Increase Motivation Levels
Whether we are just starting out as young adults or are nearing retirement, or at any age in between, it is always the right time to set some fresh goals. Self-improvement can happen at any point in our lives, with only ourselves limiting the possibilities. Stop trying to convince yourself that the time is not right for change. Instead, venture out of your safe comfort zone a bit and push through the invisible barrier that keeps you stuck.
While all that sounds good on paper, how do you actually increase motivation levels enough to make the new goals happen? What may sound like a great idea at first can get lost in the what-ifs and quickly lose traction. How do you stoke motivation and get moving toward accomplishing something new? Learn some strategies that can propel you through the self-doubt and inertia toward reaching your benchmarks, and eventually your goal.
10 Ideas for Increasing Motivation Levels
Lets face it—inspiration is not going to land in your lap. You may happen upon some great idea that inspires you, but executing the idea requires a steady dose of motivation. Too often, we are the stumbling block—we simply do not believe in our own abilities to take on a challenge.
So, how can we shift our attitudes from self-doubt to self-confidence? Fortunately, there are many tools at our disposal to help increase our motivation level and move us toward achieving our aspirations. Consider these 10 tips to do just that:
- Commit it to writing. Talk is cheap, as they say. Formalize your goals by putting them in writing. Once you commit your dream to the written word it is much harder to ignore it. Go a step further and share your goal with a friend or family member. Telling others about your plan will deter the temptation to ignore or abandon your new goal.
- Make a plan. Take your goal seriously. Spend time thinking it through, doing some research, and sketching out a plan. If your goal is to start a business, the planning and development stage is critical to the success of any business. Even if the goal has nothing to do with business, approach it with that kind of scrutiny.
- Push through inertia. How many times do you plan to accomplish this or that goal and instead sit frozen on the couch glued to social media? Inaction is actually an avoidance response, keeping you from even trying to pursue your goal. This can be due to a fear of failure, so it is important to muscle your way through. Just decide to take that first step, even if you lack confidence.
- Create new habits. How quickly we can slide into lazy or unproductive habits. When initiating this new goal, work on also overhauling your daily routine. Find ways to cut out wasted time by getting up 30-60 minutes earlier, spending only a limited time online, and creating a to-do list for each day.
- Envision it. If you can visualize your dream you can literally will it to happen. Find some way to capture the goal in image form and tape it up in a high traffic place in the house. Stick a picture on your computer. Make the image your smartphone screensaver. Remind yourself all day long what you are aiming for.
- Set benchmarks. If you bite off too much all at once you are destined to fail. Instead, set several benchmarks to help gauge your progress in defined steps. This strategy keeps you from getting overwhelmed by the project while still guiding you forward incrementally.
- Surround yourself with inspiration. Seek out sources of inspiration to help fuel daily motivation. Watch an inspiring movie about overcoming odds. Read an inspiring memoir that reflects your adventurous mindset. Print several inspirational slogans and place around your home. Surround yourself with positive people and avoid the negative naysayers.
- Exercise. Include daily exercise in your routine for an added cognitive boost, a happier mood, and better sleep quality. All of these benefits from exercise will help to move you closer to accomplishing your plan. Exercise revs up your whole being like an engine revs up a car. Attempt to exercise 20-30 minutes per day for best results.
- Reduce distractions. Take an honest inventory of the things in your environment that often distract you during the day. If you work from home, this can be kids running around or noisy landscapers or a blaring TV. In you are in an office setting, it might be chatty coworkers. Social media and texting are big causes of distraction, no matter where you are. After identifying the main culprits, make some adjustments that will reduce the distractions that prevent you from staying on task.
- Reward yourself. At the outset of the plan be sure to identify a wonderful reward for yourself when you do achieve the goal. If you were able to complete the project, that feeling of accomplishing something special is already a reward. But above that it's great to have an amazing gift to you planned, be it a weekend getaway, a day at the spa, or visiting an out of state friend or relative.
Learning ways to increase motivation will not only help you succeed at your life goals, but also gifts you with renewed self-confidence and purpose. Use these life skills to make the very most of your time, and your life.
About the Author
Marissa Katrin Maldonado has been working in the behavioral healthcare industry for over 12 years. She is the founder of The Treatment Specialist, a national online resource for helpful articles about mental health conditions for adults, teens, and families. Dedicated to guiding individuals to the help they seek, Marissa believes that with the right support and guidance, those struggling will have the opportunity to turn their lives around and enjoy a healthy and happy life. She is a proud mother and wife and enjoys long distance running, traveling, and music.