5 More Ways to Motivate Yourself

by Henrik Edberg

Since 25 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself has become a somewhat popular article I’ve thought a bit more on the topic of motivation.

And I’ve come up with an additional five ways to get yourself motivated.

They include one of my own favourite ways: using guided mediations to boost your motivation.

1. Use guided meditation. Personally I really like guided mediation CDs called Paraliminals. Why? Well, they are very easy to use – you lie down, relax and listen for 20 minutes – and they are quite effective. The downside, I suppose, is that they are not free. Learning Strategies sell them for 30 dollars a piece. I’d say they are often worth it, though so far I have found that some Paraliminals are not as effective as others. However, that may have something to do with my skill-level in using them. I often get a good effect out of the CDs but also feel I still have a bit to learn about how to use guided mediations in the most useful way.

For boosting my motivation I use the Get Around to It Paraliminal about once a week. It pretty much releases procrastination for a couple of days and I tend to get a lot more done – a lot easier – than if I don’t use it. I also like Automatic Pilot Paraliminal. It seems to reinforce the procrastination busting of Get Around to It and generally makes me feel more upbeat, enthusiastic and motivated about doing just about anything. The really noticeable effect of this one also lasts for about 2-3 days but I think there are some lingering effects for both CDs for about 5-7 days.

If you like to know more about Paraliminals, I suggest browsing the Learning Strategies website and having a look at the official and informative forum.

2. Motivate each other. Get a group together and create an open and helpful atmosphere where you motivate each other. Or join a local group with people with the same interest as you. You can, for instance, use Google or check posters at your local university to find courses or groups that are already doing what you want to do. If you can’t find a group locally, go globally. Join an online group like a mailing list or a forum to find like-minded people, help and motivation. There are one or three online groups for just about anything.

3. Make it a game. Make a game out of a task or a project and it often becomes at least a little more fun and exciting to do it. And if you are a group and competitive then you can really raise your motivation by some friendly competition.

4. Visualise. But do it in a positive way. Before we do anything our minds start seeing pictures of how everything might turn out. We all visualise, all the time. But it is easy to get stuck in visualising not-so-positive-outcomes. And then turn that into a default state of mind that we use when think about just about anything. I find it a lot more useful to use this way of visualizing:

Visualize how great the events will unfold – see and hear it – and also feel how great you will feel doing the task, leading the project, playing the game, attending the meeting.

See yourself smiling, being positive, open and having a great time. See the excellent outcome in your mind. Then release by visualizing that it has already happened, that that whatever you needed to do is over and done with the desired result. This is surprisingly effective and will get you into a great and relaxed mood before you even begin. It raises the motivation and enthusiasm and by reducing negative effects such as nervousness focuses you and your mind to give a better performance compared to if you had visualized in a negative way.

5. Make good use of problems and trouble. Bad events can be strokes of luck and there is almost always a good part to a problem. Perhaps it alerts us to a great way to improve our business. Or teaches us how our lives perhaps aren’t as bad as we thought. Or makes us become more empathic. Finding this more positive part of the problem reduces its negative emotional impact and you may even start to see the situation as a great opportunity for you. When you are faced with a problem ask yourself:

  • How can I use this?
  • What is the good thing about this?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • What hidden opportunity can I find within this problem?



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{ 2 comments }

Greg Todd June 28, 2007 at 3:42 am

Great ideas. But I have real trouble when it comes to visualization. I just don’t “see” anything. I’ve tried and tried, but nothing seems to work for me in this area.

Henrik Edberg June 29, 2007 at 3:21 pm

Thanks, Todd. I have heard about some people having a hard time visualizing since they can´t “see” anything. I would love to have a solution for that problem, but haven´t heard of any so far at least. Perhaps a Google-search can help you find a solution?

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