improve your motivationGetting Motivated

I know that motivation can sometimes be hard to find. It’s usually pretty easy to be motivated about something you enjoy, but what if it’s for something that’s not much fun, what can you do then?

Maybe you’ve got a college paper to finish, or an important report for work. Maybe it’s something completely different like clearing out the attic, or arranging a dinner party and you just can’t find the motivation!

Whatever it is you need to do, you have a superpower ability to change your mental state whenever you need to. You can become more effective/creative/productive, etc. by making small and simple changes in your body and mind.

Change Your Focus

What makes the greatest impact on your state is what you focus on. Without correct focus, everything else is only partially effective.

Check your pastSo, to walk you through an example…. If you want to be more creative, you need to think back to a time when you were creative in the past.

Close your eyes if you need to and actually picture the situation in your minds-eye. Imagine that situation as if you were there again, see what you saw, hear what you heard and smell the smells related to that experience.

Make the memory as vivid as possible and actually experience the memory as if it was happening now. Once you’ve got the emotions back in your mind, that feeling of motivation will stay with you for a while, so you can use it to drive you again.

If for some reason you can’t think of an experience to recall, Another option would be to simply move your body.

Improve your statureBy changing your posture, and/or your breathing, you shift your emotions.

People automatically assimilate a particular body posture when they’re feeling empowered, or by the same token, when they’re depressed.

If I asked you to imagine, that behind a curtain in front of you was a depressed person, you’d be able to describe how that person would look.

  • Would they be stood straight, or bent over?
  • Is their breathing strong and deep, or weak and shallow?
  • Are their shoulders back, or rolled forward?

The same is true of a confident and motivated person. How would they be standing? What would their breathing be like? etc.

By adopting the body posture of the person you want to become, your mind will make it happen. (even if it’s only for long enough to get you started in the right direction).

Smile Please

Another helpful trick is to ‘smile’. What’s happening in your body, will happen in your mind. There’s a very good article on the Psychology Today website  that highlights the benefits. If you want to see more science behind the power of smiling, you can find the outcomes of several research projects over at the Scientific American website.

Be Kind to Yourself

And finally, you can change your internal dialogue, the things you say to yourself (self-talk). We all have a criticising voice in our heads. It often tells us things are never going to work out, or this new project you need to do is going to be far too difficult, or demanding, etc.

Control your self-talkWhen this voice throws out its opinions, try changing the pitch of the voice, or the speed. If the voice sounds silly, or stupid, what it’s saying will sound silly, or stupid.

Alternatively, you could imagine the voice coming from your ‘butt’. See how convincing it is then 😉

The best way to improve your self talk, is to have the voice ask a better question. Instead of asking “why does this always happen to me?“, ask “what can I learn from this that will benefit me when I try again?“, or instead of “Why do I always have to do this?“, ask “How can I do this and make it fun?

Small changes can make a huge difference. Try it out and see the results you’re capable of when you do.

Of course, if a lack of motivation is causing you a problem generally, then I’ve put together 10 longer term habits and six useful tips to help with that as well.

Steve, who's also the Founder of Teen Anxiety UK, has been writing books and articles about various aspects of Psychology since 2006.

For the last five years, he's main focus has been in helping build confidence and self-esteem.

His formal qualifications include Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, NLP and CBT.

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