How to Get Motivated

This article gives you steps to take to being “motivated” although the author isn’t sure that’s exactly what you need. But she’ll give you a strong does of what you do!

Most of the articles I see that discuss motivation talk about sports. But we average Joes and Jills are not playing sports. We just have to get out of bed everyday, go to work, and try to live. We don’t have a coach working with us and a bunch of fans cheering us on. There are no big endorsement contracts, no uniforms, and seldom the thrill of victory. How do we find motivation?

It seems to me that most people want to find the motivation to do something (or to stop doing something). Let me give you some examples:

Lose weight or eat healthier. Stop smoking. Get rid of clutter or be more organized. Get out of debt. Exercise. Make better use of their time.

I don’t think what is needed is necessarily motivation. I think what is needed is true desire, discipline, and information.

What do I mean? True desire – you have to really, truly want it. It starts here.

It’s not going to be easy, but don’t lie to yourself. If deep down you really would rather have that new pair of shoes than pay off that credit card – I can’t help you. You’ve got to get this straight in your own head. You have to decide what you really want and go for it. When athletes take the field they want to win. Period. You have to have that level of clarity and desire.

You don’t hear much about discipline anymore and that’s a damn shame. Because discipline is what you’re going to need. The discipline to get out of bed when you don’t feel like it and go to the gym. The discipline to not buy those shoes and put that money in the bank. The discipline to go to night school when your friends are out partying. Every successful person in the history of the world could practice discipline. Discipline is doing what might suck in the short term to get you where you want to go in the long term. No discipline equals no success. There is no easy way out.

Information is vital.

Too many people fail because they don’t know what they need to do to succeed. They don’t realize they will NEVER get out of debt paying the minimum balance on their credit cards. They don’t know that salad dressing, cheese and bacon they just dumped on their salad destroyed their diet. You don’t need more motivation – you need more information.

Here’s your “motivation:”

1. Commit or let it go.

You have got to be able to say “I will do whatever it takes to do ______________.” And you have to mean this. If there is any doubt in your mind, come back when you’re ready. Don’t waste your time until then.

2. Get smart. You obviously aren’t that smart about this particular topic.

Hey – there’s no shame in that!! If you could see my library, you’d know there’s a whole lotta stuff I’m not too smart about! But you need to quit thinking you have all the answers. Get a basic book on managing your finances or on weight lost or organization. Whatever it is you think you need “motivation” for. Anything that promises you a quick fix is a lie and a bad source. You are not going to become rich, skinny or organized overnight. You need to get smart, not suckered.

3. Set up systems.

Automatic payroll deduction, making your lunch the night before, immediately sorting the mail over the trash can, deleting all email by the end of the day – you have got to make this a no brainer. Your systems will start to form habits and the new behaviors will become easier.

4. DISCIPLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These systems are going to be hard at first, they may be hard for a long time. Even the life long athlete has days when they don’t want to workout. That’s where discipline comes in. You have to work your system even when you don’t want to. Now – I don’t mean that if you have an injury, you keep working out. I mean if it’s cold outside and you just don’t feel like it, you man up and go. There’s a difference between taking care of yourself and being undisciplined, and we all know it. This is the difference between those who get what they want out of life and those who don’t. And the only person who can do this for you is you.


Don’t get discouraged – what I find is that the more you practice discipline – the easier it gets. You become stronger. Your self-esteem rises. You realize that you CAN get out there and do anything – you just have to push yourself.

5. Keep on top of it.

Life happens – sometimes things will occur that will throw you off track. You may have a health issue or you may have to go out of town for work and things may pile up on your desk. This has nothing to do with your discipline. The clutter comes back, the exercise regime can’t be completed, you regain some weight. That will happen, it’s okay. As soon as you can, get those systems going again. The longer you wait, the harder it will be. Do what you can as soon as you can.

6. Fight the P Sisters – procrastination and perfectionism.

Don’t put it off till tomorrow. Better to do a little today than nothing. It DOES NOT have to be perfect. A short workout is better than no workout. A small binge is better than a huge binge. Get back on track as soon as you can.

You might read this and think – but I just want motivation to get out of bed and go to work or to be a better parent. You know what I’m going to say? Look at those steps in that context – are you really committed to loving your job? If not, don’t look for me to motivate you into it! If you are, are there things you could learn to make you better at it? To help you advance? If you don’t know, learn the answer!

Set up systems – if you love your co-workers, make sure you have a fun lunch planned with one each day. The discipline is that you have to fight to keep your fire about anything – you have to keep learning, keep growing, keep reminding yourself of what you likePsychology Articles, etc. etc.

Do you see? These steps really do apply to anything you want to be “motivated” about. So there it is – stop waiting for that magic “motivation” and get on it!



Denise Ryan, MBA, is a Certified Speaking Professional, a designation of excellence held by less than 10% of all professional speakers. She is a blogger Her website is where you can see more articles and sign up for a free newsletter.

How to Get Motivated Enough to Get Things Done

Activities like exercise, building skills, reading a book cannot be done on the last day. But we postpone starting these things or are at best do it intermittently. How do we motivate ourselves?

