1. Most Effective Motivational Methods

    March 29, 2013


    by Laurent Kelly


    It’s safe to say that motivation is one of the most important parts of achieving success, regardless of what it is you’re working towards. Practically all successful people have achieved their aims through hard work, and putting in that hard work means being motivated. But for many people, getting motivated is a difficult task, and failure to do so can become an obstacle to success. Here are some tips that will hopefully make the process of getting motivated a lot easier.

    Start small

    This should be the first step for anyone looking to get motivated, but it’s a step that most people overlook, to their cost. It’s not possible to become motivated overnight, and expecting too much at the beginning usually leads to a loss in motivation, rather than a gain. Think about it like this: say you wanted to lose two stone, and you work out a weight-loss plan. Imagine what would happen if your plan involved losing the two stone in only one week – you’d probably give up after a few days.

    Instead, when starting out, take small steps; break a larger plan down into smaller, easier-to-achieve parts and, as you continue towards your goal, gradually increase the scale.

    Write it down

    Setting out your goal on paper can be enormously beneficial. Merely talking about it to others isn’t enough; written down, it becomes a lot more concrete. But you don’t have to just write down your aims; it’s also helpful to write in a personal way about your goal. Write about why you want to achieve a certain objective, and also write about how you’re feeling after a day of working towards it. Because if at any point your motivation drops, you’ll be able to look back over what you’ve written and realise that, chances are, you felt a lot happier after a day of hard work, knowing that you contributed towards achieving your goal.

    Picture it

    Seeing visual representations of your goal can be enormously helpful. There are a lot of things you can do with this method, depending on what you want to achieve. You could print out pictures of people who have reached similar goals, and put them up around your house: seeing these pictures regularly will remind you that hard work pays off.

    But it doesn’t just have to be print-outs. If you spend a lot of time on computers, collect pictures online and set them as your desktop background or screensaver. Nor do the pictures necessarily have to be of people. If your goal is financial, find pictures of things you’d hope to one day own. Another good idea is to print out large-lettered instructions and keep them in places where you’re likely to see them on a daily basis.

    Reward yourself

    Don’t forget to reward yourself. If you’ve broken up your overall plan into smaller goals, make sure you reward yourself every time you achieve one of these sub-goals. Or, if your goal isn’t structured like this, make sure you set up checkpoints along the way, and treat yourself when a checkpoint is passed. It’s important not to overwork yourself; there must be a pleasurable element, and with steady self-rewards, you’ll always have something to look forward to. Just make sure that the rewards don’t have a negative impact on all the hard work that preceded them.


    Now it’s up to you. The above tips don’t guarantee success on their own, but, if you’re willing to put in the hard work, they will surely help you on your way towards achieving your goal. Good luck!

  2. Finding Motivation to get back in Shape

    March 9, 2013

    finding motivation to get fit

    by Ann-Marie Stephens

    Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply trying to stay in shape, finding motivation to do it is often easier said than done. This article will not only show you how to stay motivated long enough to achieve your goals, but how to find motivation for all your future goals and ambitions.

    Pre-Requisites to finding motivation

    Finding motivation to achieve any goal in life is like finding that all elusive secret. After all, motivation is the key ingredient to success. Have it, and you can achieve anything. Without motivation, even the most mundane tasks seem impossible. However, motivation itself requires two key ingredients; the will to adopt new approaches (having an open mind), and the need to succeed.

    Step one to finding motivation – replay!

    Most of us feel the need to get back in shape because someone important enough has taunted us a few times about our current shape or we have read some article about the effects of being out of shape.

    If it was a taunt, replay it in your mind again and again until you feel the anger growing within you and the need to do something about it. If it was some article you’ve read, think about the effects of being out of shape that were mentioned in the article.

    The very fact that you are on this page means you already have a reason to get back in shape – focus on it.

    Step two to finding motivation – get past the first week!

    Depending on how out of shape you are, your physical capacity and lung capacity might be severely limited. But know this: the body is very good at adapting. The second day is easier than the first and the third easier than the second. Day after day you will notice your capacity increasing. To begin with, concentrate on doing your exercises daily for one week. Start small and each day increase it by just a bit. By the end of the week you will be seven times better than when you started!

    Step three to finding motivation – Forget the past, start small

    Motivation often falters when we miss our initial targets. For example, when you last exercised, you might have been able to do 10 laps of the pool with only a mild sense of exhaustion. After a long break, start with one lap of the pool. The next day do two and the day after, do three laps and so on. You may think you can do three laps on the first day itself but don’t go for it.

    Step four to finding motivation – Pace yourself

    Remember to increment your exercise routine by tiny amounts. It may take you a tad longer to reach your goal but that is infinitely better than dealing with failure mid-way.

    Step five – Know where the peak lies

    In the example above, I wrote about increasing the exercise volume by a bit on a daily basis. Once you reach (say) five laps of the pool, continue doing only five laps for the rest of the week and then ask yourself how you feel.  Do you feel confident you can add one more lap and sustain it?

    Too many failures result from over-reaching ourselves. On a good day we might be able to do 7 or even 10 laps but that does not mean we can sustain it over a period of time. Knowing your limits is not only the key to staying motivated, it is the key to preventing injuries.

    Step six to finding motivation – Methodology

    Achieving a goal usually requires more than one step. Getting back in shape usually requires us to exercise and replace foods that contribute to the flab with foods that don’t. Measure your success by the completeness of your achievement.

    Step seven – Reward Yourself!

    Achieving all your targets for the first week is a major achievement. See that you give yourself a small reward.  The reward will make you feel good and also remind you of your success.

    Step eight – Sustain your activity

    Successfully achieving all your goals for the first week makes it much easier to continue because you now have the ‘know-how’ to achieve your goals. Remember, tiny increments or if you have reached your target, innovate and make your exercise routine more interesting. Reward yourself at the end of each successfully completed week or month.

    Ultimately motivation comes from the mind and our mind is extraordinarily powerful.  To stay motivated, you must want your target bad enough.

    Some readers had written to me previously saying that they do not think about the exercise while exercising. Instead, they concentrate on thinking about solutions to problems at office and before they know it, they have reached the end of the exercise routine for the day. Experiment around; discover what works best and helps sustain your activity.

    Author Bio:

    Ann-Marie Stephens is a co-founder of the Precise Portions, a dietitian-designed portion control dinnerware system that makes it easy to eat well. Taking the guesswork out of healthier eating; retraining you to eat the right amounts of the right foods, in the right proportion; improving chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. You can find healthy eating information & practical tips on Precise Portions blog.