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9 Ways to motivate yourself to do anything

The question “How to motivate yourself and stay motivated to get things done?” does not have a clear-cut answer. There is not only one path to get motivated because each person is unique and different, driven from within by a set of various impulses, desires, beliefs, and needs.

Nevertheless, the psychology of human motivation proposes many solutions. Science has laid the foundations that explain a lot about motivation: 

  • from where it comes from,
  • what influences it, and 
  • how can psychological process guide our behavior?

In this article, we have prepared practical guidelines and tips for self motivation that are universal and can be used for any goal that you would like to achieve in any area in your life (job, losing weight, relationships, money, personal growth, etc.).

Why we need motivation in our daily life?

Motivation is the driving force behind human actions. It describes our “why” to every situation. Like, why we are doing something and also why we are not doing something.

It also activates our behavior, as it directs and maintains our goal-oriented actions. To make it short, we need motivation in our daily life because it:

  • Helps to improve productivity,
  • provides us with meaningful goals to work toward,
  • gives the energy to complete every task,   
  • encourages us to take action and engage in behaviors that are good for us, 
  • improves overall well-being and happiness, 
  • helps to change our old habits, and 
  • gives us support when coping with challenges and obstacles. 

What causes lack of motivation?

Many people are struggling with self motivation. It is not such an easy task to stay motivated all the time and in every situation. Here are some of the most common causes of why you might be struggling with motivation.

  • You struggle to find meaning in the things you do, and you are not sure what exactly you want to do.
  • Most of the time, you act with your mind and head and don’t pay enough attention to your emotions and feelings.
  • You don’t believe in yourself and your abilities.
  • You set goals too high or too low, which are also not clear and concrete enough.
  • You often get caught up in the negative self talk, such as, “I will never follow through,” “I can’t do this,” “There’s no use.”
  • You are trying to please everyone around you, but on the other hand, you often neglect your needs.
  • You are overwhelmed and stressed, almost on the edge of a burn-out.
  • You are impatient (remember that good things take time).
  • You tend to procrastinate in making decisions.
  • Your actions are based on fear (fear has a low energy vibration and prevents you to plan your next step).

9 tips on how to motivate yourself and stay motivated

Now that you’ve gained an insight into why motivation is important and what could cause the lack of it, it’s time that we present in the article some of the best and most efficient approaches to help you achieve your goals and get things done. Let’s get started!

Now that you’ve gained an insight into why motivation is important and what could cause the lack of it, it’s time that we present in the article some of the best and most efficient approaches to help you achieve your goals and get things done. Let’s get started!

1. Focus on the “why” question

You will find it difficult to motivate yourself for a task if you do not see and feel the point in completing it. Searching for a meaning is not always tied to existential questions about life and the world we live in but also affects the things we do in our everyday life.

Why do I do what I do?

Our core motivation derives from our deepest desires, beliefs, longings, and aspirations. It is a subconscious system, which controls our emotions and has the power to motivate us. Similar to when we say: “Trust your gut.”

When you feel that your work and everything else you do makes sense and is in line with your subconscious mind, you will be much more successful in achieving your goals. You will be able to complete even the most difficult tasks.

Is your “why” strong enough to push you forward?

For example, if you did sign in to a gym because all your friends are doing it, then ask yourself if your “why” is strong enough to push you forward, especially in the long run.

To get you motivated to do workouts in a gym, you will need to find meaning in it. Perhaps your “why” could be that you want to lose weight, get in shape, etc. It doesn’t matter what your “why” is, but how strong it is to motivate you for the next step.

2. Reward yourself for your hard work

The science of psychology provides us with research findings on the power of reward for human motivation. They call it extrinsic motivation. But what do these words mean?

Positive reinforcement can get you motivated

Our behavior operates on conditioning. If we use positive reinforcement (for example, when I complete these tasks, I will eat an ice cream), then it’s more likely that we will repeat a particular behavior. The anticipated bonus prize will motivate us to do it again.

It happens because we get something good in return for something we do, even though we might not find a task particularly enjoyable. Therefore, positive reinforcement has a motivational effect.

