Simple Self-Motivation Techniques
How often do we begin to go through our work to-do list, start an exercise regimen or begin a project, only to give up part-way through? It happens to everyone. There is, however, one vital trait that can help us complete what we start: self-motivation.
Self-motivation is an individual’s drive to improve skills, achieve goals and meet (and exceed) expectations. Try the following strategies to help jump-start your motivation—and success.
Set goals. Decide what you wish to achieve, then create a roadmap to accomplish your goal. Your roadmap will help you track progress and stay motivated. Write down specific reasons you wish to complete a goal: getting praised by the boss, acing your next performance review, the satisfaction of a task well done. Your reasons will be far more motivating than a vague goal like I want to improve.
Focus on internal rewards: enjoyment, satisfaction, fun. If you enjoy creating spreadsheets, this will never feel like a chore. We’re all more dedicated to our work when we love what we’re doing.
Focus on external rewards: a paycheck, positive feedback, employee awards. Even when you’re unhappy at a job, these can be powerful motivators.
Stay optimistic. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by a challenge or just plain depressed, list some aspects of your job that make you happy and excited. Then, as much as possible, focus on those tasks—and see if your mood and motivation don’t improve.
Celebrate progress. Reward yourself. Whenever you complete an assignment, take some time to savor the accomplishment. Have a cup of coffee or a chat with colleagues, take yourself to a movie, have lunch or dinner with friends. What’s more, completing a goal will bring you a sense of satisfaction that will spark even greater motivation.
Quit making excuses. If you find yourself whining about being too tired, too put upon or too slow to move forward, banish those thoughts. Turn to another task you know you’re good at, take a short walk, and so forth. Make every effort to divert your thoughts and actions to something more positive.
Practice gratitude. Every morning or evening write down what you’re grateful for from that day—everything from a smile from your child to a win at work. You’ll likely be amazed at the number of things you come up with. This is a great way to improve both your outlook and your self-motivation.