[self-moh-tuh-vey-shuh n]


Initiative to undertake or continue a task or activity without another’s prodding or supervision

Sounds easy, right?  Maybe!  However it can be trickier than it sounds.

Why self-motivate anyway?  Of course, you can choose not to but, in time, guilt and bad feelings can set in and you may end up not enjoying your free time as much as you could do. And that’s why we need to know how to motivate ourselves.

We all know we have got to sort out that wardrobe, complete that assignment, blitz that bathroom, finish that report or clean that oven but it can be *really* hard to motivate ourselves to get those things done.

Sitting on the sofa watching a favourite TV show, lounging in the garden (especially in this fab weather) or catching up with a friend sounds much more appealing than any of those mundane jobs.

Whatever the task in hand though, we have all got it in us to get it done.  We all have the potential to self-motivate. We just need to know how to motivate.

Self-motivation can only come from yourself – it can’t be provided by others so this is something you have to do for you.

As a child (OK, as an adult too sometimes!) you may learn to first eat bits that you least enjoy from your plate of dinner, leaving the best bit until last!  This, in a way, is a kind of self-motivation (if I eat the horrible bits, I can reward myself with the best bit after!) so you can see that even from a young age, this self-motivation is instilled in us.  It’s there.  We just have to release it if it has somehow got a bit lost!

Admittedly, as you get older, the tasks you need to accomplish are usually a bit more difficult than getting through your dinner but it’s all about balancing life and getting the things done that need to be done so that you can then enjoy your ‘me’ time, or your rewards, that bit more.

People can accomplish this differently.  For me, I have a handy whiteboard. I list my jobs for the day and, upon completion, I reward myself.  That may be with some chocolate or my guilty pleasure, Love Island!

There are a variety of self-motivation practices out there.  Using anchor thoughts (repeated thoughts or behaviours that become truly embedded), you may want to change your patterns of thinking.  You may like to take a step back from the distractions of social media (I know, I know – that’s *really* hard to do!).  Perhaps you need to improve diet and exercise?  All of these can, in turn, improve your self-motivation. And these are a few of the ways how to motivate yourself.

Plus never underestimate the power of even 10 minutes’ mindfulness per day.  Simple techniques can be learnt – some as easy as just breathing properly – that can put everything into perspective and make your day’s tasks seem more manageable and achievable.

Don’t set unrealistic targets.  Just set a goal and a reward.

And most importantly, enjoy!!  Enjoy the feeling of achievement and accomplishment. Then enjoy the reward and benefit you reap after!

“If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.” – Napoleon Hill

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