Want to learn how to get motivated?
On this page you will learn a step-by-step checklist on what you need to do to get inspired and take action towards getting stuff done!
The most important thing you need to understand about how motivation works is this:
You will always move towards what you define as being more “pleasurable” and…
You will always move away towards what you define as being more “painful”.
The keyword here is define.
The way human psychology works is that once we create a set of beliefs about what we like and don’t like (or agree with or don’t agree with), they run on autopilot.
When you entered into this world, you have been making decisions each day about what you define as being pleasurable and define as being painful.
Once you make those decisions, you file them away and move along your life and everything you come upon in life gets filtered through those beliefs and they become habits.
You never need to “find” motivation to eat your favorite foods or watch your favorite shows.
At some point you made the decision that you loved those things and now you are always automatically going to do those things habitually without hesitation or even thinking about it.
They run on autopilot and you don’t have to “find motivation” to do them.
So if you are not motivated to do anything right now it’s because you have defined that task as being more “painful” than “pleasurable”.
“What you resist persists” – Carl Jung
What this quote basically means is that anything you avoid or put off will just get bigger and louder.
You cannot avoid life.
You cannot avoid your self.
You cannot avoid personal responsibility.
If something is there, it is there for a reason.
It is there to send you a signal and say, “Hey, you need to look at this and do something about it.”
You must face it otherwise the issue will just continue to cause you pain.
What many people fail to realize is that any challenge that presents itself in your life is there to serve you as an opportunity to learn and grow.
However, if you avoid the issue by procrastinating, it becomes your burden.
So stop avoiding your responsibilities, step up and face them, and become the better version of yourself now.
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Step 1 – Don’t Judge Yourself
The first thing you need to understand is that it is common for anyone and everyone to lose motivation in life or business.
It happens to the best of us.
Life is a series of phases where there are many ups and downs. This is why Buddhists focus so much of their practice towards finding contentment because in the Western world of “Happiness”, you need to understand that what comes with the highs also comes the lows.
So the first step to getting motivated is to take it easy on yourself, don’t judge or beat yourself up, and know that life is a series of ups and downs where some days you feel great, other days you feel ok, and other days are “low energy days”.
So right now, you are not motivated. You’re fine. There is nothing wrong with you and there is no need to play the “victim role”.
Step 2 – Know Your “Why?”
Whatever it is you need to be motivated for, why are you doing it in the first place?
If you need to be doing something you don’t want to be doing but have to, then find a creative way to do it. Make it an adventure.
You get to create your life each day so even if you have to take out the garbage, make it fun.
If it is something you want to be doing but have lost motivation for, then remind yourself “why” you wanted to do it in the first place.
We are all driven by purpose.
And more importantly, we are all driven towards what brings us more “pleasure” and moves us away from “pain”.
So whatever you need to do right now, define it in your mind that if you don’t do it, it will bring you more pain and that by doing it you will have more pleasure.
Step 3 – Follow Your Excitement
Your body already knows how to get motivated.
It’s called excitement.
The definition of excitement is “something that arouses enthusiasm and eagerness”.
This is very similar to knowing your “why” because ideally you should be following your excitement in life.
If you are, then should be motivated to do the thing you need to do.
However, where most people get lost with excitement and motivation is that they don’t connect the “small thing” to the “big thing”.
For example, if you have to do a mundane task that you don’t enjoy, if you don’t connect it to how it relates to your excitement, then it will be just that: a mundane task.
Your excitement is literally your bodies translation and signal that is telling you “go this way”.
If you are not excited by what you are doing, then there are two reasons for this:
A. You are not really excited by it
B. You are not excited about “how” it needs to be done
The “how” is where a lot of people get tripped up. Change the “how” and make it more fun and you will see yourself get motivated.
Step 4 – Take Baby Steps
One of the keys to goal setting is chunking things down and taking small steps towards your goal.
The mind tends to get overwhelmed with all the things that need to get done and will therefore feel like its some daunting task.
Take small steps.
Put one foot in front of the other.
And all of a sudden you will see yourself taking action and the rest will follow.
But whatever you do, don’t procrastinate.
Once you do, it will become a habit and then it becomes easier and easier to put things off until one day you wake up twenty to thirty years down the road and realize that you have not done much with your life!
Step 5 – Face Your Fears
Chances are if you are not motivated towards taking action is because there is a fear attached towards doing so.
Remember, you will always move away towards what you “define” as being more painful.
So the question you must ask yourself is this: “What am I afraid of?”
Write down all your fears on a piece of paper or Word/Google doc.
Then look at them.
Then ask yourself this question: What is the worst that could happen?
Write down your answers.
Now you are facing your fears.
Step 6 – Simplify Your Life
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to simplify your life.
Many people who lose sight on how to get motivated do so because in general, their life has too much going on.
