I've misplaced my motivation: 10 easy tips to get you going

Missing something important, like motivation to get your to do list done? Read on for ten easy tips to find your motivation.

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  • It’s not uncommon to lose motivation to do daily tasks — especially if they are repetitive or dull. Sometimes deciding to exercise is a mental tug-of-war. When projects at work are stalled or creative juices aren’t flowing, continuing to work takes discipline. The next time your motivation is missing, use one of these 10 tips to find it and get going.

  • Make a to do list

  • Put a few easy things on it, like “eat breakfast” and “check email.” Once you see your items being crossed off, you’ll feel motivated to finish the list.

  • Set reminders on your phone or computer

  • . Those little pings will keep you from checking Facebook or watching cat videos and get you back on track.

  • Reward yourself

  • When I face an unwanted task like deep cleaning the kitchen, I plan a reward for myself when I finish. Usually it’s a bar of dark chocolate and a good book.

  • Set a time limit

  • Tell yourself you’ll do the task for a certain amount of time, like 20 minutes. More often than not, you’ll find yourself immersed in the task and able to continue.

  • Get a drill sergeant

  • Ask a friend or family member to help you stay motivated. I eat better and exercise more if I am responsible to someone.

  • Break it down

  • Turn one big task into several small ones. Doing a big job in manageable chunks will help you stay motivated to finish.

  • Make time to do it right

  • Often I don’t want to start something because I don’t think I can finish. Set aside an afternoon or a whole day to do a job. You’ll feel satisfaction when it’s done correctly.

  • Visualize the end result

  • Athletes use sports psychology as an important part of their training. You can do the same by visualizing your perfectly organized pantry, finished project at work or the way you’ll look and feel when you finish your first half marathon.

  • See setbacks as temporary

  • It’s easy to get discouraged when things aren’t going well. When you experience rejection or failure, try to find something positive in the situation. What can you learn? How can you improve?

  • Choose a hero

  • Find someone who motivates you — perhaps a family member or someone who has overcome tremendous odds to be successful. Think about that person when you have trouble staying motivated.

  • Stop stagnation and keep progressing in life by staying motivated. If you get stuck in a rut, make it a speed bump, not a pit stop.

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Amy M. Peterson, a former high school English teacher, currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children. She spends her days writing, reading, exercising and trying to get her family to eat more vegetables.

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