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How to Stay Motivated

Two Methods:Keeping Spirits HighBeating Procrastination

Personal motivation is key to maintaining almost all aspects of life. If we're not motivated, we're more likely to squander our time and neglect our personal and professional goals. Even the most determined people can lose steam sometimes. Keep reading for some sure-fire tips for getting back on track.

Method 1
Keeping Spirits High

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    Remind yourself of your goals. Usually before devoting time to any specific endeavor, we tend to make short- and long-term goals. If you start to lose sight of your goals, then you may be less motivated than if you were always checking to see how much closer you are getting throughout the whole process. Keeping track of your goals and checking your progress can help keep you motivated day in and day out.
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    Make weekly checkpoints to track your progress. Everyone needs to see how they are keeping up with their goals if they want to stay motivated. If you see that you are on track or even excelling every time you check your progress, you will be motivated and happy that you are getting there. If you see that you are lagging on your goals, it may be the kick start you need to help get you back on track
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    Make sure to reward yourself every time you achieve your weekly goals. This could be as simple as a bowl of ice cream after a long, hard week of working out or as rewarding as a trip to the spa for all your hard work. Whatever rewards will keep you going are the ones you should be giving yourself.
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    Give yourself breaks. Sometimes even the most determined people get overwhelmed. You may be burning yourself out, and a much-needed break might be just what you need. If it is a fitness goal, maybe take a three- or four-day rest instead of your normal one- or two-day rest. If it is at school, don't try to do all your work in one sitting, but stretch it out over the course of the day or week, if possible.
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    Don't be too hard on yourself. Everyone falls short sometimes. If you fail to meet your goals for the week, take it as a lesson. Try to complete your next target before time, so that you can use the saved time to complete the pending work. This way you stay right on schedule even if you have taken a hit. It's not always about how hard you hit, but how well you can take a hard hit and keep moving on. Don't dwell on failure; just accept it as a human occurrence, and continue working towards your goals.
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    Watch and read motivational stories or speeches. Everyone deserves a great pep talk every once in a while. Stay elevated by watching YouTube videos of inspirational moments so you can suddenly feel a new sense of motivation to keep striving. Here are just a few example of easily-found inspirational media:
    • Mary Schmich's famous "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" speech.
    • Almost any Hollywood sports movie.
    • Much rap music - "rags to riches" is a common lyrical theme.
    • Historical stories of bravery or courage (see: Jack Churchill, Audie Murphy, etc.)

Method 2
Beating Procrastination

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    Eliminate your distractions. Identify anything that's causing you to procrastinate, then get rid of it. Sell it or put it in a storage locker. Move away from it. Throw it away. You can't become motivated if you're squandering all of your time.
    • If you're spending too much time aimlessly browsing the internet, install a "productivity" extension in your browser. These free extensions allow you to block certain sites and/or set time limits for recreational browsing.
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    Raise the stakes for yourself. Hold yourself accountable in your own eyes and the eyes of others. Set personal penalties for yourself if you don't act - throw out some delicious cookies you've been saving or make a donation to charity. Tell your friends and family about things you plan on doing. If you don't do these things, they'll know, and you'll be embarrassed - now you have a great reason to get started!
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    Take some caffeine. Only you know where to draw the line in terms of dosage - one person's typical morning brew might make another jittery and unfocused all day. A moderate dose can make you feel alert, oriented, and focused.
    • If you've already got a caffeine addiction - that is, you need caffeine just to function normally - you might be out of luck!
    • Stay away from more powerful stimulants unless a doctor has prescribed them for a specific condition. They can be extremely habit-forming if used carelessly.
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    Move your body. Go for a short run, do some jumping jacks, or shadowbox. Even light physical exercise can affect our moods, making us feel more active and dynamic. Exercise has even been shown to thwart depression and low self-image - both hurdles to personal motivation efforts.[1]
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    Break your task into manageable pieces. If you're having serious motivation problems, breaking one large task into many small tasks can make it much easier to approach psychologically. Because we get a feeling of accomplishment from completing each step of the task, this trick can increase motivation substantially. Sometimes, all that's needed to gain the momentum to tackle the whole project is to complete the first simple step.
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    Surprise yourself. Even tremendously motivated people can be driven to lethargy and inaction if they have to perform tedious, repetitive tasks for weeks or months on end. Break up the monotony with spontaneous and out-of-the-ordinary activities. Try to create an internal sense of unpredictability - even you don't know exactly what you'll do tomorrow. This can ease the psychological tedium of work that is the same day after day. Here are just a few ideas you might want to experiment with:
    • Spend a lunch break at a scenic place outdoors.
    • Have an impromptu soccer game with friends or coworkers.
    • Surprise your workplace with some home cooking.
    • Take a friend or significant other out for a night on the town, even if there's no special occasion.
    • Change your personal style. Cultivate a drastically different look, then wait for reactions from your friends and coworkers.

Tips

  • Stay positive. No matter what, motivation goes hand in hand with positivity. Even when things are looking down, keep your head up and push forward.
  • Have personal idols. Your favorite politician, athlete, or businessman probably has motivational speeches or an inspiring background story. Read and inform yourself about their lives, and the things they had to overcome to reach their goals.
  • Make things fun. At the gym, bring your favorite music. At work, bring yourself small treats to enjoy after small accomplishments.
  • You can also motivate your self by doing a job while giving yourself a small treat. This can make it easier to ease into the process of working.
  • Listen to music. A great way to make the most monotonous tasks for fun is to play your favorite music in the background.
  • Doing some breathing exercises or yoga will help you stay positive and energetic.
  • Go step by step with the goals that way, it will help you achieve something little by little.

Warnings

  • If you are severely unmotivated or have a hard time motivating yourself to accomplish even basic, necessary goals such as getting out of bed, working, or practicing personal hygiene, see a doctor or counselor - this may be a sign of depression.

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