12 Simple and Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself

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It is safe to say that the vast majority of us have the best of intentions when it comes to our daily lives.


Getting things done, finding the time to work out, eating healthy; these are all things that most of us want to do.

Finding the motivation, however, can be a real problem. Being motivated for success may sound easy on paper, but it is in the execution that the struggle ensues. I know that, for me personally, energy levels and the list of things I need to accomplish can play a heavy role in my motivation.

If you are an individual that struggles with finding the necessary motivation to get things done, a few effective tips can really help you get going in the right direction. Keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

Still, these are 12 simple and effective rules to follow if you want to get yourself motivated for success throughout the day.

#1. Just Get Going

This is the nice way of saying “suck it up.” Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if you are feeling motivated or not, you need to get the job done. Instead of waiting for the motivation to strike you, just get going on the job even if you start slowly.

That can be the kickstart that you need to feel properly motivated to tackle the rest of the day. It isn’t fool proof and you might find yourself dragging at a slower rate than is preferable, but it is still a step in the right direction.

Motivation is a tricky beast to handle and sometimes it is just easier to get moving and allow that motivation to catch up to you.

#2. Start Small

One of the biggest deterrents for me personally is looking at a particularly huge project. It can feel daunting, as though there is no possible way that I can take on the entirety of that project in an effective amount of time.

This is why starting small can be so important. Take a baby step toward the completion of the process. Getting that step done will leave you feeling a little better and a little proud of getting something done. Then you can focus on the next baby step and the one after that.

It isn’t necessarily the big dive into motivation that you might have been hoping for, but it can effectively get you moving in the right direction toward a successful and efficient day.

#3. Accountability Checks

It might not mean enough to have good intentions. Sometimes, procrastination can become too powerful and you wind up stalling even as your brain is telling you to move forward. A great way to combat this is by implementing accountability checks.

Tell your friends what you want to get done, be it on social media or through phone or social interaction. Ask them to check up on you and your progress as well. This makes it far less likely that you’ll try to weasel out of doing the things that you need to get done simply because you don’t want them scolding you.

Having willpower and motivation is great, but sometimes those things come from without. By any means necessary, right?

#4. Reduce Distractions

Depending on your work setting, there can be a few distractions or seemingly thousands of them. Whatever your work environment, limiting those distractions can be the key between procrastination and success.

Put your phone away if you can. Shut the door to your office or get to a quiet space if you work at home. You can even use browser extensions to keep you from randomly surfing the internet. Whatever you can do to stay focused, remove those distractions.

Finding motivation is all about the little things that lead to big success and keeping distractions to a minimum is a huge key to success.

#5. Play Some Music

While this tip doesn’t necessarily work for everyone – I personally don’t do too well when playing music as it tends to distract me – it can be something that provides you with the boost of energy that you need to be productive.

Something upbeat or that inspires you in some way is a great boost to help get you going or keep you going. That music can also make for a great break if you have been working at a particular project for a while and simply need to step away.

#6. Stay Positive

One of the biggest deterrents to motivation is negativity. Unfortunately, it seems as though negativity is far easier to foster than positivity. Change that outlook and you can give yourself the motivational boost that you need.

Think about the positives to the situation. What might be good about this project? Are there hidden opportunities? Maybe envision yourself at the end of the project feeling great about all the work you’ve done.

Whatever you can do to stay positive, do it. It will only help you to stay motivated and on task with the projects that lay ahead. You will thank yourself at the end of it all.

#7. Compare Yourself to Your Other Work

It can be all too easy to compare yourself to others who seem far more successful. When you do this, it leads to negative feelings about the work that you do, leading to distractions and a loss of motivation and production.

Instead, compare this project to other things that you’ve done. Think about how you approached those past situations and what you did to get through them positively. Drawing from those past experiences can provide the boost you need to get through your current project more effectively.

Again, it’s about remaining positive and comparing yourself to others generally only leads to negativity. Don’t let that negativity drag you down.

#8. Constructive Criticism

Approach each project with a mind toward what can be improved, but without being detrimental. Being overly critical of your work can lead you down a path of negativity and, as we have talked about, that can be hugely detrimental to the overall progress of your work.

Instead, look at things constructively. Focus on what you can improve compared to past projects in a more open-minded way. This will give you motivation to make those adjustments that you need to be successful.

Positivity can come in many forms and constructive criticism is meant to do just that. Being careful to not cross that line into nasty criticism is the key and something to keep in mind.

#9. Introduce Competition

The best thing about this tip is that you don’t need to involve another person, though that can help. If you work in a setting where multiple people are working on a particular project, implement some competitive spirit into the mix.

This extra bit of drive to be the best or to finish first can be precisely the motivation that you have been seeking from the start. But don’t let the competitive nature get too serious or it can wind up being detrimental. Keep things fun and loose and you will find a whole new drive for your project.

#10. Give Yourself Reminders

This can work in a number of ways. Maybe you can remind yourself of the positives that come out of a completed project. This can help you keep your eye toward the completion, pushing you gently along the path to success.

Or, maybe you can remind yourself of situations where you didn’t handle the responsibility so well and how it impacted you. If looked at from the right perspective, that negative reaction can produce positive motivation to get the project done in a timely manner while also ensuring that all of the details have been met correctly.

#11. Mix it up

Routine can be a blessing or a burden depending on the person. For me personally, that routine becomes boring and I tend to just go along with the motions. That can lead to missed details and a lack of productivity on the project as a whole.

Change up that routine. Do things in a different order. Maybe don’t do one of those things on a given day. Whatever you need to do to knock away the monotony, try it out. It will only help you to keep your focus and keep pushing forward.

#12. Take Breaks

Being motivated and productive doesn’t mean that you have to keep your nose to the grindstone all hours of the day. We are all human and breaks can help keep us sane. Instead of staring down the project for hours on end, get up and take a walk or grab a snack.

These breaks can help you from becoming to ingratiated in the project and missing some of the finer details. Those breaks can also help keep you from feeling worn down and overwhelmed in the midst of the project. Ultimately, they keep you fresh so that you can be more productive in the long run.

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Jesse Long

Hi, my name is Jesse, father of a Yorkie and the founder of motivation2life.com. I really enjoy writing, especially the inspired and motivational articles, and believe that they will definitely help you become better.

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