Self-motivation is a fickle beast. You know you need to push yourself to get things done but sometimes life (and coffee) gets in the way.
So, how exactly do you create motion in a lazy body or mind? Try these five great tricks for nudging yourself into action mode.
Reframe your self-talk
Firstly, let’s rethink what’s going on in your head. Instead of thinking, “Why the hell can’t I get off my butt today and finalise that report?” try, “Hey you! Wouldn’t it be great to focus for just one hour on putting that report to bed? Imagine how great you’d feel afterwards?”
Do you see the difference? If someone spoke to you in an aggressive, demeaning way, how would you feel? Hurt and resentful probably. What would you be motivated to do? Zero.
There’s no difference when your internal chatter is negative. So try tweaking your self-talk. You’ll be amazed at how it can change your outlook for everything on the agenda.
Gather your productivity weapons
Start your day feeling good about your appearance. Tidy your desk. Put an inspiring daily quote on a post-it note where you can see it often. Create an air of order around you.
Are these merely superficial things? Maybe. Do they help you to create a positive, productive mindset? Definitely!
Remember small wins are key
Create momentum in your day by blitzing the annoying small stuff. I call them ‘Five Minute Wonders’. Make that phone call you’ve been putting off all week. Pay a bill. Finalise that nagging online booking.
Crack through the small, irritating things that clog up your day and you’ll be high-fiving yourself in no time at all.
Get started and the momentum will follow
You start to gather momentum for the task at hand and before you know it your mood changes. Remember that the most important part of finding motivation is taking the first step.
The ones that follow then generate more and more impetus. The feel-good factor kicks in. You see some results.
Action, reward, motivation
Research shows that the action, reward, motivation mentality cycle is real and important. Why? Because it works. Even when your heart is not fully into something you can create incredible forward motion with the prospect of a reward.
A special midweek lunch break at that incredible new Deli in town? (Sure! When I crack that dreaded status report for the boss on Wednesday!)
An indulgent glass of after work bubbles with your partner? (Can’t wait! Just need to finalise those accounts by Friday).
Hatch a plan
Try hatching a plan of tiny or larger rewards within your own budget limits if they cost money (but they don’t need to). Set mid-week and end of week targets for yourself.
This kind of thinking leads to a fantastic, consistent spiral of small, ongoing successes. You’re anticipating something good, so you work hard.
It’s quite simple. Don’t just set yourself up for another disappointment when motivation fades, inspire yourself to succeed with a simple reward system that you get to choose.
Sarah Virag BA (Hons), is a confidence coach, writer, columnist, linguist and lifelong nomad. Formerly a senior global events manager in the incentive & motivational marketing industry, she is the founder of the Wings for Life online coaching programmes and author of ”Wings for Life: Your Pathway To Freedom After Emotional Upheaval.”