Take charge of your motivation

You’re in charge of your motivation. The context, people and situation will affect your motivation, but there’s much you can do to make sure you’re as motivated as you can be, whatever the conditions.

Change your mindset and behaviour. Make your motivation your priority.

This tool will help you understand what motivates you and what you can do to work regularly on your motivation.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What will it do?

This tool will help you understand what motivates you and what you can do to work regularly on your motivation. You’ll put that into a plan that you can follow and start to take control of your motivation.

Use this tool right now. It’ll take you 15 mins to complete steps 1 to 3 and lay the foundations for your motivation plan. Then use it every now and again – we’d suggest every month initially – to check that you’re on track with how you’re taking charge of your motivation. You can skip step 1 when you re-do it, but go through step 2 and 3. Change won’t happen over night (unless you’re very lucky), but it with a bit of effort and commitment, it will happen.

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you

1. Think about when you were at your most motivated and your least motivated

Now fill in the box below. Be as detailed as you can as you jot down your notes.

Most motivated Least motivated
Where and when?
How confident and capable did I feel, and why? What was I thinking about to keep confidence high?

How clear was my sense of purpose? What helped me be so clear?


How well supported did I feel? What was the team around me like and how did it feel being part of that team?
How much choice and control did I feel – over what I was doing and how? What/who impacted that?
How was my attitude? My enjoyment? How did I feel? How was I performing?

2. Ok, you’ve now got a sense of what affects your motivation

Let’s drill deeper and work out what’s most important to you and your motivation. There are 6 statements below – rate how true they are for you (10 = totally true, couldn’t be more true; 0 = not right at all). You’ll probably be tempted to put 9 or 10 for all of them – be a bit picky here and only put 10 for the most true one!

True for you (0-10)
If I absolutely know I’m doing a great job and have constant feedback to show it, that really fuels my motivation and performance
If I know that I’m out of my depth and am no good then I really don’t want to be there or be involved, and I feel pretty bad
Understanding and agreeing with our mission or purpose as a business/team is super important. Without it, I feel disengaged and won’t invest much energy into something
If I don’t feel part of the team, or am in a team which isn’t united, then I’ll feel isolated, demotivated and like I don’t want to be part of things
Being in control of what I’m doing and how I’m doing it is very important to me. If I feel out of control, then my motivation and performance really suffers
 I’ve felt at my best at work when I’ve felt free to do what I want, how I want it and when I want it

Look at your scores. Have you scored highest in Confidence (no 1 and 2)? Connectedness (no 3 and 4)? Control (no 5 and 6)?

All 3C’s will affect your motivation, but often one will affect your motivation more than the other two. Notice which one it is (where your scores are highest). Don’t worry if all 3C’s are equally important – that’s ok too!

The C that’s most important to my motivation is:

3. Now jot down what you can do to increase your confidence, sense of control and connectedness.

Start with the C that’s most important to you. Look back over the times you were most motivated for clues as to what you can do increase those C’s. The conditions – people around you, the situation, the context – will affect your motivation and you can’t change that, but there’s plenty you can do to take charge of your motivation here too.

I can increase my sense of CONTROL/CHOICE by…

  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

I can improve my CONFIDENCE by…

  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

I can be more CONNECTED to the business and the team by…

  • __________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________________

Your plan

Get a plan Stan. The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? This bit is easy – it’s the 3 steps listed above.

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to start? You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great.

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing it? Getting great has a lot to do with making things a habit.

    Check-in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.