40 Strategies and Steps to Get Motivated
All of us at one point or another have promised ourselves that we’re going to make a change in life and sworn that it will be different.
Why Self Motivation is Challenging?
This weight loss effort won’t be like all the ones that have gone before. This time, you will succeed in losing 20 pounds and you’ll do it by overhauling your diet and hitting the gym regularly. A few weeks into it, you’ve lost all motivation and given up on your big changes. You wonder how other people do it, and the answer is, quite simply, through drive and motivation.
It doesn’t matter what your goals are, we are generally really great as we get started. Filled with motivation and ready to tackle every challenge. Then, life gets on top of you.
You’re not giving up, though. At least, that’s what you tell yourself, right? You can start it all over on Monday, next month or after this big presentation passes.
When it comes to motivation, it isn’t difficult to get motivated. The problem comes in when you try to stay motivated.
Remaining motivated is challenging and there are all different ways you can boost your drive and motivation. Luckily, we are here for you to provide you with a laundry list of different ways to bolster your motivation.
40 Ways to Get Yourself Motivated
#1. Just Go out and Get Started!
Sometimes, the best way to motivate yourself is to just go out and start what you plan to start. You shouldn’t wait for motivation to come to you – you need to make it happen. Instead of telling yourself you’ll start fresh on Monday, just start it now.
What are you waiting for? It won’t get easier as time passes. Just go out and get started and let your motivation catch up. (Source)
#2. The Magic of Start Small
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is ringing in all the changes at once. If your motivation ebbs as tasks get too big… start off small. Procrastination often kicks in when we overwhelm ourselves. Break it all down into small steps and milestones to keep your motivation flowing. (Source)
#3. Avoid Internet Distractions
The internet is great, having instant access to the world is a technological wonder… but it’s just another distraction. Sometimes you have to focus and get things done. Turn off the router, put your phone away, and shut the world out. If you’re prone to procrastinating, it’s sapping your motivation and drive and you’re allowing it to happen.
Another excellent way to stay on track is to take advantage of a great browser extension. They will block your access from time-wasting sites if you spend too much time wasting away on them. That should help keep you focused.(Source)
#4. Get an Accountability Partner
Some people don’t bother sharing their goals with other people and no one will know when you fail. Isn’t that just setting yourself up for failure? You need to hold yourself accountable. One of the most effective ways to do that is to enlist the help of your friends. It might be that you choose to do that via social media. However, you can use a close friend who you know will check up on you and hold your feet to the fire. (Source)
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino (Source)
#5. Surround yourself with positive people
Do you have a friend who always dismisses your ideas and often talks you out of making changes? The people around you can impact your motivation and drive. So, stop spending time with those negative people and start surrounding yourself with positive people who edify you. (Source)
#6. Find Motivated Buddies And Inspiration
There is plenty of people online who can motivate you. Whether it’s through the content on their blog, a book or their social media feed. Social media can quickly drag you down, so find uplifting, motivational feeds and boost your drive. Maybe the best place is GetMotivatedBuddies
#7. Create a Playlist with High-Energy Music
Never underestimate the power of music. Stress relief and body and mind relaxation are the natural remedies to our exhausted brains. Music acts like a natural distraction from all issues that bother our minds, thus greatly contributing to the quality of our relaxation.
Music is able to bring our minds to peace, which will later help our ability to concentrate. Thus, music, relaxation, and motivation are closely connected, as music helps us recharge and fuel our body and mind. (Source)
Create a playlist with upbeat music that you can listen to throughout your work. Now, if you are easily distracted, music with lyrics may affect your focus. So, find the right balance.
There’s a reason that people listen to upbeat music at the gym, it keeps them pumped and focused. It works for the workday or big projects, too. It’s also a great way to shut the world out.
#8. Find Optimism and Positives
Pessimism and negativity are exhausting, and they are a quick way to completely drain your energy levels and your motivation. Of course, that suggests that optimism does the opposite (and it does). When you find yourself faced with a setback, start looking for the positives of the situation. It’s the surest way to push through.
#9. Release Self-Neglect and Love Yourself
When you make a mistake, be kind to yourself. Think about how you treat your friends when they come to you after slipping up. You probably extend kind words and a shoulder to cry on. Yet, when you are in the same situation you beat yourself up over it. Don’t. Treat yourself with the same kindness that you reserve for others. It’s the best way to keep yourself motivated to move forward.
