Self Motivation Techniques to Help Reach Your Goals

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It can be challenging to stay motivated with your goals and to create the change you want to see in your life. When obstacles come our way or we start to doubt our abilities our self motivation tends to take a drop. 

I don’t think there’s a single person in the world who hasn’t struggled with motivation or staying consistent with their goals.

But how can you improve your self motivation when you’ve lost it? That’s we’re going to uncover in today’s post!

What is Self Motivation?

Self motivation is basically an ability to push yourself to take initiative towards your goals and tasks. More importantly, it’s the ability to do that without external opinions or validation. This is especially important when it comes to setting and achieving goals.

Self motivation is being driven by yourself despite whatever obstacles life throws at you.

Importance of Self Motivation

If you’re setting long term goals for yourself, they obviously require hard work and discipline to achieve them. Results don’t come quickly which is why it’s important to maintain your motivation (or better yet, prioritize discipline).

Self motivation will help you go further once the initial excitement wears off.

Why do you want to achieve your goals? The answer to that question has power. It’s what motivates you.

Michael S. Dobson

Types of Self Motivation

Self motivation can be driven both intrinsically and extrinsically. My favorite way to explain this is through chores. 

I don’t know about you, but my mom would get so frustrated when I didn’t help and do the dishes growing up. So she would come in my room and tell me to do the dishes right then and there. I was of course in the middle of whatever I was doing and felt annoyed that I had to stop what I was working on. Doing the dishes was something I had to do.

On the flipside, when I’d feel inspired to clean and do the dishes it didn’t feel like something I had to do. Instead, it was something that I wanted to do. I was happy to do it.

There’s a huge difference in my motivators for each scenario:

  • Scenario 1: my motivator was external. I had to do the dishes to please my mom
  • Scenario 2: my motivator was internal. I chose to do the dishes because I felt like it.

Of course I felt more efficient and fulfilled in scenario 2, when I was driven by intrinsic motivation. Now – let’s dive into more specifics on each type of motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation has to do with internal motivators. Factors like enjoyment, wants and desires, help drive your intrinsic motivation. It doesn’t involve external awards, but instead your own internal award.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation has to do with motivational factors that have nothing to do with you – they’re external. Things like money, status, or anything else that impresses other people for instance.

Self Motivation Techniques

Alright, so self motivation is clearly something that we should work on…but how? How do you stay motivated? 

Find Your Why

When you know your why, your what has more impact because you are walking in and toward your purpose.

Michael Jr

Your why will remind you of what you’re working towards. If you don’t have a strong enough “why” behind your goals then it’s going to be hard to show up. But if your why is meaningful to you then you’ll want to keep pushing forward with your goals to achieve the end result.

Related: How to Create a Vision for Your Life

Many people think that money will motivate them..but when push comes to shove, money isn’t typically a strong enough motivator when you hate the work that you’re doing. Think about it – let’s say you want to improve your life by having more income, so you decide to become a realtor and sell homes. 

It’s all fine and exciting at first while you’re thinking about the possibility of more money in your bank account. But then you start to hate showing houses..and you strongly dislike the other tasks of being a realtor, then it’s going to be hard to stay motivated simply because you’re not fulfilled by the work you’re doing.

Get what I’m saying?

Set Meaningful Goals

This hopefully shouldn’t be a shock to you – but your goals should actually mean something to you. Your goals shouldn’t be set simply because it sounded cool or because so and so is also working towards that goal. Your goals shouldn’t be based on what you think you should be doing, but instead on what you actually want to do. And make sure that your goals are aligned with the vision you have for your life!

Related: How to Set & Achieve Your Goals

I also want you to remember that your goals don’t all need to be long-term. Create some short-term goals for yourself on a regular basis. This is a huge help with staying motivated because you’ll be inspired by the different things you’re working towards.

Lastly, don’t just set goals, but also regularly review your goals. Seeing progress on your goals will help motivate you!

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Break Your Goals into Smaller Chunks

I typically get stuck in perfectionism and analysis paralysis if I don’t break my goals into smaller chunks. For example, just a few weeks ago I kept telling myself I had to reach out to potential guests for my podcast. That was a daunting task to say the least.

But then I broke it down into smaller tasks. I asked myself “okay..well who are the potential guests?” so I then created a list of 10 people I wanted to reach out to.

Next, I asked “What will the topic be?” and I researched each person and wrote a potential topic next to their name. Then I found their emails…so on and so forth.

Big goals and tasks can seem very scary from the outside looking in, and you may feel like the task looks so hard and time consuming. But when you break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks then you’ll realize it wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be.

Related: How to Turn Your Goals into Habits

Surround Yourself with Positive People

I’ve said this time and time again, but it’s incredibly important to be intentional with the people you choose to surround yourself with. 

If you’re constantly hanging out with people who drain your energy or you just don’t feel excited to be around, then you need to change your circle. You naturally pick up on the phrases and actions of other people – I’m sure you’ve noticed this when you’ve said slang words that a friend typically uses!

So surrounding yourself with positive people will help inspire and motivate you with your own goals, but you could also add in positivity through books and podcasts. Here are some of my favorites:

Celebrate Your Wins

Sometimes we feel like small wins aren’t worth celebrating, but that isn’t the case. You should take the time to celebrate each accomplishment you have no matter how big or small. This will do wonders for your motivation because you’re not solely focused on the end result but on the small wins along the way.

Final Thoughts

If you’re having a hard time staying motivated with your goals, I hope that some of these tips help you increase your motivation and stay consistent with your goals and habits.  Was there a tip that you enjoyed the most? I’d love to hear it in the comments below!

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Hi, I'm Ariel.
Your Hype Girl +  Self Awareness Coach.

I'm a Starbucks lover, fizz dealer, master chef, creative baker, worship leader, dog mama, crisis counselor, cheese connoisseur, and passionate writer.

I've never been one to limit myself to a single title, and you shouldn't either. I bet you're more than a daughter, more than your age, and more than your job.

When I was in college, I noticed people around me lacked vision for their lives. They felt so restricted by society's expectations that they weren't living according to their own passions. And I wanted to help.

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