Are you struggling right now, at home alone, trying to figure out how to motivate yourself? Many of you are experiencing difficulties with self-motivation, especially if you’re not used to working from home, or not used to spending so much time alone.
Being self-motivated is crucial if you are working from home or spending time isolated. Why? Because nobody is around to motivate you to achieve peak performance, except for yourself.
Some of you are entrepreneurs who have been working from home for a long time, even before the coronavirus pandemic. Others are new to this whole work-from-home concept, as your employers have shifted you to remote work due to current stay-at-home orders.
Whether you’re used to working from home, or this is new for you, it remains true that everyone could benefit from improving their self-motivation and self-discipline.
Everyone has their own individual personality traits that hinder their self-motivation. Some people are natural procrastinators, some people are overthinkers or perfectionists. Others are lazy, and others are simply struggling with anxiety or personal issues that distract their focus.
Anyone can kick the bad habit of procrastination, or learn how to focus instead of falling victim to overthinking or perfectionism.
Every single one of you can learn how to motivate yourself, improve your productivity, and get more done each day. When you practice self-motivation, you’ll accomplish more and you’ll achieve more of your goals. This will boost your mood and your self-confidence, which only leads to even more productivity.
Let’s review some tactics for staying motivated while you’re stuck at home. But first, it’s important to understand why you struggle when it comes to staying motivated.
Why You Struggle With Staying Motivated
There are many reasons why people can’t seem to find the motivation they need to have a productive day. As we just mentioned, procrastination is one of the most common reasons people struggle with staying motivated. Self-motivated people aren’t typically procrastinators.
Procrastination is a habit. You might be in the habit of waking up, eating breakfast, relaxing on the couch for a while, scrolling through social media, turning on the TV, and before you know it – half the day has gone by.
Do you know what else is a habit? Getting the important things on your to-do list done and out of the way as soon as you wake up. If you decide to develop a new morning routine, this could be your new habit. This new habit would help you stay motivated throughout the day, because you started the day by doing something productive, and that set you up for a successful day.
When your habit is to procrastinate, be lazy, or put things off, it’s less likely that you’ll get a surge of motivation later on in the day. The difference is that if you kickstart the day by getting started on your work right away, you’ll want to keep that momentum going.
Lack of accountability is another common reason for a lack of motivation, especially if you live alone. Jennifer Kem, a branding and marketing expert based in the San Francisco Bay area, explains:
Those who live alone have no built-in accountability system: there is no one to tell them to get off the couch and go to work or maybe switch the donut out for a healthier alternative. If you live alone, you are responsible for creating a system of accountability for yourself. You can do this by contacting a community of supporters divided into three networks: peers, mentors, and mentees.
Peers are the friends who understand where you are in life and will cheer you on along the way. Mentors have surpassed your level of success and want to pull you up to them. Mentees haven’t yet arrived to where you are, which provides you the opportunity to coach them and recall how far you’ve come. Creating a structure of support outside of the home and calling on them will enable you to motivate better inside the home.”
People who struggle with self-confidence, anxiety, depression, negative thoughts, and those who overthink are all people who will also probably have problems with self-motivation. It’s also difficult to know how to motivate yourself if you don’t believe in yourself.
Don’t worry. We’re about to dive into some tips for how to motivate yourself, which will include ways to combat those negative thought processes that get in your way.
Motivation is Both a Mindset and a Choice
Motivation isn’t something we tend to naturally feel in our bones. That sense of urgency to achieve our goals and make the most of our time isn’t a feeling that is second nature to most people. In fact, although most people do have goals they want to achieve, most people tell themselves they can work on those things tomorrow. But what happens when each day, you say you’ll do it tomorrow? Exactly. So, try to avoid that bad habit.
You have to consciously decide that you want to have a productive day each day, and push yourself to get stuff done. Whether that’s by writing out a to-do list, sticking to a routine or schedule, setting timers on a phone, or looking at a vision board – people have various ways of motivating themselves. What you must understand, however, is that it’s still a choice.
Motivation is both a mindset and a choice. It’s a mindset because in order to be self-motivated, you must shift your mindset to the millionaire mindset or the winner’s mindset. You must be hungry for success, to the point where you have made a decision to make each day count and be productive each day.
Motivation is a choice because nobody can make you do something goal-oriented or productive, except for you. If you want to learn how to motivate yourself, you first have to choose yourself. Put yourself first. Does binge-watching TV help you reach your full potential? Probably not. Could you do something else instead, that would set you on the path towards success? Yes. It’s a choice.
