Call it what you want, we all know the feeling. Where my goals are concerned, if needed I am capable of just working through whatever needs to be done regardless of how I feel. Wouldn’t it be better though, if I could first get motivated and then get to work? I think so – I work harder, get more satisfaction out of it, and suspect I am more effective when I am motivated rather than just trying to get through a task.
These strategies for getting motivated aren’t silver bullets – 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, I usually am able to use one of these strategies to break out of a motivational funk.
8 Tips For How To Get Motivated Today
- Find Your Mantra or Slogan. A mantra doesn’t have to be long. Raam’s mantra is taken from Aristotle you are what you repeatedly do. Raam expanded on it and gave me permission to post the full thing. I love it -
“Get out and do something. Move. Interact. Explore. Breathe. Take a chance.
Stop voluntarily wasting your life. Stop complaining and saying you’re bored. It’s your life. Do something with it.
You are what you repeatedly do.”
You’ve probably already guessed my mantra if you’ve read the past few articles: value your time. Everyone has their own life to live, and I can’t tell your what your mantra is – but I bet you probably already have something in mind.
If you need some help coming up with your mantra, then first download my free motivational quotes ebook, The Little Book of Big Motivational Quotes.
- Remember Your Peak Moments. I used to call this being in the zone, but I much prefer the terminology from Find Your Great Work: peak moments. These are moments of triumph and they remind me who I am, what I am about – and why I am chasing my unique goals. :
“A peak moment is a time when you felt you were at the top of your game [...] Your Peak Moment connects you with that time when you felt most fulfilled, most stretched, most present[...] a moment of insight where you say: yes this is something to remember, this is a moment of me at my most essential, me at my most authentic and best.”
– Find Your Great Work
- Do Less. “Make everything count. Whatever you do or keep in your life, make it worthy of keeping. Make it really count.” - from The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life, page 8. I often feel unmotivated when I feel like I am carrying the world on my shoulders, and because of this completing tasks doesn’t actually make me feel good – it just makes me feel anxious and worry “what’s next?” Simplify. Let go of commitments. By making room in my day for the things I want to do, I am much more motivated to get started on them – and I don’t worry about a large to-do list that’s waiting for me.
- Nip It In The Bud – Don’t Let The Slump Start. Often for me it’s the little things that lead to a motivational slump. It’s skipping one workout to hang out with friends, then two. By the next week, in the back of my mind I’m already rationalizing why today is a bad day for the gym – there is so much momentum working against me that it’s hard to get started again. Don’t fall into that trap – recognize the activities you do to procrastinate, and nip it in the bud. Take action right away, no matter how small the victory, and use that momentum for further tasks.
- Get Active. I have only empirical evidence to back this up, but I’ve found that when I’m not exercising, my other goals suffer as well. I’m not sure where in the process the magic is, but there is absolutely some relationship between productivity, running, high-energy workout music and a refreshing shower afterwards. While I don’t understand the interplay between all of them, taking a break and running for half an hour can change my perspective and get me motivated to go again. In fact, often while I’m running I get inspired, and am tempted to cut my break short to get back to work.
- Remember This Moment Is Precious – And Only Here For Today. Sometimes when I’m not motivated to do what I know needs to be done, I remind myself that if I waste this opportunity, this one chance, I’ll never get another. My minutes, hours and days come around one time – and it’s up to me to live the life I want, right now.
- Dream. I really enjoyed Jonathan’s book Reclaim Your Dreams, and came away from it with renewed motivation to work hard for some of my true long range dreams. This may just be semantics, but I always feel like the word “dream” is more liberating than “goal.” I enjoy having and day to day focus on my goals – they tend to be concrete, discrete and (for me) more short term. Dreams remind me why I’m focusing on short term goals – you may have a goal of visiting Australia, but you dream of traveling the world.
- Use Daily, Consistent Motivation. Get your free copy of Personal Development 101. You’ll receive constant encouragement and motivational thoughts, as well as a free copy of the Little Book Of Motivational Quotes.
- Remind Yourself. Set your homepage to this motivational start page. You’ll be reminded daily to be motivated and keep moving forward towards your goals.
- The Essential Motivation Handbook by Eric Hamm and Leo Babauta
- Find Your Great Work by Michael Bungay Stanier
- Reclaim Your Dreams by Jonathan Mead
- The Greatest Salesman in The World by Og Mandino (brief synopsis in my article about the best personal development books)
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