Let’s first get this out of the way—life in modern times is demanding, no matter where you are in your life and career. The escalating demands on our time and attention are astronomical. If you thought that it was only you feeling frazzled, it’s not! All of us need to mindfully keep ourselves encouraged and learn to stay motivated in purposeful action, not just get busier.
Regardless of your circumstances, you’ll want to replenish your supply of motivation as often as you need it. Whether you wish to get your life on track, stay on top of procrastination, or find an ideal life-work balance, staying motivated is an essential ingredient of a fulfilling life.
While many people think that creating motivation is difficult, we can give you a few pointers that can help you shift overwhelming feelings of worry, anxiety, or analysis paralysis.
How to Build Your Own Motivation
The best part of motivation is that it is a quality that can be created from nothing. It’s not something you have or don’t have. And, you can do this yourself—if you know how. You are quite capable of motivating yourself and here are a few ways to get motivated without hiring a life-coach or expending too much time or effort.
#1 Remind yourself of your why
Most of us have had goals even if we haven’t written them down. Remember your why! For example, perhaps you desire to dissolve the stress of debt, or long to be in a loving relationship that enriches your life, or you want to lose weight and feel fit again. No matter what your desires, remembering what’s important to you helps move us out of inaction.
Circle back to these reasons when you find that you lack motivation. Get to the crux of ‘why’ you are on the path you are or if you want to change your direction. The reason why you started that new business or the why of a strict budget to have economic stability. For instance, feel the relief once you are debt-free have a sizable savings. Remind yourself every time you are at a loss for forward momentum.
Whenever we lose sight of our goals, we tend to fall into bad habits. Procrastination creeps in when we forget our original whys. Reminding yourself can shift your mental focus back to the things that matter and increase motivation.
Related video: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
#2 Visualize What You Want
Visualization is, perhaps, one of the most powerful techniques that can drive motivation. Even before you start a task, mentally picture yourself completing it efficiently and successfully. Visual stimuli galvanize the mind, and when your visualization is powerful enough, your mind will find it difficult to tell the difference between imaginary and real.
The point is not just to imagine things because it feels good; visualization helps you motivate your mind to make the desired outcome real. The more vivid your visualization, the more powerful your motivation is going to be. The more you elevate emotions through all your senses, the faster your goals will manifest in your life.
An interesting concept that someone recently introduced me to is the Theory of Mentalism, which states that the mind is the most powerful device in the universe. The latest scientific discoveries as well as age-old wisdom, such as The Kybalion Principles, support the premise that mind influences matter.
The many references of the power of our mind remind us just how critical it is to be the captain of our own thoughts. Choose a method of visualization that resonates with you and practice honing your mental acuity to achieve your goals.
Related reading: Visualization and How to Create a Future You Love
#3 Revamp your surroundings
Have you ever noticed when you stay at a high-end luxury hotel or resort that you feel more valued and pampered? The quality, elegance, and beauty make you feel far different than staying in a run-down, discount motel. This experience becomes even more apparent when it’s been a while since you've splurged by treating yourself to a quality vacation.
Where you work and live influences how much motivation you can draw from your environment. When your surroundings align with your goals in life, you'll find that you are much more motivated to make those dreams happen. Even small, inexpensive upgrades to your home or office that better align with your values and goals can uplift your emotions.
The same goes for the company you keep—people who are happy and successful in life tend to have a positive outlook and can affect the people around them. Spend time with people who have a positive attitude towards life, challenge you to be better, and inspire you to greater things.
#4 Start with the most important tasks first
A lot of people check their emails first thing in the morning (or many times a day) and can get sucked into social media or surfing the internet. Pretty soon, you’ve lost precious time with yourself, your family, or relinquished an opportunity for productivity. Starting your day with nonproductive, depleting, or meaningless activities in the morning can stress your mind and rob you of motivation—sometimes for the rest of the day.
For the first hour you’re up, allow yourself to set an intention for the day or reflect on what’s important to you as you sip tea or coffee. Think about something that you are looking forward to. Exercise or plan your day. Take a few minutes to prioritize what’s most important to accomplish and then set about completing the highest priority first. Checking tasks from your list, especially something that has been nagging you can put a lot of wind in your sail. Accomplishing tasks, specifically vital ones, releases feel-good chemicals into our bodies and gives us an edge on the day! This practice can train your mind and create more motivation and resilience that repels stress.
#5 Don’t strive for perfection
Many people struggle with motivation because they undermine their work through self-criticism, dissatisfaction, and extended hours of costly perfectionism. While it can be hard to break this habit, being kind to yourself without compromising standards is well worth the effort. Replacing the negative self-talk that says “you’re not good enough” with encouragement relieves stress and creates an interior environment that supports healthy self-esteem and higher productivity.
Perfection is a myth.
Close that computer down and take a break. Step outside breathing the fresh air. Enjoy a hobby that you used to love. Make a lunch date with your spouse or a co-worker. Imagine the multitude of worthwhile things you can do to nurture and benefit you and others in the amount of time you waste perfecting.
#6 Borrow motivation
There are a lot of methods you can use to draw motivation from other people. Reading about people who inspire you, listening to speeches that boost your mood, and watching motivating videos to jumpstart your energy are just a few. You can develop self-motivation by “borrowing motivation.” Try stepping into their imaginary shoes, reflect on what they had to overcome to achieve their dreams. This understanding can help you find solutions to your problems and encourage you to take action.
Reminding yourself of what is possible imparts hope—learning from those who you admire and have achieved great things paves the way for us. Their struggles, knowledge, and insights will lend you faith in yourself to be successful and reach your own goals.
#7 Celebrate your accomplishments
If you have a never-ending to-do list, then you know just how ruthless inaction can be. You sit at your desk reminding yourself of all the things you’re procrastinating. You ruminate on the opportunities you’ve missed or berate yourself for your inability to complete a project that haunts you. This scenario is the opposite of motivation. Stop. Get up and change your internal and external environment.
Instead, write down 5-10 things you’ve done well this week. Jot down the efforts and actions you are most proud of. Take a few minutes to celebrate your accomplishments—no matter how small.
This small celebratory gesture can instill a sense of pride and encouragement that will uplift your spirit. Focusing on what you’ve done well will motivate you to perform better and will get a dozen monkeys off your back. It’s a kind act that leads to self-love and productivity.
If you are at an all-time low, always remember that happiness, confidence, and motivation are things that can be created by YOU.
You don’t need anything outside you to shift your outlook. If you find that things are getting overwhelming for you, act on one of the ways above. Move. Act. Action is a remedy for being stuck, feeling powerless, and shifting energy into high gear.
Cheers to a happier, motivated life!
So what will you do to jump-start your mojo? Want to talk one-on-one and get expert and personalized advise?