Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? This may seem like a bold statement, but learning self-motivation is crucial for anyone trying to achieve success in any area of their life. Overcoming the emotional hurdle to getting stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon has no consequences for you, it’s often a must.
For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself, or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along. Passion, habits, and a flow-producing environment can fail despite your best efforts. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started. Whether you’re starting a business, trying to lose weight, or breaking a bad habit, learning self-motivation is important for success.
Here are the top twenty-five techniques of learning that you can motivate yourself down the road to success.
1. Go Back to “Why”
Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing. If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.
2. Adopt Five Minutes Strategy
Instead of exhausting yourself with work all at once, you can work towards your goals by adopting a five minutes strategy. Start working for five minutes, then take a short break. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.
3. Move Around
Exercise brings levels of mental clarity like nothing else. If you can’t go to the gym, follow home workout videos on YouTube, or stream fitness classes on apps like Peloton. To build muscle, buy a pull-up bar or kettle bells and get to work. If you have bad joints, go for a swim in your nearest lake or ocean.
4. Find the Next Step
If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step. Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable.
5. Find Your Itch
What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem. Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, restless, or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or you haven’t finished your delegated tasks yet.
6. Deconstruct Your Fears
I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. At the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed. Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident; you can handle the worst-case scenario.
7. Reframe Your Questions
Let’s say a problem that seems impossible to solve has you demotivated. Then, you can invest a lot of time upfront to frame the right questions. In the Tribe of Mentors, author Timothy Ferriss encourages his readers to ask, “How would it look if this [endeavor, goal, etc.] were easy?” In The One Thing, author Gary Keller suggests you ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do that would make everything else less important or unnecessary?” Think about the problem you want to solve and ensure you ask the right questions. Also, consider if you have assumptions baked into your line of thinking. Remember: it’s always better to ask (the right) questions than to assume. These methods can turn a frustrating problem into an inspiring solution.
8. Get a Partner
Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.
9. Kickstart Your Day
Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.
10. Read Books
Read, not just for self-help or motivational books but, any book with new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion, requiring less time to speed up your tasks.
11. Get the Right Tools
Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications, or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation. Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.
12. Be Careful with the Small Problems
The worst motivation killer is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration. Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones, or they will kill any drive you have.
13. Develop a Mantra
Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether you pulled them from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do. If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!”
14. Build on Success
Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation-specific. So a small win, whether a compliment from a colleague or finishing two-thirds of your tasks before noon, can turn you into a juggernaut.
15. Put Some Motivation in Your Ear
If you’re stuck in a slump, I’ve found that all it takes is one rousing speech to change your mindset. Changing your mindset is a great way to learn how to increase motivation. The right motivational content at the right time can transform your attitude. Pop in your headphones, and do a Google search for “motivation.” There are thousands of speeches on YouTube, even mega-mixes of motivational speakers like Joel Osteen, Wayne Dyer, Les Brown, etc.
16. Give Back to Others
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi When you’re hurting, the best thing you can do for yourself is to help others. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s true. Focusing externally on making a difference in the lives of others provides you immense satisfaction, which can also improve motivation. These acts of service make your problems look and feel smaller. Most importantly, you feel more empowered to overcome any challenges you face.
17. Call Your Most Positive Friend
We’ve all heard the adage, “You are the sum of your five closest friends.” It’s true because what our peers say, affects us. If you suffer from negative family members or peers, their cynicism will slowly infect you. Instead, drown them out. If your mother is pessimist-in-chief, tell her you love her, and then draw some boundaries. Spend more time with people that are always searching for the silver lining. It doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend or that acquaintance you haven’t spoken to since high school. If you don’t have anyone like that in your community, join Facebook or LinkedIn Groups for positive thinkers. Attend a virtual Meetup of like-minded individuals.
In conclusion, motivation is a crucial ingredient in achieving success. Finding ways to motivate yourself can help you overcome the emotional hurdle of getting stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch. Building habits, adopting new strategies and methods, and reframing your perspective can all help you learn how to increase motivation. The 25 techniques outlined above can help you on your journey to becoming a more self-motivated and successful person.