How to Get Motivated

One of the most common challenges I hear when someone is looking to improve an area of their life is they just don’t have the motivation. So instead of doing what they know they need to, they wait…and wait…and wait. As soon as motivation shows up, they will be ready. But here’s the thing. It’s not motivation’s job to show up. It’s your job to go get it. Think about Nike. Is their slogan, Do It When You Want To? Nope. It’s Just Do It! Whether you want to or not. You know you need to, you know it would help you achieve your goal. So Just Do It!

Of course, if it were that easy, I could end the post right there, but it’s not. So how do you find motivation? Where does motivation hang out? Motivation has some friends, and often, if you find them, they will lead you right to the boss.

  • Threat – That’s right. One of motivation’s closest companions is Threat. When pain (or threat of pain) seems eminent, motivation seems to show right up. Many a cancer scare has caused people to quit smoking. When we feel threatened, either of losing something we value or not getting something we want (like a promotion), we suddenly find what we’ve been looking for all along.
  • Habit – When you get into the habit of doing something, motivation tends to slide right in, almost undetected. Start some good habits that will lead you to accomplishing your goal. When you get into good habits, you don’t need to think about it anymore – you’re just doing it.
  • The Feels – Good ol’ emotions. Emotions are what drive us, not our logical thoughts. Get your feelings involved in the search for motivation. Why would accomplishing your goal make you happy? Why would not accomplishing your goal make you mad or sad? Get deep here and really paint a picture with just how happy/mad/sad you would be.
  • Peer Pressure – Announce your goals to all your friends, family, and especially your enemies. Doing so will arm you with a bunch of accountability buddies. You tell everyone you’re cutting sugar out of your diet, there’s a good chance you won’t want to be seen at the local ice cream shop.
  • Planning – Schedule time to do what you need to do, and try to schedule it during your peak time. For example, I am most productive in the morning, so if there are things I know I have to get done, but may not feel like it, I put it on the top of my list. If we do what we need to do only if there is time left over at the end of the day, there’s a good chance it won’t get done.
  • Progress – When we start making progress, motivation tends to show up. If you have a goal to lose 20lbs, those first few lost pounds can really give us the momentum we need to keep on keepin’ on.
  • Reward – Rewarding yourself for milestones reached on your path to goal achievement is a great way to see motivation. Creating mini-goals along the way and planning a reward that you can get excited about will help keep motivation around.

There you have it. 7 ways to get motivation to visit you more. Now don’t just sit there…leave a comment about what your goal is, then get moving and Just Do It!

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  1. Love this list April! Nike certainly nailed it with their slogan, didn’t they! Planning really works for me as does scheduling activities in the morning. My willpower is seriously depleted by the end of the day so it often doesn’t happen then. I often use anchors through my day too – little reminders of my goal that I can touch base with through the day. This might be a reminder set up on my phone about my goal or a pendant I wear with a word that reminds me of what it will feel like when I achieve my goal.

    • Claire, you have added so much with your response! I love the idea of using anchors to remind you throughout the day what your goal is. Fantastic!!

  2. April, you have nailed it with this awesome list for motivation! I love planning, the Feels, progress and reward personally. Oddly enough, threat can make me unmotivated or rebel. I love this list for reminders and will be referring back to it when I need a dose of motivation mojo! Thanks so much!

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Jul’s!! Actually, there are many others, just like you, who dig their heels in when threatened. Knowing what does motivate you is the key! 🙂

  3. i kind of use a combination of 1) announcing my intentions to the world (usually via facebook) and 2) involving my emotions in the process. i used to rely solely on writing things down each day, but started realizing that highlighting what hadn’t been done (to move to the next day) was no longer keeping me motivated. the new combo seems to be working (for now)! thanks for the list of options, april!

    • That’s a great point, April. Carrying items over CAN be demotivating and make us pay more attention on what we didn’t accomplish and not recognizing what we have. Great examples, thanks, April!


  1. […] you read last week’s post on motivation. If so, you’ll recall that we are motivated by our emotions. One in particular, fear of pain, is […]

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