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How to Motivate Yourself

How to Motivate Yourself

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog for you on motivating others. With the winter blues well kicking in, especially coming home after work in the dark, this week’s blog is about motivating yourself. Motivating yourself is what is going to set you apart, true for any area in which you want to excel really. But how do you keep yourself motivated day in and day out, even on those days that you just want to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day? I hope the tips and tricks in this blog will help you power through your off-days and realise the goals you have set for yourself.

Here are some tips and tricks on self-motivation I found doing some research online and from my own experience:

  • Set intrinsically rewarding goals. Extrinsic motivators just won’t help you realise your full potential. Salary and bonuses will only motivate you so much, but they won’t help you excel.

  • The more specific these intrinsic goals are the better. By making your goals concrete, you increase the likelihood that you meet them as well as your level of performance.

  • If you need to motivate yourself to do an unsatisfying mandatory task, a tip is to focus particularly on the satisfying aspects. By highlighting them, you may decrease the aversion you have/had towards the task. Another tip is combining mandatory tasks with pleasant activities. This is definitely something I use all the time. When I have to dig through my mailbox that exploded in what feels like a fraction of time, I find myself a motivating song and convince myself that I am excited to read all of those emails all while enjoying a good song. One of my personal favourites: “Who run the world by Beyoncé”. Makes me realise that I am an independent woman and have worked hard for my job to even be able to receive such amounts of emails.

  • Reward yourself for getting the job done, in the right way that is. You should be rewarding yourself for the quality of the work you do, not necessarily the quantity alone. Mistakes could result in a lot more additional work, causing your productivity to go down the drain in the end. Also, you want to reward yourself contributing to your goals or at least not harming them. So, if you have just lost weight, stay away from rewards such as chocolates and cakes. However, if you have just been able to finish reading and handling those emails you were dreading, why not reward yourself with a book about productivity or membership to a fancy productivity tool? Personally speaking, I am not up for this next tip yet, but here it is just so you can see if it works for you: work with loss aversion instead of rewarding. By making yourself “pay a price”, you may be able to tap into a good source of personal motivation. To me, this sounds way too painful and for the moment I do well enough with the reward principle.

  • Break bigger goals into sub goals. If you are prone to get into slumps when you don’t get the feeling of accomplishment every so often, this is even more relevant. Dividing your goals into smaller chunks will help you track your progress and celebrate successes along the way, keeping you motivated the whole way through.  

  • Be inspired by others and inspire others! Funny enough, research has shown that the confidence you get from giving advice may even give you a boost to motivate yourself more. In the era of social media, getting inspired by others is definitely not rocket science. Think of following inspirators on their social channels and tune into some TED talks every now then. Liona and I are both very much inspired by Tim Ferriss among others.

  • Use your personality insights to find the best strategy for you and making sure that the environment you create for yourself accommodates your needs well.

  • Journal, so that you can keep track of your progress and celebrate the steps you have made. By writing things down, you will process your accomplishments. However, it also allows you to go back in time and compare the steps you have made in the meantime. When you see how far you have come, you will be motivated much more to continue your hard work towards your (sub-)goals. I do this on a daily basis myself in my planning tool, which I blogged about here.

 How to do keep yourself motivated? Any tips and tricks? Share it with us below!

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