what's your motivation

What’s your motivation?

Find out what really motivates and drives you to have a better chance of realising your goals. By Jill Lawson

Every day we are presented with endless choices. What we eat, when we move our bodies, and how we rest are all decisions we have the power to make, yet sometimes our actions fall short of our good intentions. When our motivation to care for ourselves lacks lustre, it’s time to take a deeper look and ask why.

Motives are what govern our behaviour. They are, for the most part, genuine and aligned with our core beliefs.

However, sometimes our motives are driven by something beyond our control. Discovering what motivates us will help us determine if our efforts will be fruitful or will be a failure.

Practice asking yourself if your motives are your own or if they are born out of external pressure.

  • To begin, choose a goal you wish to achieve.
  • Imagine your life in detail, as if you’ve realised this goal.
  • Take a few moments to study all aspects of your life, noticing how you feel, who you are interacting with, and what you are doing daily.
  • Ask yourself why achieving your goal is essential to your happiness.

For example, if your goal is to go to yoga five days a week and you learn that you’re motivated by being more flexible, ask yourself why this outcome is important. What value do you place on being able to touch your toes? How will you feel about yourself if your heels are up in down dog? Will you give up on yoga if your idea of a limber body is out of reach?

If your reason for doing something doesn’t genuinely resonate with you, you will eventually lose steam and fail. This isn’t to say you should give up on your goals if your motives are off. It means that achieving your goals will be challenging and perhaps less enjoyable when your motives aren’t sincere.

The good news is that you have the authority to change plans. Perhaps being flexible is not motivating enough to keep you going to yoga, but you realise that being relaxed is.

Look deeper and ask yourself what brings you the most joy in life. Now let your motivation align with that. When you do this, your ability to control your actions and maintain commitments increases because every ounce of your heart and soul will back your intention.

When your motives come from within, there’ll be no stopping what you can achieve.

Jill Lawson is a writer and yoga teacher enjoying life on the island of Maui in Hawaii (jilllawson.net)

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.