This is a guest post by:  Marcus Clark


Everyone knows the stereotypical ways that society tells us to increase our motivation – listening to ‘hype’ music, reading inspirational quotes, competing with others, etc.  If these ways were as successful as people made out, we wouldn’t struggle to self-motivate so much! Here are 7 surprising tips that will genuinely increase your motivation immediately:


Stop comparing yourself to others

Many people see competition and comparisons to others as vital for motivation – but this isn’t true!  Contrary to what you may think, comparing yourself to someone else is probably more likely to demotivate you as it reinforces low self-esteem.  Wanting to ‘be like’ someone else rarely actually motivates, it usually intimidates instead because you’re perceiving someone who’s at a much more advanced stage than you.


Acknowledge the achievements you’ve already made

Just like the first point, this seems a little counterintuitive.  Whenever we’re seeking motivation, we naturally tend towards visualising the person we want to be or the things we want to do.  However, evaluating the positive steps we’ve already taken can be highly motivational – it gives us the knowledge that we’ve already proven that we can succeed, and this inspires us to build upon it.


Listen to relaxing music

Whenever we’re trying to hype ourselves up or get motivated, we usually listen to loud, fast, and excitatory music.  Even though this feels like we may be becoming motivated, it might be something of an illusion.  We’re more likely to find genuine inspiration if we listen to music that’s slow, methodical, and allows us to have clarity of mind.  Instead of relying on artificially ‘motivational’ music, you should try listening to music that allows you to seek out inspiration from within your inner calm.


Make a list of achievable goals

Whenever people think about spontaneous motivation, they usually picture themselves having a sudden realisation and then instantly summoning the motivation to carry it out.  If you make a list of achievable goals however, your motivation is more likely to be longer lasting and based on achievements that you’ve spent a decent amount of time planning and thinking about.  Research suggests that goal setting is vital for success.


Get up a couple of hours earlier

Many people find this tip very surprising, and find it hard to contemplate how waking earlier can make you more motivated in your daily life.  Rising early has countless benefits, but one of the greatest is how it positively impacts your motivation.  Getting up an hour or two earlier is an accomplishment in itself, given how busy most of us are.  This not only provides you with a tangible achievement, but will also leaving you feeling fresher, more awake, full of energy, and with a much healthier mindset with which to motivate yourself.


Make a list of three positive things that happened every day

Making a physical note of the positivity you’ve experienced during the day will make you happier, more mindful, and more motivated.  Negativity is the enemy of motivation and progress and the more positive you allow yourself to be, the easier it will be find to find motivation in the world.


Never chastise yourself

Saying negative things about yourself or criticising your failure to achieve goals will never have a positive influence on your life, and it’ll significantly hamper your ability to self-motivate.  Not meeting goals isn’t the end of the world, so don’t act like it is! Be your own best friend, encourage yourself, and you’ll find yourself in a permanent state of motivation.


Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.

image: – choukyin


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