Motivation is a key value on ABOH – so much so that it’s got its own category. I've talked about it a lot, because I know motivation is something a lot of us aim for on a daily basis.
But there’s always one question we ask:
"How do I get myself to be more motivated?”
People go round and round in circles trying out different ways they can be more motivated. But really, that's just making it more complicated for yourself.
Because being more motivated is actually quite simple.
My mum says that I'm the most motivated person she knows. I get it – it's always been a part of who I am. I can’t remember a time when I've not done something that I've set out to do. That’s just been my mindset.
My mum will talk to me about Year 11’s she mentors at school saying that they don’t want to revise or do their work. But I can’t relate. Because even thought I might’ve been tired or felt like I couldn't be bothered, I did it anyway.
So if you’re looking for some ways to train yourself to be more motivated (that actually work) this is for you. Read this list, try these out and take action.
We’re going to kick motivation in the butt.
#1 Stop complaining about how tired you are
The amount of times a day I see “I'm so tired” on Twitter. Or when you ask someone how they are and they respond with, “I'm tired.”
This is something I've stopped doing, because I know that there are so many other people that are more tired than I am. Take one of the girls in my office.
So I came back from a weekend in Newcastle on Monday after having two 12+ hour days during the week and really early starts at the weekend. I didn't feel rested and I could've easily told people I was "tired.”
She’s got a 17 month old and a four year old to spend the weekend with. The kids had spent the weekend coughing so much that she’d hardly got any sleep.
So me saying I'm tired compared to that makes me sound completely selfish.
We’re all tired. And the likelihood is, there’s something you know who’s always more tired than you are.
If you keep saying to yourself that you’re tired, you’ll start to feel that way.
We all face things like this. Nights of no sleep and stressful situations. But if you still get things done, it will benefit you in the long run.
#2 Don’t starve yourself
Seriously. Your brain needs food and liquid to function properly. Want to be more motivated? Don’t starve yourself. Don’t restrict your calories. You can still eat a lot of food – it’s just about making the right choices.
And if you’re feeling tired, don’t reach for the sugar either. I know how tempting it is. But what’s more rewarding – giving yourself a biscuit when you haven’t done any work? Or doing your work, doing a workout and then having a biscuit?
I know which one feels better.
And speaking of…
You know the endorphins that exercising releases? That’s a good thing.
You know when you’re getting towards the end of your workout and you’ve got to do burpees and squat jumps all in a row. You’re jumping and jumping and you’re so tired you want to just stop and lie down on the floor. But you don’t, do you? You carry on and you get to the end of the workout.
That’s being motivated.
This is exactly how you train yourself in other aspects of your life. Relate a project or a task to a workout.
Just think about some of the benefits that exercising gives you:
- How you feel afterwards
- How many calories you’ve burned
- How much you’re sweating – it means you’ve really tried hard!
- You can give yourself a treat
- How you’re going to look
- Adrenaline rush
- Stress relief
- Doing something for you
You can apply this to anything. Let’s say you’ve got a big assignment due in. What benefits could we note down to help us be more motivated to complete it?
- How you feel when you’ve handed it in
- How the result is going to go towards your degree
- How your degree is going to help get you a job
- How your job shapes your career
- Adrenaline rush
- Adding it to your CV
- Your family and friends feeling proud
- You feeling proud
- Giving yourself a treat when you’ve handed it in
Notice how they're similar?
Always go for the rewards, friends. Tell yourself, “If I get this essay done and signed off today, I can go out for a few drinks tonight.” Or whatever it is you want to do. You’re training your mind to get it done.
#4 Talk To Someone
The problem I have with big pieces of work or assignments is actually starting them. I'll have done my plan and got my outline. But when it comes to actually writing the damn thing, I can’t do it. It’s like my mind has closed off. So I always go and talk to my mum. We talk about something random and then about the work I'm doing. And all of a sudden, a lightbulb will go off and I’ll be away.
I hope you’ve got someone like that in your life. Whoever it is, talk to them. Put a limit on the conversation (so you don't procrastinate!) and get them to give you a pep talk. I promise it’ll work.
#5 Listen to Music (if you want)
I put (if you want) in brackets, because for me, when I'm writing a blog post or doing something at work, I can’t concentrate as much with music. But if it works for you then go for it! Take time to create a great playlist that you won’t be tempted to skip. You can even use the one you use when you’re working out – it’ll give you the exact same feelings as exercising.
#6 Just do it
No one else is going to do it for you. It's all down to you. That might sound like pressure, but it's not meant to be. If anything, take it as a wake-up call.
Training yourself to be more motivated comes from you. If you don't want to do something, you'll find reasons not to do it. Ask yourself why you're looking for these reasons? Why don't you want to do this thing?
And if you do want to do something, you'll do it.
It's as simple as that.
Do you struggle with feeling motivated? What's the biggest thing you'll take away from this post?