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How to Find Motivation During the Holidays and Finish the Year Strong

Author: Brady Ross, Owner of Brady Ross, LLC

We’re entering a season that many people consider the most beautiful time of the year. The holidays bring joy, excitement, and an opportunity to step away from the regular grind and find rejuvenation through rest and time with family.

This change of pace can be a fantastic and life-giving experience as long as it’s intentional. There’s a difference between intentionally taking your foot off the gas pedal and noticing that your foot slipped off after you’ve already coasted several hundred feet. In my opinion, motivation is the key differentiator between the reactive instinct and the intentional response, and the good news is that motivation is more accessible than you might think.

Earlier this year, I wrote my first book: “Seven Steps to Dominate Your Day and Crush Your Goals.” I aimed to share some of the daily habits and rituals I’ve practiced for the last several years and how they transformed my life. After the book was finished, I gave it to a friend and asked for his honest feedback. His answer stopped me in my tracks. “I don’t struggle with knowing what to do. What’s hard for me is to find the motivation to do it.”

Once I heard this, I couldn’t stop thinking about motivation. I could relate to my friend’s challenges. I knew what to do to stay in shape, build my business, and grow my closest relationships, but I didn’t always feel like taking action. I began to wonder if I had written the wrong book. What if I could help people find the motivation that they felt like they were lacking? What could become possible?

Later that same day, at the end of the workday, I was relaxing at home with my family. At the time, my son was four, and my daughter was one. If you’ve ever been around young children, you know how much energy and attention they can require. I wanted to put forth the power to connect with my children, whether that meant getting down on the floor to do Legos or chasing them around the house while we played hide-and-seek. However, I also wanted to relax on the couch and watch a basketball game or flip through my phone.

These thoughts rushed into my head as I continued reflecting on my friend’s feedback on motivation. Suddenly, I realized that a lack of motivation wasn’t my problem, or anyone else’s. It was the direction of my motivation. Everything we do requires motivation, meaning we all possess the same internal motivation. What separates successful people from people who feel like they aren’t reaching their potential is the ability to focus or direct their motivation on what they truly want.

Many factors influence motivation, and I’m continuing to explore the unique inner workings of motivation myself through my podcast and my new book (both entitled “Motivation for Regular People.”) However, I believe that awareness is the first step toward making meaningful changes. Once you recognize that you are motivated by multiple things simultaneously, you’re well on your way to improvement or growth.

Here are a few basic examples:
“I want to be in better shape, but I also want to eat this cheeseburger and fries.”
“I want to learn, but I also want to watch this TV show on Netflix.”
“I want to get up early but also sleep and wake up on my schedule.”
“I want to engage with my family, but I’m tired from the day and want to rest.”
“I want to be more disciplined but also value comfort.”
You’ll notice that there’s a noticeable distinction in each example. Do I want to do the hard thing that requires more effort right now, or do I want to make the easy choice and maintain comfort? We’re often tempted to sacrifice what we desire most for what will satisfy us in the moment. The truth is that every decision includes both a cost and a reward, and the best rewards are often the ones that we must wait for. Will you choose to endure momentary suffering for the promise of a better future reward, or will you opt for instant gratification, knowing that doing so will delay (and intensify) the price you pay?

I hope this fresh perspective on motivation helps you think about how to redesign your life to better live out your purpose and fulfill your potential. It’s essential during a season when many people are ready to function on autopilot until after the New Year. As you consider what you want the end of 2023 (and, by extension, the beginning of 2024) to look like, view a few questions:

What are my strongest motivations right now?
What results do I want to see through the end of this year and in the first few months of 2024?
What sacrifices will I need to make to experience these results?

When you realize that motivation isn’t something some people have and others don’t, you never have to feel restricted or limited by motivation again. Once you recognize that you have the power to identify all your motivations, you can choose to strengthen the ones that work for you and weaken the ones that are holding you back. It’s a process that won’t happen overnight, but it’s a pursuit that offers the potential to unlock success and growth you couldn’t have imagined previously.


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