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5 Straight-Forward Ways to Find Motivation Within Yourself

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5 Straightforward Ways to Find Motivation Within Yourself

You’ve taken advice to start a new habit or set a new goal from someone that seems important and knowledgeable. But, most, if not all, of the time you fell short.

Even though it sounded like good and reasonable advice at the time, when it came to doing it, you either just didn’t, or you found some reason to rationalize not doing it. Either way,  nothing inside you said, “no, I’m doing this.”

The reason it didn’t work is because if our motivation to do things comes from an outside source, the moment that outside source isn’t there any more (which is likely most of the time), we aren’t going to keep doing whatever it is we were trying to do.

So to make sure we actually stick to the plan, we have to be able to motivate ourselves, we can’t outsource motivation and hope to succeed. Getting the idea from an outside source is great, but to follow through, you have to internalize the motivation.

Here is 5 ways you can drive yourself to success:

 

1. What is your “because” clause?

If you don’t want your goals to slip into the abyss of “I’ll get to it when I have more time and energy” you have to understand why you have the goals you have.Meaning, there has to be a “because” clause at the end of declaration that you are going to achieve your goal.

For example: I am going to meditate for 15 minutes every morning because I want to have more clarity, focus, and presence.

If you don’t have “because” clause, you won’t be clear on why you are doing something. So, pushing yourself to keep going when it isn’t new and exciting, will be virtually impossible. Why torture yourself by slogging through the hard parts if you don’t even know why you are doing it.

Your “because” should be pretty easy to identify. Just ask yourself, what impact are you looking for in your life as a result of your goal? The answer should not be that you complete the goal. You have to figure you why you want to achieve your goal. Then, the motivation is the because clause in the sentence.

 

What's-your-why-
 

2. Give yourself only two options, succeed or fail

You don’t like to fail. I don’t either. It’s why we find it so hard to start something new, it means we might fail. It also creates a tendency in us to rationalize stopping or procrastinating when things get hard and it feels like we might fail. It is a seductive thing. We are very good at rationalizing why quitting is ok and why it is different than failing.

So, you have to guard against yourself. The best way to do that is to put yourself in a position that you can’t quit without failing. To do that you have to commit to what you are doing in a way that the only thing you can do is either do it, or fail.

Here’s how, and it works with whatever you are doing. Tell people what you are going to do. Tell them your “because” clause. And tell them you will not quit for any reason until you’ve done it. Tell people you respect, people whose opinion matters to it. Maybe it’s your spouse, your friends, your parents, or your colleagues. And then ask that person to follow-up with you regularly to check your progress.

This isn’t easy, but it is ridiculously effective. If you really want to push yourself, put yourself out there in a way that either you get the job done or you let down people you respect. You’ll be impressed at how hard you will work to make it happen.

 

3. The big picture isn’t that important. Focus on the small one

A huge reason we often lose motivation is that our goal feels so far away. If our goals are big and powerful, there’s probably a sizable gap from where we are to where we want to be. After we lose the buzz of getting started, covering that gap can feel impossible.

But in reality, that gap is just a bunch of small steps strung together. Each one of which you can absolutely do. And after you’ve done one, and then another, and then another, eventually you look up and you are nearly there. The key is to keep moving. In order to keep moving, you have to take those small steps.

So, how do you see a bunch of little doable steps instead of a uncoverable gap? I’m sure you’ve heard, break up your goal into smaller goals, six weeks, two weeks, one week. That’s good advice, but I’ve always found it really hard to follow.

Instead, I find telling myself that each day I have to spend 2 minutes doing something to take a little step towards my goal. If I get in 2 minutes, the day is a success and I feel good about things.

You’ll find if you just commit to the two minutes, you’ll often get more in. Two really is enough. It keeps you in touch with the goal, it creates and keeps momentum. You don’t have to sit down and create a year long plan with 52 week-long bench marks.

You just have to take two minutes and do something that moves the ball forward. You can do that every day. When you do, let yourself feel the success, don’t worry about how much you get done, it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you do it.

 

4. Can you see it? Touch it? Feel it?

After we set our sights on some audacious goal, if we want to stay motivated to complete that goal, we have to believe it is possible. As you may know, our brains are bad at telling reality from fiction. That’s why The Blair Witch Project freaked me out for quite a while after I learned it didn’t really happened. I knew it wasn’t real, but my mind saw it and there wasn’t anything my intellect could do about it.

