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28 Ways For How to Motivate Yourself to Do Pretty Much Anything

Contrary to popular belief, motivation isn’t something you naturally have, but it’s a choice. So learning how to motivate yourself will take you places.

how to motivate yourself

Whether you’re hurt, depressed, or just plain lazy, it can be challenging to find your get-up-and-go. Learning how to motivate yourself is really easier said than done. This can be a hard cycle to break out of, especially when you’re feeling downhearted.

That being said, life doesn’t stop moving just because you’re not up for what it has to offer. You need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get out there to kick its butt! Don’t ever believe the idea that motivation just happens naturally.

Instead, it’s something you choose. You don’t just wake up and feel the motivation to get up and exercise or go to work. Motivation is more of a mindset and discipline than anything else. When you know how to motivate yourself, you can do anything, even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing at the moment. [Read: 19 life quotes to motivate you to live a better life]

Why is it so hard to feel motivated?

It’s not the easiest thing to feel motivated, but it’s essential if you want to achieve many things in life. Motivation is the thing that makes you get up in the morning and start your day, even if you’re going to just sleep in and watch Netflix. It doesn’t come naturally to any of us, which is what makes motivations hard.

Nobody wakes up having the drive to exercise right away. They just do it because they have the discipline to do so. You will never lead a productive day or life if you’re constantly waiting around to have motivation.

Remember, motivation is a traitor. You can’t rely on it to come because most often, it never will. Instead, it’s your discipline and mindset that bring out your motivation. [Read: Feeling defeated? 15 ways to overcome feeling stuck and lost in life]

How to motivate yourself: The little steps that really matter

We’re looking at four different avenues of life where you can learn how to motivate yourself: your work life, your workout life, your academic life, and your emotional life. Especially since motivation can be applied to several aspects of our lives, we don’t just need to look at motivation in one aspect – but as a whole.

This is because how you motivate yourself in one aspect could be entirely different for another. With all of this being said, we’ll be discussing how to motivate yourself in the four avenues in your life below. [Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

How to motivate yourself when you’re depressed

Depression strikes, and suddenly everything in your life tends to take a backseat. Whether you’ve been cheated on, dumped, or just aren’t happy with where your life is, depression can put a significant damper on your work, friendships, and romantic relationships.

So how can you pull yourself out of your slump? Here are three ways to snap out of it. It’s not easy, but it can be done!

1. Set a goal

When all you want to do is crawl into bed and never come out, setting a goal seems nearly impossible. However, just because you’re down and out doesn’t mean the world stops for you. There are still relationships to maintain and bills to pay.

When you have a goal, it keeps you accountable to stay motivated, even if the last thing you want to do is get out of bed that day. It doesn’t have to be a massive goal, but you can start with simple goals. Start with a plan to get out of bed and eat breakfast, even if you end up returning to bed later.

The next day, make it your goal to do several exercises, and the next day, make it your goal to meet a friend for coffee *even if it’s at your house*. Take it one step at a time, but your goals should be adequate if you want to learn how to motivate yourself. [Read: How to succeed in life: All you ever need to know!]

2. Don’t stop eating

Some are strongly inclined to binge on naughty foods while they are depressed. This is called “emotional eating,” but many others stop eating altogether. When deeply depressed, the brain stops sending hungry signals to the rest of your body, resulting in fatigue and nutritional deficiency.

You’ll stop feeling motivated when you deprive your body of food, so eat up! Nutrition is highly connected to your mood and energy levels. So you’ll always feel exhausted to do things if you don’t let yourself eat. Try to remember that while you may not get enjoyment out of eating anymore, it’s still important to take care of your body.

Even if you’re not into downing a plate of cheesy nachos, try to remember to at least eat three basic meals full of nutrients to keep your body going—even if it’s the bare minimum of what your body needs.

Also, take plenty of vitamins. Without these, you will end up feeling weak and frail—not the way you want your body, if you’re going to get motivated. [Read: Emotional stability & 11 factors that control life’s highs & lows]

3. Get plenty of sleep

Getting a proper night’s sleep not only makes you feel well-rested, but rejuvenates the mind, improves memory, guards against poor health problems such as obesity and heart disease, improves your sex life, and overall puts you in a better mood.

So many people underestimate the power of sleep for learning how to motivate yourself when it’s a pretty significant factor. If you’re constantly sleep-deprived, how do you expect to have the energy required to lead a productive day?

