the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
So, what is motivation?
Motivation is a powerful, yet tricky beast. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and you find yourself extremely excited! Other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to motivate yourself and you’re trapped in a death spiral of procrastination. So why is this? How are some so easily motivated and others just don’t care?
Scientists define motivation as your general willingness to do something. It is the set of psychological forces that compel you to take action. That’s nice and all, but I think we can come up with a more useful definition of motivation. Don’t ya think? I mean like what the hell?
I once read somewhere that motivation is…….
“At a certain point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.”
In other words, at some point, it is easier to change than to stay the same. For example, it is easier to take action and feel insecure at the gym than to sit still and drown in your low self esteem pond. It is easier to work a second job or work some OT than to feel disappointed about your dwindling bank account.
To me, this is motivation at it’s finest. Every choice has a price, but when we are motivated, it is easier to bear the pain of the action than the pain of remaining the same. Somehow we cross a mental block usually after weeks of procrastination and in the face of an important deadline……..THEN it becomes more painful to not do the work than to actually do it.
Put yourself on a schedule
Setting a schedule for yourself seems simple, but it puts your decision-making on autopilot by giving your goals a time and a place to live. Take the thought process out of it. It makes it more likely that you will follow through regardless of your motivation levels. Automating your behavior in the early stages I feel is key.
Don’t wait for motivation or inspiration to come to you. Set a schedule for your habits. This is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Professionals set a schedule and stick to it. Amateurs wait until they feel inspired or motivated.
- If you don’t have a scheduled time for working out each day you’ll wake up thinking, “I hope I feel motivated to exercise today.” Sound familiar? Of course it does.
- If you don’t have a scheduled time when you write every week, then you’ll wind up saying, “I just need to find the willpower to do it.”
Of course these are just a few examples but it applies to basically anything that requires motivation. I’ve struggled with motivation issues my entire life! Fortunately as of late I’m doing much better!
How motivation applies to saving money
Saving money is extremely important to maintain a strong financial health. It’s something that too many people don’t do, despite being widely encouraged to do so. On the other side of the coin, there are some people who actively save. Within that group, there are some that are passionate $avers.
I’m in that latter camp. As I’ve gotten older I’ve taken a little closer look at my finances and projected where I am compared to where I would like to be long-term. So what did I discover? The results of this have pointed me in the direction of increasing my savings rate. Of course, one can only save so much; but as your income increases, so should your $avings!
Clearly, there’s something motivating me, right? This “long-term” notion I mentioned at the beginning of the prior paragraph naturally points to a future a need for money.
So, that’s nothing different than saving for retirement, right?
Maybe. But to me it’s much more than that.
While some savers are motivated to tuck away money for certain things (house, for example), paying off debt, or for a retirement filled with a luxurious lifestyle….I’m primarily motivated by one thing: not being old and broke. I’d also like to travel some in my golden years. I’ve spent the majority of my younger years being just that. Broke. I’m still paying for stupid financial decisions I’ve made before any of this meant anything to me. Luckily I’m on track now and see things in a much different light.
What motivates you to save money? Not superficially, but at your core.
Leave a comment telling us what motivates you to $ave money. I can’t wait to read about your motivation!
Thanks for reading,