How do we stay hungry and motivated? By delving deep and really asking what internal and external motivators you have at your disposal—a task that is rarely performed.
External motivators are when we leverage other people, places, and things to push us into action. For the most part, these are when we want to avoid negative consequences involving other people, places, and things. These methods include accountability partners and groups, putting money down upfront, and self-bribery.
Internal motivators are when we look at how we stand to benefit and improve our lives. These are universal needs, drives, and desires that are easy to lose track of. The easy way to find these is to answer a set of questions that directly asks things such as how am I going to benefit from this and how does my life stand to improve from this? It’s only through answering these questions that you realize what you are neglecting.
Anything we want to accomplish has an associated opportunity cost. We must sacrifice, even if we are sacrificing our ability to lie on the couch and watch television. We can deal with this mental obstacle by playing with the cost-benefit ratio so the cost is minimized or the benefit is maximized.
Motivation has been shown to work best when we are reminded of it—otherwise, out of sight, out of mind. Thus, you should have cues you’re your motivations all around you—but make sure to keep them distinct and memorable, use all five senses (even taste), and make sure to change and switch them periodically to avoid growing used to them and forgetting them.