How to Motivate Yourself:
Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the
emotional hurdle to getting stuff done when you‟d rather sit on the couch isn‟t
always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon has no
consequences for you, it‟s often a must.
For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet
when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the
rest of you, it‟s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.
Passion, habits, and a flow-producing environment can fail despite your best
efforts. In that case, it‟s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use
to get started. Whether you‟re starting a business, trying to lose weight, or
breaking a bad habit, learning self motivation is important for success.
Ways to Work Towards Self Motivation
Here are the top twenty-five techniques of learning that you can motivate
yourself down the road to success.
1. Go Back to “Why”
Focusing on a dull task doesn‟t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and
asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more
If you can‟t figure out why, then there‟s a good chance you shouldn‟t bother with
it in the first place.
2. Adopt Five Minutes Strategy
Instead of exhausting yourself with work all at once, you can work towards your
goals by adopting a five minutes strategy.
Start working for five minutes, then take a short break. Often that little push
will be enough to get you going.
3. Move Around
Exercise brings levels of mental clarity like nothing else. If you can‟t go to the
gym, follow home workout videos on YouTube or stream fitness classes on apps
like Peloton. If you prefer doing cardio outdoors, go for a run.
To build muscle, buy a pull-up bar or kettle bells and get to work. If you have
bad joints, go for a swim in your nearest lake or ocean.
The bottom line is that there are so many fun ways to stay in shape  and get
endorphins flowing, and it can help you learn how to increase motivation.
Get your body moving as if you were extremely motivated to do something. This
„faking it‟ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude, but it works.
4. Find the Next Step
If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the
next immediate step.
Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it
up so that it becomes manageable. Learn how to stop procrastinating in this
5. Find Your Itch
What is keeping you from working? Don‟t let the itch continue without isolating
it and removing the problem.
Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, restless, or
angry? Maybe it is because you aren‟t sure you have time or you haven‟t finished
your delegated tasks yet.
6. Deconstruct Your Fears
I‟m sure you don‟t have a phobia about getting stuff done. At the same time,
hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.
Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident; you can handle the worst-
7. Reframe Your Questions
Let‟s say a problem that seems impossible to solve has you demotivated. Then,
you can invest a lot of time upfront to frame the right questions.
In the Tribe of Mentors, author Timothy Ferriss encourages his readers to ask,
“How would it look if this [endeavor, goal, etc.] were easy?”
In The One Thing, author Gary Keller suggests you ask yourself, “What is one
thing I can do that would make everything else less important or unnecessary?”
Think about the problem you want to solve and ensure you ask the right
questions. Also, consider if you have assumptions baked into your line of
thinking. Remember: it‟s always better to ask (the right) questions than to
assume. These methods can turn a frustrating problem into an inspiring
8. Get a Partner
Find someone who will motivate you when you‟re feeling lazy. I have a friend I
go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate
you to work hard when you‟d normally quit.
9. Kickstart Your Day
Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the
morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far
Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!
10. Read Books
Read, not just for self-help or motivational books but, any book with new ideas.
New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here are
more reasons to read every day.
Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion, requiring less time to speed up
11. Get the Right Tools
Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers
that are too slow, inefficient applications, or a vehicle that breaks down
constantly can kill your motivation.
Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.
The free Worksheet For Instant Motivation Boost is a useful tool to help you
clear your mind and regain motivation.
12. Be Careful with the Small Problems
The worst motivation killer is facing a seemingly small problem that creates
endless frustration. Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones,
or they will kill any drive you have.
13. Develop a Mantra
Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn‟t matter
whether you pulled them from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to
tell you what to do.
If you aren‟t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can
find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally
14. Build on Success
Success creates success.
When you‟ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything.
Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether a
compliment from a colleague or finishing two-thirds of your tasks before noon,
can turn you into a juggernaut.
There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur
motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such
as exercising early in the day, or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.
15. Put Some Motivation in Your Ear
If you‟re stuck in a slump, I‟ve found that all it takes is one rousing speech to
change your mindset. Changing your mindset is a great way to learn how to
The right motivational content at the right time can transform your attitude.
Pop in your headphones, and do a Google search for “motivation.” There are
thousands of speeches on YouTube, even mega-mixes of motivational speakers
like Joel Osteen, Wayne Dyer, Les Brown, etc.
Here is a motivational talk that you can check out to improve your self-
16. Give Back to Others
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -
When you‟re hurting, the best thing you can do for yourself is to help others. It‟s
counterintuitive, but it‟s true.
