It is not always easy to get yourself motivated.
Here are 25 tips you can use to improve and maintain motivation. For any new project, however, the first three tips should always be done to improve your chance of success and help maintain motivation.
1. Know what you want to achieve—If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how will you know when you achieve it? Deciding exactly what you want to do is the beginning of staying motivated to finish it.
2. Determine the steps to reach your goal—There are things you need to do for anything you want to do. Knowing what the steps are will give you a guideline. They’ll also give you mini successes as you complete each step.
3. Devise a plan—Though there may be many steps to take, it is necessary to know in what order you need to achieve them. If possible, alternate between those that are easy to achieve and those that will take longer. This way, you don’t go through long periods of time without completing part of your plan. It will help you feel more successful if you complete parts of the plan often.
Goals provide focus. With no guiding plan, people tend to drift. Goals also provide a measuring device for progress, enhance productivity, improve self-esteem, and increase commitment, so you’re more likely to achieve whatever you set out to conquer.
4. Increase the challenge of your project—If you’re lacking the motivation to do anything, try something you’ve never done before. Simply the thought of doing something new and exciting can give us temporary motivation.
5. Remember success is your personal responsibility—You need to believe that initiative, effort, and persistence are key factors in achieving success. Too many times, individuals are more likely to view success as dependent on available resources and situational constraints. They simply say the task was too difficult for outside reasons. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and it is your responsibility to find it.
6. Think of demanding tasks as opportunities—When facing a task where success is uncertain, think of it a challenge or an opportunity. Don’t think of the threats that may lead to failure and embarrassment. This causes you to give up before you start.
7. Remember striving for achievement can be enjoyable—Perseverance pays off. Approaching each task with dedication, concentration, commitment, and involvement can help you maintain motivation. You may find you enjoy it, and the obstacle isn’t nearly as difficult as you figured it to be.
8. Learn to value achievement striving—If you value hard work in and of itself, you’ll enjoy it more, and therefore, be more motivated. Unfortunately, too many people view it as not “cool.” Their typical excuse is that working too hard may only keep them from having a social life, or even cause them to have a heart attack. What it really does, however, is lead to success and happiness in their lives.
9. Improve your skills—Sometimes you may have a goal that you don’t have the necessary skills to achieve. Don’t give up! Skills can be improved. Sometimes all it takes is practice.
10. Learn what you need to learn—If the information is keeping you from achieving your goals, determine ways to fill in the gaps, and build this into your action plan. Be willing to study and work hard to reach your goals.
11. Persistence works—Continued effort and commitment will overcome initial obstacles or failures. Don’t see an early failure as a sign of things to come. Remember the old saying, “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Once you achieve your first success this way, you’ll be less apt to give up and lose motivation too quickly in the future.
12. Try living in the now as if it were the future that you hope to have—For example, if you want to lose weight, don’t think of yourself as someone struggling to lose it. Think of yourself as someone pounds
lighter. See yourself as healthier, and having a different lifestyle. To maintain this lifestyle, you have to eat healthier and exercise. Just think of how your life will be then and do it now.
13. Put your goals in writing—Sometimes, the act of writing down what you are going to do is a strong motivator. Writing down goals helps you make them more specific and less vague. When you write them, use action verbs.
14. Give all your goals measurable outcomes—By doing so, it helps you know when you’ve achieved each goal you set.
15. Specify completion dates—You won’t always complete your goals on these dates, but setting them helps you stay focused on completion. Many people work better with deadlines. Don’t make them unrealistic, but do set them so you’ll have to push yourself to achieve them.
16. Plan and write down what your reward will be for achieving the goal—It doesn’t have to be an elaborate reward, it can be simple. Rewarding yourself along the way is a big motivator. Remember your reward each time you start to feel your motivation drain, and it can increase your desire to reach the goal.
17. Make a list of obstacles—Always think of everything that might stand in your way and decide what you can do about each obstacle. If you design a plan, you’ll reduce the influence of each obstacle and increase the chances that you will be successful.
18. Write down the benefits of achieving your goal—One strong motivator is knowing exactly what you will gain from reaching your goal. For example, keeping your checkbook balanced will give you more spending money, or walking every day will help you stay healthier and reduce stress.
19. Break down complicated plans into manageable tasks—Be specific about what has to be accomplished. By setting goals along the way, your tasks will seem more manageable, and not overwhelming.
20. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help—A partner can help you stay committed and motivated. Look for role models, people who have already achieved the goals you seek to reach. Ask them for advice and suggestions. Find how they got where they are, and incorporate what you learn into your plan.
21. Get organized—Being prepared and organized, can help you feel better about your ability to reach your goals. Having information scattered in too many places makes you feel out of control and undermines motivation.
22. Be serious about each step in your process—Think about learning to ski, for example. The beginner I have given a list of instructions: “lean forward,” “bend the ankles,” “keep weight on the downhill ski,” etc. Each of these is an explicit step. The extent the skier is seriously trying to learn each step will determine the outcome. Each step is separate, but functions together to reach the goal. Failure to focus on any part of the steps can cause you to crash.
23. Enhance your interest in the goal—Be sure it’s related to your values, and if the connections aren’t obvious at first, think through how the task at hand complements your values and overall goals. If it doesn’t, you should think about why it’s on your “to-do list.” Maybe it’s a task you should delegate or delete.
24. Don’t procrastinate—Procrastination is a form of self-regulatory failure.
The old saying, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” is one you should live by. If you do this too often, your “tomorrow” may never come, and you’ll never reach your goal.
25. Remember that willpower is a limited resource—Think of willpower as a muscle. If you don’t use the muscle and exercise it, it becomes weaker and weaker. The more you use your willpower, the stronger it will become, just like a muscle does. If you don’t use it, eventually, you may lose it.
People who spend too much time fantasizing about the wonderful future that awaits them often find they don’t have enough gas left in the tank to actually get there. Dreaming is nothing without doing, so being motivated is important. Unfortunately, there are no “silver bullet” strategies for getting motivated. There will absolutely be times where you simply can’t get motivated to do something, and have to do it anyway. In most cases though, you’ll find at least one of the above tip will help you get out of your motivational slump.
Motivation is an essential life skill and you can discover how to be motivated and stay motivated. Some people are lucky and just seem to be born highly motivated, if you are of at least average intelligence you can learn how to be motivated. It doesn’t matter how unmotivated you have been up to now.
While there is no standard “fix it” for motivation, it is possible for you to discover the motivation blueprint that is right for you. Understand what motivates you and enjoy greater success. When you discover your unique motivation blueprint getting ahead will never be a mystery again. You can fire up your motivation engine whenever you choose to.
The more you do, the more you will learn and understand. You’ll discover which tactics work best for you and which ones don’t. It’s like weeding you’re motivation garden. You may not enjoy the weeding a flower garden, but when you’re done, all that’s left are beautiful flowers. Keep weeding your motivation garden until you find what works for you. Pretty soon your life will be blooming with the success of completing your goals.
Andrew Carnegie said, “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” Not every motivational tip will work for you, but some of them will. Don’t settle with mediocrity. Learn which tip or combination of these tips works for you. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the rewards of motivation.