“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”
-Dr. Wayne Dyer
What you occupy your mind with is of great importance to your physical and psychological health. When you learn to gain control of your mind, you learn self motivation and can begin to take control of your life. Here are seven things you can easily do to increase your motivation:
1. Write Down Your Goals
Sit down and write out what you are trying to accomplish. Be as specific, clear, and concise as possible. Why do you really need to complete this project? Knowing what is important to you and being able to take pleasure in accomplishing tasks is an essential success skill.
A study conducted at Dominican University found that people who write down their goals beforehand are much more likely to follow through with them.
2. Make Your Goals Known to Others.
Staying motivated is much easier when you have support from trusted friends and family. It can be difficult to keep on track without some kind of support network.
Telling people in your support network about your goals will help to motivate you. It will create a conflict in the way others see you if you don’t make progress. This will create stress which will motivate you to live up to others’ expectations.
The same study from Dominican University also found that those who were instructed to send their written goals to a supportive friend were even more successful than those who just wrote down their goals without confiding in anyone.
3. Visualize Yourself Completing the Goal
Visualization is the process of creating a mental image or intention of what you desire to happen. By seeing yourself as happy and healthy, your mind and body will work together to make your image a reality.
Visualization can relieve pain, speed healing, and help the body subdue hundreds of ailments, including depression, impotence, allergies, and asthma.
In a Harvard study, a group of people were told to visualize performing simple tasks in advance. Another group did not visualize the tasks. The group who visualized before taking action had a 100% efficiency rate, whereas those who didn’t had only a 56% efficiency rate. Another study, conducted at Yale, demonstrated that patients suffering from depression were helped by imagining scenes in which they were praised by people they admired, a clear boost to their self esteem.
4. Think About The Effects of Completing Your Goal
After you succeed, how will you have benefited? Imagine yourself in the future after you have achieved your goal. Imagine what your life will be like, and how you will feel, when the goal is completed.
5. Think About the Effects of Not Completing Your Goal
Fear can motivate you as well. People don’t like to be considered failures and this can be a motivator, the fear of regret being the consequence.
6. Take it One Step at a Time
If you try to do everything at once, you will be easily overwhelmed. Just relax. Keep your goal as clear and simple as possible. Being overwhelmed can paralyze you, keeping you from achieving your goals.
As with any major goal, the key to building self motivation is to start small. Every day, take a few steps toward recovery. As time goes on, your achievements will build up.
Dream small dreams. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don’t do anything. If you make small goals and accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to go on to higher goals.
-John H. Johnson
7. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
Sometimes our inner critic can cripple our motivation. Whenever you have a negative thought, ask yourself these questions:
a. Is this thought true?
b. Do I have absolute proof that it is true?
c. How do I feel when I have this thought?
d. How do I feel when I don’t have this thought?
Identifying and questioning your thought patterns is the key to overcoming negative thinking. Once you are in the habit of challenging your thoughts, self motivation will come much easier.
By: Michael Locklear
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Michael Locklear is a researcher and consultant with 30 years experience, studying health, nutrition, and human behavior. He has been president of the Global Peace Project since 1986, and he adminstrates the websites Natural Remedies for Depression and Quick Weight Loss Tips as part of the Global Peace Project educational outreach program.