15 Surprising Truths About What Really Motivates People

Motivation is a tricky thing to develop. However, motivation is necessary to improve our lives and do everything we’ve always wanted. 

But where do you get started? 

What gives others the power to get up and tackle things many are shying away from? 

On an online forum, one person asked, “people who are motivated to do things, how do you do that?”

Here are some of the tactics that others turn to for motivation throughout their day-to-day lives. 

#1. Focus On The Future You

Looking back on things we’ve done in the past can either be a joyful or a regretful experience. 

The last thing we want to do is reminisce about our poor choices. 

For example, you maxed out your credit cards and now you need to find a way to pay off all the accumulated debt. 

One motivator people have found to think about is the “future you.” Take a moment to consider what you’re doing and whether or not that will set you up for success. 

If it doesn’t, it’s a good idea to consider whether you want to deal with that down the road. 

All actions (or lack of action) have consequences, even if they don’t immediately appear after making a choice. 

#2. Push Through The Feeling Of Not Wanting To Do Something

Simply showing up is often enough to get the job done. 

Think about specific tasks as if they were a cold pool. If you try to dip your toes in, you’ll never be able to hype yourself up enough to jump in and deal with the cold water. 

If you jump in, you don’t have time to think, and you’ll eventually acclimate and start enjoying yourself. 

Make it a priority to show up and do whatever you need. 

You’ll find it easy to get motivated when you realize that half of the battle is simply sitting down and getting started on whatever task you’re trying to avoid.  

#3. Start Small And Work Your Way Up

Let’s imagine that you want to start reading. 

You aren’t going to dive into the deep end of the pool expecting yourself to thrive, especially if you don’t currently carve out time to read in your regular daily schedule. 

This can easily kill your motivation and make it harder to pursue this hobby in the future. 

Instead, start small to prove to yourself that you can do this, then work your way up to your desired goal. 

Perhaps you can make it a goal to read 20 pages a day. 

Then, when you’ve built that habit and proved you could read that much, you can up your goal to read more. 

Every journey starts with a single step and these small steps that you do initially often make all the difference in your journey! 

#4. Gamify Your Tasks

Some people lack the motivation to get something done because the task is extremely boring. 

The good news? It doesn’t have to be! A task is only as boring as you make it. 

This is why it’s always helpful to try to gamify your tasks. 

For example, if you’re cleaning, you can make it a game by setting a timer and seeing how fast you can complete said task before the timer goes off. 

If you’re trying to make it a habit to work out daily but need more traction, you can look for physical games that help you get active while having fun. 

When we gamify boring tasks, we make it easier to get through them and maintain our motivation over time. 

#5. Break Down Massive Tasks Into More Achievable Milestones

Seemingly impossible tasks are never exciting to get started on. 

Fortunately, there’s a straightforward solution. Rather than trying to tackle one massive task, break it down into smaller milestones instead. 

Let’s say that you want to clean your garage. However, sweeping the floor isn’t the only thing to do. 

You must remove everything, clear some of your stuff, deep clean the garage, add new organizational tools to keep things in order, and so on. 

You’ve already made a list of things you need to do, so tackle them individually. This helps you gradually chip away at the task and maintain your motivation until it finally gets done.  

Related: Learn how to achieve your goals

#6. Develop A Strict Schedule And Stick To It

Motivation has a close relative that’s important to develop as well: discipline. 

When we’re disciplined, it becomes much easier to become motivated. 

Of course, it’s important to remember that discipline is something you cultivate over time. But where do you get started? 

One place to start is to develop a strict schedule or routine and stick to it. 

Make it incredibly easy starting so that you would have to work harder to avoid certain tasks than to follow through and do them. Then, get into the groove of engaging in those habits. 

As they become second nature, add more to your day and your tasks so that you become motivated to achieve more. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen. 

#7. If You’re A Coffee Person…Coffee!

It’s important to preface this by saying you shouldn’t rely solely on stimulants to complete tasks. 

Boosting your energy with healthy supplements, a healthy diet, plenty of water, and other good habits should be a focus. 

