You have probably tried time and time again to set goals, work on good habits, or perfectly plan your neverending to-dos, but for some reason, you never seem to act on them. Goals don’t get achieved, habits never acquired and to-dos are left undone. That is probably because you forgot to think about one important aspect of motivation – your emotions. Let’s face it, if your feelings and thoughts get into an argument, feelings are always the ones that end up on top. So, instead of trying to force yourself to do something, use your feelings to raise motivation and get things done.
When we are in a rut or in a bad mood, it is very difficult not to procrastinate. On the other hand, a positive mindset has a good effect on productivity and motivation. Now, you might think that this is easier said than done, but there are actually some things that you can actively do in order to make yourself more positive. One of the things that has the biggest impact on our mindset is practicing gratitude. Showing gratitude for the good things you have will make you notice and acknowledge even the smallest things in your life that bring you joy. The thing is, the more you focus on the positive, the more your brain is going to notice it everywhere around you.
Both rewards and punishments work great at keeping your motivation high. When you have something to look forward to, you will be more inclined to do that habit or cross that to-do item from your planner. Pick rewards that are going to be good enough so that next time you need to do that thing your brain already knows that it is going to be worth it. For example, if your favorite TV show is on tonight, reward yourself by watching it, but only if you have finished all your tasks for that day. The same goes for punishments. One of the good tricks you can use to motivate yourself is to have a bet with a friend. Give your friend a certain sum of money and set the due date for your task. If you get a task done you get your money back. But, if you don’t, you lose it.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
It is difficult to stay motivated when people around you are negative or lazy. That doesn’t mean that you need to cut ties with them, you just might want to expand your friend group and associate with people that you aspire to be. Believe it or not, but over time, you can develop the habits and even career aspirations of those you surround yourself with. So make sure that you have accountable, motivated people around you and you will be peer-pressured into feeling positive and motivated too. And don’t worry if you don’t have that kind of luck in the friend department.
You can always seek inspiration in successful people that you look up to – read motivational books, attend seminars or watch motivating videos. Once you start filling your life with inspirational stories, motivation will soon follow.