So it’s essential at least to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Trust us when we say sleep is vital for your motivation levels. [Read: How to make the absolute most out of your alone time]

4. Stick to a routine

Put up a list of your daily routines and post it somewhere where you will see it on a regular basis. As you complete items on your list, check them off. It is a good feeling to know that you have finished your daily tasks, and this will drive you to seek even more significant achievements daily going forward.

If keeping a journal is something you do regularly, make it a part of your everyday routine. The act of writing down negative thoughts in a notebook may be beneficial in getting rid of them, and so it will help you learn thoroughly how to motivate yourself.

5. Socialize

If you want to build solid relationships with people, you should encourage them to interact with you when they are in a good mood and to participate in volunteer activities when they have time.

All of these considerations are important. As a result of helping someone in need, your perspective will improve, and so will your drive to get out of bed the following day. [Read: How to be more social: 19 ways to genuinely connect with others]

6. Avoid negativity

Even simple activities such as reading the news or surfing the internet, chatting with people who suck your energy and make you feel depressed, or revisiting traumatic memories, all of which may have an impact on your entire mood and motivation level, are not without risk.

Focus your thoughts instead on gratitude and words of appreciation for what you’ve been given. Reading uplifting content and surrounding yourself with positive people can help you to stay on track. [Read: How to be positive: Stop the downturn and find the silver lining!]

7. Get out of bed and out of pajamas

To everyone’s knowledge, the simple act of getting out of bed is a significant first victory of the day. It is suggested that positive affirmations such as “Yes, you can do it,” “Every long journey starts with one step,” and “Never give up!” be written on sticky notes and displayed in a prominent spot in the workplace.

Make sure that the thoughts you develop are excellent ones since your brain will swallow everything you give it. [Read: All the quotes you need while going through a breakup]

8. Go for a walk or exercise regularly

Increased synthesis of endorphins, sometimes known as the “feel-good hormones,” in the body results from physical activity. Following a six-week period of at least 35 minutes of exercise a day for at least five days a week, research suggests that working out may help to relieve the symptoms of mild to moderate depression.

This approach may also be beneficial in the treatment of more severe kinds of depression. If you’re eager to learn how to motivate yourself, exercise regularly. [Read: 30 inspirational tips on how to get motivated to exercise]

How to motivate yourself to study

Studying is a double-edged sword. You can’t learn unless you study, and you can’t study because it’s just so boring! Here are 3 essential tips to motivate yourself to get that learnin’ done.

1. Avoid using technology

If possible, stick to pen and paper when engaging in your study process. This will motivate you to focus on what you’re learning instead of getting sidetracked by apps and social media. We live in the age of social media and while that can be a good thing, it can also work against you.

When you spend a lot of time scrolling through social media, you’re wasting a lot of precious time you could’ve spent doing more productive things. You need to be wary of social media if you’re serious about learning how to motivate yourself.

We’re not saying you should cut it off entirely, but just watch how much time you spend on your phone and gadgets. [Read: Romance is dying a slow death – Is technology to blame?]

2. Take breaks

Motivate yourself to study with the assurance that there will be breaks in sight! Some hardcore study-buddies suggest that studying for 30-50 minutes with intervals of 10-minute breaks is the best way to retain information and get the most out of your study sesh.

This is also the notion behind the Pomodoro Technique, a popular technique used in studying or even in productivity. This is because your brain believes that your reward for being productive is your break, and it gives you the motivation to complete your task faster or be productive so you could result in a well-deserved break. [Read: What am I doing with my life? How to break through the rut]

3. Don’t listen to anything

Unless you know with 100% certainty that music will make you work faster, avoid it at all costs! In fact, avoid playing any form of media while you study *unless it relates to your study* to prevent unnecessary distractions. Not to mention how easy it is to get caught in the YouTube vortex.

One minute, you’re watching an educational video about modern theory and the next thing you know, you’ve been watching Mesmerizing Sheep Herding for more than 10 minutes. How did you get there?

If you’re the type of person who quickly gets distracted or has a short attention span, we suggest not listening to music. If you want to learn how to motivate yourself, as we said earlier, it takes a lot of discipline and self-control.

4. Understand your studying style better

Was there anything you could have done to make getting ready for work in the mornings a bit less stressful? The pursuit of pleasure is a natural attraction for most individuals, and it is only natural for us to avoid unpleasant and tiresome tasks and responsibilities when we can.

Make an effort to make your learning experience as exciting as possible in order to learn how to motivate yourself to study. [Read: 15 college life hacks you won’t learn in school to survive & thrive]

5. Keep in mind that studying might be challenging and take you out of your comfort zone

Take, for example, the experience of hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro; it is not easy and can even be uncomfortable at times, but the pleasure comes when you begin to see the view from a higher elevation and breathe in the fresh air.

