5 Top Ways to Motivate Yourself

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check mark5 Top Ways to Motivate Yourself

Motivation—here today, gone tomorrow.

What is motivation and why does everyone want to "get" it? Why do we think we have to have it in order to start or finish something? Why does it seem so elusive or fleeting?

I think it's important to answer those questions before I share with you 5 top ways I have learned and used successfully for myself and with my clients over the years. This will give you a better basis for understanding why the techniques work and be willing to try them out.

And if you can learn what motivation is, where it comes from (and why it leaves), and how to get it when you need it to accomplish something, you can achieve more of what you want to in your business–and your personal life.

So what is motivation? The dictionary defines it as: the emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse, to act. The two key words here are EMOTION and ACT. Without emotion, there is no action. Without action, there are no results—no change, no growth. Although we can sometimes be fearful of change, as human beings we seek out newness and variety (at least on occasion).

I hear my clients (who come to me because they want change) often say, "I guess I'm just lazy" when they're not taking action on something. Laziness is a "throw around" word—people use it too freely and casually. People are not lazy; they are just unmotivated. They are stagnant (lack of action) and unemotional (lack of emotion).

We act off of emotion, not intellect. Just "telling" yourself to do something or relying on force of will ("willpower") is inconsistent, ineffective, and frustrating. Go back to the definition above. Thoughts backed by strong EMOTION create ACTION.

Emotion creates energy and, as we learned in science class, energy creates motion. The emotion can be pain or pleasure (current or anticipated), but either emotion can get you into action. Pain is an "away-from" or avoidance motivator and Pleasure is a "toward" or reward motivator. Most people are more "away-from" motivated, meaning they will be more likely to take action to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.

But this is not the best way to motivate yourself. First, because this means you need to put yourself into pain in order to take action. Second, because once you take action and move away from the pain, the energy that was driving the action (pain) subsides and then you are like a sailboat dead in the water with no wind.

"Towards" motivation is the better energy to elicit because it feels better and continues longer. Like a magnetic force, It draws you to the proverbial "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" vs. shoving you from behind. 

The techniques shared here are Positive Motivational Techniques with forward momentum. Using them allows you to view your future with excited expectancy and feel naturally drawn to take steps to move toward what you want.

  1. Be forward-motivated vs. away-from. Focus on what you want instead of on what you don't want; your subconscious doesn't know the difference. It only knows what you are focusing on and will create the conditions, energy, and perceptions that will match it.
  2. Chunk it down. Goals are best accomplished by breaking them down into small steps or small accomplishments (e.g., start by making 1 follow-up call every day, plan one speaking engagement a month, spend 15 minutes a day posting to social media, go to one new networking event, raise your rates by 25% this month).
  3. Engage your senses–Future pace to create emotion behind your goal. Remember, thought backed by emotion creates momentum. Bring yourself to your ideal future. SEE, HEAR, and FEEL the goal as if it has already been accomplished. Imagine it in the present and infuse it with imagery, sound (internal dialogue, external comments or music representing the wonder of it), and what you would be feeling—physically and emotionally—for having achieved it. Make it as vivid and detailed as possible and really live it for a full minute or more. 
  4. Clear the mental garbage. Change your internal dialogue (self-talk). How are you talking to yourself? Negative thoughts lead to negative action (or no action). Are you cheering yourself on, encouraging yourself, creating a "can do attitude?" Is your critical voice getting more air time? Change that negative dialogue into a supportive one.
    This takes diligence and practice to do consciously. Weeds grow wildly and easily in the garden of our mind. That's why I recommend using techniques such as hypnosis and EFT to speed up and maintain the process of clearing the weeds and planting the seeds.
  5. Engage support and accountability partners. Everything is easier and more fun when done with company (and usually gets done faster).
    a. Find a positive, supportive buddy who you trust to help keep you on track and committed to your success. Someone who has created the success you want or is good at encouraging others would be a good pick.
    b. Find someone who has the same goals as you do, so you can motivate each other and even work together to get your tasks done.  
    c. Hire a coach to help support and encourage you, develop sound plans of action, hold you accountable to that action, and assist with effective course correction when needed.

Even though we sometimes unconsciously fall into one of these positive motivating techniques, it takes a conscious effort at first to be consistent in motivating yourself into action to accomplish your goals. But the rewards are worth it.

So I encourage you to try all of them at least once. Practice them until you get better at them (remember, anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first). Keep the ones that work better for you and use them again and again. Pretty soon, you'll be unstoppable!

Do you need help generating or maintaining "towards motivation" to accomplish your life and business tasks?  Schedule a complimentary Strategy Session with me 
to identify what pain is driving your yo-yo motivation/action, and how to turn it into forward/pleasure motivation so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!

Your partner in success,

Lisa Smith
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach

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