Tuesday, August 7, 2012



With the Olympics in full swing we are all familiar with the stories of athletes who have overcome challenges, defied the odds and 'made it happen!'

What motivates them? What drives them to train for hours and hours a day? Is it the chance of a medal hanging around their neck? The possibility of million dollar endorsement deals? The recognition of their peers and fans? Or is it something far more pure - perhaps the JOY of doing what they love?

We can spark motivation in lots of ways, but maintaining motivation often requires a shift in mindset. How do you take your motivation from the spark to the lasting flame?

When motivation is paired with INSPIRED ACTION we are much more likely to stick with it. In fact, inspired action compels us, drives us and can even feel effortless.

The key to maintaining motivation is to look at the thought that is driving the action. Let's look at a simple routine like daily exercise. What motivates you each day? Your thoughts around this will likely fall into one of two categories - positive (inspiring) thoughts or negative (fearful) thoughts.

  • Negative/Fearful Thought: I don't want to be a failure and a slacker. I am going to haul myself out of bed and get this over with!

This thought can motivate you in the short term. You will likely get out of bed. But how long will it last? We are hard-wired to avoid pain. The fearful thought that if you don't exercise you will be a failure will only motivate you until your desire to avoid pain becomes too strong - at which point, you will STOP EXERCISING!

  • POSITIVE/INSPIRING THOUGHT: I make time for exercise because I love how it makes me feel and I want to keep experiencing that!

A positive thought can create a LASTING HABIT and motivate you to take INSPIRED ACTION. It leaves you feeling proud, happy and generally at peace. Because it isn't attached to pain it as more staying power.

So many of us have been led to believe that motivation comes from accessing our inner critic or drill sergeant.  And then we wonder why we are unmotivated to maintain a routine or healthy habit. Again, we are wired to avoid pain. We will tolerate it and even convince ourselves it is the only way, but eventually we will simply STOP.

Where could you use some positive motivation and a shift in your mindset? What inspiring thought can help you create a lasting habit?

Hannah Hollett is a MyMindset Coach as well as a parenting, life and business coach.

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