How to Re-Motivate Yourself Every Day

You’ve had points in your life when you were incredibly motivated. Times when you started a new diet, looked seriously at changing career, began exercising again, got going on a big project, and so on.

Inevitably, though, you found that your motivation petered out. Maybe after a couple of weeks, maybe after just a day or two.

What happened? Why did it all go wrong?

Motivation is an emotion – and it doesn’t last forever. Like being in love, the initial high-energy rush quickly fades. Or, as Zig Ziglar puts it:

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

But how do you motivate – or re-motivate – yourself on a daily basis?

#1: Look at the Big Picture

If you get up and rush straight into chores or your to-do list, you’ll inevitably find your motivation waning. You might wonder what the point is, or whether you’re really working on the most important tasks.

I find that my day always goes more smoothly when I take ten minutes in the morning to plan what I’m doing: to look at the days ahead, and to think through the most effective use of my time.

You might try:

  • Getting up fifteen minutes earlier, so that you don’t feel so rushed first thing in the morning
  • Looking at your calendar and planning your day before you open your inbox
  • Making time to sit down and eat breakfast, instead of grabbing food on the run
  • Meditating or praying for five minutes before work each morning

A calm start to the day can really set the tone for productive, meaningful work – instead of a rush through lots of little, unimportant tasks.

#2: Make Time For Yourself

How often have you started out feeling really motivated – about your diet, your work, your financial turn around – only to get more and more drained by daily life?

If you feel zonked out every evening, you’re probably not taking much time to rest and recharge during the day. However much you love your work, you do need down time – in the long run, this makes you much more productive, and more motivated.

Making time for yourself means taking a proper lunch break so that you come back refreshed in the afternoon. It means getting up from your desk and walking around to re-energise yourself physically. It means giving yourself permission to read a novel, take a long bath, or do something purely fun in the evening.

This week, find time to recharge each day – and notice what a difference it makes to your mood and your motivation levels.

#3: Work Efficiently

When you’re starting to feel a motivation lag, what do you typically do? I know that I get tempted to stop working – I’ll suddenly feel like chatting on Twitter or reading webcomics. It’s easy to convince myself that this is “taking a break”.

Really, though, it’s just procrastination. I know that I should be working – I even want to be working – so I’m not really relaxing at all.

If you’re starting to feel de-motivated, one of the best ways to get your energy back is to get on with your work. Make a checklist of what needs to be done, and tackle some of the major tasks. Yes, it’s hard to get started, but you’ll find that it’s easier and easier to carry on once you get going. Motivation is like momentum – once you’ve built it up, it doesn’t take much extra energy to maintain it.

I’m sure you’ve got plenty of your own tips and tricks for re-motivating yourself on a daily basis. Let’s hear them in the comments!

Ali Luke blogs about writing – tackling issues of motivation and productivity – over at Aliventures. You can grab the RSS feed here.