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Motivation Is What Gets You Started. Habit Is What Keeps You Going

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. This quote means that if you want to do something, you must be motivated to start, but it’s essential to keep going by forming a habit after you start. 

That’s true for everything from working out to eating healthy to studying for exams. Jim Rohn, a leading motivational speaker, distinguished between these two terms. It’s worth considering the subtle differences between motivation and habit.

Motivation Is What Gets You Started

If you’re not motivated, it’s challenging to start. But once you start, it’s much easier to keep going if you form a habit. That’s because habits become automatic after a while. You don’t have to think about or consciously try to do them. Over time, these new habits become primary parts of your daily routine.

So if you want to achieve something, it’s crucial to find a way to get motivated and turn that into a habit. That’s the best way to ensure you’ll stick with something long-term.

Turn Motivation Into Habit
Turn Motivation Into Habit

Turning Motivation into Habit – A Deeper Dive

We all know that motivation is crucial to accomplishing anything, whether sticking to a fitness regimen, learning a new language, or climbing the corporate ladder. But how does inspiration turn into a habit?

The answer lies in our brain’s remarkable capacity for change, known as neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections.

When we repeat an action consistently, our brain creates a neural pathway that becomes automatic over time, helping to form habits. A real-world example would be creating a path in the wilderness.

At first, there is lots of overgrowth. The path isn’t clear. You might feel uncomfortable or uncertain! But the more frequently you walk the same path, these feelings and overgrowth clear, opening the way for passage. The concept is the same as your brain on habits. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

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Let’s explore approaches and strategies that you can use to convert your motivation into a steadfast habit.

Repetition And Consistency

Repetition plays a crucial role in forming habits. You need to do the same thing repeatedly, preferably at the same time and place, to help your brain develop a neural pathway we just discussed. In doing so, the action becomes part of your routine, eventually a habit.

The Power of Environment

Never underestimate the power of your environment on habit formation. If you want to read more, have books readily available around you. If eating healthier is a goal, keep healthy options easily accessible. Creating a supportive environment for new habits makes it easier for them to take hold.


Having a friend, mentor, or coach who can hold you accountable is a great way to turn motivation into a habit. They can provide the external push to start and keep going until it becomes a habit. Sometimes, knowing someone else is watching and cheering you on can be incredibly powerful.


Visualizing the end goal and the process can be valuable in your motivation arsenal. When you envision the desired outcome, you’re mentally rehearsing your action. This further reinforces the formation of neural pathways. It can invigorate motivation with a reminder of your “why” and the rewards or favorable outcome that awaits you at the journey’s end.


Being mindful and present in the moment helps you become more aware of your actions and their impact. When you’re mindful, you notice when you’re deviating from your desired habit, allowing you to course-correct before you stray too far off track.

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The Role of Failure

Remember, it’s OK to stumble when creating a new habit. For whatever reason, you might unexpectedly skip a gym day or have a cheat day. Instead of allowing these things to derail your motivation, embrace the mistake. Do not dwell. Instead, quickly get back on track.

Turning motivation into a habit can be a challenging journey, and it will take time to happen. It’s a process of trial and error. You’ll find what strategies and techniques work best for you and which don’t. But once you get it right, the motivation becomes a habit. It’s a game-changer!

This combination is a powerhouse in achieving your loftiest goals and leading a fulfilling life. So, be patient, stay motivated, and keep going. Remember, new habits take time, and what you do daily counts!

Motivation Is What Gets You Started – Tips

Motivation is critical when accomplishing any task, big or small. It can differ between taking the first step and giving up before you start. But what will you do when you don’t feel motivated? How can you find the motivation to keep going when things get tough?

There’s no straightforward  answer, but here are a few tips that might help:

Find the “why” – When it comes to motivation, knowing why you want to achieve something is vital. For example, why do you want to lose weight, learn a new skill, or save money? What is your primary motivation driving you to change your habits? Once you know the why, remember it whenever you feel like giving up.

Make a plan – A plan gives you a roadmap and helps keep you accountable. Staying motivated is more manageable with a specific goal and a timeline.

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Set small goals – If your plan seems too daunting, it will be hard to stay motivated. So, instead, start small and gradually increase the difficulty as you get more comfortable with the task. That will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and keep things feeling achievable.

Find inspiration – Find inspiration in others who have achieved what you want. Read their stories, watch their videos, and emulate their habits. Seeing someone else do what you want and succeed can be motivating.

Celebrate every victory along the way – When you accomplish something small, celebrate it! First, Pat yourself on the back; then, you may treat yourself to your favorite snack or take a recharging break before moving on to the next goal. Recognizing and celebrating your accomplishments will help keep you motivated along the way.

Remember, motivation is what gets you started, and is the critical first step to accomplishing any goal. It’s what gets you started and what keeps you going. So find yourself why to make a plan, and go after your dreams!

Updated 10/31/2023