How to Motivate Yourself

19 April 2019

If you’re stuck in the same old routine that you’ve lost all interest in, it can be easy to lack motivation. Perhaps you’re finding it hard to progress at work or your children have flown the nest and it’s becoming lonely at home.

Fortunately, there are ways to get your mojo back and stay motivated. Having a vision of what you want to achieve, becoming super organised and being inspired by music are just some of the ways to boost your enthusiasm. Find out how to get motivated with our top tips.

What is motivation?

Motivation is the initiative, impulse or strong need to accomplish something - an internal process that pushes somebody to move towards a goal.

"Motivation is the effort, the drive, the desire, and the energy a person uses to activate and maintain goal driven behaviour." – Murray Johannsen, a leading expert in the field of Transformational Leadership

Motivation techniques: How to find motivation

  1. Use the five second rule

    Next time you have an idea or exciting thought, give yourself five seconds to act on it. If you just take the first step towards your task immediately, you’ll have less time to doubt yourself, get overwhelmed or lose your motivation. Thinking about going for a run? These five seconds of motivation can encourage you to change into your running gear. Need to ask your boss a tricky question? Standing up and walking over to them is half the blocker gone. Five seconds to act can be all it takes to follow through.

  2. Create your vision

    Whether it’s a Pinterest board, a physical canvas or simply the wallpaper on your phone, seeing what you want to achieve regularly will help you get there. It could be a montage of countries to encourage you to save up for a big holiday, a city you’d like to move to or a famous fitness trainer who’ll motivate you to work out and eat healthily. Whatever it is, a physical reminder of your goals will help to sustain your motivation when things get hard.

  3. Break down goals into pieces

    If a goal seems too large to achieve, it’s easy to get unmotivated. Make it more obtainable by splitting your challenge into smaller milestones – this keeps you motivated as you tick each milestone off. If you want to run a marathon, start with a 5k, then a 10k run. If you need to save for a house deposit, set small monthly savings goals. You’ll feel great when you hit each smaller target, giving you momentum to make it to your longer-term big goals.

  4. Listen to music

    Music is one of the many things that can control our emotions. Each type of music impacts our bodies in different ways. For example, people who suffer with insomnia listen to soothing and relaxing songs to aid their bodies into a relaxed state and encourage sleep. On the other hand, upbeat songs with a quicker pace cause our pulses to quicken and breathing to accelerate. This can be particularly motivating when doing physical exercise or a boring task.

    Some runners say that music is key to physically demanding exercise as your body can align with the beat, encouraging you to keep going. Listening to your favourite inspirational songs helps to quiet any de-motivating brain signals associated with boredom or fatigue and gives the brain and body a boost. Create a playlist that improves your mood and get fired up for the day!

  5. Write lists and create routines

    Having a plan, routine or to-do list makes tasks more manageable and can even turn a dreaded task into an appealing one. Whether it’s a busy week at work or a long-term task such as redecorating the house, writing things down turns these seemingly impossible tasks into concrete goals. This allows you to be productive, rather than overwhelmed. Organisation usually provides better results, and it’s also a great sense of achievement when you can tick things off the list!

  6. Find something to be motivated about

    If you find yourself asking ‘why’ you’re doing something and you don’t have an answer, there’s a good chance that you shouldn’t be doing it. It’s important that you’re passionate about the goals you’re aiming for, whether it’s becoming healthier or getting a well-deserved promotion at work. If you aren’t fussed about looking better on the beach this summer, chances are you won’t stick to your diet or training plan. It is crucial that you are enthusiastic about whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, otherwise you will struggle to stay motivated. If you fail to achieve your goal, will you be disappointed? If the answer is no, don’t waste your time.

  7. Be a part of the community

    If work is boring and your social life is lacking, you may be experiencing a loss of motivation. Having an activity to look forward to and a community to be a part of can boost motivation and encourage you to be more productive. Joining an association such as the Army Cadet Force delivers a fun, adventurous community where our cadets and volunteers feel worthwhile and respected. Our adult volunteers shape the future of young people as well as acquiring new skills and personality traits that take their careers and lives to the next level.

If you’re interested in challenging yourself and becoming more motivated every day, find your nearest ACF detachment and discover how to become an adult volunteer.