships with family, friends, colleagues, romantic partners, and others. While strong relationships are key to a healthy, happy life, they’re not always easy. We all have to work through misunderstandings, conflicts, boundary-setting, and more. Strong relationships also require a lot of time and energy. If you lack the motivation to maintain or repair relationships, problems go unaddressed, distance is created, and everyone involved feels neglected. You can lose relationships because of a lack of motivation. This isn’t always a bad thing; some relationships aren’t meant to last forever or they’re unhealthy. If you have relationships you care about, however, motivation is essential to preserving and improving what you have with someone.
#4. Motivation helps you build new skills
Developing a new skill begins with motivation. Why do you want to put in the work on something you’re unfamiliar with? Why are you willing to spend time being bad at something until you finally get better? What can you do to stay motivated when you get frustrated or discouraged? You need a reason to stick to a new skill or hobby when you’re still bad at it. Maybe you need the skill for your job or to transition into a new career. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to learn because it seems like fun. Whatever your reasons, they form the backbone of motivation. Keep thinking back to why you started all this in the first place and trust it will eventually become a habit.
#5. Motivation helps you learn more
Building new skills requires motivation, but so does any type of learning. Depending on what you’ve chosen, you could be completely lost at first. Consider trying to learn about artificial intelligence, as an example. It’s become a very popular topic in recent years, but if you’ve never read anything about it, there are a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts. Motivation encourages you to go beyond the surface-level information and really dig into how AI works, its benefits and limitations, and why it matters. If you stay motivated and keep learning, you could even become an expert one day!
#6. Motivation increases your productivity
Do you want to become a more productive person? Motivation is essential. If you’re doing something on auto-pilot and not thinking about why, it’s much easier to get distracted or procrastinate. You’re floating aimlessly around your tasks and goals; there isn’t anything fueling your actions. Motivation increases your focus and drive, which can boost your energy and improve your productivity. You’ll stay fully engaged on your task until it’s complete. If you’re motivated by something, even if it’s simply wanting to put away work and have dinner right at 6 pm, you’re more likely to be more productive.
#7. Motivation can help you in your career
Do you have big career goals? Many people think about their 5-year or 10-year plans and what they hope to achieve in that time. Getting promotions and moving up in a career is a very common dream. There’s usually a lot of work involved, so motivation is important. Motivations can include the desire for a bigger paycheck, responsibilities that are more aligned with your passions, or increased flexibility to pursue other goals. Motivation is also vital if you’re hoping to transition into a different career; perhaps you’ve found your true passion or your current field just isn’t the right fit anymore. Whatever your career goals are, you’ll need to stay motivated to get there.
#8. Motivation can help with creative goals
Creativity is often portrayed as an elusive flash of genius or lightning in a bottle. It comes naturally to some, but not others. The truth is more complicated. While it seems some individuals do have a natural inclination towards creativity, creativity is also something you can develop through practice and experience. Your environment matters, too, as does your openness to new experiences, your curiosity, and your willingness to take risks. If you want to become a more creative person, you’ll need motivation. The kind of motivation seems to matter. According to research, people are more likely to be creative when they’re motivated by enjoyment, interest, satisfaction, and embracing challenges. Motivations like the fear of failure or external pressure may sometimes work, but they can also squash your creativity. Be aware of what works best for you.
#9. Motivation inspires others
They say happiness is contagious. Motivation is, too. If you spend time with motivated people, you’re more likely to feel inspired and motivated to achieve your own goals. That doesn’t mean you should kick “unmotivated” people out of your life. It’s unfair to expect the people you care about to constantly inspire you to be more productive or creative. You’re still responsible for yourself. That said, if you’re looking for some extra motivation and encouragement, think about the people you know who’ve committed to forming new healthy habits and changing their lives for the better. They can be good people to talk to about achieving your goals.
#10. Motivation improves your resilience and gets you through hard times
When things are going well in your life, it’s much easier to stay motivated, whether that’s in your career or personal life. When things get harder, however, it’s easy to lose sight of the finish line. The stress of your situation can overwhelm you and make you feel like you’re failing everything and everyone. How do you resist feelings of failure and keep your focus on your goals? Intentionally thinking about what motivates you is a great way to stay afloat. You can acknowledge your feelings while leaning on your motivations. Getting where you want to go may not be easy, but remember the reasons to keep going.
#11. Motivation is essential for good leadership
Leaders have a lot of responsibilities, but one of the most important ones is motivation. If a leader can’t motivate their team, their work will suffer. The leader needs to inspire productivity, offer encouragement, and keep everyone motivated through good times and bad. Leaders should study the best ways to motivate a group and avoid strategies that aren’t as effective, such as negative motivators like fears of punishment or failure. Good leaders are trustworthy and compassionate. Team members who know their leaders care about them are more likely to feel motivated.
#12. Motivation fuels social change and justice
There are a lot of problems with the world we live in. Tackling issues like poverty and inequality can seem overwhelming, but activists have been doing it for centuries. Thanks to their efforts, the arc of humanity seems to bend towards justice even in the face of harsh opposition. How do people hold on to these seemingly impossible dreams of a brighter future? They believe a better world is possible and they’re motivated to make it a reality. Without this motivation, it would make sense to give up. Motivation lights a fire in people and has led to huge wins for the world. If you’re feeling discouraged, remember that no victory for the world has come easily. Let past activists and their achievements motivate you.
#13. People are motivated by different things
There are two main types of motivation: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation includes external things like money, social recognition, praise, and other outside rewards. Intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual. Have you felt that rush of satisfaction that occurs when you finish a challenging puzzle or problem? That’s intrinsic motivation. Experts also think there could be a third motivator: family motivation. This can include going to work simply because you need to support your family. Understanding the different types of motivation can help you assess your life and if you need to change anything.
#14. It’s possible to be over-motivated
There is such a thing as too much motivation. If you’re consumed by achieving certain goals to the point where nothing else matters, you risk burning yourself out and getting overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. You can also end up making thoughtless decisions, neglecting other areas of your life, and taking too many risks. Pay attention to your routines and level of dedication to your goals. Being motivated needs to include breaks and rest.
#15. Motivation is just one part of the puzzle; habits and routine matter, too
We’ve talked a lot about why motivation matters, but it’s only one part of what makes a person happy and successful. Habits and routine are the other parts. It’s not possible to feel motivated all the time. There will be days when you’re tired, bored, or distracted. To achieve the things you want, however, consistency is important. You will have to do things even when you don’t feel motivated. How? You’ll need to build good habits and a good routine. Start with small goals that are easy to achieve every single day. Develop an achievable routine and stick to it. Once you’ve built good habits and a consistent routine, you won’t need to feel motivated every time. You’ll be able to achieve what you want no matter how you feel.