You can hijack the same mechanism horror movies have been hijacking for decades. If you vividly picture yourself completing your goal, your brain will believe you can do it because it has already seen it, even though you just forced your brain to picture it.

It’s easy to do. I find, right before I go to sleep to be a good time. I’m always lying in a quiet dark place, so it’s perfect for visualizing things. Picture your success, what it feels like, sounds like, and if it has a smell or taste, add that in. The more senses you can get involved, the better. Then drift off to sleep knowing you’ve made that success a little easier as a result.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius

5. Visualize failure

Sometimes I need a little kick in the pants. You probably do too. Visualizing your success is important to getting yourself to believe you can actually achieve whatever you have set out to achieve. But on the days when you don’t even feel like spending the two minutes I discussed above, and we all have them, negative visualization is the trick you need.

You visualize what your life looks like in a month, year, or five years if you quit and fail to achieve your goal (the time is relative to the goal you have, pick the time frame you expected to complete your goal if you stick to it). Really visualize it.

Now, because you obviously want to succeed, having a clear picture of failure will push you to take the two minutes and do something that pushes you forward and guarantees you don’t fail today.

You’ll act so you make sure what you just visualized never comes to fruition. After you take that action, and this is critical, congratulate yourself and picture your success and how you took yet another step toward it. Don’t let the negative image sit on your brain.

What luck, you are absolutely in control of your own success

You are going to be the biggest reason you succeed. No one talks to you more than you talk to yourself. No one has more control over how you spend your day. Take advantage of the position you have as the person in charge of your life. When you have a goal you want to achieve, use the five strategies above to push yourself towards that success.

Thanks for reading my article! What things do you do that help find the inner motivation to push you?

Craig had an “aha” moment when he realized he didn’t want to be a walking contradiction to his son, teaching one set of values and living a life driven by a different set. So he had to make a change. He started Forge Tomorrow Today to help others in the same boat. Craig put together a guide to help you lock in your motivation so you are willing to crawl up the mountain if necessary, but you aren’t willing to quit, get it HERE.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Craig Boneau

    Oct 15, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Lawrence, I’m glad you found the article helpful. I agree, Number 1 is huge. If you have that nailed down, everything else is much easier.

    I’d love to hear how the others work for you. Come back and share when you’ve given them a try.

  2. Lawrence Berry

    Oct 13, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    These are all some great ways to help yourself to stay motivated. I haven’t heard or tried some of the ways mentioned, but they seem very rational. Number 1 is one of the biggest things that keeps me motivated, sort of like realizing what my purpose for doing something is. Many do things just for the sake of doing it, not having any purpose behind the act other than financial gains. I will have to try out visualizing my failure, its seems like a great way to get driven.

    • Craig Boneau

      Oct 15, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      Lawrence, I’m glad you found the article helpful. I agree, Number 1 is huge. If you have that nailed down, everything else is much easier.

      I’d love to hear how the others work for you. Come back and share when you’ve given them a try.

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Motivation

Money Making a Difference – Examples of Billionaires Using Their Money for Good

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How billionaires use their money
Image Credit: Tony Hsieh

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of a billionaire? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury. (more…)

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Motivation

6 Lessons You Can Learn from The King of the Jungle

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lessons you can learn from a lion
Image Credit: Unsplash

Do you watch documentaries on lions? If yes, then you must have seen that they dominate their territory and are apex predators. Lions are among the strongest animals in the world, and no one dares to confront or challenge them. They are called ‘kings’ because they have a touch of royalty in everything they do. From eating habits where 20-25 royal members dine at the same to conquering huge lands. A lion always has a bold attitude and lives like a true ruler. (more…)

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Motivation

The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone

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how to stay motivated when working alone
Image Credit: Unsplash

Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

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Motivation

7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success

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how yoga motivates you

Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.

Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.

Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.

I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.

Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.

Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:

1. It Solves Your Problem

When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.

2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress

Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety. 

Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale

3. Increase Your Focus

Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate. 

Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing,  and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.

4. It Helps in Redefining Success

Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential. 

If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.

5. It Boosts Your Health

Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically  affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments. 

Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.

“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra

6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present

Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations. 

Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.

7. Stay Aware and Positive

A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally,  it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self. 

Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.

To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.

Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!

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