Motivation: activation, persistence, intensity

Its come to the end of January, and my theme of resolutions is also coming to an end.

This past weekend, I had off from pretty much everything.  No work, no studio: just my kids, a To Do list and a few hours of volunteering.
And yet, besides volunteering and going ice skating, I didn’t really accomplish anything.  In fact, the slothness seemed to spill over the rest of the week, because I haven’t accomplished much other than the basics all week.  This caused me to wonder why motivation wanes and dips periodically.  My goals haven’t changed, but my motivation did this week.
The definition of motivation is the reason why we act or our desire to do things a certain way.  I wasn’t acting the way I wanted to in order to meet my goals this week, and so I’ve been thinking a lot of why that is.  There is a myriad of stressors in my life, and while they haven’t changed over the past year, they did seem to be rather intense this week, both because I’ve been making progress towards alleviating them, but also because that same progress seems to be acting like sandpaper and grating on many aspects of my life.
So, was my lack of motivation this week my brain’s way of saying ‘You’re going to blow a gasket.  Here’s a kit kat.’?
I asked others what motivates them, and I got a couple of very different answers.  One friend told me her kids motivate her.  She can’t back down because they count on her.  This is true for all parents I think.  I know that I push myself to be the best version of me for the sake of my kids more so than for my own desire.
Someone else told me he’s motivated because he feels he needs to catch up.  He led a life that took him down an undesired path, and now that he’s rejoined the rest of society, he feels he has to not just catch up, but share the lessons he’s learned and give back to the world that gave him a second chance.
I think my own motivation comes from many aspects; my children, my desire to be happy, and the need to be something creative.
About.com explains that motivation comes in three components, activation, persistence and intensity.  Activation is the decision to change or act a certain way.  persistance is the continued effort towards the goal.  Intensity is the concentration and vigor one puts forth toward the goals.  Given that, maybe it wasn’t a lack of motivation this week, but just a lack of intensity?
What motivates you?  What do you do to restore your motivation or intensity when it seems to have lost its luster?

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Amanda M

Vegan most of the time. Mother all the time. Super Woman in my free time. I am currently an events manager with a retail chain, and am working my way into freelance writing. I've had my first book 'Go to Sleep, Leona!' recently published, and am currently working on more fiction pieces.

One thought on “Motivation: activation, persistence, intensity”

  1. Emotions motivate us into action or they motivate us to loose our energy and sit back and watch the world go by. Instead of asking the question maybe a better question would be which emotion is responsible for the non activity? And how can we change it? According to me we set a goal in order to feel a certain emotion we get when we achieve it. According to psychology there are 7 or 8 basic emotions. Happiness anger sadness fear satisfaction trust determination pride are some of them ( forgetting the other ones right now lol) once you have achieved that goal most people set another one to get a repeat of the achieved feeling or they want to experience another one. According to me it does not really matter what the goal is what matters is the journey to get there and the emotional lessons we learn in the process about ourselves and hopefully the people around us. And that my friend is what motivates me: The knowledge learned on that journey! That is something you take with you the rest of your life!! 🙂

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