Boost Your Motivation: 13 Powerful Hacks to Get You Going
Are you sick of being stuck? These 13 ways to get motivated will help you get out of a rut and get things done.
Your bills are piling up, you’re having trouble at work, and you just got into an argument with your spouse. You’re in a bad mood and don’t know what to do. Even though you have a million things to do, all you want to do is curl up in bed and watch a lot of Netflix.
Does that sound right?
Or maybe your situation isn’t that bad, but something bad has happened and you’re feeling down. No matter what is going on, it’s easy to feel like you’ve tried everything to get inspired but nothing is working.
You may have tried a few things, but not all of them. Try one of these 13 ways to get back on track when your usual pick-me-up doesn’t work.
13 Powerful Hacks to Get You Going
1. Use a Mantra
Find a few short, simple mantras to keep your mind from going to bad places. These “power statements” are short, with no more than a single line. And it doesn’t matter if it’s cheesy or tacky as long as it makes you want to move forward.
Mark Divine is the founder of Sealfit and a former Navy Seal officer. During the hardest parts of a workout, he repeats the phrase “feeling good, looking good, ought to be in Hollywood.” You can use his motto or come up with your own.
2. Aim Low
You can’t expect yourself to do everything you planned when you weren’t sad. Your energy levels were very different back then than they are now, so it’s not possible.
If you don’t meet standards, you’ll feel like a loser. Set goals that are too easy, and you’ll escape the drama. If one of your goals is to finish your math tasks, try doing just one problem.
When you’ve done that, move the bar up and solve one more problem. If you can’t, don’t worry about it.
3. Don’t feed the monster
Things will only get worse if you feel bad about them. Negative feelings like self-pity, self-doubt, and fears feed depression and make it worse. You can’t get rid of these thoughts, but you can learn to spot them, which makes them less powerful.
Doing the opposite is what you should do! Motivating talks or movies can help you feel better and give you new ideas. If you don’t have time to watch an entire video, you can always read a few positive words to make yourself feel better.
One good thing said can beat a million bad things said. Just putting your attention on positive words for a few minutes can change your whole day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that if you work out for 30 minutes to an hour at least three to five times a week, you are less likely to get depressed.
5. Don’t change your plans
Your routine is there to comfort you and give you a sense of control over your life when life throws you off track. Doing things like brushing your teeth, making your bed, and getting food are all habits that make up your life.
So, even if you feel sad, stick to your daily practice.
Do this for a few weeks, even if your sadness doesn’t go away. Over time, you’ll start to feel more at ease and in charge of what’s going on around you.
You might not be able to control the highs and lows of your feelings, but at least you’ll be in charge of some parts of your life. It will lessen the feeling that you can’t do anything.
6. Don’t get too busy by doing everything yourself
When you’re depressed, you might not be able to do all the things you usually do. And when you have too much work, you’ll feel stressed.
When that happens, there’s a big chance that you’ll get stuck in a never-ending loop of bad feelings. No matter what you do, you won’t help anyone.
You can avoid this by giving small, easy jobs to friends, family, and coworkers. Anything that can be done without your help can be given to someone else.
If you’re OK, you should understand that other people do things differently, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
7. Put A Mental Barrier for Your Thoughts
Think of your mind as a castle that needs to be guarded. Hide anything that makes you think of bad things, like a reminder of a bad relationship or a college basketball prize you still have.
Yes, those annoying emails and social media alerts must also go. Even though you may not think these things are important, they all add to the mess in your head.
8. Look and act happy
Go to a hairdresser and get your nails and feet done and your hair blown out. Treat yourself well. Then wear your best clothes and jewelry. You might think this is silly, but if you act and dress like you already feel great, it can make you feel better.
9. Be more like a stoic
Tim Ferris, author of The Four-Hour Workweek, gives a talk at Google I/O Ignite about a Stoic practice for getting over your fears and, by extension, your bad thoughts.
Get a piece of paper and make a column for each.
List your worries: What would be the worst that could happen?
What can you do to make sure that those fears don’t come true?
What would it take for you to get back what you lose if the worst case situation comes true?
Fill in the box with your fears and bad ideas, and then look at each one closely. After filling out the three sections, you’ll notice two things:
All of your worries and bad feelings are in your head, or at least not as real as you think they are.
Even if they do come true, which is highly rare, there are things you can do to fix the damage and get things back to normal.
10. Make a happy schedule
Michael Yapko, a psychologist and the author of Breaking the Patterns of sadness, says that you can be as motivated as you want, but it won’t help if you don’t learn new ways to deal with your sadness.
Make your own “happy routine,” a list of things you can do when you’re feeling down. It could be as easy as going out with friends, or it could be more complicated, like practicing Tai Chi.
11. Capitalize On Small Wins
When you do well, you do well. But you need a starter first. Start with something small, and then use the energy to move forward.
Remember that positive feelings aren’t limited to big wins, so even a small win like taking out the trash or getting a compliment on your clothes can make you forget all your bad thoughts for the rest of the day.
12. Don’t care about what people say
Feeling down because someone said something bad about you? Most of the time, harsh reviewers act like dirt bags towards everyone, not just you. Even if what they say seems to be about you, it is really about how they feel and what they think.
13. Ask Inspiring Questions Yourself
Pair the most important meal of the day with something just as good for your heart: gratitude and happiness. Ask yourself these questions to get your daily dose:
“What’s making me happy right now?”
“What am I glad about today?
“What’s something fun I can look forward to this week?”
Around the world, about 121 million people have depression. You may feel alone in your problems, but you’re not. The first step out of the depths is to face those bad feelings.
You can do that by using any of the ideas on this page. You’ll find something that works for you in the end.