Working as a member of the Police Force on shifts, you may have many goals you'd like to pursue but at least as many challenges to overcome to become successful. It’s important to understand the variables that can impact your ability to reach your fitness goals and perform at the optimum level. You might not be aware of how much motivation and habits can affect your performance. Both can help combat the negative impacts of shift work including the changes to hormones that can reduce willpower.
In this article, we’re going to explore the basics of motivation and habits, how they impact our lives and how you can utilise both to conquer more of your goals, achieving higher levels of success. With this guide, you will discover how habits and motivation can improve your health and increase fitness.
What Is Motivation?
Motivation describes the driving force that causes you to take action and complete a task or activity. It refers to your needs, desires and wants. Motivation will be specific to the individual. We all have different motivation triggers from the desire to make money, gain job-satisfaction or increase recognition.
You can boost motivation in a variety of different ways. For instance, according to Psychology Today, it’s possible to increase motivation simply by embracing positivity. By practising positive self-talk, you can make yourself happier and motivated to complete tasks. This will also help you bounce back when you encounter an obstacle.
The same article suggests that you can also improve levels of motivation by writing down your goals and making promises or commitments to yourself to follow through with them. This is about holding yourself accountable.
Of course, there are also a variety of ways that motivation can be lost. For instance, studies have shown that sleep does impact motivation. A lack of sleep may affect your willingness or determination to complete processes, even if they lead to rewards. For example, you could be less inclined to exercise, even if it meant losing weight.
Other issues that impact motivation include emotional and physical stress. When we are stressed it puts the body and the mind under a high level of pressure. If this is caused by a process we are going to be less motivated to complete that process.
What Are Habits?
Habits are new behaviours that become automatic. This could be anything from waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth to attending the gym every day after work,. Of course, they could be more beneficial. For instance, you might find that you feel inclined to go for a run when you get home from work.
It’s difficult to rewrite old habits and actually quite tricky to develop new healthy habits too. Why is this? Well, according to Psychology Today, habits become part of our neural pathways in the form of behavioural patterns. However, while difficult, it is possible to reformat these habits while also putting new ones in their place.
To create new habits, according to experts, you must but strategies in place and create a reasonable goal that you can achieve. Be aware of how the environment can impact this goal. For instance, if you want to create a habit of healthy eating, it doesn’t help to have unhealthy foods in the fridge.
It’s worth noting that habits may have been part of your mind for decades. In cases like this, it can be even more difficult to break the trend. However, it will also be substantially beneficial. By forming a healthy habit, you will automatically complete the processes that are beneficial to you without even thinking about it. Once you reach a certain point you won’t have to stress about fitting exercise into your daily schedule or going to sleep at the right time to get a great night of rest. You’ll do it all without even considering an alternative.
To achieve success in our career and reach fitness goals in our personal life, the key
is to form habits, until we reach the point where they feel completely natural. You probably already brush your teeth twice a day but you don’t really think about this. It’s automatic and that’s the point we need to reach with habits.
Unfortunately, motivating ourselves to do these tasks isn’t enough. As demonstrated, various factors can impact motivation and cause us to feel less energised to complete a task. While motivation is helpful, habit formation should be the main point of focus.
How long it takes to form a healthy habit is an area of great debate. One study found that exercising four times every week for six weeks was the minimum requirement it took for participants to form an exercise habit of going to the gym. However, it will always be worth taking steps like this to reach greater levels of success with goal accomplishment and even improve your quality of life.
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