Proven Strategies for Self-Motivation
Sometimes, it can be challenging to motivate yourself to do the things you know you need to do to succeed. You may feel too tired to work on things that are important to your career, or there might be distractions from other, more fun things that are available for you to do. It’s easy to get lost in social media or in texting friends, or even just sleeping or lying on the couch watching Netflix. When you are struggling to motivate yourself, anything other than what you know you need to be doing can seem much more appealing and important.
This is especially true when your goals seem so large; you can easily become frozen with the enormity of your project, not knowing where or how to start, so you just don’t start it at all. The good news is that self-motivation is not difficult. With just a few proven strategies, you can motivate yourself to do anything you need to do to achieve your goals and even be happy that you are doing these things. Here’s what to do.
Break Your Goals Into Tiny Chunks
If you look at a goal as one whole thing, it can sometimes seem impossible to even get started on it, much less accomplish it. It is far easier to break up the overall goal into a series of tiny steps or chunks. Each step shouldn’t take up too much of your time; make it something you can accomplish in a morning or an afternoon. You will feel so great about moving toward the achievement of your goal that moving on to the next steps can even be something you come to look forward to.
As an example, if you want to update your resume, but it is so old and out of date that the project seems as if it will take forever, break it up. One day, work on updating your professional statement or objective. Another day, work on adding your most recent employers and their contact information. Next, work on adding your job descriptions for the new employers. After that, add in new awards, honors or certifications you have received and update your education if you need to. Finally, update your list of references.
This shouldn’t take more than a week to accomplish, with only a couple of hours each day devoted to the mini-tasks. Then, before you know it, your resume will be updated, and you will feel great. It is a technique that works on any goal, so use it whenever you need to motivate yourself to do something.
Give Yourself Rewards
When you break a goal into a series of smaller, easily achievable steps, make sure to assign a small, personal reward to yourself for accomplishing each step. Also, set a larger reward for finishing the whole thing. This will give you something to look forward to upon completion of the task and make it seem more worthwhile to you.
It doesn’t have to be a big goal to be effective. Just make it something you enjoy. For example, after completing the first step toward getting a task done to further your career at work, let yourself have a little dark chocolate. After finishing the next step, indulge in a hot bath with a nice book. With the next step completed, you can treat yourself to a movie you’ve been wanting to see, either at the theater or on streaming TV. When you finish the whole project, take yourself out to a restaurant you love, schedule a massage, take a girl’s day out with your friends, or anything that really makes you happy.
The idea is to start with small rewards and work your way up to larger ones for each step toward a goal that you complete. The biggest reward should be when you complete the entire goal.
If distractions are an issue for you as they are for many people, take the necessary steps to eliminate them while you are working toward your goal. Since you will only be getting rid of distractions during the times you work toward your goal, you won’t be without them for long each day. When you go to work on a step toward your goal, turn off your phone (or at least turn off the ringer), sign out of all social media, put away any tablets with books or games where you can’t see them, and even close and lock your door if you have to.
This way, you will have nothing to focus on for that short period of time except finishing the step toward your goal you are working on that day. You might even find that you enjoy your life a lot more without those distractions and happily start doing them less frequently even when you’re not working on your goal.
Follow these three steps, and you can motivate yourself to accomplish any professional or personal goal in no time. All it really takes is for you to make achieving the goal as easy and pleasurable for yourself as possible. These three steps do that nicely.