Want to learn how to motivate yourself? Looking for effective ways to boost your motivation even when you don’t feel like doing much?
Some days you wake up, and you feel super-energized and motivated to do anything you set your mind to. The impossible seems possible.
But, there are some days when all you want to do is to hit the snooze button, sleep in until noon, and call it a day.
Wherever you’re trying to lose weight, start a new business, study for school, or to become your best self, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself to do all of the above with these 14 effective ways.
1. Use the 3-second rule and just start
I know how hard it seems to be. Starting something requires far more energy than keeping going.
But, you don’t need to wait for motivation to come at you to get started.
Sometimes you just have to force yourself, and you’ll see that motivation will catch up with you.
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You can use the 3-second rule to just get started. Whenever you feel unmotivated and not wanting to do it, simply countdown backward to yourself from 3 to 1, then move.
For example: If I’m sitting on the couch although I know I have work to get done, I’ll tell myself: “You have 3 seconds to get up from the couch and get to the chair” Then I countdown, and most of the time it gets me going.
It’s a powerful trick that was developed by Mel Robbins. Actually, she suggests a 5-second rule, but I find the 3-second to work better for me.
In her book, she says: “If you don’t move within five seconds, your brain will kill the idea and you’ll talk yourself out of doing it. Life comes down to five-second decisions.”
It’s all about training your brain to pick up on your commands.
Cognitive growth is a habit that you can learn!
I recommend that you watch this free workshop from Jim Kwik which shows you how to retrain your brain for better productivity.
What you’ll learn in Jim’s free masterclass:
2. Start with something tiny first.
If you have a big project or a task that feels too hard and overwhelming, it’s going to leave you procrastinating.
So, break down your goals into smaller tasks.
If you have an exam to study and prepare for, then breaking down the study material into smaller chapters would be wise.
If breaking it down into smaller tasks still seems overwhelming to do, break it down even more. Start with something tiny.
The important stuff is to get started. Just like if you were to let a tiny snowball roll from a mountain hill, it would get larger and larger, the same thing applies to you.
3. Limit distractions
If you start doing and accomplishing a tiny task, you’ll see that it wasn’t so hard after all, and you’ll want to continue.
When we feel unmotivated, most of the time we’re feeling bored, right?
- When we feel bored, what do we do? We seek out entertainment.
- What’s the EASIEST way to get entertained nowadays?
You guessed it, your phone. Or any other electronic device you might use, such as a TV.
Being on the phone or watching TV are the top things that keep you distracted from what you have to do.
Silence your phone, put it somewhere where you won’t see it.
Unplug your TV, and create boundaries with the people you live with (if you’re working from home) or the people in your workplace.
You can wear headphones so you won’t get distracted by the ongoing conversations or noises happening in your environment.
4. Create A Positive Mindset
Being pessimistic and going into mental paths of negative thinking can not only drain your motivation but also your energy.
Changing your outlook on difficult situations and life itself can and will give you the motivation you want and need.
Instead of judging yourself when you are in a negative situation and telling yourself things like:
- “I was sure I wasn’t going to succeed” and “I’m not good enough”
Shift your perspective and ask yourself:
- “What is one thing that is positive or good about this situation?”
- “What is the one thing I can learn from this?”
Doing so you’ll see each setback as an opportunity to learn, and not to punish yourself.
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Remember, you can view life in 2 ways:
- The world is happening TO you (negative thinking, playing the victim)
- The world is happening FOR you (positive thinking)
The choice is yours, so what you’re going to choose?
5. Create a Motivational Playlist
What’s the #1 song that gets you super motivated, excited, and ready to work and hit all your goals?
We all have that special song that gets us going when we feel low on energy or unmotivated and lazy.
So, my task for you is to create a playlist with only upbeat and inspirational songs.
Listen to them whenever you feel like you lack some motivation.
6. Get motivation from elsewhere
There are tons of motivating quotes, YouTube videos, podcasts, stories, and interviews from successful people, TED talks, the list goes on and on and on.
If you know someone who has achieved the same goal as yours before or was in the same position as you, try to follow their example.
Use their story to give you extra motivation to keep going. Say to yourself: “If they can do it, so can I.”
Another tip to motivate yourself is to post motivational quotes in visible areas around your house. Make them the wallpapers on your phone and computer, too.
You can put motivational quotes in your phone’s wallpaper, or on your computer. Also, at the fridge, desk, etc. Wherever it’s visible for you.
7. Reward Yourself
When you know that a reward is waiting for you after you complete your goals for the day, it tends to uplift your motivation and excitement by a lot, at least it does for me.
