Different Applications For Motivation

Apply Motivations In Array Areas Of life

Let’s talk about how to finish that project you haven’t even started.

Like any intervention, the first step is admitting you have a problem. So without further ado – you have a problem. You are lazy, sometimes useless, and occasionally a waste of space. It’s harsh, but it’s true – and that’s what you need to hear, not what you want to hear to set ablaze that inner self-motivation you’ll need to move mountains!

Maybe you’ve designed a system for managing the most important aspects of your life, but what about all the little things that slip through the cracks? In a standard workday, how much time do you spend actually working versus the amount of time you spend surfing the internet? How much extra weight are you carrying around?

You might have assigned these types of things a much lower importance level than things like raising your kids or keeping your job, but they are still worth changing.

If you always eat the vegetables off your plate first because you want the English peas out of the way, then you’ll love where this is going.

Lesson 1: How To Budget In Essentials

Budgeting. Of all the daily tasks that you ignore, it is unquestionably the most boring. (It also has the added inspiring benefit of reminding you that you’re throwing your money down the drain.)

Yet despite all its cons, budgeting is a necessary process, and you know good and well that your finances need it.

1.) Scare Yourself

Let’s play a game. It’s called “You lost your job and don’t have anything else lined up.” If this doesn’t sound fun, then maybe you should remember that life isn’t fun and you’d best suck it up.

To play this game, you’ll need to estimate how much you spend on essentials per month. Add up your rent, utilities, car payments, loan or credit card payments, and anything else you absolutely must pay every month. Now multiply that entire sum by 3. 

Your final number is the suggested amount of emergency money you keep around. Look around you. If you don’t have that much money squirrelled away, then you are not prepared for the worst. Anything could happen, and isn’t it horrifying to know that you could lose your home or go into bankruptcy if “anything” does?

2.) Milestones

Think of all the small things in life that you would love to have, but don’t have the time or money to invest. These are the things you should use to reward yourself for meeting financial goals. You can absolutely plan a vacation after saving $10,000, but there are going to be lots of discouraging tight spots along the way. 

You need to encourage yourself by setting up milestones, and reward yourself accordingly as you meet them. By its very nature, saving means not spending. If you’ve been avoiding splurging on a new video game or shoes, using these as gifts (to yourself) is a strong motivator.

Try to follow the 10% rule. Whatever your reward, it should not total more than 10% of the amount you’ve saved or used to pay off your debt. So if you put $100 towards your small loan this month, spend that $10 on a movie.

3.) Make your Job Easier

Set as many bills as you can to autopay, and spread them out throughout the month so your bank account never hits red. If you’re investing, call your bank and have someone walk you through it.

Contrary to popular belief, managing your budget is actually like rocket science. If trying to understand the stock market or your Roth IRA gets you down, don’t sweat it. Ask for help with the tough things. You’ll feel a lot more motivated to conquer the easy things (like deciding how much to spend on groceries).

4.) Find Living Inspiration

Borrow your grandparents’ or hit up a nursing home, because you’re about to embark on a budgeting journey in the snow, uphill both ways. There is nothing more motivating than seeing the successes or failures of someone else. Learn from their mistakes. If economists are correct, things towards the end of your life are going to be a lot harsher than they are now.

Make friends with an elderly person and have a serious sit-down about social security, disability, and retirement. Form a game plan and draw up some actual numbers of what you should be saving. You should be answering the question:

“How much does it cost to live the lifestyle I want on a day-to-day basis?”

Exercise: Monetary Motivation

So in short, here’s how to feel motivated to budget…right now!

1.) Make a list of all the material things you want out of life.

2.) Tally up the cost of each thing or trip.

3.) Take a look at your bank account. Like what you see?

4.) Use one of the many free budgeting spreadsheets available online and make a spending plan. (Make sure to consult other household members.) While you’re working on all the delicate balance of spending and saving, you will undoubtedly be approached by the thought that your finances aren’t really in that bad of shape.

Fixing your budget will end up being just another addition to your graveyard of unfinished projects if you aren’t careful. So how do you avoid wimping out and dodging this necessary workload?