And when you reach your destination, you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Concentrate on the ultimate goal rather than on the battle to get there!

6. Communicate to others any difficulties and/or what you intend to do

It is likely that if you actively engage in the process, you will be able to retain your concentration on the most important actions. Understanding and gaining knowledge from other people’s points of view and experiences may help you stay on track with your short-term goals.

This will also provide you with the chance to benefit from their previous experiences and their unique ideas. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship: 16 steps to a better love]

How to motivate yourself to work out

Have you ever come across some #Fitspo hashtags on Instagram, only to see a community of people joking about how much they love Cross Fit, and you found yourself wanting to punch every single one of them in the face? We feel you! Let’s be honest, people: working out sucks.

It’s boring, it’s hard, it’s tiring, and if you’re a girl… it’s a giant fashion hassle! But exercise is a good and healthy habit to incorporate into your life. It might seem tedious, but wait until you find a constant motivation to make exercise a routine!

Alright, so it may be boring, but there are plenty of amazing reasons why you should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. We all know that exercise is super healthy for you.

Not only does it help fight against obesity, heart disease, depression, and menstrual cramps, it also gives you a rockin’ body! For those wanting to get motivated to work out, these tips are for you. [Read: 25 powerful, inspiring tips to get up and work out]

1. Find a workout that you actually like

Before you start stomping your feet and shouting, “But I hate them all!” Take a chill pill. Open your mind and think. There’s got to be something you’re into. The best way to know how to motivate yourself is to find an exercise you can have fun in.

Whether it’s dancing, running, cycling, or even swimming, there’s a vast diversity of exercises out there. When you find something you like, you’ll naturally have the motivation to keep doing it. Some alternatives to lifting and working that treadmill include bike riding, hiking, jogging, yoga, rowing, and our personal favorite, sexercise.

Exercise doesn’t have to feel entirely like a chore and to achieve that, you need to find a workout you genuinely enjoy doing. That’ll help you stay more consistent and disciplined in being physically active! [Read: 12 Benefits of exercise on your mind, body, and libido]

2. Join a community

According to Anna Victoria, online blogger and owner of the Fit Body Guide, those looking to improve their health and body are 80% more likely to succeed if they have joined a community that matches their interests.

Online forums, local exercise groups, healthy fitspo blogs, and positive daily Instagram affirmations can make all the difference in getting the motivation you need to keep going. Joining a fitness community will hold you accountable in your workouts and also helps you feel that you aren’t alone in your struggle.

So if you’re serious about learning how to motivate yourself, join a community and socialize with people! [Wanting a laugh? Try: The first day and kinds of people you’ll see at a gym]

3. Find something else to do while you exercise

Download audiobooks, make high-energy playlists of your favorite songs, listen to podcasts, or watch your favorite YouTube videos while you get into it. When it comes to podcasts, videos, and audiobooks, make sure you only listen to them while you are exercising.

This will make you more excited to work out in the future since you’ll view these audio activities as a reward of sorts. If you’re the type of person who quickly gets bored with workouts and exercises, this will significantly help you. Really, it’s all about finding ways to make workouts bearable and fun! [Read: 30 inspirational tips on how to get motivated to exercise]

4. Lighten up your goals

Your fitness goal may be overly ambitious for you at this time, particularly if you’re new to exercise and haven’t done much before. According to Gerald Endress, an exercise physiologist at Duke Center for Living in North Carolina, beginners “want to push for maximum objectives, but they tend to become overwhelmed.”

As a result, don’t set a goal of working out for an hour every day. Instead, create more sensible and attainable objectives, such as exercising for 20 to 30 minutes twice or three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Track your progress

Workout journaling is one of the most efficient strategies on how to motivate yourself to work out, whether it is done online or in a conventional fitness diary. Seeing improvement, whether it’s in terms of running faster, completing more repetitions, or working out more often, inspires you to keep going and achieve your goals.

6. Focus only on yourself

Anyone who is more fit, faster, or more flexible than you will always be able to outperform you. It’s an inevitability. Don’t compare yourself to others’ achievements. Get them out of your memory as soon as possible.

Allowing them to stand in the way of attaining your objectives is not an option. Your workout time is entirely devoted to you and is wholly focused on you. [Read: How to focus on yourself: 27 ways to create your own sunshine]

How to motivate yourself to work

Working is a necessary evil in this world. It can be especially difficult to stay motivated if you A) hate your job or B) work from home. Working for yourself is quickly rewarding and hey, who doesn’t love crushing it in their pajamas?

