How to motivate yourself

The following article will present you some excellent motivation techniques that will let you know how to motivate yourself effectively.

Definition of Motivation

Motivation determines the reason for an individual’s behavior, more specifically: the goal-oriented behavior of a person. Motivation enables people to act to reach their desired goals and aims. Most humans develop motivation either out of deficiencies or out of needs (the need for power, achievement and affiliation).

When speaking of motivation, we can differentiate between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is driven by different interests, feelings, goals or needs of an individual, whereas extrinsic motivation comes from the outside (environment) of an individual, such as challenges, recognition and appreciation. Intrinsic motivation can be strengthened by applying motivation techniques whereas the extrinsic motivation requires outside factors or influences to be increased.

How to motivate yourself

This article will mainly focus on intrinsic motivation; therefore, it will present you motivation techniques that will let you know how to motivate yourself effectively. Nevertheless, I have also included one motivation technique that shows you the importance of an extrinsic motivation source and how to make use of it!

Effective motivations techniques

The following motivation techniques and self-motivation techniques will help you to establish, maintain and strengthen motivation and incentive and help you to know how to motivate yourself in an effective way.

The motivational power of GOALS

Goals are a great source of motivation, as they help us to nurture our motivation and provide necessary focus and direction and should, therefore, be integrated into our “toolbox” of motivation techniques. Wise goals allow us to do “whatever necessary”, which helps us to drastically increase our perseverance and our success rate of accomplished goals. Perseverance is especially necessary once we set ourselves very ambitious goals. The utmost important aspect of an effective goal is that YOU have chosen it for yourself and that YOU really want to achieve it; so much that it will create a motivational desire within you and increase your incentive drastically. Inherited goals and objectives from your friends, partner or family have no motivational benefit for you at all.

How to motivate yourself

Make sure to apply powerful goal setting strategies that will allow you to set effective goals that strengthen motivation. Another very helpful tip is to make an effort to associate your goals with positive feelings, as this will strengthen your will to accomplish these goals. The more excited you are to pursue an ambitious objective the more motivated will you be to do so!

Vision Board: Effective Self-Motivation

Once you have set yourself some effective goals it is important to keep your goals in mind, as they will only motivate you if you don´t forget these goals. To achieve this, you should consider writing your goals down on a “goal list” that you read once or twice a day. The most effective solution to keep goals and aims in mind is to create a vision board that includes photos of all your goals you aspire to accomplish. Vision boards strengthen motivation drastically, as it will be easier for you to associate more positive feelings with the goals in form of a picture than in form of a list of words [A picture is worth a thousand words…]. Make sure to place the vision board at some space where you will see it at least once or twice a day. Even better: place it in your home desk, office or to another place where you need to be motivated the most during a regular day.


Motivational goals on will strengthen motivation, but to peak motivation, you need to visualize your goals if you want to make sure to profit the most from motivational goals. Visualization is no rocket science as it only requires you to imagine a picture or “scene” of the desired outcome, e.g. the accomplishment of a goal. This helps you to strengthen you self-believe and furthermore prepares the mind to achieve your goals. Visualization techniques are so effective because our mind cannot differentiate between a real situation and a very intensive imagined experience. To benefit the most from visualization it is important to visualize the accomplishment of a goal as realistic as possible, from the first-person perspective and with the same pleasure and excitement you would experience. The more realistic you can imagine how you achieve your goals the more motivated you will become. Make sure to visualize in an environment where you will not get interrupted by any mean.

Visual Motivation

“A picture is worth a thousand words” ~ Chinese Proverb

It was already mentioned that pictures can strengthen motivation when I spoke of the motivational benefit of creating a vision board. Besides this, you can also profit of motivational pictures, as they elicit within a view seconds very positive emotion when viewing them. You can either create a motivational picture for yourself (a self-painted one) that you associate motivational feelings with, or you can have a quick search on the internet for motivational posters.

Rewards: Sharpen your Desire

The process of linking a reward with a requirement (here: the accomplishment of a goal) is the most effective motivation method, above all other motivation techniques, as a reward allows you to associate positive feelings with the efforts you make to achieve a goal. Rewards sharpen your desire to achieve an objective, as you will only be presented with the reward when you accomplish the aim. This reward technique allows us to program our mind that a high effort equals in accomplishment, which finally equals in a reward (and positive feelings): [effort = accomplishment = positive feelings]. A reward can be tremendously effective when we want to pursue very ambitious goals, as it helps us to develop perseverance and the attitude to do “whatever it takes” until the aim is accomplished.

Interest and Commitment

If you ever performed a task that you were highly interested in you will know of the benefits of true interest as a motivational factor. You might have felt committed to the task and have been driven by the desire to complete the task. If you can link commitment and interest to your tasks you will advance your motivation and strengthen your incentive. If you are facing a task that you really dislike and are not interested in you should try to identify what benefits you might be presented once you accomplish the task. Get an extra portion of motivation by visualizing the positive outcome once a task is finished! By doing so you can direct your focus on the positive aspects of a task, rather than think about the negative sides of it.

Integrate Motivation into your Life

The previously mentioned motivation techniques allow you to either increase or strengthen motivation, but to keep your motivation on a constant and very high level we need to integrate motivation into our daily life. This can be achieved by identifying motivational aspects of your life and then to integrate these into your daily routine. Some people can motivate themselves by reading some motivational quotes, while others prefer to get motivated by exercising regularly. Whatever it is that motivates you: integrate it into your daily routine. Make a habit out of it! This could be for example to visualize your goals both in the morning and the evening, or to imagine all the beautiful aspects of your life while you are taking a shower.

Just do it

One of the biggest obstacles to becoming motivated to perform a task is procrastination, the habit of postponement. Besides its negative influences on our motivation, it can also cause regret and discouragement, which is not worthwhile. The next time you are confronted with a task that you do not really want to perform you should immediately act and just do what needs to be done. This helps you to avoid procrastination and eliminates false hopes such as “waiting until motivation arises”. You will see that the most difficult thing is to act, but once you decided to execute a task you will find further motivation that keeps you going. If you noticed that you try to postpone especially tasks that seem to be very demanding or difficult it can be helpful to split this task into sub-tasks that you approach step by step. By accomplishing one sub-task after the other you will build momentum and advance your motivation.

A Motivational Social Environment

All the previously named motivation techniques focused on methods that you can implement to get motivated; in short: they focused on the motivation from the inside of a person (self-motivation). This motivational technique focuses on a type of motivation that comes from the outside environment of a person: its social environment. The people that surround you (your partner, friends, co-worker and family members) can have a tremendous effect on your motivation. You might have experienced this for yourself if you have ever talked to a pessimistic person with a lot of negative attitudes. These conversations can be a real pain, as they can cause us to feel like them, or we might even adopt similar attitudes. In contrast to this, you might feel energized, happy and motivated when you meet some of your best friends and have a good time with them. Surround yourself with energetic and happy people rather than with “complainers” or “demotivators”.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article about motivation techniques, but please bear in mind that this article can only develop its whole effectiveness for you when you start implementing these effective motivation techniques into your daily life.

Motivational Quotes

Enjoy the following motivational quotes:

“Men’s best successes come after their disappointments.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” ~ William B. Sprague

You can find even more motivational quotes here: The Most Motivational Quotes Ever.

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can´t have it.” ~ Robert Anthony

“‘Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ~ Albert Einstein

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