Motivating yourself is hard. In fact, I often compare it to one of the exploits of the fictional German hero Baron Munchausen: Trying to sustain your drive through a task, a project, or even a career can sometimes feel like pulling yourself out of a swamp by your own hair. We seem to have a natural aversion to persistent effort that no amount of caffeine or inspirational posters can fix.
1. Set goals
When you set a goal, you make a decision to act in a way that will help you achieve what you want. Goals give you a direction to focus on – one that’s measurable and has an endpoint. This can help you to stay motivated.
2. Choose goals that interest you
You’re much more likely to stay motivated if you’re working towards something that you genuinely want to do or achieve, rather than what other people want for you.
3. Find things that interest you within goals that don’t
Sometimes other people set goals or tasks for us that we don’t find interesting or want to do. So, try and find something within that task that does motivate you. For example: ‘I find maths challenging, but it’s going to help me become a builder, which I want more than anything.’
4. Make your goal public
If you tell someone – or write down – your goal, you’ve essentially made a promise to keep your word.
5. Plot your progress
When you’re working towards something, it can be really motivating if you can see evidence that you’re making progress. Draw or create a visual representation of how you’re coming closer to achieving the goal you’ve set yourself.
6. Break up your goal
Start with easier tasks and work your way up to bigger challenges. Breaking up a task in your mind into achievable chunks helps build confidence.
7. Use rewards
Promise yourself some sort of reward each time you complete a step/task.
8. Don’t do it alone
Join a class, or find a teacher or someone you can share the experience with. Other people’s encouragement to keep going can be a big boost to your motivation, particularly when you’re doing it tough.
9. Understand your why
Sometimes it's not so much the what or the how that matters, but your why--the purpose behind what you're doing. Being clear about what you're working for can give you the stimulus to stay on course.
10. Define your goal
Defined goals put your ideas into action mode. It's the vital step between planning and doing.
11. Create a clear vision
If you want to succeed, you must create a clear compelling vision, something that you can relate to and resonate with. If it doesn't speak to your heart, it won't motivate you to stay on target. Create the highest grandest vision possible, because you can achieve only what you see.
12. Produce a plan
Once you have a goal in place, a plan will take your vision and break down the steps you need to get it done. A goal without a plan, as we know, is just a dream.
13. Look for the bigger picture
When you have to stay motivated, think of the bigger picture. How does this relate not only to yourself but to others? How will it contribute to something important? Where will this make a difference? To accomplish more, think bigger.
14. Keep it positive
Positive thoughts lead to positive actions, and self-affirming statements will help you to achieve your best. Take control of how you think, how you feel, how you act. Positivity will help you make the choices that lead to accomplishment.
15. Approach tasks in new ways
Sometimes just getting started might be the problem. A different approach might give you a new perspective and more energy.
16. Get organized
Make sure your workplace is uncluttered so your mind can be organized. A calm environment gives you a better chance of being more efficient and productive.
17. Tackle procrastination head on
Don't make excuses or waste time rationalizing why you haven't already started. Instead, try to uncover the real reason for the delay and get to work immediately. The best way to begin something is just to begin.
18. Seize the power of deadlines
Setting a time limit for an activity will enable you to assemble your resources and materials toward accomplishing things you might not otherwise get done.
19. Stop multitasking
Don't divide your attention but give your full and undivided self to the task at hand. When you do, your chances for success go way up.
20. Starve your distractions
Do what you need to do to stop being distracted by people, tasks, or electronics. Devise strategies to help you start and complete tasks without any distractions or interruptions.
21. Stay in the zone
Your best and most productive work is usually done when you're in the zone. Ask yourself how to create the perfect environment for you to do your best work and keep at it until you're done.
22. Choose success
Choose to be successful, then stick to your choice and see it through to a conclusion. By creating a mental picture of yourself successfully completing a job, you can increase your chances of success.
23. Keep it fun
If you seriously want to stay motivated, find a way to make it fun. Fun is not the enemy but a great motivator.
24. Harness the power of optimism
Belief that you can accomplish something is essential to your ability to do it. Optimism is the foundation of progress.
25. Reward yourself
Learn what it takes to get yourself to complete dreaded tasks and set up a system of rewards for completion.
26. Visualize yourself succeeding
Visualization is a powerful technique that can help you to focus, stay motivated and achieve your goals. By creating a mental picture of yourself successfully completing a job, even the worsts tasks can feel like part of achieving something big.