How to motivate yourself?
Have you gone through difficult times? What are the activities you can do to feel re-energized?
In our journey to success, we’ve all experienced a sudden lack of motivation. We feel lost and start questioning why we started our project.
If we care enough about productivity, what can we do to maintain our motivation? What can we do to avoid falling back into our old habits?
How to motivate yourself: Review your why-power
I already talked about this in a previous article. Make a list of the things you want to have and activities you would like to experience. Write down what kind of person you want to be in the next 5-10 years. This is your why power.
Your why power is similar to what Stephen Covey calls “personal mission”. In his book, “The 7 habits of highly effective people”, he highlights that “A personal mission statement based on correct principles becomes the same kind of standard for an individual. It becomes a personal constitution, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives. It empowers individuals with the same timeless strength in the midst of change.”
If you have nothing to dream and nothing to strive for, you will easily get side-tracked. Whenever you feel down, get back to that list.
The little things count
Sometimes, we really feel like we want to do nothing. Even if our consciousness tells us to wake up and do something, we’d still lay on bed, play with our phones or chat on social apps. You do that until the moment when you’re so tired; you finally stop the unproductive tasks and just decide to do something.
Just do something, even the smallest task that will generate a little sense of pride. You do this because you want to regain your sense of control. It can be as little as making 5 to 10 reps of something.
Personally, I like to do 10 reps of kettlebell swing. It not only helps oxygenate your brain, it also gives you a certain pride. You can make your bed, make the dishes, the list is just endless. Just do anything that would help you have this control back. When you finish the task, you’ll be motivated to achieve another one. Remember that the little things count and that the small things are actually the big things.
Get pleasure out of it
If you decide to continue an activity but you’re not in the mood of finishing it; do less than you can. The point here is to build a momentum; not to become a martyr.
Whether it’s meditation, journaling, 10-minute cardio exercise, as long as we don’t consider it as a chore, we’re good to go. Remember it’s not a burden.
For example, if you planned to meditate for 10 minutes today but couldn’t go over 5 minutes, it’s all okay; just stop there and don’t beat yourself up. Maybe tomorrow, you will catch up or you will even be in a better mood and hit that 30 minute-session. The magic word here is consistency.
How to motivate yourself: List all of your accomplishments
It is a powerful exercise that will help on how to motivate yourself in a minute. Make a list of your goals and progressively cross them out when you accomplish them. As you create a list of your goals and your accomplishments; you would feel overtime that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. You will also gain self-confidence and you respect yourself more. Understanding this can motivate you to carry on and persevere.
Take a walk or exercise
Just to change our mind, let’s get out of our room; let’s take a walk or go to the gym.
Tony Robbins said: “motion creates emotion”. Even if we don’t want to go out, we will always be pleased at the end that we did.
For example, we gain great pleasure from waking up in the morning; we initially didn’t want to, but ended up all satisfied because we did wake up early.
It’s the same with work-out, we might not want to do it, but think about the great satisfaction at the end and just do it.
Whenever I feel lazy right before a work-out, I would visualize how great I feel after a 10-minute gym and just go for it.
We can only have one thought at a time. If we think positively, we naturally eliminate the negative thinking. As a result, we also get rid of our bad mood and negativity.
Gratitude helps us maintain a state of appreciation. Gratitude pushes us to swift away from negativity. As we practice gratitude, we are in a higher vibrational state, we are in a state of abundance.
Finally, if you want more in your life, remember that we get more of what we focus on. As we appreciate what we have, we will attract more in the future.
Watch a motivational video or read 10 pages of a good book
Reading or watching inspirational videos can boost your motivation. But be aware that motivational videos don’t get the work done; we still need self-discipline to accomplish the tasks ahead.
My point here is that what we feed our mind with results in action. If you plant motivational content, it will result in positive actions.
A couple of days ago, I noticed how lazy and undisciplined I became. With hindsight, I observed that I stopped listening to personal development books. Instead, music and entertainment filled my playlist.
I noticed that whenever I stopped listening to motivational content or read self-help books for a couple of days, it would result in lack of focus and huge lack of productivity. Don’t let that happen to you.
Look back into your past, check your old pictures
We put more our present situation in perspective when we travel in the past. You realize that you’ve been through a lot of challenges and difficulties. Despite these hard times, you still managed to overcome them, you literally survived and you are still standing strong.
Those past challenges actually helped you become stronger, they reinforced your sense of identity and they built your character. Jim Rohn said: “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better”.
If you get in touch with those old challenges, you will start to feel more motivated because you’re still here. Now, you’ll know how to motivate yourself and are ready to face the current challenges.
Watch a documentary that helps you relativize your situation
Sometimes we think that we are the unluckiest person in the world. Remember that there is always someone who suffers more, somewhere.
I like to watch documentaries depicting hard realities in poor countries or even in rich countries.
Some of these people would walk 20 miles just to collect water. Some would be content with just 1$ a day.
I’m not a masochist but their struggles help me realize how fortunate I am and there’s no better way to motivate yourself. In my mind, I would say something like this: “If some of them can hardly make the two ends meet, I can at least try to shift my mood and be productive.”
How to motivate yourself: Practice Meditation
Meditation makes us calmer and a solid body of research proves it. Daily meditation will help your reduce stress and depression. It even improves various cognitive functions such as attention and memory.
Finally, if you go through difficult times, meditation helps you see the situation clearly without any bias . In a nutshell, meditation can help you to be happy again!