Focusing externally on making a difference in the lives of others provides you
immense satisfaction, which can also improve motivation. These acts of service
make your problems look and feel smaller. Most importantly, you feel more
empowered to overcome any challenges you face.
17. Call Your Most Positive Friend
We‟ve all heard the adage, “You are the sum of your five closest friends.” It‟s
true because what our peers say, affects us.
If you suffer from negative family members or peers, their cynicism will slowly
infect you. Instead, drown them out. If your mother is pessimist-in-chief, tell
her you love her, and then draw some boundaries. Spend more time with people
that are always searching for the silver lining.
It doesn‟t matter if it‟s your best friend or that acquaintance you haven‟t spoken
to since high school. If you don‟t have anyone like that in your community, join
Facebook or LinkedIn Groups for positive thinkers. Attend a virtual Meetup of
like-minded individuals. Don‟t overlook the importance of your inner circle as
you learn how to improve motivation.
18. Find Your Creative Side
Creativity is an essential skill and will gain more importance in the future. It‟s
one of the few things that can‟t be automated, outsourced, or offshored.
Have you ever wanted to write poetry, play an instrument, or paint? Stop talking
about it and start doing it. Pull out a piece of paper, buy a starter kit online, and
unleash your artistic side to break through your slump.
19. Listen to Music That Moves You
There‟s never been a better time to go deeper into your favorite music genres or
branch out and explore something new. Start with a “Best of” list, like the
Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Use websites like SoundCloud and Spotify‟s Discover feature for finding new
artists. Most importantly, they can help you get out of a funk and back to being
productive as you learn how to increase motivation. Achieving your goal will feel
much easier with inspirational music in the background.
20. Start a Gratitude Journal
“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.” -Neale Donald Walsch
Let‟s take some lessons from the horrible pandemic—a simple but profound
one: just appreciate everything we have.
It wasn‟t our first crisis, and it won‟t be the last, so let‟s take heart in gratitude
for the simple pleasures in life. Appreciate that satisfying meal, the roof over
your head, loving friends, and family.
It‟s easy to fall into the cycle of wanting more. Instead, build the habit of writing
down three things you‟re grateful for in your journal every day. You don‟t need
to list a million items. Instead, go deep into why you cherish a few people and
things that mean the most to you.
21. Cherish Past Victories
Most people don‟t chase their dreams because of fear. They don‟t think they
have what it takes—talent, resources, connections—to accomplish their goals.
The best antidote is to relive your own victory story.
Think back to a time when you did something you previously hadn‟t thought
possible. Maybe you earned a promotion, got an A in a class, or traveled solo. If
it‟s been a while since you stepped out of your comfort zone, go back to your
Remember how you learned to ride a bike when you were scared, made a new
friend, or asked someone out even though you were shy? We‟ve all overcome
fear in the past, so keep it in your mind as you learn how to improve your
motivation each day.
22. Jot Great Ideas Down
You likely have dozens of great ideas each day, but life is a constant stream of
distractions. We often forget about these ideas before we can give them a second
thought or use them to create measurable goals.
Many comedians and artists get their best ideas in random moments—on the
bus or waiting in line at the store. When a motivating idea or thought enters
your mind, or you hear it outside, write it down immediately. This way, you can
refer to and build on them later, rather than let them fall into the quicksand of
23. Disable the Distractions
The average person gets interrupted once every 8 minutes. It‟s no wonder that
people struggle to stay focused.
Put your phone on do-not-disturb, or shut it off completely. Do the same for
your desktop apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or email. If you‟re in a noisy
environment, get noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. Follow
the Pomodoro Method and set a timer for 25 minutes.
By reducing distractions and scheduling regular breaks, you will find yourself
getting more done and going deeper into your work. You‟ll thus get better
results, creating a virtuous cycle of motivation.
24. Learn From History
If you‟re unsure how to become your best version, follow those who inspire you.
Maybe your idol is a parent or mentor—ask them about their past and discover
how they grew into who they are today. Investigate the lives of famous people
and find where their success left clues. Start with biographies or
Finding inspiration will help you learn how to increase motivation in the long
25. Just Breathe
The most important part of your daily morning routine should be meditation.
You‟re probably familiar with some of the benefits of mindfulness, such as
feeling calmer and better able to handle stress by reducing negative thoughts.
Through consistent practice, I also improved my mental clarity and focus.
We all have a “monkey mind” that‟s always on the move, like a monkey swinging
from branch to branch. All of life‟s distractions consume our thoughts, even
when it‟s unproductive.
By meditating, we can consciously choose which thoughts to interact with. This
practice gives you the mental space to operate at peak motivation and