Five Ways to Increase Your Motivation

Motivation and drive propel us forward toward the realization of our goals, but some of us seem to have more of this driving force than others.

If you feel like you have less of these traits than you’d like, the good news is there are ways to increase your motivation and happily start trekking down the path of achievement.

These suggestions may not be for the faint of heart, but if you really want results, try some of these ideas:

  1. Burn your other options. If you want to find another job or start your own business in a hurry, write a letter of resignation, postdate it a month, address it and give it to a friend. Tell him to mail it in 30 days.
  • If there’s an easy way out, most people will take it. Don’t give yourself the luxury of being able to fail without a lot of pain.
  • Even so, it’s wise to create a Plan B. Just make one that moves you forward instead of backward.

 

  1. Focus on the positive people in your life. If you don’t feel like you have enough, find some new ones. Only share your goals with those that are most supportive of you.
  • For example, if you want to lose weight, join a gym and hang out with the healthy people. They’re positive and supportive. Likely, there’s someone at the gym who has lost 100 lbs. That’s the person you want to associate with!
  • This idea also means getting negativity out of your life. If your friends don’t support you, why are they there? Take an inventory of the people in your life. Add some who have what you want, and move on from the ones who aren’t supportive.

 

  1. Feed your brain with positive information daily. Inspirational books and audio seem silly to many, but the results can be profound. The key is to use them on a daily basis. They’re like exercise for your motivation and drive. You can’t just work out just one time and expect to see significant results.
  • Set a schedule and stick to it. Even if you just do 15 minutes a day, the payoff will be huge.

 

  1. Act immediately. Once you’ve set a new goal, do something! Your first task can be as simple as making a phone call or laying out a plan. If you don’t take immediate action, you risk falling permanently into analysis mode where there’s a lot of thinking going on, but nothing is actually happening.
  • Frequently, motivation will come after action. Making a little bit of progress can be the inspiration behind additional progress. So do something as soon as you’ve decided what you want to accomplish.

 

  1. Look the part. Take a look at yourself in the mirror. Do you look like the kind of person that would accomplish your goal on a regular basis?
  • If your goal is to make $200,000 a year as a real estate investor, you shouldn’t be wearing an Aerosmith t-shirt and ripped jean shorts. Your identity should fit your goal. This may seem like a trivial matter, but it can make a difference.

 

Once you truly commit to your goal, your drive and motivation will see you to success. Take some action daily and remove your conscious safety nets that allow you to fail too easily; you’ll be amazed at the results.

Dealing with Stress on the Job

Do you often feel like you’re going to lose your mind if you continue to work in such a stressful workplace? We all experience stress on the job. It is not unique to anyone, but what is unique to each of us is how we deal with it.

You can learn to deal with work-related stress in a positive manner so it doesn’t continue to hold you back. When you are unable to deal with stress effectively, you can’t be as efficient or effective on the job and, more importantly, your health will suffer.

Techniques to Deal with Stress at Work

When you feel stressed out at work, you need to learn how to harness your emotions so you can move forward. Luckily, there are many ways you can do this; you just need to find which technique works best for you.

Here are five workplace stress techniques:

1. The best thing you can do when you feel the stress coming to a boil is to stop what you’re doing and just breathe. You’ll be surprised at how much it helps just to take a breath and gather your thoughts. In fact, take ten slow, deep breaths, then return to your work. The great thing about this technique is that you can do it anywhere, even when you’re sitting in your boss’s office!

2. Take a moment to write. When you start to feel stressed, find some privacy, pull out a blank piece of paper, and write freely for five minutes. Free, uncensored writing for just a few minutes will allow you to get the emotions out of your mind for good. When you put all of the emotions down on paper, crumple it up and throw it away. Then try to return to work without the stress.

3. Use positive imagery. Keep a calming picture on your desk or on your computer background and when you feel like you cannot take anymore, stare at the image and imagine yourself there. Doing this for even 60 seconds can restore your sanity so you can move forward without the crippling effects of stress.

4. Listen to peaceful music. If you put on calming music when you’re stressed, you may find that it can instantly calm you like nothing else. If you keep the music quiet and peaceful, you’ll feel at ease during your work day. Music is a great way to find peace and lose the stress.

5. Use positive thinking. When stressful and negative thinking is getting the best of you, you can counter it with positive statements and thoughts. You can say things such as, “I can manage stress because I proactively choose peace.” When you repeat positive sayings in your life, you’ll be able to squeeze out negative thoughts from your mind, and move towards the positive.

These are five simple ways to cope with stress on the job. The great thing is that you can quickly and easily incorporate these strategies into your work day without allowing stress to overwhelm you.

Every day will bring new stressors into your workplace, and that is why you should have several different coping techniques in your stress management toolkit. Once you begin to incorporate these strategies into your life, you will find that everyday stress will become easier to deal with, and you will actually feel healthier and more productive.

Handle Criticism With Class

Unless you plan to hide in your house 24/7, you’re going to have to deal with criticism. But make no mistake: even if you stay in your house, you’re still going to be criticized; you just won’t know about it.

Criticism is a part of life. Unfortunately, the more significant your accomplishments, the more criticism you’ll have to face.

Learn to deal with criticism and your life will be a lot easier. It’s also easier to be successful. Since you’re going to be criticized no matter what, it would be a good idea to have a strategy for handling critics and what they say about you.

Try these strategies:

1. Take a deep breath. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to see something objectively when you’re not emotionally involved? That’s why it’s frequently easier to see solutions to our friends’ challenges than our own. So take a moment and get as calm as you can before you respond to criticism.

• Learning to calm yourself is a skill that you can strengthen with practice. Get a book on meditation or other relaxation technique. You have to learn how to stay calm in your day-to-day life before you can expect to stay calm in more emotionally intense moments.

2. Ask yourself, “Is it possible this person is right?” Once you’ve calmed down to a good place mentally, ask yourself if they might have a legitimate criticism. No one is perfect, so it’s natural to be wrong about some things.

3. Thank them. This is the best way to disarm your critics. Simply thank them for the critique. After all, they could’ve done a lot of other things with their time but they chose to spend it on you. It really is a compliment if you think about it.

4. Move on. Regardless of whether the criticism was accurate or not, you should just move on. After you’ve gained whatever you can from the interaction, simply let it go. Focus on your next task; avoid wasting time looking backwards.

• If they were right: If the criticism was accurate, figure out a better way to do things the next time. It might take some time, but it’s worthwhile to ensure that you don’t make the same mistake twice. Once you have an improved course of action for next time, get on with the rest of your life.

• If they were wrong: If after contemplating the criticism you determine they are incorrect, then simply forget it and move on. There’s no reason to dwell on it any longer than it takes to determine if there’s any validity to it.

• Think about the most successful people you know and notice how they make it a habit to move on quickly. After all, they have more important things to do. And so do you!

5. Positive reinforcement. Each time you receive criticism and handle it appropriately, take the time to congratulate yourself. Any behavior that is rewarded is more likely to occur again in the future. Be proud that you had so much control over yourself and were even possibly able to gain something positive from the experience.

We all face criticism from a variety of sources on a regular basis. It’s challenging to receive criticism gracefully, but there’s an opportunity to gain something from it. Learn what you can from the interaction.

Use these techniques to handle criticism with class. After you’ve calmly considered the criticism, you are free to either adjust your strategy or simply dismiss it. Then, you can let it go and move right on to the next item in your life. Remember to reward yourself afterwards!