Lesson 2: How To Finish While Ahead

1.) Avoid Instant Gratification

Do you like Polaroid cameras and photo booths? Of course, you do. Just like fast food and weight “loss” body wraps, they satisfy that innate human urge you possess to see results immediately.

When you’re feeling unmotivated because you can’t see the end goal directly ahead of you, your brain will tell you that it’s okay to let your project sit. Do not listen to the quitter inside of you. You will never feel motivated 100% of the time, but you can still swing off your momentum when you hit low points.

2.) Visualize your End Goal

Try putting together a puzzle featuring the intricate foliage of a nighttime forest…without using the box lid for reference. Sound fun?

Without visualizing the goals you’ve set for yourself, you are making shots in the dark. If your life is important to you and you feel motivated to change it, then you need to write up a clear list of goals you want to achieve.

3.) Track your Progress

Whether it’s on Kickstarter or your kid’s PTO bulletin board, you’ve seen the famous thermometer-style goal marker charts. This particular marketing graphic works because it makes you as a contributor feel like you’ve been the one to push the red slowly up the goal meter. If it’s motivating for the masses, it’ll be motivating for you.

Trying making your own goal chart. If you need to write 3000 words by Monday, then split that up into percentages. At 750 words, you are 25% finished! Do you feel a little more motivated knowing that the glass is half full?

4.) In for a Penny…Out for a Pound?

Learn to throw in the towel. Believe it or not, some tasks aren’t worth the energy, time, or money needed to finish them. If you have had a pile of clothes draped across your treadmill for the last year that need mending and don’t fit, you should probably get rid of them. 

If you are absolutely honest with yourself, finding motivation to mend them might have been doable. Dropping 20 lbs. Just to squeeze into clothes that aren’t in the best condition in the first place sounds miserable. Be honest and admit that those clothes are probably having a negative impact on your motivation, and toss them.

If you’re wondering what other tasks should be culled from your life, look for things that make you unhappy or situations that you feel extremely pressured about. You shouldn’t make quitting a regular habit, but once in a blue moon is normal and even healthy.

Task: Playing Catch-Up

How can you immediately increase motivation to finish a project?

1.) Go talk to someone. Set a 10 minute limit and use the time to explain to them why finishing this particular project is important to you and whoever is depending on you.

2.) Grab some energy food or a healthy, hearty snack like almonds or avocados that will keep you going.

3.) Get up right now and prepare your workspace and materials. Give yourself a ten minute break as a reward, and then get down to business.

Healthy Motivation

Now here’s where motivation should be the most important applicable, your health. There is no such thing as being too healthy? If you carrying a few extra pounds, and even if you aren’t, can you honestly say that you’re in the best shape of your life?

You probably already know already becoming supermodel shape is a difficult thing to motivate yourself towards. Why? Because being out of shape doesn’t instantly disqualify you from living with a sense of urgency.

Sure, you’re killing your arteries and your organs probably hate you. But not being in the best shape isn’t the same as being fired or even having to look at that unfinished sewing project in the corner of you room with a panic to get your engine running.

You could live a completely happy, fulfilled life being out of shape, and that is precisely what makes motivation to be thin so hard to find.

Lesson 3: How To Motivate Into Shape

1.) Take Pictures

Take before and after pictures… and show them to people. In fact, show your photos to people before you even have “after” pictures. There is nothing like a little public shame to influence a strong work ethic.

2.) Take more Pictures

And speaking of taking pictures to motivate yourself… schedule yourself a boudoir photoshoot. If you’re a male, yes, this advice is still applicable. You won’t have any problems finding motivation if you’ve already shelled out a couple hundred dollars and you have a countdown until a photographer sees you in all your glory.

Do it as a joke calendar for your spouse for Christmas, or do it because you want some sexy black and white boudoir shots for the bedroom. Whatever your reason, give yourself a timeline. If someone was taking pictures of your unclothed body in three months, would you be eating that double-decker cheese burger right now?

