Self-Motivation Through Daily Habits

What if I tell you you’re not lazy. You just lack motivation.

Yes, you procrastinate even the smallest tasks, you slack at work, school and at home. You barely get anything done besides the bare minimum. Not because of a personal trait, but because you haven’t found the right motivation.

However motivation cannot be found. It is not something you simply stumble upon. Motivation is built. Motivation needs a conscious effort to exist and to grow.

Here is a simple system to help you build your motivation, fight laziness and win.

Visualize

Imagine the kind of person that has achieved everything you dream of achieving. The motivated, has-their-shit together kind of person. 

How do they start the day? Do they have a healthy breakfast? Do they meditate in the morning? 

What does their home look like? Is it always tidy? Everything has its place? 

What are their habits? Do they exercise regularly? Do they read a lot?

Now pick a couple of small everyday tasks they do that you can start doing right now. And make them a habit.

Building your motivated self through small everyday habits

Start with one small thing. Like making your bed in the morning. And stick with it. It is amazing how completing such a tiny task can immediately make you feel better about yourself. It gives a sense of accomplishment and control. It motivates you.

The key is to keep doing the small thing until it becomes a habit. Scientists say that building a habit takes at least 18 days. That might sound like a lot at first. What I suggest is to just start. One day at a time. Don’t count the days, just accept that from now on you’re making your bed every day. You’re that kind of person now.

You might notice that right after you make your bed you suddenly feel like you want to keep going and do another task. That is perfectly normal. Each small task you get done motivates you to do something more. Don’t fight it. Instead choose another simple task.

It sometimes happens that having to think of what to do next kills the momentum and you end up losing the motivation to do more. This is normal, too. What might help is having a list of small tasks at hand. This way whenever you get that motivation to continue, you can just pick from one of those without having to think too much.

But even if you get just that one small thing done – congratulate yourself! You’ve done it. You’ve gotten closer to becoming that driven, motivated person that you imagined. Allow yourself to feel the accomplishment and enjoy the moment. Celebrate it as it is a step towards your goal.

Repeat

Next step is to add another small task to the first one. Another task that the person you imagined does in their daily routine. You don’t have to wait until the first one has become a habit. Just add a task that will again give you a sense of “having your shit together”-ness.

As your confidence and motivation grows you’ll start adding bigger and bigger tasks. The more you do, the more you’ll want to get done. The feeling of accomplishment is like a drug. Once you discover it and learn how to fully feel it you’ll want more and more of it. 

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Then a day comes that nothing goes to plan. A day when you haven’t done even the smallest of tasks. You have no desire, no energy for any of it.

You know what? That person you visualized in the beginning has these kinds of days, too. They too feel discouraged and unmotivated at times. What do they do when it happens to them? Maybe they spend the day binge watching their favourite show? Maybe they call a friend and spend the weekend at their place playing video games? That is ok. As the next day they get their shit together again. 

Starting with one small task.

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