Motivation is incredibly easy to find when you’re heading to the beach or shopping for a new wardrobe.
But let's be real: Some tasks are not enjoyable, and motivation can be challenging to find.
Creating motivation is a skill, and there are several techniques that can be helpful. The ability to motivate yourself is among the most important skills you can have. Here are 8 easy ways to fuel your motivation when you need a boost:
1. Make the first step so easy you can't say no to it.
The absolute most essential part of reaching any goal is taking the first step. Even if you don't feel motivated, if you just take the first step you can often find your motivation in the process.
Do whatever it takes to get started.
Waiting for inspiration to get started is a mistake. You’re likely to notice that the work wasn’t nearly as disagreeable as you thought. You’ll probably be impressed with your progress and begin to feel motivated.
Whether it’s writing one sentence, making one phone call, or doing one pushup, do whatever it takes to get the ball rolling.
2. Schedule regular breaks.
Working for 8 hours at a time might seem incredibly daunting, but knowing that you can take a 5-minute break in just 25 minutes can free up your mind enough to focus intently for the better part of an hour.
Approach your work in 30-minute increments and you’ll be done before you know it.
3. Get up and move around.
Short periods of intense exercise can improve creativity, sharpen the mind, and decrease stress. Find an activity appropriate for your environment. Personally, I'm a huge fan of doing Cupid Shuffle Planks.
4. Focus on the result, not the process.
When you find yourself getting bogged down with a ton of small tasks or a large project, remind yourself of the true finish line.
It is incredibly challenging to get started when it’s necessary to put in 100 hours of work on a creative project or to lose a large amount of weight. If your motivation is waning, focus on how great you’ll feel when the objective has been met.
5. Give yourself rewards for reaching milestones.
Think of a few small but positive indulgences that you consider motivating. Break your work into reasonable chunks and give yourself a small reward as you achieve each milestone.
These rewards can be very small. For instance, I know that I need a jump start to being more physically fit, so I've set myself a goal of losing just ten pounds. When I reach that goal, I get to buy myself a new plant (if you knew how much of a crazy plant lady I am, you'd know that's a huge motivational goal for me)!
6. Take a mental break and find inspiration.
The internet is loaded with inspirational movie clips and music. Allowing yourself to spend a couple of minutes listening to a song that gets you hyped up can be well worth the time.
Avoid getting distracted and going down a rabbit hole - you'll end up wasting hours. Five minutes is enough - set a timer!
7. Stay focused by using a timer.
A timer is a very effective way to buckle down and focus on getting things done. Knowing that the seconds are ticking away can be very motivating.
Having a timer also eliminates the questions that come up about how much you need to do or when is a good stopping point to take a break. It's simple: you stop working when the timer stops ticking.
8. Make a list of the benefits of success.
What does success look like for you? Does successful completion of your goal mean you'll have the money to take an amazing trip? Will you be ready to show off your body at the beach? Will you be able to show off the website/app/project you finished to the world?
Make a list of what success looks like, and keep the list handy. Pull it out and read it whenever your motivation is lacking - or keep it posted above your desk so that you have a reminder to keep working hard every day!
Keep working to further develop your ability to self-motivate - it is SUCH a powerful tool for creating a successful life. You can do this!