As we start a term, a new fitness regime or working towards a new goal, motivation can be high. A key to maintaining motivation for the long term is to keep in the optimal challenge zone. Research has shown that we like to be engaged in activities that are ‘at the border of success and failure’. We get bored by tasks that are too easy and give up when challenges become too great. In adhering to the ‘Goldilocks Rule’ of engaging with challenges at the edge of our abilities, where we encounter just the right challenge, our brains fire up and we are more likely to maintain long term motivation. Paying immediate attention to our progress and celebrating our growth helps us to work towards peak motivation.
Seeing our minds as a ‘suggestion engine’ where we have the ‘power to choose’ also helps us to remain motivated. When our mind suggests we are too tired or that we take an easier path, another suggestion recognising the worth of completing the activity is also likely to pop up. Understanding that it takes grit and determination to succeed and that discomfort is usually a short-term experience we can make a more positive choice. Where we take responsibility and hence have autonomy, recognise the growth of mastery and see there is a purpose in what we are doing, motivation remains high. We can find our purpose in recognising that we are making the most of the gifts of talent and time that God has given us. We grow our capacity to make a difference. We are open to His invitation to fully engage in the adventure of life.