7 Ways to Motivate Yourself Every Day
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you struggle with finding motivation? Does your growing task list inspire fear rather than action? Do you regularly “get it done” or more often “come undone”?
Look, we’ve all been there. There are some days when it feels impossible to get motivated. You are not a machine, and life brings ups and downs in energy and focus. Yet in order to achieve your goals, motivation is essential.
Energised and persistent goal-directed behaviour is the only thing that will get you those results you want – whether it’s in your business, at the gym, in your relationships…in fact, in any area of your life.
So, what does it mean to be motivated? Well, motivation is literally the motive to move. It’s an inner drive to make something happen, and without motivation, nothing much is accomplished. Responsibilities and tasks pile up. Goals fall by the wayside. Another week, month or year passes without doing that thing you promised yourself you would do!
Life can start to feel overwhelming. Confidence wanes. Desire drops off. Motivation becomes even harder to find.
However, with a few simple strategies you can learn to motivate yourself every day. And the more consistent you become, the greater your forward momentum will be.
So, with that, here are 7 ways to motivate yourself. Even doing just one of them will help. Try all seven and you’ll find yourself revved up and ready to go on a regular basis!
1. Understand what motivates you.
Motivation means the “motive to move”. So to increase motivation, you have to know what really moves you. I have found that people who complain that they lack motivation are simply not in touch with their deepest reasons why.
Now, some people are motivated by a sense of accomplishment. Others are motivated by money, the need for power, control or certainty. Still others are motivated by achieving for their family. There are a great many possible motivators. The key is finding what motivates you in different scenarios.
In my coaching work, the first thing we do after getting clear on the goal is to determine the why. I have people dig deep to find their most potent and profound reasons for making the changes they want to make. Often it has to do with being a role model for their kids, or leaving a legacy and making a difference to the world.
When people connect to their true driver, their energy changes. They start to tingle all over, they get excited, their voice changes and their heartbeat quickens. In this state, it is impossible to stop people – because they have found what really moves and inspires them. That energy literally takes over their body. And when you’re feeling unmotivated, you can tap into that desire and get the kick-start you need.
For example, if you’re motivated by money, but feeling flat, you might kick-start your day by doing something that earns a profit.
Personally, I find the most stable form of motivation is the simple joy of doing whatever you are doing. Look for the joy in everything you do – even the most boring or mundane tasks, when you really allow yourself to “drop in” and be present to them, can become enjoyable.
2. Create a morning routine.
Are you constantly hitting the snooze button, sleeping in, running late, or wasting time on social media first thing in the morning? Do you check your emails when you start your day, and then feel overwhelmed by all the work that awaits you?
If you start the day with low motivation, then chances are you are going to struggle to find it throughout the day. Get intentional and start your day with an awesome morning routine. This really is essential because it helps to set the mood for the day.
Basically, if your morning routine doesn’t increase your motivation, it needs to be changed.
A morning routine that supports motivation and energy might include:
- Exercise – walking or stretching.
- Meditation – five to ten minutes is all you need.
- Music – the right music can set the tone for your day. Combine it with exercise or meditation and BOOM! You’re away.
- A healthy breakfast – lean protein, vegetables, healthy fats. Skip the processed carbs, refined sugars, fruit juice and saturated fats.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
3. Do what you love.
Intrinsic motivation is very powerful and it simply means doing the thing is motivating because you enjoy doing the thing. Exercise is like that for a lot of people (but not everyone). So make a list of all the things in your personal and work life that are fun for you, that you really enjoy, just for the sake of it.
Then, aim to start each workday doing one of the things you find fun or that inspires you.
So, take a few moments now, and reflect on what you enjoy doing? What activities in life do you find fun and look forward to? Do you love to dance or sing – then start the day dancing and singing. Do you love to get your hands in the soil – then why not start your day with 30-minutes in your garden?
Now, let’s look at work? What part of your business or job do you feel passionate about? Is it speaking to customers, writing articles, zeroing your inbox? Start your day focusing on those tasks and responsibilities and you’ll boost your energy for the day.
If you start your day doing something you dislike, it’s really difficult to feel motivated. Conversely, if you start each day doing what you love, the rest of the day is much easier to manage. And it’s much easier to get out of bed feeling upbeat and motivated.
If you notice your energy drop during the day – take a 5-10 minute break doing something you love (walk in nature, watch a comedy clip, listen to your favourite tune).
And if there are tasks you really resent, try pairing them with something you love. Music plus bookkeeping. Favourite sitcom while doing dishes. Experiment and find what works!
4. Be mindful of taking time out.
Modern life can be pretty hectic – even when you are doing stuff you love.
And in order to keep finding the motivation to do the things you love – chances are you are going to need some time out from those things occasionally too. (aka balance)
Of course we are all practiced at taking time out. We stop for lunch, we go home and turn on the TV, we scroll through social media, we get away for the weekend.
But is our choice of “time-out” effective? Does it really give us the break we need? Does it recharge our motivation?
I think there is a simple key to solving this “what is effective time-out?” puzzle – and its mindfulness. What is mindfulness? In a nutshell, it means being consciously aware of the present moment as its happening.
