This is such a great time of year to focus on motivation. We often notice as Spring starts that we have a natural boost in energy – something to do with the longer days and more daylight. Spring is the season of New Beginnings – it’s all about growth and renewal. Those animals which hibernate start to re-emerge into the world, blinking and stretching into the Spring sunlight.
New beginnings are apparent in nature – but does that necessarily mean that we notice this within ourselves too?
Just the fact that there are more hours of daylight means that our serotonin levels are boosted, which can positively impact on our mood. Some people start to sleep a little less during these extended days, and can feel less sluggish – more up for making changes and shaking up old routines.
It’s worth noting that motivation is changeable. We have a tendency to see it as fixed – believing that we’re either someone who “has motivation”, or who doesn’t. But motivation levels are constantly in flux – on different days, in different weeks, or even in different hours our motivation to make changes can vary. It can be affected by our mood, our life circumstances, other people, how much sleep we’ve had, even our hunger levels! It’s also worth noting that we don’t always need to have high levels of motivation to move in the direction we want to go in. Sometimes we can still take a small step forwards, even when we have low levels of enthusiasm.
Often, when we want to make a change in our lives, building a routine to accommodate this can be helpful. If we just have a vague idea of “wanting to do something sometime”, it probably won’t happen! But if we say “I will do x for y minutes before z” – it’s much more likely to take place. I’ll give you a concrete example of this:
I’ve been trying to use the HeartMath device, which I think is brilliant and helps me get into a routine of meditating more regularly, and tune into heart coherence. For some time, I was just saying to myself “I’d really like to use the HeartMath device more” – and it never really happened. Now, I’ve built it into a routine: “After lunch, I’ll use my HeartMath device for 15 minutes” (inspired by our managing Director, Ri – thanks Ri!). Now, it happens more days than it doesn’t.
The difference is that I’ve built my goal into my routine. I was also much more specific about what I was going to do, and when it would happen. I don’t even need to have high levels of motivation to make it work – because it’s become routine, it’s stopped being something that I opt into (or out of), it just automatically happens.
It’s also worth saying that goals which align with our values are also more likely to be achieved. I value meditation and mindfulness – it aligns with one of my core values, of authenticity. To authentically teach mindfulness, I need to practice it on a regular basis. Therefore, using the HeartMath device is in line with my values. It’s worth considering what your values are when you’re trying to motivate yourself towards different goals.
Below is a free audio practice that will help you to put a spring back in your motivation. Give your motivation a boost and download today!