You can reward yourself by using time restrictions.
For example, you want to finish all the work by 6 pm, so you can turn off all work-related stuff and enjoy time with your family, or have a me-time.
Or, you can use the “I won’t until…” method.
For example: “I won’t watch Netflix/ scroll through Instagram/ have a movie night, etc, until I’ve finished my work for the day.”
Having something waiting for you after you finish your goals is a powerful way to be motivated and stay that way.
8. Don’t forget to take occasional breaks
It may sound counter-intuitive, but taking breaks, and most importantly the right kind of breaks, can help you achieve more in your working hours.
On average, the human brain can concentrate efficiently for about 90 minutes at a time. After that, your productivity dips drastically. It’s like wasting time.
Working long hours without letting yourself and your brain to rest is surely going to drain your energy and motivation levels a lot faster.
Use your breaks to get up from the chair, maybe stretch a little bit, or go for a brief walk. This will help your brain to rest and to prepare for the next batch of tasks.
9. Start Your Mornings With A win
If you start your day by hitting the snooze button, you’re admitting to yourself that you failed.
Think about it: your past self-set a time to wake up the next morning and you are hitting the snooze button. This is what I call a defeat.
Treat your mornings as the most valuable time of the day, because there are. Having a productive morning routine will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Wake up a bit earlier to have some quality me-time for yourself.
Write, meditate, do some yoga, write down your goals for the day, exercise, read a book or practice positive self-talk.
Whatever you want to do for yourself and your personal development.
Answer this question: In what situation you’ll feel more motivated and productive?
- You just woke up and in 15 minutes you have to be at work/school. If you are fast you might be able to take a shower. Breakfast? What is breakfast?
- You have one hour to do the activities you want, take a shower, and eat breakfast in peace, without having to stress out about being late for work/school.
I know that I’ll feel more driven and motivated to work on my goals in the second situation.
10. Remember Your “Why”.
Sometimes we get lost in our everyday lives and in our running thoughts.
We often miss or forget about the bigger picture, the reasons why we have to do the things we have to do.
So, when you are feeling unmotivated, write down the 3 top reasons why you want/have to do this.
- Losing weight?
- Saving more money?
- Earning more money?
- Boosting your self-esteem?
- Providing for yourself and your family?
What are YOUR 3 top reasons for doing this work you have?
Put that note with your reasons for doing this so that you can see it every day for an extra boost of motivation.
Also, you can visualize your future self if you keep doing the things you’re doing right now. Ask yourself: If I continue procrastinating, where do I see myself in 1 year? In 5 years?
Envisioning the effects of being lazy, feeling unmotivated, and procrastinating. Visualization can help you get the additional push you need to start working towards your goals.
11. Declutter your environment
A cluttered workspace leads to a cluttered mind.
Set aside a few minutes to clean up your working environment. I always find it extra difficult to concentrate and think clearly when my desk is all messed up.
To eliminate this problem, you can clean up your workspace at the end of every day.
This way you won’t have to clean it up the next morning, so you won’t lose any time (or motivation).
12. track your progress
It’s easy not to acknowledge the things you’ve accomplished through the day, week, or even years.
So, keep track of your progress so you can celebrate it with yourself (a reward) or share it with your friends and family.
This way you’ll know how you’ve progressed over time and how much you’ve accomplished.
Doing this, I’ve found that it recharges my motivation and positivity and keeps me going toward my next goals.
13. Practice gratitude for what you already have.
Being grateful is a great way to be more motivated, even on tougher days and circumstances, you should find something to be thankful for every day!
When we feel unmotivated, we oftentimes judge ourselves and view the situation from a negative perspective. When this happens, ask yourself:
- What are the 3 things I’m grateful for in my life?
- Who are 3 people that I can be grateful to have in my life and why?
Also, we sometimes overlook and take for granted many aspects of our life.
As Albert Einstein said:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
So, be grateful for what you already have and for what you’ve already accomplished. Start a gratitude journal today.
14. Get An Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone who will check up on you from time to time to see if you’re in line with your goals.
This may be a friend of yours, your spouse, a family member, or a mentor.
Give them permission to be totally honest and not go easy on you.
If you are slacking and not progressing towards your goals, he/she should step in to help you.
This way it won’t be so easy to give up with the first setback or progress really slowly.
As an additional bonus, you’ll also strengthen your relationship with this person. Win-win for you.
How To Motivate Yourself – Conclusion
Now that you have read our tips about how to motivate yourself, it’s time to put it into action.
Now you may be thinking: This is some helpful information, but how can I make all of these work? How can I implement these tips in my day-to-day life and motivate myself, even on tough days?
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