Yes, I know. You don’t feel like doing anything. I’ve been there, and in fact I still feel that way every now and then. You’re not alone. But I’ve learned a few ways to get motivated when I know I have to get stuff done.
1. Have a singular goal in mind.
Most times we feel unmotivated because there’s simply so much going on in our lives. There’s so much stuff to do that we feel like doing nothing at all. Choose one thing to do, just one, and do the best you can. Tell yourself that this one thing will be the one and only thing you will do today, so you might as well get it done with.
2. Find inspiration.
Inspiration, for me, comes in the form of podcasts or motivational videos. Listening to incredibly successful (and driven) individuals gets me going.
3. Get excited.
This sounds counterproductive, but you got to force yourself to feel excitement about what you are supposed to be doing. Remind yourself of your why, of the moments of glory, of why you’ve struggled for so long.
4. Write down your goal.
Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long and post it up on your fridge. Post it somewhere you are bound to see it. Stare at it. It will be a constant reminder of what you have to get done.
5. Realize that motivation comes and goes.
Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again. Sometimes you feel motivated, sometimes you don’t. But just like any other feeling, you can force it upon yourself. Motivation, just like inspiration, has to find you working. If you force yourself to do the work, even if you don’t want to, you’ll soon feel motivated.
6. Never, ever, ever give up.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up.
7. Little by little.
If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. Commit to just fifteeen minutes of work. Baby steps. Realize that even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step. And you’ve got to take that first step if you want to reach your goal.
8. Celebrate small successes.
We often feel unmotivated because we are staring at the big picture. If your goal is to make a million dollars this year, then you will not feel like doing the work today. Or tomorrow. If you do not celebrate earning a dollar, you won’t feel motivated and inspired enough to go the distance.
It’s the journey that counts, and if there’s no joy in it, then there’s no reason for us to even attempt to reach our destination.
9. Think about the view from the top.
One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Take exercise, for instance. We often don’t want to do it. Just thinking about it exhausts us. Well, think of the way you feel after a workout, the way you’ll look. Visualize yourself after you have accomplished your goal. Imagine.
The climb is much more enjoyable if you can imagine the view from the top.
10. Reframe negative thoughts.
If your mind is telling you that you can’t do it, do your best to reframe these negative thoughts. Fear is a self-imposed limitations. Turn fear in on itself by being more afraid of what is going to happen if you don’t do it.
We all have doubts and fears, but the most driven of us keep going until they get the job done, no matter what.
Motivation is a habit. It takes a lot of time and patience to cultivate it. And the more we force ourselves to be productive when we don’t feel like it, the easier it will be for us to feel motivated when we need to be productive.