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How to get yourself moving: Strategies for self-motivation

It can be hard to light that spark of inspiration sometimes. We’ve compiled a handy list of strategies to help you cope.

Motivation, productivity, self-improvement

We’re all only human, and sometimes we find motivation a little hard to come by. But don’t despair, there are a lot of different ways to rekindle your ambition and drive. We’ve listed just a few of the best methods.

Connect with others

One of the best strategies you can adopt is learning from others. But this doesn’t just mean reading about them.

Leadership speaker Mark Sanborn suggests studying an influential individual first-hand. Get in touch with a leader you admire, as both an educational and an inspirational experience.
Conversely, teaching others and acting as a mentor can also give you a little boost. Not only this, but it gives you confidence, and reinforces your own skills and knowledge.

Collaboration and teamwork in general can be a great source of inspiration. If you surround yourself with positive and motivated people, their attitude will likely rub off on you.

Even social media is great for using the power of others to motivate you – Facebook groups, for example, can bring together a community of similarly minded individuals, who are able to motivate, inspire and encourage each other.

Plan, set goals, manage your time

Setting goals and making plans can be an excellent way to drive your productivity. Even the biggest tasks are more manageable when broken down into their constituent elements.

Former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, Denise Morrison, believed in the power of planning.

“You really need to set goals in your life, both short-term and long-term, just like you do in business,” she said. “Having that long-term goal will enable you to have a plan on how to achieve it.”

“Having that long-term goal will enable you to have a plan on how to achieve it.”

At the same time, learn to set aside time to look after yourself, and thus your productivity. Sufficient rest and sleep do wonders for your motivation.

Read a book

There are some great motivational books out there, and getting yourself acquainted with new ideas and perspectives can really drive your own creativity.

Classics include The Power of Positive Thinking, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

But there are some more niche titles that you just can’t go past, like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (whose TEDx talk ‘How to stop screwing yourself over’ was viewed by millions) which teaches confidence, happiness and creativity.

Don’t limit yourself to business books either. Even the stories of those who have triumphed against adversity, or found their way to success, can give you that little bit of inspiration. Books like Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs or Chris Gardner’s The Pursuit of Happyness are just two out of many.

Need some more inspiration? Here’s what some of the world’s top CEOs have on their reading lists.

Try one of these handy apps

There are a whole lot of mobile and online apps that can help you maintain your determination. Some, such as Momentum and Mindset, simply let you record your habits, making it easy to keep track of your productivity.

StickK is a more interesting example, designed by behavioural economists from Yale. It uses what the team calls “Commitment Contracts” – basically money wagers intended to train you to accomplish your goal through loss aversion.

Meanwhile, Habitshare uses the power of crowds to keep you motivated; it’s essentially the Facebook of habit sharers. You and your friends encourage each other to stay on track, and can keep each other accountable.

Do you dread your daily commute? We look at how you can take advantage of this ‘dead time’ to actually set yourself up for success.

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