A Simple, Sticky Secret for Motivating Yourself

Have you ever had one of those days where it feels tough just to get out of bed?  Now if you’re reading Pick the Brain, it’s a safe bet you already have goals in place, and you’re probably fairly motivated.  But still, you are draaaaaaaagging.

You get up, head over to the kitchen counter and grab a cup of coffee because you just needed a bit more sleep before the alarm went off.  You accidentally pour too much milk into your cereal and you wonder how you’re going to summon the motivation and energy you need for the day.

The phone rings.  It’s your boss telling you he’ll need you to stay over a bit today because the project is running behind schedule.  You notice a note from your spouse telling you they’ll be home late and won’t have time to make dinner so “if you could just pick up something from the store on your way home since you’re coming home early today, that would be great.”

You’re tempted to call in sick.  Better yet, you’re tempted to get into your car and keep driving until you find the nearest beach so you can surf the day away just like you did in college.

The Trick Is To Have the System In Place Before You Need It

Now let’s assume you already have a big goal or dream you’re working on.  It’s something that’s so meaningful to you, you are able to stay motivated on most days.  However, today is just one of those days where you could use an extra boost because the waves of the real-world are crashing down on you.  Don’t worry, because you’ve already done the following to prepare for just such an occasion.

It’s the simple, sticky secret I talked about.  Are you ready?  Got a pen?  Got some Post-it notes or paper?  The secret is this: go find at least 3 inspirational quotations that resonate with you and write them down, one per Post-it note or sheet of paper.  Use the sheets of paper if you’d like to write bigger and see it at a distance.  Post or tape them in locations where you know you’ll see them in the morning.  Ideally, they’d be in places where you can reflect on them while you’re doing something, such as eating breakfast.  Perhaps you want to put one in your daily planner so when you flip it open, you can get an extra shot of motivation.

For instance, I have a quote posted near my computer which is where I do a lot of my work.  If I feel I need a little motivational boost, I can look up and immediately read something inspiring.  The quote I have is one Christopher Reeve posted on the wall in his exercise room as he did physical therapy to recover from the horse riding accident that left him with a broken neck.  It reads:

“For everyone who thought I couldn’t do it, for everyone who thought I shouldn’t do it, for everyone who said, ‘It’s impossible,’ see you at the finish line.”

Here are some other favorite quotes that can help keep you on purpose:

1.      Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.  (Marian Wright Edelman)

2.      Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.  (Benjamin Disraeli)

3.      Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.  (George Seaton)

4.      The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. (Nelson Mandela)

5.      Wherever you go, go with all your heart.  (Confucius)

In terms of focusing my productive powers, I find it helps to use inspirational quotations from people that I know have gone through hard times.  That’s why I like the quote from Christopher Reeve’s exercise room above.  I use it to remind myself that if someone who lost the use of his legs can still get up and stay committed to his goals, then as someone who still has good health, I have no excuses left.

So get committed.  Post some inspirational quotes up on your wall to inspire you.  It’s a sticky secret that will help you succeed.

Adam Appleson is a guest blogger for PickTheBrain. He is the founder of a self help website for survivors of dysfunctional and abusive families.

Because of his commitment to serving others, he gives away free personal growth advice and tools via his website. Visitors can also subscribe to a free monthly email newsletter that provides access to free tips and resources to help them find the health and happiness they deserve.

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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