How To Motivate Yourself by Setting Realistic Goals
Every time you achieve a goal, you’ll feel even more motivated to work on your other goals. Why? Because every time you actually achieve a goal, you get a boost in your self-confidence and your mood. These mood and confidence boosts do wonders for your motivation. Achieving your goals only makes you want to keep going.
The key is to set realistic goals that you can achieve in a short amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, long-term goals are important, too. But short-term goals allow you a chance to achieve some goals, get that dopamine hit, and gain momentum which feeds your self-motivation.
Set some realistic goals that might only take a couple of days or a couple of weeks to achieve. For example, let’s say you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, and one of your goals is to get your company featured in the media. This is a goal you could realistically achieve in a short amount of time.
All you have to do is use your copywriting skills to write a killer pitch, send your pitch to various media outlets, bloggers, writers, etc. Wait for someone to take the bait, and perhaps within a week, you’ll have landed yourself an interview or you’ll be offered a guest spot on someone’s podcast.
This is an example of a realistic goal that once achieved, will only fuel your motivation to keep going, and achieve more of the goals on your list.
Create a Rewards System
If you’re stressing about how to stay motivated when you’re alone, working from home, ask yourself an important question. Do you have a rewards system in place? What you need is an internal rewards system. External motivators or external rewards (like your boss admiring your work and inviting you to an exciting conference) won’t be possible with current stay-at-home regulations. Internal rewards, however, could be something as simple as checking tasks off a to-do list. Indigo Stray Conger, a licensed therapist from Colorado, says,
Self-motivation is difficult for most people because we typically learn from a young age to accomplish tasks through external motivators. We feel satisfaction in the form of the neurotransmitter dopamine when we receive a reward or avoid a punishment.
When you work for yourself or have goals you’d like to achieve on your own, self-motivation often needs to be translated into a rewards system in order to create an ease of accomplishment. Breaking larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks and setting deadlines with clear motivators is the key to success.
For some people a ‘reward’ as simple as checking a task off of a list is enough to stimulate the reward center in their brain and create a small hit of dopamine, which is what external motivators are designed for. In recent years, this has been dubbed “gamifying” your life, or turning tasks into a game.”
So, now you know that it’s possible to train your brain to get dopamine hits from checking tasks off your to-do list. Don’t have a list of goals that you can check off? Write out that list immediately. Pin it somewhere visible and look at it daily. This is key when it comes to mastering how to motivate yourself, and giving yourself the reward of accomplishment. Another thing you should be looking at daily, is your vision board or your wealth triggers.
Surround Yourself with Wealth Triggers or Create a Vision Board
You might be wondering what wealth triggers are. An example of a wealth trigger is the framed photograph on your work desk of an exotic destination you’ve always wanted to travel to, or a paperweight that happens to be a symbol of a luxury car you’ve dreamed of owning.
Wealth triggers are items you place in your home office that symbolize wealth, success, your goals, and your dream life. These items can be framed quotes, gold statues, photos of famous entrepreneurs you look up to, or any symbolic or inspiring item that triggers motivation within you when you look at it.
Looking at these wealth triggers will help keep you going, and help you stay motivated, even when you’re feeling tired or burnt out. Why? Because wealth triggers remind you of what you’re working towards.
When you’re working from home, either on a passion project, a remote job, or your own business, one of your goals related to success is wealth. You want to make enough money to live your dream life and take care of your family. So you need wealth triggers on your desk and in your home office that you can look at to remember why you need to stay motivated.
Creating a vision board has a similar effect as decorating your office with wealth triggers. A vision board can be a bulletin board, for example, where you’ve pinned up images of all the things you want in life. Perhaps you’ve pinned a photo of the type of house you want to live in, and your bucket list travel destination photos. Maybe you’ve pinned a photo of the lakehouse you’ve always wanted to spend summers at to your vision board, and other images, as well as motivational quotes that inspire you.
If you want to master how to motivate yourself, you have to ensure that every day, you have your vision board and wealth triggers to look at in order to get inspired and stay on track. Seeing these reminders of what you’re working so hard for, helps you stay motivated and keep the TV turned off.
Read Books, Take Courses, and Upgrade Your Skills
Books have the power to equip you with more knowledge, more inspiration, more self-confidence, and better skills to take on the world. When you read motivational or knowledge-based books, such as self-help books or books about business skills, what happens? You start getting inspired and feeling motivated.
