Motivate Yourself NOW with these 5 powerful tips!
Thinking that your life would be even better if you could just get yourself motivated to take action in a few key areas?
You can learn motivation, and these five actions can help.
- Know your BFW’s. That stands for Big Fat Whys. If you’ve ever thought you wanted to do something, but couldn’t motivate yourself to take consistent action, you might have been missing this key ingredient.The secret sauce is your WHY.Think you want to stop procrastinating, eat better, exercise more, whatever? WHY?
It’s possible that you already know what to do, and how to do it, you just haven’t lit the fire in your belly to say WHY it’s so important to you.
The bottom line is this: The closer you can connect what you want with your core values, and the stronger you make that emotional link, the more likely you will be to follow through.
Here’s an example: Let’s pretend that you’ve been saying you “should” really work out more. You know what to do, you know how to do it. Do you know WHY?
For example, you might hold the core value that your life is valuable and that it is your duty to take care of yourself. It’s not a just a good idea, it’s not something that you should do, it is something that you MUST do, because you have a purpose to fulfill and that’s going to take a strong mind and body.
The more you connect the actions you wish to take to your core values, the more you feel drawn to do what you must do, rather than feeling like you have to do it.
Great quotation from Seneca: “The wise person does nothing reluctantly.”
To find out more about identifying and fulfilling your purpose, you might enjoy my ebook: “Success: Stop Holding Yourself Back, Tap Into Your Full Potential and Achieve the Life of Your Dreams.”
2. Think immediate payoff. Sure, many of the habits you’d like motivation for have great benefits in the long term, but what about right now? To activate your action muscle, think of what’s in it for you in this moment.
A 30-something year old woman I met at the gym had a great technique. Finding out she’d recently lost 60 pounds, I asked her what her motivation was.
She said each minute on the treadmill counts, each rep matters. Constantly challenging herself, she says, “It will never be that hard again, each step, each rep is getting easier.”
Surprising finding from Michelle Segar, a psychologist specializing in helping people start and keep regular exercise habits. Dr. Segar notes that people who work out to prevent disease or lose weight are NOT the most motivated, and least likely to still be exercising six months after starting their programs.
Segar says connecting exercise to immediate benefits, such as more energy, improved mood, spending time with family or friends while exercising are much more motivating and likely to lead to sustained exercise programs over time.
How to use this tip if exercise isn’t necessarily what you want motivation for? Simply answer this question: In what ways will this action I’m taking immediately improve the quality of my life?
3. Just get started.
Did you know that fMRIs show that people register the task they are procrastinating in the pain centers of their brain?
Yet, when people begin the task, the pain centers are no longer activated.
Let that sink in for a minute.
When you’ve finally exhausted yourself with procrastination, and finally found the motivation to start on that task, it was rarely as bad as all that negative build up, right?
So, just tell yourself that you’ll get started, and relieve yourself of the pain.
As an entrepreneur, I do taxes for my business every month. Which is just about as fun as it sounds. I tell myself that the biggest benefit of doing them quickly each month rather than procrastinating is that I don’t have to suffer the pain of procrastination!
And it frees up mental real estate that I want to use for more important and interesting pursuits.
Works like a charm, every time!
4. Create a clear finish line.
Comedian Lily Tomlin has a great line: “All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific.”
To spark that internal flame of motivation, be as detailed as possible about the goal, and mini-goals along the way.
Aristotle said that humans are “teleological,” that is, we are driven to move toward things.
Make the most of this natural tendency and fan the flame that is your fire in the belly.
Ever thought about being an author? From the time I was 17 and for the next 27 years, I said “I’m going to write a book one day.”
Know how many books I’d written by the time I was 44? Exactly zero.
“One day” is so vague a goal, so obscure a finish line that it doesn’t even register in your subconscious as a target at all.
It wasn’t until I said, I’m writing this book (“College Success Your Way”) in two weeks, and when I’m done, I’m writing three more in six more weeks.”
With those clear finish lines, I met my goal. Actually, I wrote all of my first four books in a total of six weeks.
The point is, when you’ve got a really clear finish line, it’s much easier to get and stay motivated.
5. Go all in. In case you’re wondering, 100% commitment is actually WAY easier than even 99% commitment.
Let’s say that you say you’ll work out on “most days.” On which days do you not work out? Not Monday? Not the weekends? Not the first of the month, or the end? Or when it rains?
It takes a lot more energy to come up with these exceptions than to just say, I work out every day, even if that means 10 minutes at home. Period. No exceptions.
In “Success Principles,” Jack Canfield writes: “Successful people adhere to the ‘no exceptions rule’ when it comes to their daily disciplines. Once you make a 100% commitment to something, there are no exceptions. It’s a done deal. Nonnegotiable.”
Going all in, 100%, builds incredible momentum. It helps you build this habit into your identity. As in, yes, I’m writing today, because I’m an author, and that’s what authors do. They write. Daily.
One hundred percent gives you a wonderful sense of freedom, because you know you can count on yourself to do that habit. Your habit will also be established much more quickly and be MUCH harder to break!
What do you do to get and keep momentum?