5 Creative Ways to Motivate Yourself

5 Creative Ways to Motivate Yourself

One of the most important skills to master is self-motivation. Motivation refers to your drive to achieve whatever goals you set. While you can get tasks done without motivation, it can become much harder and more stressful. 

A common reason that some folks feel burnt out is due to forcing themselves to work without the right motivation. 

It is often harder to motivate yourself compared to motivating someone else. If you learn how to motivate yourself, it can be easier to set and accomplish goals, both personal and professional.

Finding out what motivates you can feel like a complicated process. There is ultimately no right answer, as everyone has their own goals and desires. 

What motivates you may change over time as well, based on your mood and what you are trying to accomplish. While it may seem daunting, there are several different tips and techniques you can follow to try and improve your self-motivation.

Setting Goals

An important part of staying motivated is setting goals. 

When you set a clearly defined goal, you know exactly what you are working toward. Being able to envision your end goal helps with motivation because you can remind yourself what you want to accomplish, but it has other benefits as well. 

Setting a final goal is important, but it can also be intimidating if it is part of a larger project.

If you commonly get overwhelmed and have trouble motivating yourself for long-term goals, take your last step and break it into a series of smaller steps. 

Once you divide your goal into multiple segments, it can feel easier to schedule around accomplishing your goal. This way, instead of working toward a final goal, you are accomplishing several smaller goals. 

While it may seem like a minor difference, this sense of accomplishment can make your final task more digestible and creates a feeling of progress.

Simplify to Improve Focus

If you have trouble motivating yourself, part of the problem may be a result of taking on too many projects at once. 

When you are working on multiple goals or projects, your focus is divided. You may frequently feel like you are not making progress because even if you move closer to one goal, no progress is being made on the others.

Simplifying your goals can make it easier to focus. Once you can focus, it may be easier to develop a plan on how to accomplish your goals. 

Another benefit of simplifying your goals is it makes you consider what is most important. You may discover you no longer care about your other goals and were only trying to work on them out of a sense of obligation.

 Simply removing these unimportant goals from your life can drastically improve your motivation.

Reward Yourself

Simplification can be a wonderful way to help with personal motivation, but it is not always an option professionally. In many cases, you do not have control over what tasks you must perform at work. 

For these tasks, an effective way to motivate yourself is setting rewards for your victories. Rewards work well for personal goals as well, but it is often stronger with work because so many employees develop a negative mindset toward work.

When you reward yourself for completing work tasks, you can not only gain a sense of accomplishment, but you can develop a healthier, more cheerful outlook toward your job. This can go a long way toward preventing workplace burnout.

One trap you do not want to fall into is making your rewards too elaborate. Try and save big rewards for major milestones, such as completing a project. 

You can still reward yourself for smaller victories. For example, giving yourself a small break or enjoying a snack are good day to day rewards to give you a sense of accomplishment at work.

 Once you finish a larger goal, set a bigger reward. If you clear a large work order, for instance, consider going out with friends over the weekend or getting dinner from your favorite restaurant.

Reasonable Expectations

One of the reasons self-motivation is difficult comes down to setting unreasonable expectations. 

Setting goals is important, but if you constantly make your goals unachievable, you risk losing motivation when you are unable to meet those unreasonable demands. 

There are two traps you want to avoid when setting goals. The first is trying to complete your goal in an unreasonable amount of time. 

For example, many dieters lose motivation when after a few weeks they fail to hit their target weight. Even if you dedicate yourself to eating healthily and exercising, it is often unreasonable to set a goal of losing 30 pounds in your first month.

Failing to hit this unachievable goal can only hurt your motivation and increase your odds of giving up.

The second trap is not giving yourself time for distractions or imperfections. This mostly applies to setting long-term goals. 

There are too many outside factors that you cannot control. You might have plans to finish a project by the weekend, but end up losing a few days of progress because you get sick and need time to rest and recover. 

Try to plan for imperfections when setting your goals. If you think you can complete a project within three days, consider making your end goal four days in case something unexpected happens.

This also has an added benefit. If there are no other complications, you feel better about yourself for completing the project earlier.

 It also means you now have an extra day entirely to yourself, which you can use to reward yourself or figure out your next goals.

Track your Progress

A wonderful way to stay motivated is tracking your progress. Even if you are not close to reaching your goal, taking a few minutes to track your progress is a way to acknowledge your effort is not going to waste. 

There are many free apps available designed to track goals and record your progress. Tracking progress can also help you stay focused, since it keeps the goal on your mind. 

It can also help when you are setting future goals. You can look at all the benchmarks from previous projects and get a better idea of how long it takes to accomplish similar goals.