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Thursday, 16 August 2018

How to Motivate Yourself

Motivation can give you that extra push to get something done, but it doesn’t always come when you need it. If you’re struggling to start or complete a task, give yourself some encouragement to keep going. A little bit of pressure can help, so ask a friend, family member, or group to keep you accountable. If you’re trying to achieve long-term plans, make sure that you have clear and manageable goals so that you maintain your motivation throughout the process.


EditBuilding Enthusiasm

  1. Remind yourself why you want to do something. Sometimes, we need a little boost to help get us going on a task or project. Say out loud or write down the reason why you need to do something. Tell yourself the benefits of getting it done.[1]
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    • For example, you might say, “I am going for a run right now because I want to become fitter” or “I need to do this homework so that I can get an A.”
    • Remind yourself of the dangers of procrastination. Promise yourself something like “If I get this done now, I can leave work early today” or “If I can get this out of the way, I can work on something more fun.”
    • Build a vision board with images that represent what you want to accomplish in your life. It will help serve as a reminder of what you really care about.[2]
  2. Break down your work into smaller chunks. You may dread hours of work, but if you break your day down into smaller segments, work can be easier to deal with. Start with easier tasks that you can complete quickly to build momentum. For example, instead of saying, “I have to work all morning,” say, “I’m going to write this report in 1 hour, then I will go to the meeting at 11, and then it will be lunchtime.”[3]
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    • Block off segments and tasks in a planner or calendar app. Use different colors to mark off different tasks and time blocks. This can break up your day and make it easier to face.
  3. Make your activities fun. If you’re dreading the task or activity, it can be difficult to start. In this case, find a way to make the task more exciting. You might include other people or challenge yourself in a new way. Mixing things up can also help you get things done.[4]
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    • For example, if you want to become fitter but hate going to the gym, take an exercise class, such as kickboxing, Zumba, or barre.
    • If you’re studying for an exam, compete with a friend. See who can answer the most questions correctly or solve the problem the fastest.
  4. Promise yourself a reward when you get something done. Even if it’s just a small accomplishment, pat yourself on the back. You can give yourself a short break from work, treat yourself to a snack or latte, get a massage, or celebrate with friends. This can keep you excited and motivated for the next step.[5]
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  5. Give yourself occasional breaks to avoid burnout. While it is important to avoid distractions, too much work can make you less productive. Schedule occasional breaks throughout your day. Make sure you also take longer breaks over the weekend to rest and refresh yourself.[6]
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    • For example, you might take 5 minutes every hour to go to the bathroom or to stretch.
    • Schedule these breaks so that you have something to look forward to. For example, you might tell yourself, “If I can get these reports done by 2 pm, I can go take a quick break.”
    • Avoid multitasking and getting distracted by checking emails and your phone. Your productivity will only suffer.
  6. Tell yourself that you can accomplish anything. When it comes to motivation, you can be your own worst critic. To push yourself to do what you need to, give yourself positive affirmations. Remember that you can get this task done if you put your mind to it.[7]
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    • If you find yourself thinking negatively about a task, force yourself to restate it as a positive comment. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “I have too much work today. I’ll never get it done,” say instead, “If I start right now, it’ll all get done before the deadline.”

