Setting and achieving goals is essential if you want to be successful in business and in life. But it’s also one of the most difficult parts of your journey. It requires discipline and hard work, but most of all it requires motivation. Motivation is something that everyone struggles with. It’s fickle, it tends to fade when you need it, and it’s hard to get back. Daily motivation habits can help with that. They will support your specific goals and help you build up your overall motivation for life.
Daily motivation habits are small things you do every day that support your health and success overall. They can be highly specific to your life and situation, or more general habits that help and support your business, life or general health. These habits can also boost your motivation for other tasks, as they teach you discipline and the best ways to develop daily habits.
There are two general types of motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within, it means that you work towards a goal because it gives some sort of internal reward such as happiness or pleasure. Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside. If your boss promises you a big bonus if you get a big account, this is extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is generally accepted to be better for long term motivation. Extrinsic motivation is good for making you complete a short term, distasteful job. This is because you’re more likely to finish the job if you know you’ll get something nice at the end of it. Because of these different strengths, both types of motivation should be a part of your daily motivation habits.
How much motivation do you have to achieve your dreams? And what daily motivation habits can you adopt to help you along the way?
Reward good behavior
This doesn’t mean you should have a meal at a local greasy takeaway every time you stick to your diet for a day. But rewards, if you find ones that motivate you and don’t undermine your habits and routines, can be very motivating. They also give you something to look forward to, and reinforce the behavior you want to encourage.
The use of rewards for behavior is controversial. Some studies suggest that rewards undermine autonomous motivation, making it too reliant on external factors. This means that the tactic can backfire and decrease your motivation for tasks when an immediate reward isn’t offered. This is obviously something to avoid. However, if you have a boring or distasteful task ahead of you, a small reward can be a good, short term motivation.
Some rewards you might consider adding to your daily schedule include:
A nice dinner out with friends.
A day trip to a natural area near your house.
An hour reading a favorite book.
When you’re an entrepreneur or have a stressful job it can feel as if you don’t have the time to rest. But this is a one way track to overall failure and burnout. Get in the habit of taking mini breaks each day, and at least one full day off a week. This will revitalize you, and give you the energy and motivation to keep working towards your goals.
Breaks may also spark creative thinking. Taking a break to do something else, whether it’s to go for a walk or read a book, stimulates blood flow to the brain. It also encourages the brain to daydream, which actually increases activity in different parts of the brain. This may help you come up with a solution you’d never have thought of without the extra stimulation. After all, how many people report getting their best ideas in the shower?
Some good ways to schedule breaks into your day include:
Set a timer and walk around for five minutes after it goes off.
Find natural places to have breaks, such as when you finish a project
Schedule two fifteen minute breaks every day
Sometimes we get so caught up in the push for achievement that we forget to celebrate important moments. This means celebrating that promotion, that big client, that fear you overcame. If you let those moments pass you by without comment, then why would you want to achieve the next big goal? Setting up a daily motivation habit to celebrate small victories can be an important way to motivate you to achieve your bigger goals.
Celebrating the small wins helps immensely when your goals are long term. Long term goals are good for our lives, but not so good for motivation. They’re often so far off that the motivation to pursue them fades away. This can be overcome by celebrating the small wins on the way to those goals. The rush of feel good chemicals in the brain that results from congratulating yourself can boost your motivation again. Celebrating small wins also reminds you of how far you have come, which is important for the times when all you can see is how much work is ahead.
You can celebrate all types of wins, from finishing a big project to working out how to operate a new program on your computer. Some ways to celebrate these wins are:
A nice meal with friends or family.
Ring a friend and brag.
Watch a favorite movie or television show.
Exercise for daily motivation
Nothing is less motivating than feeling sluggish, sick or just tired. That’s why having a regular exercise schedule, even one as simple as taking a walk every day, can give you a lot of motivation in other parts of your life. This daily motivation habit is vital not just for your business success, but for your general health and wellbeing.
Exercise not only provides a host of benefits for your body, it also boosts your brain power as well. Research shows that exercise increases the flow of blood to your brain, which improves your memory, creativity, and ability to learn new things.
Daily exercise may be essential, but it can also get a little boring. A regular workout routine is important of course, but sometimes a little change can go a long way towards motivating you. Some ways to keep the interest in your workouts are:
Walk in a park or nature area.
Find a yoga class that teaches a style you haven’t tried before
Try a more adventurous sport such as surfing.
Visualize the results
A good daily motivation habit is visualization. This technique is often used by athletes and others who perform under high pressure situations. Visualization basically means that you sit still and imagine achieving your goal. See it in full color with any added details you can imagine. Let yourself feel it, the rush of pride and joy at your success. This works well as part of your morning routine, as it gives your mood a little boost for the day.
You can use visualization as motivation towards any type of goal. According to research, the human brain can’t tell the difference between visualization and actually achieving the goal. That means that visualizing it will give you the rush of good hormones and feelings associated with achieving your goals before you actually do it. It can also help you to reconfirm why you want to achieve certain goals, which can increase intrinsic motivation.
To use visualization to give you motivation and courage try the following routine:
Sit somewhere quiet and peaceful.
Imagine an event or job that’s coming up.
Visualize your success, how it will feel and look.
Record your progress
When you have long term goals they can seem too far off. The work you’re doing for them may feel insignificant, as if it’s too small to ever get you where you want to go. That’s why it’s important to track your progress every day. This daily motivation habit will allow you to look back across your weeks and see how far you really have come. There’s no greater motivation than realizing just how well you’re really doing.
There are a few different ways you can record your progress towards your goals. Make sure you keep the record somewhere visible, so you can’t forget or ignore it. Some suggestions for this are:
A calendar on the wall.
A goal app on your phone.
Make regular appointments to inform friends about your progress.
Set up your environment for the behaviors you want
Our environment acts as triggers for good or bad habits. That’s why you need to change your environment to match with your goals. How you do this will depend on your goals. If you want to go running every morning, put your shoes by the door the night before. If you want to eat better, get the junk out of your fridge and fill it with fruit. This daily motivation habit will help you remember the steps to your goals even when you’re distracted. It will also remove temptations to behaviors that you’re trying to leave behind.
Some tips for setting up a motivating environment are:
Make sure your project or goal tools are easily accessible at all times.
Keep your materials in one place.
Remove temptations for negative behaviors.
Optimize your morning routine
Whether you’re a morning person and get up with the sun or a night owl and get up closer to morning tea time, you need to organize your morning routine. This can help you start on the right foot, give your mood a boost, and increase your physical energy. It will also encourage you to get into a routine for the day that encourages action and productivity rather than procrastination.
This is probably one of the most important daily motivation habits. Some ideas to improve your morning are:
Exercise first thing in the morning.
Meditate when you come home from your exercise.
Plan your day.
The one thing you should take away from this
Daily motivation habits can help boost your overall motivation. By making them a part of your life you will take better control of the mostly unconscious forces that affect your behavior. This means that instead of letting randomly fluctuating motivation levels rule you, you will be actively building them up every day. In the long term, this will help you work towards your life goals and give you more understanding of your own mind and what motivates it. This is far better than leaving all of your power in the mysterious, fickle part of your brain that governs motivation.