How To Get Motivated

Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 in Get your goals | 10 comments

Self motivation is a powerful practice of happy and successful people. No matter what your goal, motivating yourself to progress is the key to living a satisfying and purposeful life.

My goal is, simply, to live my best life! To be healthy, happy, and love life. Of course doing so is easier said than done. To live a great life I must be motivated to make daily choices that support my goals every day. Not only do I have to make the choice to take action, I have to take it.

Some days I wake feeling energized and motivated, and other days it’s easier to take the path of least resistance, which is usually not the path to greatness. Even when pursuit of my goals means enjoying a relaxing day, it’s often tempting to get sucked into some mindless activity (Facebook, anyone?) that I don’t necessarily enjoy, it’s just a way to pass the time. (Just me, then? Oh, you too?)

Another example of living my best life involves working on my blog. I love blogging, and yet some days I spend my writing day doing nothing of consequence with little to show for it.

If I want to live my best life I must first be motivated to do so! When my motivation doesn’t not come naturally, I can practice self-motivation to align my behavior with my intentions.

So how do I motivate myself when I’m feeling distracted, bored, and avoidy? Here’s how!

Picture your goal

A great way to motivate myself is to picture my goal in my mind. A vision board helps me visualize my goal regularly and focus on the life I really want to live. When considering how I want to spend my day I look at my vision board and ask myself, “does this belong in my vision?” When a behavior or action aligns with my goals, I feel a rush of motivation!

Get inspired

I keep a Pinterest board of inspiring quotes and messages. I share favorite quotes on Twitter and Facebook. I stick inspiring thoughts on notes around my home and office. I read inspiring blogs. I surround myself with inspiration to keep me inspired.

Take care of you

Often when I’m feeling unmotivated it’s because I’m hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. I recognized these cues it’s time to HALT and take care of me. I can eat a healthy snack or enjoy a small indulgent treat! I can journal or talk out a problem I’m holding on to or just let it go. I can spend time with family or friends. I can take a nap or get to bed early. Taking care of my basic needs comes before happiness.

Take one step at a time

Sometimes I feel unmotivated because the task in front of me seems too daunting and it feels as if I’ll never get it done! (That’s never happened to you, right?) When I feel overwhelmed I can focus on doing one thing at a time. Instead of fretting about the end result, I focus on the task at hand. I ask myself, “what’s the next step?” and tackle just that step until it’s time to take on the step after that.

Be present

A great way to waste time is to spend it doing something that isn’t meaningful or valuable to me. Every moment of my life doesn’t have to be filled with activity, but when I’m not enjoying whatever I’m doing- even if I’m doing nothing- then my life doesn’t feel very great. (This is absolutely the point I step away from the computer when I’m mindlessly internet trolling.) Being present in this moment, enjoying and engaging myself in whatever I do, is a great way to get motivated to do what I really want to do.

Be awesome!

When I accept responsibility for the awesomeness of my life and creating more awesome, I find motivation I didn’t know I had! Yeah! Come on, awesome life! Today I’m going to be awesome!

motivationImage courtesy of Mike Speed.

I love your comments! How do you self-motivate? Which, if any, of my tips are you going to try?


  1. Hi Chrysta,

    Picture your goal is a biggie for me. When out of sorts and must take action, what usually gets me motivated is focusing on the outcome.

    Also being awesome is another biggie. (love your pic) life sometimes is rough but if you look around there are a lot of awesome things out there (starting with yourself) all you have to do is look.

    Terry Conti

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Terry!

      Picturing my goal really helps me get and stay motivated, too. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day and temporarily loose sight of my goals. Actively picturing my goal helps me realign my motivation!

      And yes, be awesome! Being awesome doesn’t come after motivation and accomplishment- to be motivated and accomplished I must be awesome to start! :)

      Have a grateful day!


  2. Well, Chrysta, I could say a very large cup of caffeine gets me motivated, but it is the easy way out! It does help, though. Since caffeine motivates our mind and body, I will stay with this theme.

    I think taking care of ourself is very important to keeping motivated. It is an element in the motivation equation. If we do things to improve our well being, then other life steps in this direction will happen, too.

    Go. Do. Make great things happen!

    Thanks! Jon

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Jon! I have to admit, sometimes caffeine helps me motivate, too. :)

      Taking care of myself is the most important thing I do to get motivated. I just can’t be energetic, excited, or effective if I’m hungry, tired, stressed or otherwise not in good mental and physical health.

      I love your words, “Go. Do. Make great things happen!”. Thanks for sharing them! :)

      Have a grateful day!


  3. Chrysta,
    I really love this – and for me, especially the idea of “being present”. When I do this – really do this – and am in a place of meaning to me – I am very much motivated.

    So today, that’s my take away from here – to really be present as much as possible – and be motivated from that!

    Thank you!!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Lance!

      When I’m unhappy or stressed I’m usually not being present- rather I’m worrying over the past or future without much focus on right now. My best days are days wherein I am actively engaged in the present!

      Have a grateful day!


  4. Hum, hopefully this won’t end up a dupe because it’d my second try leaving a comment. Okay here goes – I really like your message and personally I feel self-motivation is the only kind that really matters – to prove that all we have to do is look at how many people read a motivational book and some take the message and run with it – others do nothing at all. If someone really needs to hear that perfect thing to motivate them, they need to tell it to themselves and BELIEVE it.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Marty!

      I agree, self-motivation is the only motivation that’s really effective. A fellow Toastmaster gave a great speech this week in which he touched on self-motivation and likened it to a cafeteria worker spoon feeding children in schools versus providing the food and allowing children to feed themselves. It was a great analogy and really identified the importance of motivating ourselves instead of waiting for others to motivate us! Related to your comment, all the external motivation in the world won’t make a difference if we aren’t even a little self-motivated.

      Have a grateful day!


  5. There really are many ways to get motivated. What works for me is taking one step at a time and never losing hope. No matter how bad the times are, I just keep feeling that tomorrow will be better and it will brighten up.

    However, I loved your suggestion of taking care of oneself. I need to do that. Sometimes I get so involved with my tasks that I forget to halt and take a pause. I need to learn to do that.

    Hope you are having a lovely day!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Hajra!

      Taking life one step at a time is essential for me. Every time I find myself focusing on desired results instead of simply giving my best effort I start to feel impatient, self-critical, and frustrated. The wonderful thing about taking life one step at a time is when I give my best effort each step along the way the results are almost always great!

      Have a grateful day (and take care of you!)


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