13 Insane (but true) Things About Motivation

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Motivation CloudWe all struggle with motivation. I’ve come across some fascinating ideas about what motivation is and how to cultivate it. I think I have used all of the tactics more than once to get motivated. Number 11 is my favorite, and one I plan to employ more often.

1. Motivation is like a muscle. You need to work it out.

Staying motivated takes work. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be so many books out there on setting goals and staying motivated. Start small and work your way up. You will soon find your pattern for what motivates you. When you get stuck, you can fall back on your motivational workout.

2. Motivation doesn’t come from setting goals, but from achieving goals you set.

This one took me by surprise. You mean I can get motivated by achieving something? It sounds so obvious, but once I realized the smaller achievements spur you on I was suddenly motivated to do all sorts of things to build up the motivation.

3. Focus on the big things early so your motivation doesn’t wane.

Like staying motivated being motivated takes work. Even if you have been working out the motivational muscle, you will eventually get tired. Do the hard stuff early while your resolve is strong.

Motivation is like a muscle. You need to work it out. Click To Tweet

4. Taking time to do something fun can motivate you.

If you aren’t practicing self-care, you will not be motivated. Pure and simple. We have to take time for ourselves and fun. Find something you enjoy and spend the afternoon refreshing your mind.

5. Schedule breaks to stay motivated.

Take a break! When I write blog posts, I take a break every few minutes it seems. I have to step away re-read what I wrote, and it spurs me on to write more. We tend to work best in chunks. Determine how long you can focus. Then set a timer for those intervals. Then take a 10-15 minute break. Your brain will thank you.

6. Set a timer and see what you can do. You may just find your Motivation.

Sometimes you just have to jump in and do it. Set a timer for a few minutes, maybe 15, and see what happens. If you are still not motivated to keep going, stop! Yes, I said it, “STOP.” I give you permission to do something else.

7. Eat Healthy.

I say this from experience. Having cut processed foods out of my diet for varying lengths of time, I can unequivocally say  that eating healthy, whole foods gives you motivation.  Since your body isn’t working so hard to process all of the junk, you have more energy.

8. Exercise gets the creative and motivational juices going.

There is something about getting the heart rate up that gets you energized to work on what you are excited about. It may even jolt you into doing some of those things you aren’t so excited about, ahem…dishes.

9. Try aromatherapy Scents can perk you up.

I have a bottle of orange ginger lotion on my desk. When my motivation start to wane I take a second to give myself a hand massage and breath in the scent. It perks me up and gets me going again. I love the lotion from Bath and Body Works.

10. Create a plan instead of a to-do list.

To-do list can be monotonous and boring. Put some purpose behind your tasks by associating them with a goal or plan. When we recognize that we are working towards something it spurs us on to accomplish more.

11. Go outside.

Do it! Now! Well, not right now, finish reading this post and comment below, and then take a step outside. I did and came up with this item for my list! I threw the ball for the dogs took a couple of deep breaths and then suddenly I was ready to come back in and finish it off.

Create a plan instead of a to-do list. Click To Tweet

12. Meditate.

I meditate almost daily. I love how meditation for me clears out the gobbly-gook and gets me going again. I have learned to set a purpose form my meditation and link it to how my practice will affect others. As I go through the motions of my day I often refer back to my purpose and who I connected it with to keep going with the mundane tasks.

13. If all else fails try some coffee. (even decaf may perk up the brain)

If you still can’t find the motivation try some caffeine. Don’t overdo it because then you’ll be so jittery you can’t focus. A little can go a long way in giving you that little push to keep going. If it is getting late I trick my brain into thinking I’m caffeinating up by drinking decaf.

What do you do to stay motivated? What will you try from this list the next time you are stuck? Let us know in the comments below.

12 Replies to “13 Insane (but true) Things About Motivation”

  1. Nice list, Jamie! In the self-care category, never underestimate the motivational power of a good night’s sleep. And (#2, goals) stay focused on WHY you are doing what you’re doing. Or…if none of the tips work for you, maybe consider crossing that item off your list altogether (delegate it, or dump it).

    • Delegate it, or dump it! I love it! So many times we keep items on our list because we think we have to. Our needs and desires change and so should our goals. Great tips. Thanks, Hazel!

  2. I really enjoyed this list, Jamie. For me, moving helps me get motivated to do wome writing. So, when I need some motivation, I like to stand and walk on my treadmill. If the weather is good, going outback and sitting on my swing helps too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love your comprehensive motivation boosters list! #4 & 5 stood out to me…knowing that breaks are needed, even “fun” breaks are key to sustained or renewed motivation. I can have a tendency to push myself (“Just one more, Linda.”) sometimes beyond the point of productivity. To work with my tendency, I use timers as my auditory cue for switching gears or taking a break.

    • Thank you, Linda. I am a huge fan of the timer. I use it to spark motivation for tasks I can never seem to get going on. I’ll set the timer for 15 minutes and work on what needs to be done. Once the timer goes off if I’m feeling it, which I generally am, I continue on. Sometimes we just need to see that a task isn’t as bad as we think it is going to be.

  4. I’m a big fan of #8 and #11 as often I exercise outside for just this reason. I also like your point about aromatherapy. At my old job I used to keep an oil burner in my office. The scent of vanilla always seemed to perk me up!

    • I love my orange-ginger lotion. It allows me a moment to myself and I love the mental perk of the scent. I also have a green tea lemon scent in a warmer. I turn that on in the morning and it keeps me energized.

    • I think when we are doing something we enjoy it allows our brains time to process what it is we are trying to accomplish. Or gives us a much-needed break from processing.:)

  5. Great list! I tend to find my motivation when I accomplish something. For whatever reason that just makes me want to keep going. Thanks for sharing and I hope others are inspired, or motivated, by your list too!

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