While some of us can naturally maintain a relatively high constant level of motivation, others find it more difficult. This is actually a normal fact of life. After all, the beauty and richness of life is in our attempt to reconcile and manage our different states.
Here are a few simple things you can use to motivate yourself on a daily basis:
1. The habit of accomplishing one single task once you get out of bed
This may sound trivial but it can have tremendous impact on your energy level. Right when you wake up, one simple task such as making your bed, exercising or cooking breakfast can get you energized for the rest of the day.
Getting something done first thing in the morning will give you a sense of achievement which will, in turn impact the rest of your day. The little things do count. How will you ever find the motivation to accomplish a big task when you can’t even finish a small one? A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step…in the right direction!
2. Connect your small tasks to your values
In the first step, you may get something done, but if it is not in alignment with your values or beliefs you are less likely to feel empowered. Whatever the task you get done, frame it in relation to something that is important to you. You can apply this in your personal life, professional or spiritual life. Doing a task you know relates to something meaningful to you will give you the required energy to carry it until completion.
People who engage in routine jobs may find it very hard to remain motivated. Frame your job into something greater than yourself. For instance, a bus driver may say: “I am glad I can contribute to the future of our society by bringing children to school.” Framing the routine job that way will give you a sense of contribution. Knowing that you are making a difference will give you a sense of pride that will in return motivate you.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
3. The habit of crossing out tasks on your to-do list
You will feel more energized if you put your tasks on a sheet of paper because nothing is more motivating than crossing tasks off your to-do lists. This is a clear signal to your brain that you have been able to accomplish a particular task. That will generate a snowball effect since a single task accomplished and crossed out can have widespread effect on other tasks. Due to this, take up the habit of crossing out tasks on your to-do list.
4. The habit of being self-compassionate
We tend to be nice to other people. It is amazing to see how someone can be so empathetic and motivate another even when they are feeling down themselves. Paradoxically, instead of giving themselves a positive pep talk, they will go on a guilt trip. We are not trying to achieve perfection here, we are simply trying to do what we were born to do grow!
It is okay if you did not finish a specific task today. Instead of complaining or blaming, make the decision right now, that you will complete this task tomorrow. Talk to yourself as you would to a good friend. Give yourself a second chance. Don’t engage in self-deprecating talk. Remember, no one or nothing can motivate you if you are not willing to give yourself a chance.
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama
5. The habit of taking responsibility
It is amazing how much taking responsibility for our results can change our perspective. I have had the chance to work with small teams, and in my experience, I’ve learned that people get more motivated when they know they are responsible for the outcome of their tasks. Don’t wait for the situation to be agreeable to get motivated. Take responsibility for your task and see how much energy you will put into it. While hygiene factors can help motivate you, only when you know you are really responsible for the results of a particular task will you build motivation that lasts.
As humans we have unlimited psychic power. Just as you would pay more for natural and organic food and beverages, you need to harness your natural source of motivation rather than expecting outside factors to motivate you. May that same motivation level that attracted you to this article keep you motivated in a more consistent manner.