Systems for Success: Motivation

Staying motivated through any programme of activity is difficult. In the book “Atomic Habits”, James Clear quotes an elite coach as saying that the difference between elite athletes and everyone else is their ability to get over the boredom of doing the same thing over and over.

This is why we can find it hard to motivate ourselves to do the housework or get out of bed or sit down to study. It’s just not that interesting.

We know why we want to do it, we have a plan and we’ve been careful not to overwhelm ourselves, so all the points I covered in this post are not the issue.

This time we just need a strategy to invoke movement and alertness to the idea of doing something.

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself

Play some music

What tune makes you get up and dance or even just lifts your spirits when you hear it? Get your playlist on. Play the same song first every time and your brain will become attuned to focus mode when it comes on.

Go for a walk

Like dancing, any kind of movement sparks the brain into action. On your walk, think about your task and the steps you are going to take.

Commit to 15 minutes

Most of the time, it’s getting started that this the problem, so commit to 15 minutes and no more. Stop when the time is up. If you still feel a lack of enthusiasm then perhaps you need to take a break for a couple of days or reassess your approach.

Make a promise to yourself

The idea of a treat at the end of your task might give you the impetus to get it done. Tell yourself that if you do one hour of [insert task] you will get to watch [insert favourite programme] or listen to [insert favourite Podcast]. Maybe it will be a reminder that if you do it now you won’t have to do it tomorrow or that you will get more time at the weekend for spending time with family.

Change your mindset

When something starts to seem repetitive or a chore it’s easy to start thinking of it as something you “have” to do. Why not think of it as something you “get” to do, especially if it is chasing your dream?

Okay, so this might not work so well for doing the dishes, but there are four other options to choose from.


Put together a list of go to motivation strategies.


We’re going to be asking around for more help on productivity and motivation.

What has got you motivated when you’ve not been feeling up for the challenge?

Until next time, remember, if the excess baggage is weighing you down, you can always leave it in lost luggage.

Best wishes,

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