30 Tactical Ways To Motivate Yourself To Do Anything

Have you ever known what you needed to do? To some people that’s most of the battle. When they know what they have to do, they buckle down and do it. However, for most of us the battle has only just begun. We find what we need to do and want to do anything but that.

If you are one of the many people who struggles with finding motivation, don’t fret. You are not alone and there are tricks you can use. 

30 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Do Anything

Grab a snack, get a drink, and sit tight because here are 30 ways to motivate yourself to do anything. Armed with these, you will be able to get out there and make your dreams come true. 

1| Just Get Started

If you’ve spent all day avoiding a task, commit to five minutes of work. Telling yourself you’ll work for just five minutes is a way to trick your mind into doing what you want. Odds are, once you start working, you will work for a good while. Most of the fear and apprehension goes away once we sit down and begin a task. Once we’re in the chair our fears turn into possibilities and we receive the motivation that comes from progress.

2| Baby Steps

Some projects are like a marathon. You have to pace yourself. Baby steps or little goals along the way are a great way to divide up your task and make it manageable. Let’s say you have to write a ten-page essay on Victorian Literature. Your first goal could be as simple as selecting the books you want to write about. Your next goal could be reading two chapters from one of them while taking notes. As long as you’re taking baby steps, that long essay will be completed within a time frame that you control.

3| Routine 

Nothing beats a solid routine. We are creatures of habit and our circadian rhythms determine much of how we live our lives. If you go to bed at random times, you will get less sleep. If you sit down to work at random times and in random places, you will get less done. Decide on what times you need to do important tasks and stick to them.

You also need to find nutritious food and an exercise routine that works for you. The energy and positivity that comes from these things is hard to exaggerate, but you have to commit to them for a while before you feel it. For best results, consult a nutritionist and a personal trainer.

4| Outsmart Future You

Beating procrastination means outsmarting your future self. You have to get good at creating future scenarios in which future you will be motivated. Simple willpower isn’t enough, you have to isolate environments that make you behave productively and create them.

For instance, you might find yourself putting off work to clean. If that’s the case, make sure your work space is clean. Keep up with it and schedule times for deep cleaning, that way you will not waste work time on cleaning. If you often end up wasting time on social media instead of working, put your phone somewhere else. If you need to, change your password and give it to a friend during a big assignment that requires your full attention. Do whatever it takes!

5| Accountability Partners

Find a procrastinating friend and make a pact with them. Check in with each other and share success stories. Learn from each other’s failures and encourage each other to get motivated and do what you need to do. Humans are social animals, so making a pact with another person is a great way to motivate yourself.

6| The Right Sound Track

Some people just need a good song to get them in the mood. Determine what songs you like to work to, work out to, go to the grocery store to, etc. and you’ll find yourself wanting to do those things when that music comes on. Remain consistent with what music you listen to while doing a specific task, and it will become second nature once the song kicks in.

7| Plan a Reward

According to Time Magazine, research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things. It makes sense. Sweetening the deal never hurts. Is there some kind of purchase you want to make, but feel it would be too indulgent? Use it as motivation! 

Reward yourself for little goals as well as big ones. Reward small successes with a nice Starbucks or a trip to eat out for dinner. Reward big successes with buying that thing you’ve had your eye on but couldn’t justify getting just yet. Reward yourself because you’ve worked hard!

8| Practice Optimism

According to Time Magazine, we often feel unmotivated when we are in a bad mood. It’s important to remember that the battle for motivation is all in your head. So are optimism and pessimism. Any situation can be seen as glass half empty or glass half full. 

If you aren’t feeling energized, imagine how good you’ll feel once you get things done anyway. If you aren’t feeling inspired, go for a nice walk or sit in a coffee shop for a bit. Always look on the brighter side of life and expect the best.

9| Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Those who succeed have failed the most, so don’t beat yourself up about failure. If you haven’t worked as much as you planned to, or if you’ve missed a deadline, you need to take these failures as opportunities to learn. If you can’t do that, you need to simply dust yourself off and try again.

10| Learn From Past Failures

Failures are our teachers. They are tough, though, so we often refuse their lessons. A healthy way to look at failure is as an opportunity to learn. Isolate what made you fail and plan to overcome that in the future. 