That being said, it can be incredibly difficult to stay motivated when you are your own boss. After all, you are your favorite employee, and you may get special “slack off” treatment. Here are 4 tips to stay motivated to work.

1. Stick to a schedule

If you work from home, make sure you maintain a traditional work schedule. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and settle into a full workday. Your friends and family are more likely to invite you out during work hours, thinking you don’t technically have a “real job.”

So, let your close companions know that even though you are at home, you are “on the clock” during regular work hours. Distractions are your primary culprit when it comes to learning how to motivate yourself.

So it’s crucial that you stick to a routine if you want to stay motivated to work. A routine helps you stay consistent and disciplined enough in your work tasks. [Read: 8 ways to get your “me time” in amidst a hectic schedule]

2. No distractions

Speaking of distractions, you need to keep away if you want to stay motivated to work. Keep free of any media that will distract you from focusing on your work. This is especially true for your phone and other things that could potentially distract you.

While it’s now difficult to keep away from distractions since we technically need our phones and gadgets at work, don’t let yourself get distracted with things not related to your work *like entertainment apps and social media*.

Distractions are the most common enemy of motivation, so you must have the discipline to stay focused. [Check out: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]

3. Have a proper workspace

If you work from home, having a proper office space is essential. This is the place you go when you know it’s time to get busy working. Transform your spare room or appropriately-sized nook into a small office space.

Have a desk, lamp, laptop, and adequate writing materials readily available, and make sure your atmosphere is somewhere you would want to work. If you work in an office, having a proper work setup is still super important. Physical clutter clutters the mind, so make sure your workspace is clean and organized.

If your workspace isn’t organized, it isn’t easy to stay motivated. It’s a similar concept to why decluttering your space helps you stay focused and productive. So declutter and organize your area, and you’ll know how to motivate yourself. [Read: What does your office table tell about you?]

4. Inspiring quotes

This might sound extremely cheesy but hey, it works! A lot of people respond positively after pinning inspiring photo quotes around their office space. Scour Pinterest and print out your faves to inspire a better work ethic – just don’t do it while you’re at work!

By having motivational and inspiring quotes around your workspace, you’ll feel more encouraged to work. If you haven’t done this before, why not give this a try? This might just be what you need to have a bit of motivation to work. [Next, read: 13 inspiring ways to bring out the best in yourself]

5. Plan out your entire day

When responsibilities are staring you in the face without any kind of order to them, it may seem daunting and simply serve to worsen your dilemma. In these scenarios, effective time management is essential if you want to learn how to motivate yourself to work.

Creating a schedule for your day makes the duties seem more achievable and less overwhelming. You may plan everything out using the calendar on your phone, with alarms to tell you when you need to stop and move on to a new activity, or you can use a separate organizing tool designed just for managing your time and tasks.

6. Break everything into small steps

When creating to-do lists, break each task down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Your dopamine levels will rise every time you cross something off the list. As a result, a series of small bursts of it will be sufficient to get you through several brief chores.

This impact will only last for a short period, but it will provide you just enough of a boost to get you through when you’re feeling uninspired. No matter how little you believe you can do, it is much simpler to stay motivated when there are short, little tasks to complete. [Read: How to be successful in life]

7. Do a review of your progress

You get a feeling of achievement and clarity about what you need to do by taking time to sit down, audit unfinished chores, and acknowledge completion of other things. When we feel anxious, this is a terrific approach to lessen our stress levels. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come.

Taking a moment to review all the tasks you’ve completed in the last few days or weeks may be a great source of relief and even a little bit of inspiration. Being confident in your abilities gives you the confidence to take on challenges that previously seemed unachievable or too intimidating for you to tackle.

8. Wear your favorite outfit

When you’re feeling worried or nervous or just not feeling like yourself, the proper attire and accessories may significantly impact your appearance. If you see someone wearing something they like entirely or an outfit they are incredibly confident in, that little burst of visible happiness may be just what you need to get moving.

Furthermore, putting out the effort to get dressed and do your hair or makeup in the morning may help you feel a little more organized, which can be beneficial when you feel like the rest of your life is a complete disaster.

[Read: How to succeed in life: All you ever need to know!]

So, how to motivate yourself?

It’s easier said than done, but motivation can be achieved with some of the tips we’ve mentioned above. Remember that motivation isn’t something you feel, but discipline and mindset have more to do with it.

There you have it: the dos and don’ts of how to motivate yourself in 4 important corners of life. With these pieces of advice above, you’ll easily lead a more productive life. So why not give these a try? 

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Waverly Smith

Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...

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