Motivation is a little like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. You need motivation in your daily life to get the big tasks done that make a real difference to your future – even if there are other things you’d rather be doing instead.
It’s human nature to take the easiest path. The more you fight against your nature with motivation, the easier it becomes to make healthy choices. Here are some tips to boost your motivation:
1. Remind yourself what’s in it for you
One of the reasons we often lack motivation is because we can’t see why a task is important or valuable or beneficial – either for ourselves or the world as a whole.
Bring a task back to its basic roots and figure out how it’s significant to you. Doing well in school means you may be able to get into the university of your choice, or impress a potential employer. Doing a chore around home helps to keep you on good terms with your parents, which means that when you ask if you can go to a party on the weekend, they might be more likely to say yes.
2. Give yourself a fresh start
A popular mindset trick that can work wonders for motivation is to see a task as a fresh start. There’s a reason New Year's resolutions are so popular – they help us to disconnect from our failures over the past year and focus on looking at the big picture of our life. You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve – craft a message for yourself reframing a task as a fresh start. Promise yourself you’ll make things happen today. Believing in yourself is half the battle.
3. Make a commitment
You could use a commitment device – like writing yourself a contract, or making a pact with a friend where you’re both accountable to each other – to help motivate you to succeed. Making a commitment works because you set a concrete goal, and you create consequences for yourself if you miss that goal. Maybe you’ll donate $1 to charity for every workout you miss, for example.
4. Set small, measurable goals
Break down big tasks into smaller parts. You want each part to be able to be achieved in less than an hour. It’s much easier to motivate yourself when you can see an end-point in sight. When you complete one of these small goals and cross it off the list, your brain gives you a mini hit of dopamine, which encourages you to push on with the next goal.
5. Create rituals and routine
When you perform a task over and over, you create a habit that then becomes difficult to break. As humans, we do this easily with bad habits – smoking, sleeping in, watching TV all evening, playing video games until the early hours of the morning. We can also create habits out of our healthy choices, such as a morning routine that involves exercise. By replacing bad habits with healthier ones you can improve your daily levels of happiness and motivation.
Motivation doesn’t have to be an elusive force in your life. Use these techniques to transform your mindset and achieve the goals you set yourself.