What are the best strategies for self-motivation?
And more importantly, why does motivation even matter? To answer these questions, I want to illustrate a scenario to prove my point.
You’re probably familiar with this experience: You wake up feeling sluggish and bogged down. In a sleepy fog, you manage to pull yourself out of your slumber. Your workout shoes lay at the side of your bed. Then the commitment you made to yourself the night before hits you, “I told myself I’d work out first thing in the morning today.”
You stumble past your shoes, ignoring their presence as you absentmindedly begin your day. But this nagging feeling in the back of your head gnaws at you: You lied to yourself; you said you were going to work out but you didn’t. The outcome? Self-trust is broken and a little bit of your integrity is chipped away, weakening your character as a direct result.
Strategies For Self-Motivation
Motivation is a necessity.
Many self-improvement “gurus” harp on the importance of discipline (which is crucial), while at the same time, denouncing motivation. And yes, discipline is the key to achievement and growth because it keeps you going through trials and tribulations. However, that’s only one side of the equation.
Because the truth is you could not be disciplined toward anything if you didn’t have the motivation to start it in the first place.
But with this in mind, how can you develop this quality? What strategies for self-motivation could you learn and employ to begin making progress toward your goals? Keep reading to find out 7 simple strategies for self-motivation.
1. Remember Why You Started
“If you can remember why you started, then you will know why you must continue.”
You probably had many compelling reasons for starting a particular goal.
What are they? Why is achieving X, Y, and Z important to you? A big reason why we fail is because we lose sight of why we started in the first place. You have to reconnect to that sense of purpose to reestablish motivation.
Consider what motivated you to start your current pursuit.
Go back to those desires; they came to you for a reason. This is one of the most potent strategies for self-motivation because it brings you back to the original intentions that sparked your ambition. This is what you need to do when you feel your inspiration fading.
Here’s the deal…
People who give up usually lose track of why they started in the first place. And once that happens, failure is not far behind. It doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, you can avoid that outcome by simply keeping your reasons at the forefront of your mind as often as possible.
2. Take Action Anyway
“The more often a man feels without acting, the less he’ll be able to act. And in the long run, the less he’ll be able to feel.”
No one ever said accomplishing your goals was going to be easy.
It takes time, effort, and energy to do anything worthwhile. We all need to accept this fact and take it to heart. Look, the truth is sometimes you just need to suck it up and act regardless of how you feel. It’s called discipline.
But here comes the good part…
Motion creates emotion. What does that mean? It means that the more you act, the more the motivation and inspiration will find you and help propel you forward toward your goals; in short, you will begin building momentum.
This is perhaps one of the most practical strategies for self-motivation.
And for good reason: It works. Nothing can take the place of action. So if you’re lacking in motivation, force yourself to act and see what happens. You’ll be surprised at how your motivation will come roaring back.
And if it doesn’t?
Then be content with the fact that you acted anyway. Sometimes you’ll just have those days when inspiration for action eludes you; that’s okay. By taking action despite feeling at your best, you are at least moving your life, inch by inch, toward your goals and dreams.
3. Throw On Your Headphones
Sometimes you just need the right input to reignite your drive.
So throw on your headphones and play something inspiring and motivating. Feed your mind with heartening content. This simple act can put you in the right frame of mind to begin making progress again.
You can listen to:
- Inspiring or motivating music
- TED talks, etc.
Fill your mind with inspirational and educational content. This will help you return to a more productive mind state. Remember, input equals output. The more your mind is saturated with the right content (regardless of the medium used), the more you’ll act in alignment with that stimuli.
4. Create a Mastermind Group
A mastermind is a group of appointed friends (coaches and mentors are great resources as well), carefully selected, to help you (and vice versa) stay accountable to your goals. This concept can also be described as having an accountability partner(s).
This idea can be very beneficial, especially if you’re really struggling to stay motivated and on track. A mastermind group is one of the best strategies for self-motivation. And here’s a few reasons why:
- Share your wins and losses
- Collaborate with like-minded people
- Improve your thinking and frame of mind
- Collect valuable ideas and feedback
- Gain insightful knowledge on ways to improve
- Have someone to turn to in hard times
- Stay committed to your goals and dreams
It’s hard to do everyone on your own; sometimes the need for others is necessary. And that’s where the power of a mastermind group can be of tremendous value to you.
5. Change Your Self-Talk
Typically, a dip in motivation is the result of a poor narrative getting played out in your head. Shift your thinking. Stop letting weak, doubtful, and pessimistic thought patterns creep in and hijack your mentality. You’re better than that. Changing your thoughts is a simple process; it begins with:
- Identify the thought: Catch yourself when you notice the cynical thought beginning to seep into your thinking. Many times, these thoughts are unconscious. So a good way to detect them is by monitoring your emotional state. If you’re feeling demoralized or downhearted, the culprit is, more than likely, your negative thoughts.
- Correct the thought: Correcting your thinking from negative to positive is one of the best strategies for self-motivation. This process enables you to take control of your mind. The result? You can more easily engage in the work that needs to be done.
- Replay the thought: “Repetition is the mother of skill.” For this reason, you need to continually repeat your replacement thought to yourself. This might seem odd at first but do it anyway. It won’t feel odd when your motivation comes roaring back and you’re ready to attack your goals with a renewed sense of vigor and determination.
6. Do Not Deviate
Many people, when they feel a lack of motivation, make the mistake of assuming they are on the wrong path. And so what do they do? They switch gears and jump on to the next idea that seems “easier.” This is what is known as shiny object syndrome.
Here’s the deal…
No matter what you decide to do in your life, it’s going to A) Be harder than you think it is, and B) Take longer than you suspect it will. Time and again, I have found this to be the case with almost every long-term goal I’ve set for myself.
And when you set and achieve enough goals, you’ll realize the same thing.
It’s human nature: We always underestimate both the degree of difficulty of an endeavour and the length of time required to achieve it. What does this mean for you? It means Do Not Deviate. The more you jump from one thing to another, the less likely you are to succeed at anything.
Set a goal and stick to it until completion.
These words will save you a lot of time and mental energy. Stay the course. There’s nothing worse than being scatterbrained and flaking out on your goals because of a lack of grit and fortitude.
7. Take An Inventory
It’s important to periodically take stock of yourself.
When you begin losing steam, this simple tip can help reignite your enthusiasm. So take a look at your track record. Review some of the wins—big or small—that you’ve had in your life.
Consider the following:
- Previous goals you’ve accomplished
- Bad habits you’ve quit
- Challenging things you’ve done
- Difficult situations you’ve gotten yourself out of
- Interesting or unique skills you’ve developed
- The connections you’ve made
- The people you’ve influenced or helped
The fact of the matter is, regardless of your current lot in life, there are things you’ve done and accomplished and seen success in. What does this mean? It means that you’re capable of more success
If you’ve won before, you can win again.
That’s why this self-assessment is essential; it forces you to acknowledge your past successes and, by doing so, use them as evidence that you are capable of future success.
Next Step: Use These Strategies For Self-motivation
Motivation is a fleeting emotion.
It comes and goes; however, you can influence it by taking certain actions. Those actions have been listed in this article. With time and practice, you can develop an icon-clad mind that can ride the waves of motivation toward your goals.
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