Look, I’m the first to say that scrolling through Facebook is not the best time-out option – except when it is, and except when you do it mindfully.
What about watching Netflix? You can bring mindfulness to that too: pay attention to your breathing, become fully present to what you are watching, tune in to the space around you, or the space within you. Ask yourself: is this what I need to recharge right now? This is how to do TV mindfully.
Also, effective time out doesn’t have to be hours a day – although it can be – if you are super busy right now, then look for moments where you can close your eyes, breathe and reconnect to the source of your energy and inspiration. I call these “mindful moments” and they can help you get through long, busy days and still have energy right up til the moment you hop into bed.
Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash
5. Use your brain.
The human brain is hard wired to move towards pleasure and move away from pain. Therefore if you want to increase motivation (remember motivation is about action or movement), then you can influence that by associating pain or pleasure with the direction of change you want to create.
Let’s say you want to increase motivation for exercising.
Well, first you have to focus your brain on all the pain that is being created by not exercising, and this includes all the future pain that will be created by not changing. You have to really imagine it in incredible detail, so that you can physically feel the consequences of not changing. You might take time to think about the lethargy you feel, the extra weight you carry, the way you puff whenever you do mild activity, and you could also imagine how you won’t be able to keep up with your kids, or you could see yourself as a much older person with health problems.
Next command your brain to associate pleasure, fulfilment, success or happiness to exercising regularly – see yourself feeling great, looking fit, enjoying life, keeping up with your kids – and keep picturing the changes until you shift your physiology. You’ll feel this happen – you’ll get excited, and energy will start to surge in your body, you’ll feel yourself wanting to get up and get moving.
Tony Robbins says this is the only way to create a compelling sense of urgency for change. He says it’s not about whether we can change (of course we can change anything we put our minds too) – its whether we will actually change – and “whether we will or not comes down to our level of motivation”. 
6. Cheer yourself on.
Self-talk is powerful. The conversation you have with yourself inside your own head matters. And it makes a massive difference to motivation.
If you think being hard on yourself is the way to get motivated, you’re dead wrong. Self-compassion, kindness and positivity is what actually works. I’ve tested it on myself and my clients. It’s radical, but it’s ridiculously effective.
Simply consider how you would encourage a friend who was struggling with motivation? Would you yell at them, berate them, criticise them, call them names?
“You’re hopeless, useless, lazy!”
So why is it okay to speak to yourself in this way?
Start being kind and supportive. Tell yourself you believe in yourself. Cheer yourself on.
I used to be really hard on myself, very self-critical. And I used to think that this self-talk would make me more successful. I was wrong. It just made me unhappy.
Nowadays, I’m like, “You got this Shelle; You’re doing great; Keep it up; Great effort; See if you can go a little longer, but if you really need the night off, then take it, you deserve it.”
I speak to myself like a really supportive, loving friend who believes in my capacity and my integrity.
7. Make a plan
Planning your day (or week) ahead of time is one of the most effective techniques for increasing motivation and getting things done. When you come up with a plan, you go through it in your mind’s eye first, you write it down and think through when you will complete each action – and in this process you actually see yourself getting it done – and that, in itself, is highly motivating. My clients report having their most productive days when they take 10 minutes each morning to write out a brief plan for the day ahead.
So, block out chunks of time in your calendar. Schedule in the things you need to achieve, estimating how long it will take to do them. Create a To-Do list (Here’s my favourite ToDo app). Decide what your exercise routine will be for the day or week ahead. Have your meals planned and prepped in advance too. In fact, get everything prepared that you can – this will ensure you complete your plan.
Also, you might also want to consider the potential obstacles that may arise. Think through them, and make a plan for how you will deal with them should they occur.
Finally, include a reward in your plan, especially if the activity is something you want to become a habit. Habits are established through rewards which then develop into a craving to do the activity in order to reap the reward. As I stated in point 3, some activities are inherently rewarding, so the reward is inbuilt. But others will require you establish a reward in order to embed the routine as a habit.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about these key strategies to increase your motivation. My hope for you is that you start achieving more of what you want to achieve, and increase your fulfilment, productivity and success. Life is short. You don’t want to waste the precious moments you have got.
I’ve got some bonus material for you this month with my list below of the TOP TEN MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS…
Have you got any stories or tips about staying motivated? Please share them below…
Until next month,
 Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
Top 10 Motivational Books
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen. R. Covey
2. Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
3. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
4. The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
5. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven
6. The Power of Positive Thinking: 10 Traits for Maximum Results by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
7. Choose Yourself by James Altucher
8. Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
9. Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
10. Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel
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© Michelle McClintock. Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications
The Mindset Mentor
Michelle McClintock is a Life & Business Mindset Strategist who specialises in transforming your mindset so you can experience more peace, happiness, success and fulfilment.
Michelle has 30-years experience in personal development, as a Psychologist, Facilitator, Speaker and Results Coach. She loves it when people get new insights that spark massive growth and positive transformation.
Through her writing and videos she makes complex coaching and psychology ideas easy to digest and assimilate, so you can create your ultimate life.