How to Motivate Yourself – 13 Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself

If setting an alarm and later snoozing it or writing a to-do list, then getting overwhelmed and diving into social media, or getting excited about goals then procrastinating and later feeling guilty seem like familiar situations to you, then you’re at the right post.

According to a study conducted by American Psychological Association, motivation is important in almost every aspect of human behavior. When you make a decision, your choice is certainly influenced by your motivational state. When you study mathematics, your motivation to study mathematics clearly affects the way you learn it.

Motivation is that driving force that makes you complete tasks. It is that power that will stop you from snoozing your alarm in the morning. It doesn’t always have to be incentivized. Sometimes glitter and gold are not good enough to make us leave our comfortable quilts, but guilt and fear are. 

One can be motivated positively (a reward for good performance) or negatively with fear factors.

What is self-motivation?

By definition – self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things. 

You can not always have someone to motivate you. And when it comes to taking matters into your hands, self-motivation steps in. Self-motivation is free of all external forces and is only affected by your own craving of achieving your goals.

How can you differentiate between self-motivation and external motivation?

Consider this example – 

External motivation is studying because you want to get a good grade, while self-motivation is studying because you are curious about the topics.

Similarly, going to the gym because your friends are also going is not self-motivation. But if you like the way exercise makes you feel and schedule time at the gym whether or not anyone encourages you is self-motivated.

13 Ways to Motivate Yourself

1. Set up a Clear Goal

“The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal.”

Avoid shooting arrows in the dark. While deciding your goal, keep it SMART. This will certify that your efforts are focused on the right target. Your chances of yielding more results and getting less disheartened also increase when your focus converges on one point.

2. Break Down Task in to Smaller Steps

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember the small steps. Choose one small thing and do it.”

To draw a bigger picture, you have to start from that first stroke of the brush. If you directly look at the final task and begin with that, there’s a probability that you’ll feel fatigued and give up soon. Instead, try task analysis. Task analysis is the process of breaking down a task into smaller, more manageable


With techniques like task analysis you push yourself to walk an extra mile to complete smaller segments of the actual task, one-by-one while maintaining a driving motivation.

3. Have a Reward System

Even though you will get results for the completion of your final task, smaller rewards in between wouldn’t cause any harm. Every time you complete a smaller chunk of the task, incentivize it beforehand. For instance, you need to complete a report by noon. No issues! Set your favorite snack as the completion reward and watch your motivation and speed sky-rocket. 
Similarly, Updeed recognized a unique way of rewarding those who bring positivity to the world – Gratitude Wall. This method motivates change-makers to continue with their good deeds.

4. Make a To-Do List

After implementing the previous method of breaking down the task, you can create a to-do list. A to-do list will help you to keep track of the tasks you need to focus on, even according to the priority.

Celebrate your achievements as you cross off items from your list! You’ll feel encouraged as you check off the tasks.

However, just the way our human brain works it’ll try to find any excuse to procrastinate. So, if you have a long to-do list, cut it down to a more manageable size to avoid getting overwhelmed and stay motivated.

5. Read Books

If you’re a bibliophile, this is actually a reward for you. But if you’re not, then it’s a great method for self-motivation. Don’t limit yourself to self-help or motivational books. In fact, fictional books will keep you enchanted enough to keep reading and might end with a motivational message. 

Books, fictional or non-fictional, can also help you to take a break from a bustling routine and revive energy. This, again, boosts up motivation.

6. Get Accountability from People in Life

“When you don’t keep your word, you lose credibility.”

When nothing seems to work out, get the word out!

Inform what you want to achieve to a few trustworthy people around you with the deadline. If possible, tell them to remind you or check up on your progress. When you state your targets in front of someone else, it becomes a promise to yourself. 

And you wouldn’t want to break a promise and tarnish your reputation, now, would you? 

Try a new method for the experiment. Share what positive things you’re about to do on Updeed and update your progress regularly. This will help you to be motivated, consistent and time-bound, and will encourage others as well.

