Motives for Action

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In these articles, personal coach and trainer Peter Koijen explains how internationals in Amsterdam can "Live their lives and do it their way."

Motivation is like running. You start, you continue and stop. And this is just like motivation in life. You start things, you continue and you stop.

It's all about motives for action. Jim Rohn once said, "Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going." And it's true!

But you also need motivation to keep you going. Like with New Years resolutions such as doing sports, quitting smoking or living a healthier life, you need motivation to keep you going... you need motivation to sustain your intentions.

Why do we need motivation?
Human beings need motivation to achieve things. Maslow defined the basic human needs as starting from physical needs, and going up to needs for safety and security, needs for social contacts, needs for appreciation and recognition and needs for self-development.

Let’s say you would like to do more with your personal development. So, you start to look online for a training course, you find one, you talk to someone on the phone, you compare it with other ones, and this particular training gives you the best feeling. Your motive for action is self-development.

What are motives for action?
Motives for action are conscious or unconscious intentions and goals. Let’s take an example. Suppose that I want to start running in order to improve my health.

Your intention is usually more abstract - it's a starting point. Your goal is usually more specific and has a definite end point. In this case, your goal would be the "what, when, how, and why" applied to running and defined in a way that is more specific.

So, for example, my goal is to run twice a week for the coming six months and build up from running three kilometers to being able to complete a marathon.

The key is to find your intention first, because there are many other ways of satisfying the intention of "improving your health." In successful motivation, you have both your intention as well as a defined goal with actions. Motives for action!

How do we get motivated and stay motivated?
Well, that is an interesting question. There are many different ways of getting motivated.

One example is anchoring, a technique from NLP, which is the study of conscious and unconscious behaviour and communication. Anchoring is triggering a certain state.

As human beings we are wired with nature and nurture. And in any case our brain and body are wired and connected in a very complex neuron system... Anchoring is closely related to conditioning.

If you have an experience that is connected to something you see (e.g. a holiday picture), something you hear (e.g. a piece of music when you were first in love), or something you touch that gave you a good feeling, then there's a big chance that when you reenact the physical experience (e.g. hear that piece of music again), you will automatically experience the good feeling linked, or anchored, to the memory.

So, it all comes down to this: the more you repeat and the stronger the feeling, the stronger the anchor becomes.

I think I am going for a run now. Let’s see if I can get started. And keep going!

Peter Koijen runs in2motivation, an international personal development company. For more information on introduction workshops and international NLP training courses in Amsterdam, please visit the website or send an email to info[at]in2motivation[dot]com.

Peter Koijen


Peter Koijen

owner of in2motivation

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