Have you ever been awed by the motivation of a successful entrepreneur, leader or athlete? I have. It’s not jealousy, either. Far from it. It’s respect for how motivated they are. Even though I consider myself fairly motivated, their examples encourage me to become even more focused and driven.
The good news is that by adopting the following ten habits, anyone can become more motivated.
1. Find your why.
“Highly motivated people start with their WHY. WHY do you do what you do?,” asks J.D. Meier in an article for Time.
“If you climb a mountain simply because it’s there, that’s probably not enough to keep you going when the going gets tough. If you know WHY you do what you do, and it matters deeply to you, then you will find your strength in any situation,” adds Meier.
Why do you want to start a workout regiment? Because it was suggested by your doctor? Did you spouse mutter a comment? Are you tired of feeling lethargic? Once you find your why, you can use that to motivate you to follow through with exercising.
2. Feel what you feel.
“When disappointing or upsetting things happen, some people get overwhelmed with negative emotions, while others try to avoid those feelings all together,” writes author Erika Anderson in Forbes. “Neither alternative works very well - getting stuck in anger, frustration, sadness, or disappointment can paralyze you, while pretending that you're not feeling anything can have long-term negative effects on your health and mental state.”
Instead, find the middle path where you actually feel your feelings and then move through them. If you’re really ticked off about a colleague who stole an idea, it’s all right to let that anger out in a healthy way, such as venting to your best friend. Instead of letting it fester, get it off your chest and move on.
3. Get your morning started on the right foot.
One of the easiest and most powerful habits that drive motivation is kicking off your day correctly by having a morning routine. Think about. Getting your started on the right fee makes it a lot easier to stay motivated through the entire day.
To ensure that you wake-up on the right side of the bed, try these tips:
- Have a reason to get out of bed. It could be anything from walking your dog to making sure your kids are off to school to squeezing in a workout before work.
- Stretch and breathe deep. This gets the blood and oxygen flowing to your brain, and helps you get up.
- Do something simple to start the day. I make my bed immediately once I’m up. It’s not because I want the bedroom to look presentable. It’s because it’s an easy task that makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished something - even though I’ve only been awake for a couple of minutes!
- Create rote tasks. As explained by Due’s Miranda Marquit, “Look for ways you can make mornings easier by creating rote tasks that are easy to accomplish. We don’t like to face a day that starts hard. Do what you can to make it easier. Once you’re up and moving, you’ll feel better and eventually be awake enough to tackle the hard stuff.”
- Set goals for the day. This doesn’t have to be lengthy. Just list your top priorities for the day.
4. Change it up.
There’s an old saying: variety is the spice of life. Variety keeps your motivated to meet goals when you haven’t yet made much progress and risk falling into a rut.
Changing things up is like your workout routine. You can’t just work on your legs. Other parts of your body need some loving too. Keep doing the same exercises and you’ll soon plateau.
The same is true for any aspect of your live. Changing things up gives you chance to break-up the monotony, try out new skills, and have new experiences that can lead to new ideas or develop a new passion.
5. Chart your progress.
This is a simple way for you to see how far you’ve come along. Sounds simple, but think about when you set a reading goal. Maybe you want to read more books. Your initial goal is to read just for a five minutes a day but once you start you're reading for 10 minutes and now you’re up to 30 minutes a day and you're flying through books.
If you can do thirty minutes, then why not bump-up to forty? Just imagine all the books you’ll be able to read! Mark this on your Calendar each and every day.
6. Create environmental anchors.
This is simply writing your goals or inspiring quotes on a Post-it or 3x5 card and placing it on the wall of your office, the inside of your car, bathroom mirror or calendar. A daily reminder of your goal will push you to accomplish it.
7. Join a group, online or offline.
Self-motivation is tough. Think about going to the gym by yourself or when you tried to quit smoking. It was probably a whole lot easier when you had a partner in crime so that you could push each other.
Whether it’s joining an online forum, taking a class or joining a support, being with people who share the same goal will keep you focused and motivated. You can share advice, provide moral support and inspire each other to keep pushing forward when you feel like throwing in the towel.
8. Develop gratitude.
Just by identifying the one thing every day that you’re grateful for is powerful enough in helping your achieve both mini-goals and your big goals since it develops the ability to look for a daily opportunity that you can grow from.
For example, if you’re grateful that you just landed a new client today, then use that feeling and experience to secure two new clients tomorrow.
9. Discover your passion.
Obsession can be an extremely powerful motivator since it creates its own motivational might. In fact, the most successful individuals are those are who chased their passion and are doing what they love to do.
When you become passionate, whether if it’s at work, exercising, or volunteering, it no longer becomes laborious. It becomes something that you enjoy, look forward to, and want to get better.
“Visualization is the process of forming mental images and pictures of a desired future,” writes Hanan Parvez for PsychMechanics. ”Those who have dreams and visions of an ideal future life visualize more naturally than others.
Visualization is not idle, fruitless activity like daydreaming but in fact it can dramatically increase a person’s chances to turn his dreams into reality.”
How can visualization encourage motivation?
“We are motivated by emotions and when we visualize we also experience the emotions that are associated with the thing we are visualizing,” writes Parvez. “By visualizing how your life will be like if you did or didn't reach your goals, you can motivate yourself tremendously. You can both positively and negatively motivate yourself by visualization.”
Believe it or not, research has found that mental practices are almost effective as true physical practice for athletes.
Additionally, as Tomas Laurinavicius explains in the Huffington Post, “Visualization process works as a form of relaxation as it reduces anxiety, with visualization there are no limitations, you can be and do anything. You can gain inspiration to pursue your dreams as you have already seen them happen, boost confidence and improve focus to work toward your goals.”
Laurinavicius recommends that you, “Start with a simple skill that you want to learn, like waking up earlier or eating slower. That way you can practice with something easier and strengthen your visualization skills before tackling the big complex skills.”