However, some people may still need that extra push to get through the day. In this case, your motivation may be coffee! 

Just be careful not to become too reliant on it or accidentally consume too much caffeine simultaneously.

At best, you may only experience jitters. At worst, it can significantly impact your health and maybe even require a quick trip to the hospital.  

#8. Feel The Pressure (But Don’t Burn Out Or Hurt Yourself)

Procrastination is the enemy of motivation, but some people leverage the former to motivate themselves to finish the job when they’re close to a deadline. 

Now, this may be helpful advice for the moment. Perhaps you’ve been waiting too long to complete something, and knowing it’s right around the corner gives you that boost you need to finish. 

Just make sure that this doesn’t become a regular habit. When you do this, you can end up burnt out and not completing tasks. 

It can also trap you in an endless loop of chronic stress because you feel like you’re always trying to play catch up and completely inundated with tasks. 

Even though this offers short-term motivation, it may not last.

#9. Don’t Give Yourself Time to Overthink

Overthinking is the prime killer of motivation. 

It can be easy to spend a few minutes thinking about why you don’t want to do a task or what could possibly go wrong. This makes it easier to avoid doing the task altogether and find something more enjoyable. 

The solution? Do whatever it is that needs finishing the moment that you think about it. 

This prevents you from taking the time to demotivate yourself and avoid your work. 

It can also set you up for success by making it a habit to dive right into things rather than mentally prepare for them beforehand. 

#10. See If There’s An Underlying Issue That You Can Take Care Of

Some people view their lack of motivation as a sign of laziness. 

But sometimes, people aren’t lazy. Real underlying issues can prevent you from taking action and make life significantly more challenging. 

An excellent example of this is depression. Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by fatigue, decreased interest in doing things you typically enjoy, and even sleeping more throughout the day. 

Other disorders that could impact your motivation include ADHD. If you believe you’re dealing with these symptoms, contact a medical professional who can help you treat them and get you back on track. 

#11. Make Things Easier For Yourself

Some tasks automatically demotivate us because they’re so difficult. 

If you’re naturally messy, cleaning your house may seem problematic because it’s already filled with tasks to tackle. 

Work on staying motivated by making things easier for yourself. 

For example, cleaning every dish after using it can eliminate the pile of dishes always sitting in the sink. 

Keeping your cleaning supplies organized can make it so that you’re not running around for 30 minutes trying to find everything you need to clean your home. 

The easier things are, the more motivated you are to do them. 

#12. Find An Accountability Buddy

Motivation doesn’t always come from within. Take, for example, accountability. 

Accountability is when we tell others about our plans and rely on their awareness. 

Let’s imagine that you want to start going to the gym. 

By having a partner you go to the gym with, or even by telling someone your body goals, you have someone you don’t want to let down who is holding you accountable to follow through and get the job done. 

This isn’t going to work for everyone, but it can be extremely effective for those who want to bring their dreams to fruition.  

#13. Focus On What You Wish To Change And How It Will Change You

Positive change has a positive impact on your life. 

If you need more motivation, think about what the future might have in store for you. 

Sure, you may not feel like completing that essay right now. But what will it feel like when you finally get your degree? 

What will it look like when you have the skills to earn a high income and live the life you’ve always dreamt of? 

Basically, how will this decision positively shape you? Remember these things next time you don’t feel like doing something that could be good for you. 

Related: Life is full of choices, so choose wisely

#14. See The Finish Line

Motivation doesn’t always have to have some deep meaning behind it. 

Sometimes, wanting to get something done so you don’t have to deal with it anymore is motivation enough. 

If this works for you, don’t be afraid to leverage it to stay motivated. 

#15. Think About What Others Have Said About You In The Past

Getting ahead out of spite can be a powerful way to stay motivated. 

If it helps you, think about some negative things others have said about you. 

Did they say you weren’t going to make it? Did they comment on your work ethic, intelligence, or body? What does this drive you to want to do? 

Consider this and keep those comments on hand so that you can prove them wrong with all of your hard work. 

This article was inspired by the thread found here

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