Rome was built on the last day.

The above line is a common project management adage. It means that things get done at the last minute, even if there was enough time to plan well.

It is human nature to prioritise things on the basis of the pleasure principle – personal gratification and ease of use, or the pain principle, that is avoidance of discomfort.

Each day, there is some crisis that throws intentions into disarray. I use the word intentions deliberately, since ‘intentions’ are not actions. ‘Want’ does not lead to action. Motivation comes in between.

Motivation to do things come because of 2 reasons.

The obvious one is the stick-carrot or risk-reward. Enough has been written in management literature about it. The other reason is probability of success. The two are multiplicative. Whatever be the size of the carrot or stick, if the chances of success is low, things won’t happen. Similarly, if it is easy to do but the reward is not great, it won’t happen.

A word about reward

    It is in the eye of the beholder. It is very difficult to fathom what motivates another unless I know the person. What I consider as gratifying may not be important at all to my colleague. Which is why most HR policies can only be at best, hygiene factors. Motivators is the job of the immediate manager.

I have meandered a bit. The aim of this blogcast was to point out that, as it is, we are not motivated enough, and on top of that, if we have to do things on a consistent and regular basis, it requires a sustained stamina for what seems like a marathon, with no end in sight nor any instant gratification. Hence, Rome is built on the last possible day.

Activities like exercise, building skills, reading a book cannot be done on the last day.

But we postpone starting these things or are at best do it intermittently. How do we motivate ourselves so that we do not wake up one day to see a muffin-waist, or need to finish a lot of books before the exam? How do we motivate ourselves to ace that super tough aptitude test, so that we can get admitted in a top business school?

We can’t. All of us are different. If we are in the military, such activities are regimented and forced on us because they are the raison d’etre for the army. If we are civilians, with a choice, most of us will fall on the wayside, so to speak.

I do not mean to say it is futile to attempt to regularise our life. Our moms have got up every day for all our life to provide food to the family. She did not do ‘last day Rome’ by cooking food for the month on one day. She did not look at motivation theories or excuses thereof. She did it every day out of a sense of duty or love. Maybe she had no choice, or she considered the alternative, or she got tuned to that way of life. She is a true professional and mostly taken for granted.

If we need motivation or inspiration, we do not need to go far.

Look at our mothers, and be inspired by her, to keep plugging away and be a true professional. Rome will be built day by dayHealth Fitness Articles, brick by brick.


Prof. Chandra Kant, is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and currently, a senior professor at Indus Business Academy, a top business school in Bangalore, India. He teaches, change management, business leadership and Self Management.

3 Factors That Make You Hard to Motivate?

There will always be times in your life when you have to perform tasks that you deem unpleasant for one reason or another

Working with a co-worker you don’t like, going to work on Mondays, taking the garbage out, driving to meet the in-laws at the airport, having dinner with the spouse’s friends… Doing these things just siphons whatever motivation you have inside you and makes you feel sad, tired, sorry, even annoyed. But did you know that there are also things inside you that actually make it difficult to feel excited and enthusiastic? Get to learn the factors that make you hard to motivate:

Your mindset
Your mindset is a major factor that can make you hard to motivate. This is because it can severely limit your understanding of the world and all experiences in general. Your mindset can sometimes be composed of growth-inhibiting beliefs, prejudices, biases and standards.

If, for example, you believe that nothing good can come out of your staff, you’ll fail to see that there is a clerk there that actually has management potential. If you refuse to believe that you can actually write for a famous magazine because you’re a person from a small town, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to expose your talent and reap its rewards.

Your comfort zone
We all have certain limitations in our minds. These limits are things we decide on based on our own personal beliefs, ethics and standards. Within these limits, we feel comfortable in and can pretty much do as we like.

Once we approach the outer edges, we begin to feel discomfort, shyness, embarrassment or annoyance. We do not wish to go further because we do not like what we don’t know or haven’t experienced. Because we have a fear of the unknown, we’d rather stay within our comfort zones because we feel safe there.

The problem here is that a narrow comfort zone can be a major factor that makes you hard to motivate. Each time you are presented with a new idea or experience, you check to see if it fits into your comfort zone. If it doesn’t, then you simply refuse, no questions asked. This is unfortunate because many of these ideas and experiences can be good for you. But you’ll probably never know because you don’t have the motivation to try them.

Your past experience
Did you get burned by the stove? That’s probably why you hate to cook. Did your former bosses fail to show appreciation for your hard work? That’s probably one reason why you don’t feel motivated about your job.

Your background – personal, social and professional experiences – has a lot to do with how you decide things in your life. They can also be factors that make you hard to motivate. If these experiences are negative, they tend to make you more hesitant and unsure of yourself because they affect your self-esteem and confidence.

If, for example, you’ve only been met with rejection or ridicule in your life, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine if you don’t feel a strong need to excel or to improve yourself. You’ll probably be thinking – ‘So what? Nothing I ever did was good anyway. Why would things change now?’

Unless you consciously make an effort to identify these past experiences and then refuse to let them rule your life, you will always be hard to motivate.