1. Stop your whingeing
You know how demotivating it is to listen to that person who complains all day? Well try listening to yourself. When you complain, you’re focusing on the negative. Switch your focus to something – anything – that’s going well or that you’re grateful for.
2. Visualise the outcome
That task or situation that seems so impossible/ boring/ pointless/ painful – pinpoint what it will achieve for you. List all the positive outcomes. Then choose one or two to really focus on – imagine how it will feel when you achieve these.
3. Remember your goals
Write down your long term goals (personal, professional or both), and your daily goals. Remind yourself of how they relate. As with point 2, visualise how your life will be better once you achieve these goals.
3. Plug in some music
Music is proven to boost your mood and get you feeling pumped. Try the playlist you use for exercise. If you’re at work, take a break at lunchtime and turn up your favourite tunes.
4. Think of the consequences
What are the consequences of not doing this thing? Short term and long term? Are they tolerable? For example, not getting up to exercise today mightn’t have immediate consequences (except feeling sluggish and guilty), but over time it can ruin your health goals.
5. Break it down into tiny steps and celebrate every step.
We’re talking really tiny, and really celebrating. If you can’t face writing that email, give yourself a huge cheer for opening your email program. And another round of internal applause for writing the subject line.Do a first draft of your email then stand up and do a victory dance. It might sound silly, but it works. The reward centre of your brain will be fooled into thinking you’ve achieved something important and will release a motivating shot of the feel good hormone dopamine.
6. Bribe yourself
Bribery’s awesome when dealing with yourself. Not so good in business dealings or child raising. Promise yourself that when you do that thing, you’ll get X. This be a food treat, or a something like a hot bath, or permission to veg out and watch that program you recorded.
7. Just start
There’s a quote by Goethe: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
Just starting can be hugely motivating in itself. If it’s inertia that’s holding you back, beginning creates momentum. And if it’s fear that’s demotivating you, then simply beginning – even with the easiest part – will show you that you might just be able to do it.