How To Keep Yourself Motivated

Motivation can come and go, whether we like it or not. Feeling unmotivated can make life more difficult, making even the simplest tasks challenging. If you’re looking for a way to get your mojo back and on track, here are some expert tips to help reignite your enthusiasm.

Change Your Mindset

Is fear or self-doubt holding you back? Try doing something uplifting to combat these negative thoughts. Instead of mentally punishing yourself, make a decision to be kind, patient, and gentle, just as you would for a friend or family member. Reassuring tools like gratitude journals and daily affirmations can help inspire positive thoughts and counter the ones that tell you “you’re not good enough.”

Check In With Yourself

Are you confused about your next steps? Try taking a step back to investigate what’s going on internally. Experts say that confusion and insecurity about your life’s direction are signs that you need to do some critical self-reflection. Once you figure out what’s wrong, your sense of relief and accomplishment from resolving the issue will naturally propel you forward.

Ask yourself critical questions like:

  • Are you uninterested in your goal because it’s hard or boring?
  • Does your goal still align with your values and interests?
  • Is something (or someone) distracting you?
  • Is there something that could help you push past where you are right now?

The sooner you get those answers, the faster you can start working on solutions.

Take (Frequent) Breaks

Are you feeling unmotivated because you’re tired or overworked? Overexerting your energy is a surefire way to end up burnt out, which makes it hard for you to stay motivated. Taking frequent breaks conserves your energy, which boosts your drive and keeps you working at a steady pace. There are several break options that experts swear by:

  • Inc. Magazine suggests taking a break hourly.
  • The Desktop app suggests taking a 17-minute break every 52 minutes.
  • The Pomodoro Technique recommends taking 5-10 minute breaks every 25 minutes.

Reward Yourself

Are you more likely to want to do something if there’s a reward or incentive? If you’d like to reignite excitement, create a reward system. Research suggests that the sooner you receive compensation for your work, the more likely you’ll keep at it. Receiving an award can be encouraging and make your goals more appealing. Reward yourself by creating benchmarks for your goals and treating yourself with an outing, gift, or special activity every time you surpass one

Use Your Resources

Are you someone who needs an outside push to stay on track? If you answered “yes,” it may be time to bring in additional resources. Being self-motivated takes a lot of discipline and mental strength, which can wane from time to time. Receiving help can relieve you of pressure and stress, both of which negatively affect motivation.

There are countless tools for goal tracking and productivity that can keep help you stay motivated:

  • Try a productivity app like Asana, Trello, and Todoist.
  • Seek expert advice from a therapist or life coach.
  • Get answers to your burning questions from self-help books (Master Your Motivation by Thibaut Meurisse is a good one)
  • Find people to hold you accountable in a support group.
  • Learn from the masters by finding mentors or signing up for a master class.

Take Baby Steps

Does your dream seem too big to tackle? Try breaking it into smaller, more manageable goals, making your workload less scary. You can create a natural flow by working on things one step at a time. Once you take one step, another step will follow, and before you know it, you’ll be on the road to completion. Instead of overwhelming yourself by focusing on the end goal, boil your idea down to its skeleton and work your way up. You’ll find that the work won’t be as overwhelming once you’ve broken your idea down into simple steps.

Make Work Fun

Are you putting off something because of a lack of interest? Sometimes we avoid work because it’s boring, which makes it hard to commit to. When this happens, spice things up by making work more enjoyable. When something is fun, you’re naturally motivated by your excitement and curiosity. If you find yourself stuck on a task because it’s dull or uninteresting, think of ways to enhance it to make it more appealing to you:

  • Manipulate your workspace by adding music or decor.
  • Make work playful by creating challenges or exercises.
  • Dreading going to an event? Ask a friend to tag along with you.

Adding an inventive spin to your to-do list will spark your curiosity and ignite your inspiration to want to try.

Be Realistic

What if I told you that these feelings that you have – confusion, insecurity, apathy – were all a part of the human experience? Would it be helpful to know that we all go through the same thing? The reality is that sometimes achieving goals is hard, the path to success rarely turns out the way we expected, and no one stays motivated all the time. If you don’t wake up feeling your best or things aren’t going according to plan, don’t beat yourself up. It happens to everyone. Grant yourself grace, flexibility, and time to work through your confusion and figure things out for yourself. Your life’s goals and motivation level are circumstantial and can change depending on where you are in life.

More often than not, we discourage ourselves with unrealistic expectations and impossible standards. Author Thibaut Meurisse suggests getting the blueprint of someone who walked down a similar path for a healthy dose of reality. Hearing from someone who “walked the walk” provides a realistic glimpse of what it really takes to achieve your goals. — and reminds you that it CAN be done.


Photo: Unsplash

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Kaillaby is a health and wellness blogger from NYC. Her passions include yoga, journaling, and being in nature. Her desire to guide people to happiness and general well-being was inspired by her own struggles with anxiety and mental health. She administrates, a lifestyle blog that uses essays and daily newsletters to motivate people to become the best versions of themselves. You can follow her on IG @happinessovereverythingblog or Twitter @kaillaby. Happy healing!

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