There are many books that will help teach you how to motivate yourself, but there are also many books (and many online courses) that help you sharpen your existing skills and add to your existing knowledge. Let’s say you already have quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to digital marketing. Then, you read a book by a digital marketing expert, and you learn, even more, thus sharpening your existing knowledge and leading to increased feelings of motivation to work on your digital marketing projects.
Similarly, many books and courses will help you further develop and sharpen your existing skills. Imagine that you’re already a pretty good copywriter, and then you read a book by a master copywriter who teaches you a bunch of copywriting secrets that help you upgrade your copywriting skills. This kind of self-improvement and self-education contributes greatly to self-motivation.
Use Time Blocks
A time block is a portion of time (typically 1 -3 hours) that you block out in your calendar, dedicating that block of time to do your work or a productive task.
A time block is meant to be strict in nature. During this time, absolutely no TV or social media. You’re dedicating this block of time to your work.
If you’re wondering how to motivate yourself, know that using the method of time blocks properly will help you stay motivated. There are three important things to remember when using time blocks to keep yourself motivated.
First, you must understand which hours of the day you’re most productive. Some people feel more energetic and more alert at night, and others feel most mentally alert in the morning. Everyone is different, but the key is to block out time in your calendar for work during times of the day you know you’re going to have the mental energy. If you’re a night owl and your brain comes alive at night, your calendar might have a short time block in the afternoon, when you’re starting to feel more energetic, and one or two more time blocks in the evening.
The second important rule is to defend your time blocks and have zero tolerance for distractions unless there is an emergency. This rule of defending your time blocks comes to us from Shoshanna Hecht, an Executive Coach based in NYC. Hecht says,
Put time blocks on your calendar, and assign specific tasks into the blocks instead of just ‘work’ or ’email’. Defend those blocks ruthlessly.”
The third rule for using time blocks properly and staying motivated is about being specific with your tasks. This aligns with what Hecht said above. You must block out time in your calendar for specific tasks so that you know exactly what you’re going to be working on, and are mentally prepared for the task.
You Have to Believe in Yourself to Motivate Yourself
The people who struggle the most with self-motivation, are the people who don’t believe in themselves. If nobody else believes in you, and nobody else is motivating you, you must believe in yourself and motivate yourself anyway. It doesn’t matter what other people think you’re capable of. The only thing that matters is that you believe you can become successful.
Believing in yourself helps you motivate yourself because you need fuel in order to ignite feelings of motivation. If you truly believe that you can do it, you’ll feel more motivated to try.
The question is, can you do it? Absolutely. You can do anything you set your mind to. Think about it this way: The people who have low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and don’t believe in themselves have trouble because they constantly feel hopeless or discouraged. Motivation requires you to encourage yourself and have hope for your future.
Remember that many of today’s most successful entrepreneurs succeeded without any external support, network, or anyone who believed in them. Many of those successful entrepreneurs you look up to, built their own success by believing in themselves, supporting themselves, and motivating themselves.You don't need other people to believe in you or support you in order to stay motivated. To succeed, all you need is to believe in yourself, support yourself, and invest in yourself. Click To Tweet
Imagine that you have a business idea that is certainly unique, but you’ve done your research and you know there’s a demand in the marketplace for it. Let’s say that your friends and family, however, think it’s weird, dumb, or unorthodox. Does that matter? Should that stop you from pursuing it? Absolutely not. To succeed, all you need is your own belief, your own drive, and your own determination. Think positive, because there is a lot of power in positive thinking.
Put a Stop to Negative Self-Talk
For some of you, spending too much time at home or spending too much time alone, has caused you to feel depressed or hopeless. Negative thoughts could creep in and kill your self-motivation. If you want to know how to motivate yourself, first you have to learn how to end negative self-talk.
We were just discussing how important it is to believe in yourself, in order to motivate yourself, right? That means you must think positively and believe that there is hope for a better outcome.
If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts such as, I can’t do this, or, I should just give up because this is hopeless, combat those thoughts with a positive affirmation that you say out loud. Say out loud to yourself, “I can do this as long as I put the work in”, and “I won’t give up because I want to achieve my goals.”
If you want something greater in life, and your time alone at home has given you time to think about the fact that you want more out of life, what should you do? Instead of feeling hopeless or discouraged because you don’t have direction or a plan, create hope by creating a plan.
Create a New Plan and a New Identity
You probably have an idea in mind of what creating a plan means. Creating a plan means that you write out very clear goals, along with each and every step or action required to achieve those goals. If you have a business idea, it means writing out a business plan. Or, if you have an employer that you’re working from home for, your plan might be to exceed their expectations with above-average work. Maybe your plan is to ensure your business survives this global pandemic, and you’ll plan out a new business model that is better equipped to survive these trying times.