For instance, if you didn’t go to the gym as many times as you wanted this week, maybe it’s become boring to you. You need a new challenge. Try upping your weight in some sets or making a small goal like increasing the number of pushups you can do in one minute. If that doesn’t work, maybe you need to revamp your workout routine because you’re tired of your old one.

11| Measure Your Progress

When you see that you are moving closer to where you’d like to be, working gets exhilarating. We get stuck in ruts when we think our work isn’t getting us anywhere. This creates a vicious cycle in which we don’t get anywhere because we don’t work. However, when we take the time to keep on pushing forward with optimism, we will see ourselves moving little by little.

12| Competition

Some people don’t get motivated until a friend passes them up and laughs at them. You don’t want that clown beating you to the punch, do you? So, get working! Find a friend who will motivate you with a little friendly competition and set goals that you will both race to reach. This will make any task more fun because now there are steaks and a little excitement.

13| Have a Strong Vision

Another reason we get lost in life is because we forget why we started on a task in the first place. Work becomes too routine and it seems like it will never end. This is why it is important to spend time looking deep into yourself and settling on a strong vision for yourself and your future. Decide what kind of house you want, what kind of people you want in your life, and decide on your set of values. Then stick to all of it!

14| Remind Yourself of Your Vision

Once you’ve made a strong vision, you’ll need to remind yourself of it often. Our minds are too fixated on the present to go without reminders. We will see endless mounds of paper work and blank word processing screens and nothing else.

This is when we need to fall back in love with our dreams and remind ourselves of our vision. Go look at that car you want, place a picture of your family on your desk and think of that vacation. Remind yourself of your vision and you will return to work motivated.

15| Practice Gratitude

If you find yourself feeling sorry or angry about your situation, practice gratitude. Instead of always wanting more, be thankful for what you have. This philosophy will help you get to work because you won’t be in such a hurry to finish. 

You can take a deep breath and know that yes, you want to get somewhere better in the future, but for now you are grateful. You’re grateful for the abundant opportunities you have and for all the needs you have met. 

16| Change it Up!

Routines are integral to success, but after we’ve done them for a couple months, we might start to go insane! This is why you need to spice up any routine in order to stay with it. 

Do different exercises at the gym, go somewhere different for lunch, plan a vacation to a place you’ve never gone. Rewards and small goals can also help you change your routines up. 

Once you reach one small goal, take a special weekend vacation! You can also use small goals as indicators for when you will need a change. Meet the goal, get the reward, and change up your routine!

17| Clean Your Workspace

If we have a cluttered workspace, we will not be able to focus. We may also have trouble finding necessary tools to work with. Make sure to have a clean, organized workspace because nothing will throw off your groove like suddenly not being able to find a pencil or stapler. 

18| Remove Distractions

Maybe your desk is clean and organized, but you waste a lot of time messaging friends at work or watching YouTube videos. These things can be used as rewards, yes, but when they drain productive hours, they become distractions. 

You need to remove distractions for best results. Distractions suck time and nothing drains your motivation like noticed you’ve wasted an hour or two. If you don’t have enough self-discipline to limit your distraction use and make them into quick rewards, you might need to employ drastic measures. 

Ban your messaging service from your work computer, block YouTube on your work browser, and turn off your phone. Maybe even put your phone in a special locked drawer until you’re done with a task.

19| Make a Better To-Do List

To-Do lists are great. The feeling of marking off items is extremely motivating. However, if we end the day with a bunch of things left undone, we become stressed and less motivated. When this happens, it may be that we need to make better to-do lists rather than be more motivated.

Figure out what you can reasonably do in one day and only put those things on your list. Enjoy a productive day of marking off everything as you finish it. Then, go to bed feeling great after completing all of those tasks!

20| Take Breaks

If you don’t pace yourself, your motivation wanes. Sometimes we may have a great day of solid focus for 8 hours. Others will be a constant struggle. If you’re feeling energized, keep on working! If you are feeling tired or unfocused, however, it is good for your eyes to get away from the computer screen. 

It’s great for your mind and soul to take a walk, talk to a co-worker for a little bit, and then return to your desk with renewed energy. If you force yourself to work without breaks day after day, part of your mind will start resenting work. Don’t be a tyrant to yourself. Take a break.