7. Play Energetic Music

The right combination of kick and snare can always ignite the spark of motivation. If you’re about to get engaged in some task that needs to be finished quickly, cue up an energetic song. 

What’s more? According to a study by University of Barcelona, music can cause the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is that chemical friend of yours which regulates motivation, movement, cognition, and reward-driven learning. Feed your creativity by trying different flavors of music.

8. Friendly Competition

Just that element of competition tends to liven things up. If you want you can keep it up to yourself or involve your friends/colleagues in it. When you’re a beginner in a goal, keep others as your competition and surpass them. However, once you master the art of driving a competitive spirit as motivation, try to outperform yourself with every new record every time.

9. Keep Your Day Miscellaneous

Never be afraid to try something new. Because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know. Keep your day packed with miscellaneous activities to:

  • Expand your skill catalogue
  • Revive yourself and restore motivation

The list of easy miscellaneous activities goes on and on. Listen to music and podcasts that you usually don’t listen to. Try gardening. Read a genre, you’ve never tried before. Cook something even if you’re bad at cooking.

New input and variation tend to be a good way to keep the motivation up (or to recharge it).

10. Take Short Breaks in Regular Intervals

Look behind the curtains and you’ll notice, humans have a short attention span. 

Some studies suggest that due to natural variations in our cycle of alertness, we can concentrate for no longer than 90 minutes before needing a 15-minute break. 

To plan your short breaks better, try out the ‘Pomodoro Technique‘. It’ll assist you to divide your total working hours in a combination of regular intervals of 25 minutes (work) and 10-15 minutes (break). Meanwhile, you can revive yourself during the short breaks by doing something related to a hobby, taking a power nap, or simply enjoying leisure time as a couch potato.

11. Learn from Others

Eleanor Roosevelt was right when she quoted “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Except, you can learn from more than just the mistakes of others. At times, repercussions of the actions of others affect and warn us more than our own. If you can learn methods of motivation from someone else, go for it! Even sitting next to a high-performing employee can increase your output. 

But sometimes you can feel competitive when your colleague works faster than you. Here, negative motivation can work. Whether you’re getting influenced by someone’s good deeds or by someone’s mistakes, you’re benefiting yourself in the end.

Once you’re done with that, it’s your turn to share your victorious stories with others and inspire them. Share your positive stories on Updeed and help someone else learn from you. 

12. Prepare to take Criticism Properly

“Accept both compliments and criticism. It takes both sun and rain for a flower to grow.” 

As we mentioned before – the human brain; needs excuses to procrastinate. Instead of letting your criticism scar you for life and give up, realize your mistake, take notes and grab the golden opportunity to improve. Ask yourself constructive questions like, “Why did I make this mistake? How can I avoid making the same mistake in the future?”

In fact, look for constructive criticism from people you trust. At the same time, remember to spare no effort but not to get affected by baseless cavils.

13. Plan Ahead and Set Reminders

When you plan ahead, you’re able to dodge the cluelessness that might occur after the completion of one task. Know what steps you have to follow to avoid the ‘what next?’ moments. Planning a few steps in the future will also help you to analyze and adapt to the possible pitfalls in the process. 

And of course, this forethought makes you more confident because you are prepared. Set reminders along the way that jog your memory and encourage you to reach certain milestones by certain dates. 

To Sum Up…

If you’re truly dedicated to your goals, you can find motivation anywhere, especially within yourself. Try different methods to see what keeps you the most motivated. After hit and trial, you’ll figure out your own formula. You can share it with others and assist them. “Gaining knowledge is the first step to wisdom. Sharing it is the first step to humanity.”

Motivate others by sharing your motivational stories and positive actions on a platform like Updeed where numerous change-makers come together to share stories of their positive deeds and contribute to humanity in their unique ways. Join the platform to get inspiration from others’ stories for self-motivation and motivate others with your experiences.

Now that you have several methods to motivate yourself, pull up your socks and complete that task that you’ve left pending for a long. If you know any more unique or self-made mantras of self-motivation, share them in the comment box.

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