Having a plan helps you a lot when it comes to motivating yourself. If you want to learn how to motivate yourself, start by creating a clear-cut plan, because the plan itself is going to be extremely motivating. Why? Because that plan provides you with a sense of direction, and a better idea of what you’re working towards.
Now, what do you think having a new identity means? It basically means, committing to the new and improved you. Who is the new you? Well, for example, the new you might be someone who reads books and listens to motivational podcasts instead of watching TV. The new you might be someone who has a morning routine that involves crossing at least one thing off your to-do list first thing in the morning.
We tend to act in accordance with our self-prescribed identity. So, simply deciding your new identity can help motivate you to succeed and strengthen your ability to break bad habits.
The way you currently behave (for example, by procrastinating) is a reflection of your current identity (a procrastinator who struggles with self-motivation.) Your new identity, once you decide you want it, can come with new behaviors and better habits, including better self-motivation.
Your new identity is all about who you want to be, and what type of person you need to become in order to achieve your goals faster, easier, and with more gumption.
What Motivates You?
Another thing that improves self-motivation is understanding what you want, and gaining some clarity on what motivates you.
Are you motivated by money? Fame? Recognition? Significance? Helping others? Does building your personal brand motivate you, because you created it and made something of yourself? Or, does the idea of becoming wealthy motivate you? Does the general concept of significance and making an impact motivate you, especially if the public recognizes you? Or what about the satisfying sense of accomplishing something great in this lifetime?
There are days you will feel exhausted, depressed, hopeless, and you will feel that your willpower is depleted. During those days, you’ll need to reflect on what you truly want out of life, in order to muster up some self-motivation and work on your goals.
Create a Work-From-Home Environment that You Love
One of the fundamental components to working from home, staying motivated, and being productive is to make working from home an enjoyable experience. This means that your workstation, your work-from-home environment, and your ecosystem at home must be comfortable and pleasant.
Let me explain: If your home office happens to be in the basement of your house, in a dark and dingy room that has piles of old boxes and no windows, is that a place you’ll want to be? No. Will you try to avoid your at-home workstation and therefore get less work done Yes.
Creating a work-from-home space that you love is crucial to keep you motivated. Try to put your desk by a window, or in a very clean and tidy part of your home. Clutter makes your brain feel cluttered, so ensure your desk and its surroundings are clean and tidy.
Create a brain-boosting playlist of music that helps you focus. Get some uplifting scents at an essential oils shop, and get yourself a diffuser to help make your surroundings more enjoyable to work in.
Get yourself a good office chair, and it’s best to set up an ergonomic workstation at home that includes an ergonomic chair. Don’t forget that an ergonomic setup will help you have better posture while you work. Good posture leads to better breathing and better blood flow to your brain, which improves performance.
In general, it’s all about the ambiance when you’re working from home. You should have a clean and tidy desk set up at home with good lighting. Perhaps you’ll have some nice plants or flowers on your desk, a diffuser with a nice scent, and some brain-boosting music in the background.
And, make sure to have wealth triggers around you that are visible while you work, to help keep you motivated. Decorate your home office with inspiring wealth triggers that keep you driven.
Developing Your High-Income Skill Will Keep You Motivated
Few things are more motivating than being truly skilled or talented at something. Imagine that you’re a freelancer who works from home, tends to get a little bored while at home, and lacks self-motivation. Let’s say you’re a freelance writer, and you’re having a hard time getting high-paying remote jobs. You wish you were making more money and landing better freelance gigs that paid better.
Well, freelance writing isn’t necessarily a high-income skill, but freelance copywriting is a high-income skill. In fact, if you master the art of High Income Freelancing™ you will feel much more motivated to work from home.
Learning or further developing a high-income skill such as copywriting is a smart way to spend your time at home. Copywriting is not only a lucrative skill that can put you in the High Income Freelancing™ category with the highest-paid freelancers, but copywriting is also a skill that’s in high demand. The demand for this skill means that finding remote jobs is easier for a freelancer who has acquired this skill.
Don’t forget that any entrepreneur, freelancer, or business owner needs copywriting skills in order to effectively pitch themselves to clients, market their business, and persuade others to work with them or buy from them. Copywriting is a skill that always comes in handy.
In general, feeling confident in your high-level skills will keep you motivated.
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