If you have taken on too many responsibilities, you are going to need to prioritize them and, as painful as this may be, let some of them go.
Our minds and hearts like to do a lot.
Unfortunately, logistically, there may not be enough of you and time to do it all.
The question you need to ask yourself is this:
Is it more important that I do all of these things the right way or are you okay doing them all but not to the best of your ability?
Also, don’t you want to enjoy yourself in the process of doing it?
Way too many people are trying to get so much done for the sake of doing it yet very few of them actually enjoy themselves.
Take the time to do a few things the right way and enjoy yourself.
You’ll feel much better about it in the end.
Also, just because you say “no” to something now does not mean you will say no forever. Set it aside for the time being and come back to it later.
Step 7 – Use Breathing Techniques
In yoga, there is a breathing technique called “Breath Of Fire”.
This is a very powerful technique that brings a lot of energy into the body.
If you ever see athletes pump themselves up before they play, they are sort of doing the breath of fire technique.
Basically, you are bringing oxygen in and out of the body extremely fast and this will energize you.
Here is a short tutorial. Make sure you start slow and don’t over do it.
Step 8 – Use Inspirational & Motivational Quotes
Positive words have a very powerful effect on the mind. They can completely alter how your neurons are firing.
If you want to pump yourself up, check out our ultimate guide to inspirational and motivational quotes.
Find some quotes that you really like, and then read them over and over again.
In fact, if you are familiar with Tony Robbins, he said that one of the biggest reasons he was able to succeed was by using incantations which is basically a form of affirmations that he would repeat over and over again to psyche himself up to get accomplish his goals.
Step 9 – Move Your Body
If you are living a sedentary life, then you need to move your body.
Whether it is walking, running, spinning, yoga, pilates, basketball, soccer, tennis, surfing, whatever, it is your responsibility to “find your thing” that moves your body.
Going for a brisk walk in the morning for twenty minutes and then doing some jumping jacks is a great way to kickstart your motivation and mental capacities.
However, while walking is nice, you will definitely feel more energy coursing through you if you did something that really raises your heart rate like running, bike riding, or some form of aerobics or High Intensity Interval Training.
Step 10 – Visualize The Outcome
Because we are motivated by pleasure, it is important that you spend time visualizing yourself experiencing the outcome of whatever it is you need to get motivated for.
People have no problem being motivated to have sex, eat good food, or win money because those are things we already have established visuals for.
So spend a few minutes visualizing yourself experiencing the outcome.
Step 11 – Experience Small Rewards
If you are taking baby steps towards your goal, then you should experience some rewards.
Once again, we are all motivated towards pleasure and if you reward yourself, then this will motivate you to continue pushing.
For example, when you go to work you will get a paycheck within a week or two. And then you will use that paycheck to go to dinner and the movies.
That reward will keep you going. This is why being an entrepreneur is so hard because the payoff or reward won’t be for quite some time.
So make sure to reward yourself so that you experience the pleasure of what you are doing.
Step 12 – Create A Healthy Morning Routine
We are all the sum total of our habits.
Focus, discipline, and getting motivated all stems from what we do each day.
By establishing a healthy morning routine and constructive daily habits, you will create momentum.
This momentum makes it much easier for you to always be in a motivated state so that you don’t have to find ways to get motivated.
Note: The fact that you are reading this is a signal that you probably don’t have good habits because people who do, rarely lose motivation.
Step 13 – Ask For Help
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.
We all need help.
Even the biggest CEO’s and experts all hire consultants, coaches, and mentors.
If you have taken on a big task then find someone who has already done what you want to do so they can guide you.
If its something “more simple”, then ask a friend or family member to support you.
Whatever you do, don’t box yourself in and feel like you need to go it alone.
Step 14 – Be Held Accountable
This is somewhat relatable to asking for help but a bit different.
The idea here is that you want to tell someone what your goal is and be held accountable.
By putting it out there, this will help you to get motivated to do what you need to get done because its no longer something that you have committed to yourself.
It’s out in the world now and you have told people so you will be motivated to take action because you don’t want to let them down.
Once again, this is why having a coach or mentor can be quite helpful.
Step 15 – Remove All Distractions
Distractions are the number one killers of motivation.
Your phone, email, TV, etc. are all things that will take away your attention from what you should be doing: taking action.
One thing at a time.
Turn off the distractions!
If you truly want to learn how to get motivated:
- Don’t judge yourself and don’t play the victim role
- Know your “why?” and have a purpose
- Follow your excitement
- Take baby steps
- Face your fears
- Simplify your life
- Use breathing techniques
- Read inspirational and motivational quotes
- Move your body
- Visualize the outcome
- Experience small rewards
- Create a healthy morning routine
- Ask for help
- Be held accountable
- Remove all distractions
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