Motivation has always felt like a mysterious force I can’t change.
We need motivation to do everything: get out of bed in the morning, clean house, work out, study the Bible, do homework and even our favorite hobbies. It doesn’t just take motivation to do things we don’t want to do. It can be hard to find motivation to do something we like. I love playing my guitar, but it takes motivation to actually get it out and practice. So how to do we find motivation when we need it most?
I’ve noticed motivation come from a variety of different things in my life: accomplishment, challenge, inspiration, encouragement, music or a really good cup of coffee. These factors won’t be around to draw motivation from in every situation but I think looking at the causes for my motivation has helped me understand it a little better.
I have three tips to apply to being motivated in both our physical and spiritual lives.
1. Set goals and reasons for attaining those goals.
The word “motivate” actually means “to provide with a motive” (http://www.merriam-webster.com ). It’s good to have long term goals and day-to-day goals that support the long term ones. An example of a long term goal is to graduate from college to prepare for a career. An important spiritual goal is to be a part of God’s family.
2. Break down big tasks into smaller steps.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged when you look at the big picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. Cleaning and organizing my living space is so much easier to take on when I focus on one small task at a time. We can break down the goal of being a part of God’s family by keeping God’s commandments, prayer, fasting and studying the Bible.
3. Build momentum.
I like to do a few easy things off my to-do lists to help me feel accomplished and motivated to take on the bigger tasks. Once you start doing something it’s easier to keep going. Spiritually we build momentum every time we pray, fast, read and meditate on God’s Word or have a spiritually minded conversation. I think good conversations are especially important for building spiritual momentum. Passion for God’s Word and motivation to live His way of life is infectious.
God needs His people to know how to motivate themselves and other people. He can’t use us if we’re lazy and unmotivated. The Bible says, “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
So think about these tips the next time you’re feeling unmotivated and take control of your motivation!
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