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A 10 Step Action Plan for Instant Motivation

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If you need immediate help, try these ten tips over the next ten days and then observe how your life changes. Write down the changes in a personal notebook. Continue with what works and discard what doesn’t.

Here are my 10 tips for instant motivation:

1. Your self-motivation program starts the night before

Try to get to bed early. If you are tired or sleepy throughout the day (even if it’s from boredom) remember that an hour of sleep before midnight is worth more than an hour of sleep after midnight. So rearrange your schedule to go to bed earlier.

2. Plan the next day the night before

In your personal motivation notebook, write down what you plan to do tomorrow. With each activity, make sure it is framed in a positive way. For example: Instead of “prepare monthly report” write down “prepare monthly report—knock my boss’s socks off.” You get the idea. At the end of your list write down “something great happens that I don’t know about.”

3. Reflect and visualise the things on your list prior to bed

It’s okay to feel this way—just put any fears or guilt about feeling this way out of your mind by refusing to give such thoughts energy. Keep concentrating on how great your list feels. Your self-motivation program is kicking in already.

4. Write down what has been causing you to lose motivation at the end of your daily plan

Go ahead and write them down, it doesn’t matter how big or complex they seem to be. Now it’s time for some well needed sleep. Just before falling asleep, tell yourself that you are going to gain new insight into the list of issues or problems you just wrote down.

“A well spent day brings happy sleep.” – Leonardo da Vinci

5. Fall asleep to some music that concentrates on the higher music octaves

This will open up the higher centers of your mind and prepare your subconscious mind for problem solving.

6. You should lie in bed the next morning for a few minutes

Read over your daily plan and once again, imagine how good it will feel when things go your way. Now get up and get ready for the day feeling very self-motivated.

7. Eat something for breakfast that has a decent amount of protein in it

If you are a coffee drinker, think about giving it up. Feeling nervous or jittery will definitely interfere with your self-motivation. Here’s a good tip: Don’t give it up cold turkey, that’s too hard. Instead, make every other cup you drink a cup of decaf. Pretty soon you won’t be able to taste (or feel) the difference. You will cut your caffeine consumption in half immediately. 

After about a month of this, you can start drinking decaf exclusively. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, you’ll find that you will now only want 1-2 cups per day and the detox process was painless. Eventually you won’t even want the decaf and you can substitute fruit juice or water.

8. Listen to uplifting music on the way to work

You should have music to start your day that makes you feel good. This is designed to open your energy centers and help you to think clearly. If you go to lunch later in your car, play some more of this type of music. Do not listen to the news or any talk shows on the way to work—the problems of the world are not yours to solve. Managing your day and being self-motivated is.

“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.” – Benjamin Franklin

9. Now you’re on the job and ready to face the day

Suddenly your phone rings and a huge problem comes up that is unexpected and nowhere on your daily plan. What to do? Take a minute to jot down the problem in your personal notebook and do what you did the night before: i.e. “my best customer didn’t get their shipment on time—and I knocked my boss’s socks off by solving the problem.” 

Take a minute to feel how good it feels to have solved the problem. Now proceed to deal with the problem–you can do it because you’re self-motivated! As you go through your day and perform each item on your daily plan, check off each item as they are finished.

10. At the end of your day, do the steps outlined in steps 1-5 again, but add something to it

As you make your plan for the next day, add one more step. Feel how great it feels to have ticked off the items in your daily plan and tell yourself, “I’m the best and most qualified person on earth who could have accomplished this.” Now get busy planning your next day.

Something else to consider, if your environment is cluttered and unorganized, you are going to find it difficult to follow this plan. If this is your situation, you need to spend the time it takes to clean your home, office or other workplace.

Which step in of the 10-step plan for instant motivation resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts with us below!

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.

What is Motivation?

The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.

Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).

Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.

However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals. 

How to Get Motivated

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.

This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.

4 Ways to Make Starting Easier

1. Schedule it

One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it. 

When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.

An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”

2. Measure something

It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.

3. Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.

4. Make it public

Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Motivated Long Term

When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.

These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:

1. Stay in your goldilocks zone

The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging. 

The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.

2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals

Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within. 

For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.

3. Use “chunking”

Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.

Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.

For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.

4. Be flexible

We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.

5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion

Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.

Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.

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Motivation

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