Motivation and desire are nice to have when you need them. But what can you do when you need them and they’re in short supply? You can generate your own enthusiasm. You don’t have to wait to be inspired. Inspiration is in your hands. Like any other skill, you can learn to be motivated and full of desire on demand.
Learn to motivate yourself and get those challenging things done:
1. Keep your purpose in mind. If you require motivation to do something, there must be a reason for doing it. Keep that reason in the front of your mind. Are you dieting to fit into a special dress for your high school reunion? Are you learning to play the piano so you can sing Christmas carols around the fire with your family?
- Remind yourself daily of your “why.”
2. Set appropriate goals. Goals that are too small aren’t motivating. Goals that are too big are overwhelming. The perfect goal will excite you without overwhelming you. Goals are an excellent motivation tool. If your goals aren’t exciting, you have some work to do.
- Remind yourself of your goals each day. Set aside a specific time to review your goals. Read your goals aloud and visualize your success. Imagine how you’ll feel when your goal is reached.
3. Pay attention to your progress toward your goals. Nothing motivates like success. Whether you’re motivating yourself to do a better job at work or to stay on top of the clutter at home, notice your success and be proud. You deserve it.
4. Take breaks. One effective way to destroy your motivation and desire is to work non-stop. Take regular breaks and keep your motivation high. Studies find that most people do well with a 10-15-minute break each hour.
5. Have gratitude. It’s easy to feel down when you’re struggling and focused on what you don’t have. Remind yourself of all the people and things you already have in your life. When you have gratitude, your mood and desire will improve. Spend just a few minutes each day and mentally list all the things and people in your life that allow you to feel grateful.
6. Find a form of external motivation. Some people can generate motivation and desire through internal means. Others need external pleasure or pain to generate enthusiasm. There are several ways to do this.
- Tell others what you’re trying to accomplish. Once people know your business, they’ll be busy watching and judging you. Did you say you’re never going to drink another can of soda again? It will be difficult to bring yourself to do it in front of others again.
- Promise yourself a reward. Once you get that promotion, take yourself to Hawaii. Or get a new wardrobe when you lose 25 lbs. Make your reward something that’s meaningful to you.
- Punish yourself. Cheat on your diet? Give $10 to a charity you don’t like. Late to work again? Throw out your favorite pair of shoes. While we don’t like to admit it, humans are often more driven by pain than by pleasure. This can be an effective way to keep yourself motivated if you can follow through on your threat to yourself.
When all else fails, get started. A little action can bring about motivation.
Motivation is nice when it occurs organically, but it’s not a reliable method. It’s possible to create your own motivation with practice. Practice these tips regularly and you’ll always be able to take care of business rather than waiting for
inspiration to smile upon you.
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