EditStaying Accountable

  1. Find an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who checks in on you time to time to see how you are doing with your goals. Ask a friend, mentor, or colleague if they would be willing to be your accountability partner.[8]
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    • Schedule meetings or phone calls in advance so that you have a definite date to complete a goal by. This can motivate you to complete something by that date.
    • Send work to your accountability partner for feedback. Give them permission to be honest and thorough with this feedback.
    • Your accountability partner can also send you occasional reminders, such as “Remember that you were going to submit the proposal by the end of the week” or “Have you applied for funding yet?”
  2. Create a list of tasks for yourself. Keep the list somewhere visible, such as your desk or computer monitor. As you complete each task, cross it off the list. This can give you a small boost of motivation. When you’ve finished everything, you’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction that will keep you going on your next project.[9]
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    • There are several to-do list apps for your phone, such as Apple Reminders, Microsoft To-Do, and Google Tasks. You can even set up reminders to keep you on track.
    • Use a daily task list to get everything done for the day. For bigger projects, use a separate list to mark off your short-term and long-term goals.
  3. Join a working group that focuses on the same activity. A group can help you stay on track while giving you support, feedback, and praise to keep you moving forward. Look for groups online through social media or check with your local community center, library, or town hall.[10]
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    • Whether you’re writing a novel or a thesis, check out local writing groups in your area. Look for them at universities, libraries, coffee shops, or bookstores.
    • Running, hiking, or other exercise groups are a great way to meet people while staying on top of your fitness goals.
    • Study groups help you learn class materials. Your classmates can help you understand difficult topics, and working together may make studying more fun.
    • If you want to learn a new skill, join a class. The others in the class can help you stay motivated while you all learn together.
  4. Create a routine for yourself. Build a schedule that works for you, but keep it consistent day to day. Try to do the same activities or tasks at the same time every day. Even if you’re not feeling up to the task, a routine can help you get in the right head space to accomplish it.[11]
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    • For example, if you want to build your own website, you might spend an hour every afternoon to work on the code.
    • Find out what time of day you work best. For example, if you get the most done in the morning, schedule your more difficult tasks for the morning.
    • Whatever you have in your routine should be done no matter how you are feeling. Even if you’re in a poor mood, you should try to stay on track with your schedule.
  5. Decide ahead of time how you will deal with setbacks. Plan for problems and obstacles before they occur. This will make you more prepared to deal with them instead of letting them get in the way of your work.[12]
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    • If you get negative feedback on a project, you might feel discouraged. Find an activity that calms you. For example, you might take a walk, doodle on some paper, or call a loved one.
    • If your computer breaks often and you need to write a report, keep the phone number for IT or a computer store handy. Identify where you can borrow a laptop or use a public computer at a library. If the computer does break, you’ll be prepared.

EditAccomplishing Long-Term Goals

  1. Define a specific, clear end goal for yourself. Sometimes it is hard to motivate ourselves when we’re unclear about where we want to go. Make a clear, actionable end goal that you can achieve.[13]
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    • For example, if you’re in school, your end goal might be to get into a certain college or to get a specific internship.
    • If you want to own your own company, decide what type of company it will be. Do you want sell a product, consult other firms, or provide services to the community?
    • Be specific with your goal. For example, if you want to travel the world, where do you want to go first? Do you prefer backpacking or would you like to take a cruise? Do you want to see the world all at once or do you want to break it up into several smaller trips?
    • Don’t let goals distract you from other important aspects of your life. Make sure you make it clear to yourself how much effort should be going towards each goal you create.
  2. Break your goal down into smaller goals. Once you know specifically where you want to end up, give yourself smaller benchmarks to achieve along the way. Write down a series of steps that will help you achieve your goal. This makes the goal much more manageable, thus helping you accomplish each task.[14]
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    • For example, if your dream is to own a house, you might have smaller goals to save money, build good credit, apply for a mortgage, and find a home in a certain neighborhood.
    • If you want to quit your job to sell handmade goods online, you might need to set up an online shop, create enough inventory to sell, and advertise your goods.
  3. Find a role model who has accomplished the goal before. If you know someone who has achieved the same goal before, try to follow their example. Use their story to give you extra motivation to keep going.[15]
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    • A role model can be someone you know in real life, such as a family member, boss, professor, or mentor. It can also be a famous person, such as a business leader or scientist.
    • If you know them personally, ask them what they did to get there. If they're a famous figure, try finding interviews or biographies that can show you the way.
  4. Post motivational quotes in visible areas. You might keep a poster up on your office wall, stick a post-it note to your bathroom mirror, or place a note on your fridge. Wherever you need extra motivation to keep going, put an aspirational or positive quote there to keep you going.[16]
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    • Keep the quote somewhere relevant to your goals. If you're looking to lose weight, for example, put it near your scale or bathroom mirror. If you're finishing a big project at work, stick it in your drawer or on your computer.
    • Look for quotes in books, websites, and motivational videos. You can buy posters online or make your own using paper and pen.
  5. Visualize your goals or dreams. For a few minutes each day, sit down and visualize obtaining your goal. Visualize having it, doing it, achieving it, or being it. What does it feel like? After the few minutes are up, how do you feel? Use this energy to start on your next step.[17]
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    • Work in the details to make it as clear as possible. Where are you? What are you doing? What are you wearing? How do you look? Who is with you?
    • A vision board can help you strive towards your goals. Make a collage or picture of your goals or dreams. Put in a place you will have to see it every day, such as your office or refrigerator. This can motivate you a little bit each day.


  • Consult a medical professional if this lack of motivation has been paired with feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, bouts of crying, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

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