3.) Network

Join a community, become a member of a fitness site, (the /r/progresspics or/r/loseit subreddits are good places to start), join a support group like Weight Watchers, or use a weight loss app like MyFitnessPal or MapMyRun.

The idea here is to publicize what you’re doing. Your aim is to find a support network of accountability partners for when you have bad days. These people will be the ones to motivate you when you can’t motivate yourself.

4.) Measure Something

Try the popular Insanity or Couchto5k workout regimes. These workouts function by giving you something quantifiable to measure. You ran for a minute straight yesterday, so you can run for a minute and a half today.

Similarly, stop looking at the scale. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times…muscle weighs more than fat. If you want to see numbers, break out a measuring tape and keep a spreadsheet of inches lost.

Task: Self-Motivation To Workout

On a similar note, a great way to lose weight is to get off your ass! Want to burn some calories or feel motivated to get healthy right now? Try this:

1.) Go take a walk. If you’re at home, walk for 30 minutes. If you’re at work, take a stroll around the building you work in, circling it at least once. Remember to take the stairs on your way out!

2.) Put the food down. If you are eating right now and you haven’t counted your daily calories, do that first. You wouldn’t take an exam without studying. You shouldn’t eat without knowing your current caloric intake for the day.

3.) Measure your body and take “before” pictures. What you see will motivate you better than anything else can.

4.) Go through old photographs and compare your current body to your past physique.

Lesson 4: How To Stop Wasting Time Online

1.) Set Time Limits

If you can’t enforce them yourself, find a program made for kids (pay for RescueTime or use a time tracker plug-in for Firefox). This is incredibly important if you work from home.

Don’t be ashamed if you need a little bump in the right direction… in the form of literally limiting your access to certain sites during work hours.

2.) Unplug your Internet

If you need an explanation for this one, then…no comment. Just slide that wireless button to the “off” position and revel in all the new found time you have.

3.) Schedule your Free Time

There is a time for checking your Twitter or responding to a month-old email from your sister, and that time is not during work hours. Set some rules for yourself and be strict about obeying them. 

For instance, you could allot 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night to check your Facebook, and 30 minutes at lunch to check your email.

Be reasonable about these restrictions. If you have long-distance friends or family, you might choose to give yourself more time to connect with them online. This is also the perfect time to separate your work and play email accounts. 

Checking your work email should not turn into a social response extravaganza every time you open Yahoo.

4.) Leave the Phone at Home

It’s a truly horrifying piece of advice, isn’t it? And yet, your phone is not a child. It does not need to be held 24/7, and it doesn’t need a babysitter. Know when to send a call to voicemail and when to stop texting.

Did you know that there is actually a name for that feeling when you imagine your phone is vibrating or ringing, but it isn’t? It’s called phantom ringing syndrome, and the fact that it has a real name means that you (and everyone else you know) should get off the damn phone.

Task: Unplug From Distractions

And if you’re anything else like the rest of the world, you probably spend too much time online. If you’ve ever watched 90’s sitcom reruns on YouTube or scrolled through the pictures of a friend of a friend on Facebook, you’re guilty. This one is easy. Here’s how to stop wasting time online:

1.) Close your browser and get to work.

2.) No really, that’s it. You’re wasting time and you know it.

The strength to turn off the internet and get back to work is your bastion in a sea of procrastination.

Can you manage it? This is something everyone struggles with, but most people never realize is a problem.

Putting Motivation To Work For You

All of the above things are pieces of your life that continuously fall to the back burner in favour of more important, pressing issues.

The thing about motivation is that once you discover how to cultivate it, you’ll start recognizing all the areas of your life that could use extra effort. It’s a caustic thing, this desire to step out your own front door and experience the world to its fullest.

Don’t be afraid to make small changes. Even the most unimportant-looking piece of you is important.

Get up right now.

  • Stretch or walk to get your blood moving.
  • Grab something energy-boosting.
  • Make a list of goals or call a trusted friend to discuss your life goals.
  • Sit up straight or stand to do your work – it will make you feel more confident.
  • Write “I have to do this. I can do this. I will do this.” on a large piece of paper and plaster it wherever you waste the most time every day.

And finally, get to work.

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