6 Self-Motivation Tips

By Anne Peters, LMFT

Hello there! Thanks for finding your way to our blog. Today, we are talking self-motivation. I love this quote from Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” It’s true, right? We want to live our lives to their greatest potential. However, you’re not alone if sometimes it just feels tough to get motivated. Whether it’s to mow the lawn, tackle a big project, or go for a walk, let’s talk motivation tips.

1. Set big goals: Here’s where it always starts for us, right? We get a big image of whatever it is we hope to achieve. For some, it’s to save a large amount of money, it’s to run a half marathon, or it’s that promotion you’ve been chasing. It’s great to have goals. It gives us something to work towards! So identify what your goal is and jot it down somewhere. First step – check!

2. Set small goals: Now that the big goal has been set, set some small and achievable goals for yourself. If your goal is to put a down payment on a new home, set small goals of saving a certain amount of money each paycheck. If your goal is to run a half marathon, make a goal of gradually increasing your run lengths. The most important part of small goals is to keep them achievable.

3. Accountability: This one is key for me. Make your goals and intentions known to others! Let your close family and friends know about your intent to reach your goals. This serves two purposes. Number one, you get some support and number two, you will be held accountable. It feels good to be able to share successes (both big and small) with loved ones.

4. Be kind to yourself: We all have slip-ups. We are human after all! So pay attention to the self talk you are giving yourself and make sure there are more positive messages being sent to yourself than negative. We are our own greatest critic at times but with the power we hold to change our thoughts, we can also be our greatest cheerleader.

5. Acknowledge and reward progress: When we meet those small or big goals, or even just stay on track, it’s so important we acknowledge that for ourselves. Did you know the greatest key to self-motivation is by recognizing the progress that has been made? Find rewards that work for you. Tell yourself how proud you are!

6. Chase your why: It all comes down to this. Why is this goal important to you? Chase that why to really narrow it down. What’s the underlying reason the goal is so important? Is it to feel better about yourself? Is it to achieve something new? It is to learn a new skill? Is it to show yourself you can do it? Whatever it is, it’s at the core of your goal and will drive you to success.

We would love to hear from you. What are your goals? How are you staying motivated? Send your ideas to April.Howe@LSIowa.org. Until next time!

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