Self-Motivation: How to Motivate Yourself to Do Great Things

What does it take to motivate yourself? You set goals, make plans, get excited, but then procrastinate when it comes time to do something. Many of us are cursed with the ability to feel good about the planning process, but awful about acting on those plans. There's a disconnect that few people understand how to address.

Master this ability and you can do anything. However, if your ability to tie your planning and action phases together is poor, you'll struggle immensely.

Enhance your motivation and your results in life:

1. Give your attention to those things under your control.

You can't control much, but there's no reason to focus on anything else.

Doing so will only lead to feeling overwhelmed. For example, receiving a promotion isn't under your control. The behaviors that improve your odds are under your control.

Put your time, energy, and attention on the things you can manipulate. Avoid wasting your resources on anything you can't influence.

2. Find a purpose that inspires you.

Going into work on Saturday to complete a report might sound like the least enjoyable way to spend part of your weekend, but if excelling at your job could lead to the promotion you've been dreaming of, it's easier to be motivated.

Most people don't like to work out, but the prospect of being healthier and more attractive is motivating to many people.

Avoid judging the task or activity in the short-term. Think about what you'll get out of it down the road. Find a way to take inspired action.

Your inspiration might be a product of what you're doing for others. How does your goal benefit others?

3. Focus on small wins.

If your goal is to lose 50 pounds over the next year, it's easy to become burned out. After two hard weeks of hitting the gym, avoiding late night snacks, and drinking only water, you've lost a total of two pounds.

You're right on schedule, but you realize that you have 48 weeks and 48 pounds to go. It seems like too much to bear.

Break the goal up into smaller pieces. Depending on your ability to focus, it might be necessary to break up the goal into segments that last anywhere from one week to 12 weeks.

This way your brain can experience success and logically see a positive long-term outcome. You'll procrastinate if the path looks too challenging.

4. Act first.

It's a mistake to wait for motivation to strike. You might find yourself waiting for a long time. Avoid thinking too much about the work to be done. If you wait too long to get started, procrastination becomes more likely.

Before you can stop yourself, get started. You'll find that motivation is easier to experience after you've acted.

Every minute you wait under the guise of "planning" or "strategizing" saps what little motivation you may already have. Jump up and get busy!

5. Enhance your mood.

It's much harder to be motivated when you're in a bad mood. Studies have shown that a negative mood increases procrastination behaviors.

Procrastination enhances your mood in the short-term, but at the expense of the future. Put yourself into a better mental state and procrastination becomes less likely to occur.

Happiness increases productivity and success. Monitor your progress. Research suggests that nothing is more motivating than progress in a meaningful endeavor.

Without motivation, you can make spectacular goals and plans and still come up short.

Learning to manage your motivation is a key component of accomplishing great things. Motivate yourself and you can do anything.

How to Stay Motivated to Meet Your Goals

Keeping yourself motivated when you have a list of goals can certainly be a challenge. Imagine having a to-do list of pressures that you’ve put on yourself – that’s basically what a list of goals is.

If you’re not motivated to get them done, you can soon find yourself giving up and never making any goals again.

Here are some quick ways to make sure you stay on track and motivated to meet your goals.

1. Give yourself incentives

You should be thinking about this when you’re making the goals. How will you benefit once the goal is completed?

Will you get more than just a sense of achievement? Goals focused on qualifications and exams, for example, are beneficial to you since you will have a qualification for the rest of your life if you pass.

Work-related goals could lead to a promotion or increased pay. For goals which are less incentivized and require an extra push, promise yourself a new wardrobe or a new pair of shoes if you complete it within your desired time frame.

2. Talk to others

Discuss your goals with other people if you feel comfortable doing so. Thousands of people make goals every year, so you’re bound to know somebody you could talk to about them.

It could give you inspiration, and you could get some useful tips off them on how they manage to complete their goals or how they maintain motivation.

3. Don’t see your goals in isolation

Those who view their goals in isolation are often less likely to meet them. Rather than viewing your weight loss goal as just a number or another goal, think about other goals you have and ways it ties into them.

For example, you may have a goal to increase your overall health, or you might want to fit back into a certain piece of clothing.

Losing weight will help you to meet those goals, as well as potentially increasing your confidence to complete different goals.

4. Give yourself a break

Life shouldn’t be all about targets and meeting your goals, whether they are personal or work-related. Take some time to give yourself a break every now and then.

When you go on vacation, for example, try not to think about your goals as much and use the time to reflect.

Many people take one day a week to relax from fitness goals, or an entire weekend to stop thinking about work.

Momentum and Motivation: 6 Strategies That Give You an Edge

The old adage "slow and steady wins the race" is actually sometimes true. The tortoise in the story of the tortoise and the hare won the race not because he was the smartest, smallest, or even wittiest.

Rather, he won the race due to his laser-focus on the end result: the goal line.

If you struggle to keep momentum and motivation during your own quest to achieve a goal, you're not alone!

Even though plateaus, setbacks, and relapses are completely normal when it comes to life-changing goals, there are many things you can do to keep the fire inside during the journey.

Try these strategies to maintain your momentum and motivation:

1. Take action daily.

This is the single best step you can take in order to further your momentum. Taking action ensures that you're making progress, no matter how small.

Even if you don't know exactly what action you'll be taking, just do something, anything, to further yourself.

For example, If you want to lose weight, it's important to burn more calories than you take in each day. If you want to grow your business, review business growth materials.

2. Find motivational nuggets.

Take a few minutes each day to read something inspiring, whether it's motivational quotes or affirmations to keep your confidence going.

* Motivational quotes that inspire you can help transcend your mindset away from the daily grind and onto things that are bigger than yourself!

3. Check your progress.

If you're feeling stuck or like you're not moving forward, review your goal that you're trying to accomplish.

Write down your goals and check in on your progress each day.

Think positively about how close you are to the goalpost rather than how far you are from it.

4. Talk to another.

Find another person who has already achieved goals similar to the ones you're working on.

If you're goal is to get physically fit, for example, find a bodybuilder, runner, athlete or other like-minded individual whose been in your shoes.

Extract all the wisdom, advice and helpful tidbits that you can from their story.

5. Plan your week.

Scheduling time to work on things related to your goals is critical.

We use schedules for everything else in our lives, so there's no reason that time devoted to working on personal goals cannot be included as well.

6. Reward yourself.

Small rewards have been shown to motivate everyone from kids to older adults. Rewards act as a positive reinforcement, and even affirmation of a job well done.

When we're being rewarded, we tend to continue pressing on towards our goals.

These are just a few of the things that we can do on a regular basis to keep motivation and ensure that we're continually making progress.

The key word is "progress." If we're taking some action or doing even just one thing on a daily basis that furthers us along in our goals, we'll feel better about ourselves and be able to keep that momentum.

Other things that we can do on a regular basis to keep momentum and motivation alive is to write in a journal, listen to inspiring talks, join a support group related to our goals, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation on our life's purpose, or even posting daily reminders.

The more alive that we can make our goals, the more inspired and motivated we'll be to take action and achieve them.

Related reading: Free Daily Motivation guide.

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