“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun.

When lying in bed all day, mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds feels more appealing than getting important stuff done, you’ll need a little push to get out of your funk. That’s where motivational pep-talks come in.

However, sometimes the best cheerleader you need to get you going is yourself. No one else understands better what pumps you up or gets your motor running. Even though it’s not always easy to do so, these 5 ways to motivate yourself are a good place to start. 

Do something you enjoy when you get up
How you begin your day typically sets the tone for it. That’s why having a morning routine is important as it has a great impact on your productivity.

The best way to start your day and motivate yourself to make the most out of it is by doing something you love first thing in the morning. It can be anything like having a cup of coffee, doing yoga, taking a walk, or reading a chapter of your latest read.  

Make a to-do list
Approaching your tasks without a structured plan for tackling them can lead to feeling overwhelmed. A good way to counter that is by writing a to-do list with your important goals broken down into smaller tasks you can achieve throughout the day.

When you’re creating this list, it’s important to set realistic expectations so you don’t overexert yourself. Putting your hardest tasks at the top of the list is another good strategy which will give you a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to get through the rest of your easier tasks.

Have a reward system
Everyone loves rewards. This is the basis for most workplace incentive programs where employees are incentivized to work in return for rewards. A similar approach can be applied on a personal level to help motivate you.

Instead of money, you can set up a system to reward yourself with little things you enjoy. For example, you can motivate yourself to complete a task on your list with the promise of a cup of your favorite beverage after, or a refreshing power nap. However, make sure your reward system doesn’t derail your progress, for example if giving yourself social media time will distract you from getting back to the rest of your tasks.  

Don’t compare yourself with others
Taking inspiration from others is good, but it can also demotivate you if you constantly compare yourself with the people you look up to. You might see yourself as a failure if, for example, you don’t have the same accomplishments as your peers, friends, or certain family members.

Unfortunately, there will always be someone better or more accomplished than you. To avoid self-discouragement, it’s best to focus more on yourself and how you can improve personally without measuring your progress against the achievements of others. Reminding yourself of previous successes also makes this easier.  

Remember your “why?”
Sometimes overcoming emotional hurdles can be as simple as reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. You might be working towards a certain achievement like buying your first car or house or you’re aiming for a promotion at work.

Whatever the reason, a reminder of your endgame is the best motivation when you feel your strength waning. You can even have a visual representation of it, like a picture of your dream car or house and have it up somewhere you can easily see it. As a neuroscience study showed, having a vivid description of your goals helps you achieve them.  

“Why do you want to achieve your goals? The answer to that question has power. It’s what motivates you.” – Michael S. Dobson