5 More Ways to Motivate Yourself
Just in case you need an extra boost, try one of these five techniques for feeling more motivated.
1. Become a Morning Person
We hear you—mornings are so not your thing. But according to a recent study in Health Psychology, it’s easier to form habits in the a.m., when cortisol levels are at their peak. So instead of trying to fit the gym in after work, get your heart rate up before work. Can barely drag yourself out of bed to get to the office on time? Try the Yoga Wake Up app, which you can literally do on top of your covers. (No excuses.)
2. Be Your Own Cheerleader
What goes hand in hand with feeling unmotivated? Negative thoughts. But the easiest way to turn things around is to tell yourself how great you’re doing. That’s according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, which found that cyclists who repeated positive phrases (like “you can do it”) when they hit the wall during a tough training session actually pedaled longer than those who didn’t. This “motivational self-talk” group also felt like they weren’t working as hard (even though their heart rate monitors indicated otherwise). But if the idea of talking about how awesome you are while on the treadmill feels, well, silly, don’t sweat it—saying a positive mantra in your head also does the trick.
3. Set Specific Goals
Let's say your dream is to run your own business. If you're starting from scratch, it sounds pretty daunting. So in order to make it happen, it’s all about baby steps, like creating a business plan and finding an accountant. According to the American Psychological Association, people who set out to achieve a few small, specific tasks are 90 percent more likely to achieve them than those who aim for a large, broader goal. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, break down your goals into mini tasks. Just send that email and you’re one step closer. You’ve got this.
4. Believe in Yourself
It’s cheesy, but it’s true. People who think that they have a lot of willpower, do. In one study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers followed 153 college students over five weeks and found that those who believed that willpower was an abundant (rather than limited) resource were less likely to procrastinate, eat junk food and spend impulsively. Even their grades were better. Time to change your screen saver to one of the inspirational quotes above.
5. Try a Power Pose
You’re on three hours of sleep, you forgot your lunch and you’re a month overdue for a haircut. But even if you’re not feeling 100 percent, you can transform into Wonder Woman in one easy move. The trick? Power posing. It took off in 2012, with social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s now-famous TED Talk. According to Cuddy, standing or sitting a certain way, even for a few minutes, can raise testosterone levels and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Basically, how you position your body is closely linked to how badass you feel. Here are three poses that will make you look (and feel) more confident right this second.