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How to Motivate Yourself to Do Pretty Much Anything

Having trouble feeling motivated? We’re showing you how to motivate yourself when you’re wanting to study, work out, or focus on work.

how to motivate yourself

Whether you’re hurt, depressed, or just plain lazy, it can be difficult to find your get-up-and-go. 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!

Easier said than done, right?

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. [Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

#1 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 huge damper on your work, friendships, and romantic relationships. So how can you pull yourself out of your slump? Here are 3 ways to snap out it. It’s not easy, but it can be done!

-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.

Slowly set bigger goals for every new day. Start with a goal 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*. Then start setting bigger goals, such as meeting someone, scoring your dream job, or planning a trip. These goals will give you something to work toward and look forward to.

-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.

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 3 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.

-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.

#2 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 key tips to motivate yourself to get that learnin’ done.

-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. [Read: Romance is dying a slow death – Is technology to blame?]

-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.

-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 avoid 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? Instead, reward yourself for all your hard work by watching these trending videos after you study, not during.

#3 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 real, 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! Sweating, dry shampoo, constant showers, running makeup, sore boobs… what’s so great about it?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Take a step back! Alright, so it may be boring, but there are plenty of amazing reasons why you should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise on the 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]

-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. Some alternatives to lifting and working that treadmill include: bike riding, hiking, jogging, yoga, rowing, and our personal favorite, sexercise. Finding a workout regimen that you’re actually into can change your entire outlook on exercising!

-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. [Wanting a laugh? Try: The first day and kinds of people you’ll see at a gym]

-Find something else to do while you exercise. If you’re anything like me, you find working out tortuously boring. Curb this and encourage motivation by finding something else to do while you work out. 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.

#4 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 easily 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.

-Stick to a schedule. If you work from home, make sure you maintain a traditional work schedule. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and settle in to a full work day. 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.

-No distractions. Keep free of any media that will distract you from focusing on your work. [Check out: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]

-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.

-Inspiring quotes. 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! [Next, read: 13 inspiring ways to bring out the best in yourself]

There you have it: the dos and don’ts of how to motivate yourself in 4 important corners of life. Care to share a tip on how you stay motivated? Let us know in the comments and add to the productivity!

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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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