Treat yourself with things that make you happy

You can feel like you didn’t accomplish much if you didn’t get something in return. Imagine doing something that matters to you, but once you reach the goal, nothing happens. You could feel good within, but sometimes we also need an external reward to be motivated.

Different external motivational things can have an effect on you. Like, steady paycheck, good grades, a week off work, recognition from your boss, etc. Yet, you can always treat yourself with things that make you happy.

3. Embrace failure and mistakes as vital parts of the success 

Even the most successful people have experienced ups and downs throughout their careers. It is unlikely that you would get the opportunity to progress and achieve success without making mistakes and experiencing failures.

How would you learn and improve your work if you don’t know what exactly you need to improve? Albert Einstein made a good point when he said:” Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Focus on learning from your experiences and not on perfection

If you take each of your failures personally and have a negative self talk: “I knew this would happen.”, “I am worthless.”, “I am not capable of anything.”, then this will take away your confidence, strength, and motivation that you need to keep going.

Remind yourself that failures and mistakes are an inevitable part of your path that you have to walk on to reach success. There is no straight line to get there, but many bends, and roundabouts.

How to be highly motivated after a loss?

It is hard to find ways to motivate yourself after a failure. Take the time to process everything that has happened and identify the things that don’t work out. When you redefine your goals, you will be able to change the things that went wrong.

And remember, mistakes don’t define you as a person, as they allow you to learn and develop new skills. Nothing is lost, and tomorrow is a new day.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others

When you see a post on social media where your friend is relaxing in a pool somewhere in Indonesia and drinking a cocktail with his girlfriend, you can fall into a bad mood because you want to be in his place, but you might don’t have the money and time to make it happen.

Every day we are surrounded by people with which we can compare ourselves. Social media is not doing us a favor as only one post can evoke feelings of inadequacy, which leads to a negative comparison.

But it could be that social comparison can also motivate you to develop a more positive self-image.

Why can comparisons make you feel less motivated?

Comparing yourself to others can have a negative impact on your self motivation, not because you would envy other people or resent them, but because you would compare certain traits.

For example, you might believe that you are not that successful in business as others. But when making such comparisons, you tend to compare yourself only to the most successful people you know. Such nonrealistic comparisons can make you less motivated.

Use social networks for self-improvement

Social comparisons can also have a motivational effect as they can motivate you to improve certain traits. Healthy competition can push you forward if you look up to people from who you can learn, grow a positive self-image and become a better version of yourself.

5. Allow yourself some down time

We live in a fast-paced world. Every day we aim to get things done faster. We have mastered multi-tasking, and our working week is always filled with numerous tasks and deadlines.

Sometimes we all need a break that we could recharge our life energy. That is helpful if we don’t want to burn out, as once we do, it will take a lot of time to regain physical and mental power. It is essential to strive for a work-life balanc

Spend more time with your family and friends

Free time and the weekends are there for a reason. It’s time to rest and to do the things you enjoy the most. Allow yourself some down time, as it will motivate you and push you forward when you will need all your strength to get things done.

Organize your free time and spend it the way you want. You can spend it with your family and close friends and allow yourself to have some fun. Relax, forget about all the tasks you have to do in your job, and enjoy the present moment.

How being lazy from time to time can get you motivated?

When you give yourself a break from a hectic outside world, you might feel guilty about it. Don’t be. Being lazy from time to time is helpful and can boost your motivation.

In free time, when your attention is at rest, it gives you space to get deep insights and think about long-term goals. In the thinking process without any distractions, you can create business plans and inspiring goals.

6. Create a SMART goal setting plan

Motivation is key to achieving goals. If you set your goal right, you have a greater chance to achieve it. On the other hand, you might struggle to stay motivated if you don’t do the goal-setting right, especially if you are working toward the long-term and big goals.

You may have read in an article that many people use the SMART method to set their goals. Research says that the SMART goal method can help you to get started and help you to stay motivated throughout the journey.