21| Research a Reasonable Approach

There are good and bad ways to do everything. If you are embarking on a new and unfamiliar task, you need to swallow your pride and ask someone who has done this before for help. If you don’t know someone, do some research. 

Your intuition may set you up for failure if you’re in unfamiliar territory. For this reason, you should start with research to make sure your approach is a reasonable one.

22| Get Away From the Computer and Walk in a Park

Time outside is better for our brain than we realize. Vitamin D from the sun along with nice green leaves are great companions to a nice break. 

If you’re inside with fluorescent lights all day, a quick walk to the water cooler may not be enough to clean out your head for the next few hours of work. So, go walk in a park or nature trail! If you can’t find one near your work, just go someplace where there’s a tree or two. 

23| Peer Pressure

According to Time Magazine, research shows peer pressure helps kids more than it hurts them. This still applies to you. After all, we’re just big kids pretending to be adults.

If an accountability partner isn’t enough for you, try full on peer pressure! If you surround yourself with motivated people, you will be positively pressured to be motivated and achieve. 

You won’t want to be the only one who stayed up watching Netflix while your friends are getting raises and buying cool cars. Procrastination is for dweebs. Get motivated by positive peer pressure!

24| Learn that External Motivation is a Myth

When do you feel more motivated, before you start a big project, or after? It’s likely you feel more motivated once you’ve started. As stated before, starting is most of the battle. 

Motivation isn’t some magical force that suddenly hits you, you need to work at it and practice to cultivate it. Motivation comes from forward momentum, not stale inertia.

25| Take Ownership of Your Feelings

A little psychology never hurt anyone. Feelings of anxiety, worthlessness, or an overall negative outlook on life can kill motivation before it even has a chance to kindle. The key to finding motivation in these cases is taking ownership of your feelings and working through them. This is a long, hard process and you may need professional help, but it will aid every aspect of your life from motivation at work to interpersonal relationships.

26| Work Hard

It’s pretty general advice, and you hear it all the time. That’s because it’s good advice! You get out of things what you put into them, so work hard and you will find the motivation to keep pushing forward. The other entries on this list will help you build work ethic, but the general principal of enjoying hard work is one that will get you far in life.

27| Keep Pushing

Sometimes when you wake up and don’t want to do anything, you just need to do it anyway. It’s that simple! No wizard’s spell or witches brews for you. Just get up, make some coffee, eat a good breakfast, and get to work. You’ll probably start feeling better as you get ready because your brain will know that it is preparing itself to work. 

So, don’t take a fall in motivation as the end of the world. Don’t stay home scouring the internet in an attempt to find why you felt “bleah” today. Just take a deep breath and go through your day anyway. You’ll feel a lot better after overcoming a bad day than you will after sitting around and wasting it.

28| Face Your Fears

Sometimes what’s holding us back is fear. Do you think you are good enough to succeed? The terrible thing is that many of us do not. We don’t think we deserve a good life or to succeed, so we self-sabotage and assure that we will be miserable. 

Don’t fall into this rut. Name and face your fears little by little. You may never completely overcome them, but you will learn how to deal with them and live with them.

29| Plan to Succeed

Planning for the worst-case scenario is often what our minds want to do. However, we should be planning to succeed, not to fail. This mind set will assure that more of our actions go toward getting what we want rather than consoling ourselves when we don’t. 

So, plan to succeed! Use your time and resources in a way that assures you will have what you need to capitalize on your success when the time comes. If fact, you should be living as if you already have succeeded. The success will then follow.

30| Envision the Ideal You

This is similar to having a strong vision. The difference is that envisioning the ideal you are focused on internal rather than external goals. You probably have habits and parts of yourself that go against what you truly believe. If you accept that this will never change, it won’t, and you will always feel that you could be better but don’t know how.

You need to get to know yourself really well if you want to be motivated to succeed in life. Start chipping away the parts of yourself that you don’t need, slowly but surely. While you do so, keep in mind the ideal version of yourself. 

The ideal already exists in your head, you just have to get to know it! Once you do, you will always know what you’re supposed to do and what you shouldn’t do. It’s a hard path to discover this self, but once you have you will never be the same.