Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain. It’s associated with motivation, concentration and pleasure. In fact, it’s often referred to as the “motivation molecule”.
It plays a broad range of roles in the brain, but the one it’s most famous for is its role in our pleasure-reward system.
A release of dopamine makes us feel enjoyment and pleasure, while a deficiency of dopamine is associated with lack of motivation and depression.
There’s a number of ways you can increase the release of dopamine. Exercise, plus foods high in tyrosine can help (animal products, almonds, bananas, green tea, chocolate and many others).
But one key way is to set yourself small goals. When you achieve a goal, your brain releases dopamine. So if you only have long-term goals, you won’t get that regular surge of dopamine.
When you achieve a small goal, and dopamine is released, it gives you the motivation to set another goal, and another.
So break your big goals into smaller, achievable goals. You can also set yourself clear and easy goals, such as cleaning the kitchen, or replying to emails.
Let yourself feel good about achieving this goal – as minor as it may seem – as this sense of reward will release dopamine and give you the motivation to take on more challenges.