Here are some tips on how to motivate yourself with the use of SMART goal setting

Set specific and measurable goals

It’s more likely that you will accomplish a goal if you define its specifics. Saying “I will travel the world!”, can make you less motivated, as traveling the world is a lifetime project. It’s best if you rather say:” This summer I will book a trip to Italy.”

Establish criteria for measuring progress. For example, if you are working on a long-term project: “Each week I will write ten pages of my new book.”.

Goals need to be achievable, realistic, and timely

The motivational aspect of your goals is related to the matter, whether you have all the resources to achieve them, or you need additional support. They also have to be realistic, given the time and resources, and your faith that you can accomplish them.

Your goal needs to have a start and finish date. If you don’t set a time frame, you won’t be motivated enough to finish on time, as nothing will push you forward, and you might lose focus. And you know that procrastination is a big thief of time.

7. Build healthy lifestyle habits

It’s a good thing to remind yourself that motivation is what gets you started, yet habits are what make you keep going. Create healthy lifestyle choices but not restrictions. Think about what exactly you would like to change and what will make you feel better.

Try to gradually, day by day, practice small changes in your routine. In a week, you will get used to it a little more, and in a month, even a small change will become part of your life.

Maintain a level of physical fitness and a balanced diet

Your health is an investment, not an expense. Sometimes we don’t value it until the sickness comes. Healthy lifestyle choices will help you gain mental and physical power and motivate you to overcome even the most difficult life challenges.

You can sign in to a yoga class, fitness, or simply go running. Exercise will boost blood circulation, and the brain will get more oxygen. A healthy and balanced diet will supply your body with the nutrients you need for a strong immune system.

How does a lack of sleep affect your motivation?

Research says that sleep requirements can vary to some extent from person to person, but most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you don’t get that much sleep, it can affect your body with a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, etc.

Sleep deprivation is also related to mood changes, memory issues, and troubles with thinking and concertation. It is why you can’t get motivated to do things if you feel sluggish and tired. Thus, focusing on good sleep hygiene is vital for your motivation.

8. Write a daily diary to keep track of your progress

A helpful trick to self motivate is to write a diary, where you can put down words about your day and all the things you have achieved. You will get the chance to monitor your progress.

For example, you can put all of your daily tasks in a group and break them down by category. One group for your work project, the other group for household chores, and the third group for personal growth. It will motivate you to keep going, and it will boost your self-esteem.

Focusing on smaller wins helps you to stay motivated

Focus on smaller tasks and wins will motivate you to continue on the path to success. Still, keep a bigger picture in your mind and follow your passion. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction turns out to be the biggest step of your life.

Look back to see how far you’ve come

If you write down every completed task in a day, you will get the chance to look back to see how far you`ve come. It will remind you of what you have already accomplished and motivate you to fulfill your life goals. You can look at your achievements for a month or a year ago.

9. Get inspired by reading motivational quotes

Words of wisdom can inspire you to dig deeper, free your mind from negative self-talk and worries, and leave you with purpose and motivation.
You can find inspirational quotes in an article across the web or any social media post. If you need motivation in a particular area in your life that you might struggle with, you can also search for motivational words by category, such as friends, family, business, success, spirituality, etc.

Inspirational quotes give you comfort during hard times

Powerful words can bring reassurance and comfort in difficult times in your life, and they are one of the best ways to motivate your mind and spirit, as they remind you that you are not alone and that you need to focus on things that matter the most.

Quotes serve you as daily reminders that everything is going to be ok and that you have the power and free will to create happiness.

How inspirational quotes motivate us?

The science of motivational and cognitive psychology explains why inspirational quotes can get you motivated. When you read a quote, your mind perceives the words on a primal level. Here the self-selection activity begins when you start to identify yourself with those words.

Inspirational quotes motivate you because they have a coaching effect, encourage you to think about new perspectives and opportunities, and boost self-efficacy in a way that makes you feel like you are in total control of your own success.

We hope that in this article you did find some useful tips on how to motivate yourself on your path to success.

9 Ways to motivate yourself to do anything

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