8 Ways to motivate yourself when you’d rather do nothing

There will be days when you just don’t feel like doing anything. The occasional lazy day is fine, but when they become a regular occurrence, something needs to change.

Successful people do a good job of motivating or inspiring themselves to take action each day.

It’s quite likely that some people find it easier to motivate or inspire themselves more than others, but it’s possible to learn how to be more productive.

Here are some techniques to motivate yourself and increase the odds of success in your favour:

  1. Be more willing to fail. Maybe you’re not being lazy. Maybe you’re procrastinating because you’re afraid of failing. A fear of failure will take the wind out of your sails and begin the process of rationalizing reasons for not doing anything at all. Embrace failure as a regular part of life.
  2. Remember that life is short. Life is short, but as long as you don’t waste time, you can get a lot accomplished between now and the end of your life. It’s easy to put things off until tomorrow, but there are only so many tomorrows left. Make the most of them.
  3. Consider the long-term cost. What is the cost of procrastination? It’s easy to sit on the couch for another day, putting off your action steps yet again. But think about what being lazy again today will mean to you a year or more from now.
  4. Think of the benefit of getting something accomplished. What will you get from going to the gym every day day for the next year? Conversely, what will happen if you don’t go? What do you get from taking action right now? Focus on that instead of the short-term pleasure of being lazy.
  5. Ask yourself what you could accomplish today. What could you get done today? How would you feel about yourself and your day if you accomplished a few meaningful things? Make a list of what you’d like to get done and then follow your list.
  6. Use a timer. Spending four hours cleaning out the attic might seem like a daunting chore but seeing how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes is intriguing. A timer will give you a specific endpoint and focus your attention. You might decide to reset the timer and give it another go after the first round.
  7. Create goals. Having a few short-term goals and long-term goals can make it easier to motivate yourself. It’s not easy to go to the gym just for the heck of it. It’s easier to go if you have a goal of losing five pounds this month, or 50 pounds this year, or looking great for your class reunion.
  8. Use music, books, quotes, or movies for motivation. Maybe there’s a certain movie scene or song that motivates you. For someone else it might be a favourite quote. YouTube is full of inspirational videos that only take a few minutes to watch. Start and end the day with something that inspires you to take action. Just mind you don’t go down the internet “rabbit hole”!

One thing that separates successful people from others is the ability to get things done on a consistent basis. It’s important to know how to motivate yourself each day. Use the most of each day and avoid wasting too much time. Life is short, so make the most of it. There’s nothing to be gained by being lazy.

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