#10. Embrace Challenges and Learn from the Setbacks
Setbacks may strip you of your confidence, knock you off, and make you want to drop everything and run. But, these setbacks are part of the journey to success. Learning how to overcome these obstacles can only steer you in the right direction. When you do experience a failure, don’t get hurtful, get constructive.
The first question that you should ask yourself is what the lesson is in the setback.
Here is a look at three lessons you can learn from setbacks:
- They uncover obstacles
- They uncover challenges
- They build confidence
From there, you can take positive action to make improvements. (Source)
#11. Using the Competition to Get Yourself Motivated
It’s hard to motivate yourself to stay motivated. But if you are motivated by the competition, don’t have to motivate yourself to improve, because the competition does it for you. While it’s never a good thing to get caught up comparing yourself to others, a bit of friendly competition is helpful to stay motivated. It may be that you challenge someone in your position and put up a small prize. Or, it’s just something that you think about as you push on. (Source)
#12. Center Your Goals
If you start to feel your motivation slip, it’s time to remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing. You can create a visual to constantly remind you of your goals. Or, you can take a minute to write down the major reasons for your current stream of activity.
It really doesn’t matter whether you are trying to save money, going back to school or trying to lose weight. You can keep your reminder on a post-it note on your fridge, the computer or even type it into your phone.
“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen … yourself, right now, right down here on earth.” Bradley Whitford (Source)
#13. Reminders for When You Want to Change
If you are trying to lose weight or quit smoking, an effective way to stay motivated is by reminding yourself of the consequences. For example, if it’s cigarettes you’re trying to kick, ask yourself what will happen a year from now if you keep smoking.
That can include the health risks, as well as the total cost of feeding your habit. Here are 5 inspirational reminders to help you stay motivated.
- You’ll never regret reaching your goal. You will only regret giving up.
- Remind yourself why you started.
- Focus on change instead of results.
- This too shall pass.
- Choose progress over perfection.
What does that look like five years from now? What about ten years in the future? That can be a serious motivation. Especially when you think about what you could be spending that money on.
#14. Show Gratitude & Boost Self-Motivation
You may wonder what this has to do with motivation… but, when you start to feel it slip take a moment to look through the lens of gratitude. Look at everything in your life and what your hard work has reaped. It could be your partner or perhaps children, but it could be as simple as having access to food and clean water and having a roof over your head. There’s always something to be grateful for, and that in itself can be a motivation. (Source)
#15. Avoid The Rut
Falling into a rut is the surest way to murder your motivation. You should constantly mix things up in order to avoid ever getting in a rut.
Read books you wouldn’t normally read. Seek out conversation with people you don’t generally spend time with. Listen to new music, try new podcasts, read a differing viewpoint.
De-clutter your workspace, your car, and your home. It might not sound much, but it will help you remain focused as it can be difficult to think clearly when you’re surrounded by clutter. We also waste a lot of time looking for things – if you keep your spaces de-cluttered and clean, you can easily put your hand on exactly what you need, when you need it.
#17. Shave Your To-do List
To-do lists are a must but putting too many items on them is just asking for trouble. For serious procrastinators, a to-do list with a single (or up to three) items is a good place to start. You can still have a longer list ready, waiting in the wings, but for visual purposes, a small to-do list will help you tackle the day psychologically.
It’s always a good idea to include breaks in that to-do list, too. Nothing will drain you like working constantly and not taking a minute for yourself. It’s important to take time out to recharge your brain and get a break.
#18. Stay Motivated to Exercise Regularly
Exercise isn’t just for your body and it isn’t just for losing weight or building muscles, either. It can help relieve stress and tension. Those feel-good hormones are a great focus boost and your body will thank you, too.
#19. Celebrate Every Single Success
It doesn’t matter how small or great your successes are, you should celebrate every single one of them. That reward serves as a great motivator as well. It really doesn’t matter how you choose to celebrate – it could be anything that you know will keep you motivated. Additionally, reaching your goal and getting that reward will recharge your drive and motivation.
