I have shared 7 practical tips below on how to get motivated. When you improve your behaviour, you can boost your mood and motivation.
I began to revisit what I know about how to get motivated, after I was feeling unmotivated at work for a few days. My mood started to improve in a single day, when I used some of the techniques below.
I believe we all have times when we feel down and we need to recall how to get motivated. Many self help books will tell you to ‘be positive’ but I believe that’s an over-simplification of an otherwise good philosophy. After all, I do believe the quicker you can bounce back from negative thinking, the faster you get back on track to achieving your goals.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it” -Lou Holtz, retired American football coach, active sports caster, motivational speaker and author.
I’m going share some practical ideas with you on how to get motivated. I have used every one of these techniques, multiple times, and I have found that just using one of them can significantly improve my mood and my motivation.
You might fear doing something because you imagine the ‘worst case scenario’. If the action you’re avoiding would be an important step towards your goals, you need to overcome that fear. If you want to overcome that fear, you need to force yourself to take action. I have pushed myself to do things I don’t particularly want to do at times, knowing I had to do them. Cold calls, presentations, fitness tests and shooting tests (for a different job) all began with me taking action, even though I was nervous to start.
You might find writing a daily journal can help you find motivation. I read about a few successful people, who kept morning journals, so I decided I gave it a try. Try writing about what you are thankful for, what I want to achieve and occasionally unanswered questions or insights you have. The American Psychological Association previously found evidence that expressive writing does in fact boost health and helps people deal with stress.
I’m currently reading a great book called Change Your Thinking by Sarah Edelman, PhD. In her book, Edelman describes the link between emotions and behaviour as bilateral; meaning emotions affect our behaviours and behaviours can influence our emotions. Start behaving as if you’re already motivated. For example smile, stand up straight, make eye contact and use the right tone of voice to project confidence.
Sometimes a goal seems too big to leap from where you are. Break your goals down into smaller milestones, so you can celebrate small victories along the way. Christopher Bergland calls these ‘micro’ goals, as opposed to ‘macro’ (the bigger) goals in his article on Psychology Today. I have tested this approach and found it has helped me in several areas of my life.
Sometimes we need to switch off all of the outside noise and give ourselves time to think. Go for a walk, do some light exercise or sit quietly in a park. Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., states solitude helps us concentrate and be more productive. It’s no coincidence that people say, “I need to go for a walk and clear my head”. I do exactly that when I need some clarity.
I always enjoyed sitting with a mocha and a good book to soak up the morning sunlight. My Fiancé Kayla, a psychology student at the time, pointed out that morning sunlight has mood improving benefits. I looked it up and found a helpful article, which outlines a few benefits of getting more sun, including an increase in the mood lifting chemical, serotonin. You can read more in ‘What are the benefits of sunlight?’ by Rachel Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN and medically reviewed by Mark R Laflamme, MD.
I have written about the importance of visualisation in my own book, Time to Start. I have used visualisation in pursuit of my own goals, sometimes without even realising it! Construct a successful outcome in your own mind, using visualisation, and it will improve your chances of success. AJ Adams, MAPP, has written an article called, ‘Seeing is believing. The power of visualisation’, in which she describes some uses, examples and benefits of visualisation.
“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind” -William James, American philosopher, psychologist and physician.
I am not flawless, always happy or always motivated. I believe the above techniques have helped me bounce back when I am feeling uninspired.
You should try a few of the ideas above, if you are struggling with how to get motivated. Remember, you need to act on these ideas; not just read them. Maybe today is the day for you to get your mojo back!