One Simple Way To Motivate Yourself

Motivate Yourself

Today’s big idea is that one way to motivate yourself is to think about how good you’re going to feel after you’ve done the thing that you aren’t feeling motivated to do. And not just briefly think, yeah, can’t wait to have this over with. But to really imagine how you’ll feel. Lighter, relieved, proud, excited, maybe fired up. (I talked about this with a slightly different lens in episode 323, how gratitude can get your butt into gear. So you can go give that a listen if you want to do a deeper dive.) 

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Envision The End Goal To Motivate Yourself

Remember how Bugs Bunny would smell something yummy, like a roast chicken, and he would start floating in the air towards it? Well, envisioning how good you’ll feel after you’ve done something is the real life equivalent of that. It blazes a mental trail that you will naturally want to follow because the thought of actually feeling that way will be so compelling. 

I’ve got a story about this 

I have a coaching client who has her own business. She really wanted to send out her monthly newsletter because she knows it’s a great way to stay in touch with her clients and to invite more paying work into her life. But she also had a lot to do. She was going on a trip later in the week. And her days felt extra crammed with things to do in preparation for that travel. So we talked about her thinking about how good she would feel if she could get on that train knowing that she had sent out that newsletter. I advised her to take just a minute to close her eyes and imagine, sitting in that train seat and feeling proud of herself for having done it.

And you know what? She got it done that week. This is something that she had blown off for a few weeks now. Something that she had moved from one week’s to-do list to the next multiple times. It was envisioning how good it will feel that got her into action. 

I use this trick pretty much every time I practice yoga at home–which is the only time I practice yoga these days. I still, after 25 gosh darn years of doing yoga, try to talk myself out of it, either I try to tell myself I should just start working, or that I should stay in bed. And every time, I have to remind myself of how good I feel in my body and my mind after doing any amount of yoga. I’m telling you, it works. 

Daily Tiny Assignment

So here’s your tiny assignment. I think you can see this coming. Choose something you want to motivate yourself to do, but just aren’t doing it, for whatever reason. Could be anything. Writing an email. Having a conversation. Talking a walk. Taking a shower! And then sit quietly for just a few seconds, and imagine that you have already completed it. Notice how you feel in your body and in your mind in this reality where the thing is done. Let it soak into your cells. 

And now pretend that feeling is a perfectly roasted chicken, or perfectly roasted cauliflower if you’re vegan, and you are Bugs Bunny, and let those good vibes carry you, like a flying noodle, toward actually doing it. I promise, you will be so happy you did. 

Now that we’re at the end of the week, I find I have a little bit more to say about motivation, so I’ll be devoting more episodes to it next week.

Come back to hear about how to use procrastination productively, how to let the impact your actions will have on other people to motivate you, and to set an intention that gets you into action. Have a great weekend.

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Want to be a better person, but don’t know where to start?

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