#20. Use Memories to Motivate Future Behavior
When you are feeling down and discouraged, take a moment to remember your greatest successes.
Think about how hard you worked to achieve the success, how it felt when you got there, and how it improved your life. Use those positive memories to fuel your motivation. (Source)
“You will never win if you never begin.” – Helen Rowland
#21. Research and Learn Self-Motivation Tips
Speak to people who have done it before and get a feel of how long it took them to achieve it. Draw on their experience to find out about the challenges you will face. You can plan for every eventuality and avoid having your motivation sapped.
#22. Never Forget the Purpose That Is Pushing You
It isn’t just about knowing your greater life’s purpose, though that is pretty important. It’s also being able to look to the purpose of what you’re trying to achieve.
Every goal has an ultimate purpose. So, if it’s a weight loss journey, the purpose is to slim down and be healthier. If you’re chasing a promotion, your purpose might be to climb the ladder or to increase your salary. Regardless of your goal, there is a purpose that is pushing you.
#23. Avoid Overthinking and Get Yourself Motivated
If you want to over complicate the task, then overthinking it is the quickest way to do so. An over-thinker can complicate even the simplest of tasks by creating a list of the worst-case scenarios and unlikely problems. All this does is create stress and add pressure.
Ultimately, it’s blocking your motivation. Not to mention the fact that chronic stress can shrink your brain over time. The best way to avoid overthinking is to keep goals small. If you’re an over-thinker, you should draw from the same advice that procrastinators do.
#24. Break Down Mental Blocks
Nothing will drain your motivation levels like a mental block. A mental block can interrupt your ability to do things that you do every day, actions as simple as 2+2= 4. It’s indicative of being caught up in a loop of negative thoughts.
You place more pressure on yourself to get it right because you know how to do it, it’s easy, what’s the problem? When you find yourself in this position, it’s vital that you change the perspective and re-frame the questions.
Sample Questions for Yourself
- What could I have done differently to get a better outcome?
- What skills that I don’t currently possess would have allowed me to get what I wanted out of this situation?
- What lesson do I choose to learn from this failure?
Sample Questions for Others
- What’s something you find utterly fascinating?
- What’s something about you that surprises people?
- If you woke up tomorrow with $7.4 billion, after traveling, investing the money and giving a bunch to your family, what would you do? (Source)
#25. Counter The Negative
How do you feel when you approach a particular task? Without a doubt, there will be those you go into with gusto. Likewise, there will be those you dread. You recognize that it will be a grueling mission, one that will be tedious. That mindset right there is what will sap your motivation before you even have a chance to start. It’s so important that you learn to change the gears and shift away from those negative perceptions.
Picture your negativity on a television screen as you scroll through the eco-friendly settings. The picture gets dimmer, let it dim in your brain until it disappears. Now, change the picture. That should help take the sting out of the upcoming event.
#26. Align Your Values and Your Life
You don’t need to be working in your dream job to find a way to connect it to your values. If you can find a way to connect your values and your work, then you are onto something special. So, take a moment to write out your values. How can you relate them to the work that you do? Or, the goal that you’re chasing?
If you value growth, then chasing a promotion makes perfect sense. If one of your values is learning, then the pursuit of self-improvement is a no-brainer. Your life will be much fuller if you can create a link between the two.
#27. Know The Why
This is related to your ultimate purpose. We touched on this briefly earlier, but now it’s the focus. You should be able to break that why or purpose down into a single sentence. So, what’s your one-liner? It should be sufficient for getting you back on the motivational track.
#28. Change the “How”
Whether it’s your why or your how sometimes you get it wrong. You might be doing certain things for all the wrong reasons. If you are, it’s okay to make changes. You can also change the how.
Just imagine how much more you will enjoy certain tasks if you instead focus on doing them well, instead of just getting them done. You’ll soon realize that you get things done more efficiently.
#29. Change Your Focus and Be Happy Now
We talk a lot about focusing on the present and forgetting the past. There’s something to be said for knowing how and when to shift from the present to the past or future. Sometimes having the ability to visualize your future can be a compelling motivational tool. Just as taking a moment to look back at a difficult past can help you in being grateful for the present.
