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National Motivation Day - Tuesday July 1st 2014

How many of us had the good intentions to lose weight, take up exercise, stop smoking, or change our lives in one way or another only to find that the motivation has gone out the window?

The aim of National Motivation Day is to motivate and inspire individuals to reach their potential. It's right in the middle of the year, where we're all in need of a little motivation.

So, what’s the key to maintaining motivation, what really drives us to make positive changes? Some theories suggest motivation is a sort of positive reward for achieving something - “If I lose weight I will be confident on the beach this summer”. Other theories suggest a converse effect; if we DON’T do something, then something negative might happen, for example “If I don’t give up smoking I might get lung cancer”.

It does seem that thinking of positive outcomes usually motivates us more than negative ones, but then why do so many of us fail to fulfil our goals, even when we can see that we are going to benefit from completing what we set out to do?

There are many reasons why, sometimes it’s just about getting our goal right in the first place. Goal-setting theory suggests we may all have some form of drive to reach an end goal but the effectiveness of this depends on three main things:

• how far away that goal is

• how hard it is to achieve that goal

• how clearly it is defined

Also, there is a part of the brain responsible for helping us achieve what we want once we become focused on what we DO WANT as opposed to what we DON’T WANT. This part of the brain is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). Once we are aware of what we DO WANT this part of the brain plays its part in helping us to achieve it. So, say you’ve decided to buy a new car and let’s say for example it’s a silver Audi you’ve decided on. You will find yourself noticing silver cars, and Audis, in particular silver Audis. Your attention is suddenly switched onto factors relevant to the car you have chosen to buy. You probably won’t have noticed them before but now they’re everywhere. It’s at this point you may start to believe in coincidence but it’s actually your Reticular Activating System (RAS) noticing things in line with your intention. Our RAS acts like a filter between our conscious and our unconscious. Once we consciously decide on something our RAS suddenly becomes aware of related matters and needed resources which are important in the realisation of our goal.

Once we decide that something is a priority any resource that supports its attainment will eventually become clear. Therefore, it’s not crucial to understand exactly HOW you'll achieve your goals when you first set them. Trust that your RAS will point out what you need to know along the way.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is aimed at encouraging people to:

• focus on how they want things to be

• making progressive change

• seeing their movement forward - a great motivator in itself!

There’s nothing like seeing our own progress to help us move towards our goals, and that enables us to maintain our motivation!

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