How to move mountains when you don’t feel like moving off the couch.
Maybe you’re one lucky individual. Maybe you are surrounded by family and friends who encourage you to rush off in pursuit of all your lofty ambitions. Or not. In fact, most oftentimes, you will have to dig deep and find the inner strength to achieve your greatest potential.
So how do you motivate yourself when there’s 14 seasons of unwatched Grey’s Anatomy and so much napping to be done? We’re glad you asked.
1. Wake up Early
“RISE AND GRIND” can be more than a filter on social media! If you use your phone as an alarm clock, add a motivational memo like “Wake up beauty, it’s time to beast!”
If you are struggling to get into the productive, feel-good zone, a vigorous workout is your solution. Even 10 minutes on the treadmill will get the endorphins going and produce a powerful rush.
3. Surround Yourself with Inspiration
Photos of fluffy puppies, rooms full of roses, the Harvard dining hall – anytime you spot a picture or quote that inspires you, place it in your environment! Loose leafs, journals and closet doors are all fair game.
You can also create a digital mood board by screenshotting and compiling photos in specific albums on your phone, titled as “workout goals” or “relationship goals.” Whenever you’re searching for that motivational pull, just scroll through those folders.
4. Break Down Big Goals
Sometimes taking overwhelmingly huge goals (the best kind!) and breaking them down into manageable bits makes them much easier to accomplish. Say you want to “travel the world.” A breakdown of such a goal could look something like this:
- Earn $3000 from work.
- Decide whether to travel alone or find a friend who wants to join you.
- Set aside two months in the upcoming year for travelling.
- Determine a starting point.
- Book a flight to your first country.
- Map out the list of countries you want to see.
- Determine the best route between countries. (train, plane, etc.)
- Approximate how many days you would want to stay in each country.
- Shop for wardrobe and travel necessities.
5. Watch Motivational Videos
Much like every other genre on YouTube, when it comes to motivational videos, everyone enjoys something else. Are you the type who likes having someone scream non-stop for 7 minutes or would you rather sob through a Steve Jobs speech? Either way, watching these short videos can give you a much-needed energy fix.
In case you thought you were wasting your time watching all those Disney movies as a child, here’s a video that compiles some of the most inspiring quotes from your childhood favorites:
6. Focus on Things You Can Control
Sometimes people spend all their time ruminating about the factors that are out of their control and it causes them to stay planted on their couch like a baked potato. If you want to remain energized and inspired, focus on what you can do, give it your all, and have faith that your hard work will pay off. (It always does, but it requires patience.)
Such thinking is especially noticeable in people’s love lives. They spend much of their time overthinking about elements out of their control, such as “What if they don’t like me back? What if they’ll think I’m trying too hard?” These thoughts then leave them paralyzed. If they had spent less time overthinking and more time focusing on things they could control – themselves – they would see much better results.
7. Drop the Friends that Drag You Down
While you’re working on yourself and aiming to grow, do not hang out with people that will constantly set you back. Negative attitudes and mindsets are contagious. Make a commitment to yourself that you will spend your time with those who help you become a better person.
8. Take Small Steps
If the thought of a huge project immediately causes you to dive into 5 seasons of Friends, there’s a tiny trick which may help you circumvent the procrastination.
Say you have 60 math homework questions to complete. Obviously, you’d rather clean your whole house with a toothbrush than tackle them all at once. However, doing just 5 examples doesn’t sound horrific, right? That’s how you can get yourself started and then you may just feel like doing another 5 – or not – but either way, that’s 5 less problems for you to do.
You can also allot a specific amount of time to complete some work. For example, if you have a 12-page paper due, give yourself 15 minutes just to get started and do some free-writing. It will be so much easier to get ideas on paper and to continue working on it.
9. Eliminate Mixed Messages
There’s a subtle, yet powerful way we either inspire or discourage ourselves, and that is by the congruency of our actions and beliefs.
Take something as concrete as being wealthy. If you try to develop the belief that you are wealthy and accumulating wealth, make sure all your actions are aligned with that belief. This means that you work as hard as you think financially successful people do. You read what they read. You wear what they would wear. You do not make comments like “I’m so broke.” You aim to give yourself messages that affirm the person you are trying to grow into.
10. Keep Working
Everything worthwhile in life takes a tremendous amount of effort. You know that already – but you have to remind yourself every day. Remember that small persistent actions lead to sweeping successes. No matter how bored, frustrated or tired you are, you have to keep going. Your future self will thank you.
Cover photo featuring Stefanie Agovino, shot by Adelle Goldenberg.