#30. Metaphorical Miracles
Come up with a metaphor for yourself that will fuel your motivation. It really doesn’t matter what it is, you don’t need to share it with anyone else or announce it. It’s merely about having a personal metaphor that will help you connect your values to your actions and change a project into an adventure.
#31. Combine What You Love with What You Dislike
Combine something you love with something that you don’t. For example, if you hate ironing or doing inventory, listen to your favorite music or podcast while you work. Whatever it is, it should be something that brings you enjoyment so that it can overcome the annoyance that comes with the task.
Ideally, you should have a song that you consider your anthem. Whenever you feel discouraged or frustrated, you can listen to it, hum it, sing it or, just play it in your head.
“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” – Gordon B. Hinckley (Source)
#32. Moving from Impressing Others to Impressing Yourself
How can you expect others to be impressed by your work if you aren’t impressed first? That doesn’t mean you should be a perfectionist, that won’t help anyone. What it does mean, however, is that your internal bar should be high. When you inspire or impress yourself, you know you’ve got it down. The people who do this best are those that connect their values and passions with the work they do. (Source)
#33. Change Your Self Talk to Keep Yourself Motivated
Instead of doing what you have to do or feeling as though you must or should do it, choose to do it. The other options will only weaken your drive and motivation. There’s a lot of power in changing the language that you use and choosing to do what you do. (Source)
#34. Play to Your Strengths
Focusing on your weaknesses will only wear you down – it’s important that you learn how to play to your strengths. It’s even better if you can pair up with someone who balances you out. Your strengths should be their weaknesses and vice versa. You grow more when you play to your strengths because it re-energizes you. Don’t worry, you can still work on your weaknesses.
#35. Why is Journaling Important?
This is a habit that you will be glad you invested your time in. Not only is it a great way to document the journey, it’s an excellent way to dump your ideas, feelings, and thoughts. It’s essentially, a purge of your brain. It allows you to remain focused on what counts. Vent in your journal about a terrible day. Celebrate your successes. Keep track of your goals.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain (Source)
#36. Clearly Define Your Picture of Success
So, if you put the hard work in and don’t get the result you want, don’t let it derail your efforts. Start picturing you achieving your goals and channel your positivity into your efforts. (Source)
#37. Big Picture Thinking
It’s easy to get mired in the detail. Sometimes, though, you just need to take a deep breath, take a step back, and look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself about your long-term goal, where you are in terms of achieving it, where you were when you started, why you made the goal(s) you did, how you plan to achieve it, and why it’s important to you.
#38. Make Short-Term Goals to Keep You Motivated
Equally important is your ability to make short-term goals to keep you motivated between achieving your larger goals. It can be difficult to maintain motivation when you’re working on a big project that is time-consuming and is set to take months to reach.
You can make smaller goals to maintain your motivation and provide yourself with smaller achievements to celebrate in the meantime.
#39. Keep Your Life Organized
Your brain will work more efficiently and recharge quicker when you are an organized person. You want to know where it is, what is it, and how it’s going to help you when you need it to. You can create a plan on paper or simply have it in your head. You better know exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it. Organization will help you increase your productivity as well. (Source)
#40. Believe In Yourself
We are nothing without self-confidence. How can you motivate yourself if you don’t truly believe that you are capable of achieving your goals? The greatest motivator you can draw from is a strong belief in self.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
– Arthur Ashe
Balance intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for success
Humans, quite naturally, gravitate to pleasure while avoiding pain. However, old habits die hard, which means that change can bring pain with it, though it’s only temporary. The true motivators are linked with pleasure – and they drive healthy behaviors. The words that you use, as well as the affirmations and thoughts that you think, should all be positive. All of these will feed your motivation or detract from it.
One of the biggest considerations for your motivations is the difference between the two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Understanding the two can help you succeed. Intrinsic motivations are those within you – your rewards are completely internal. When it comes to long-term goals, intrinsic motivations are more effective.
Whereas extrinsic motivations are external, whether it’s money or praise. Extrinsic motivations are more suited to short-term goals. Often, people get caught up in the reward and lose the passion for something they have always enjoyed.
Don’t get caught up in extrinsic motivations. When you set yourself a goal, it’s okay if there are some extrinsic motivations. However, you should find the intrinsic motivations and focus on those.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Les Brown (Source)
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