Positive reinforcement is a fundamental principle of human behavior that says a behavior is more likely to happen (and continue to happen) when it’s followed by something enjoyable or rewarding:
For a long time, I was skeptical of the idea of using visualization as a technique for improving performance and motivation. It always seemed a little hokey and woo-woo to me, like something you’d read in a cheap self-help book or hear from a scammy motivational speaker. But the truth is, visualization is a very straightforward practice that can powerfully boost motivation. And it has nothing to do with channeling cosmic energies, manifesting your inner purpose, or any other nonsense like that. Instead, it works on a simple principle of motivation that says the more specific, concrete, and available our mental representation of a goal and its benefits are, the more we’ll feel motivated to achieve it. For example, consider two scenarios for staying motivated to achieve a goal of losing weight:
Take some time out of your semester for self-reflection on your study habits. Determine your strengths and weaknesses in each class for specific study materials, as well as what part of classes come naturally or are challenging for you. For example, out of textbook readings, assignment deadlines, test scores, or class participation, which do you need to put a bit more effort into and how can you make that happen for the rest of the course?
Yes, I know this conflicts with what I just said, but hear me out. Just like during a workout, it’s hard to get pumped up without music! Something about loud music always makes me clean faster, and allows me to forget that I’m even cleaning. If you prefer, turn on an audiobook, podcast, or YouTube video that doesn’t need to be watched (like a TED Talk). Pandora has some stand-up comedy stations that are a fun way to pass the time, too. I like to use a small portable speaker, so I don’t have to carry my phone around with me. The idea is to just to be distracted enough to forget you’re cleaning, but not so much that you forget to clean at all. If you have an hands-free earpiece, talk on the phone to a friend or your mom while you’re tidying. You’ll get caught up with each other, and be productive!
When you do a little bit of research before doing something then your expectations will be more realistic and you can also obtain good suggestions on what hindrances that you might have to face. Managing your expectations lowers the almost volatile preliminary enthusiasm. But it can also increase motivation levels that usually follow when most of that enthusiasm has dispersed.
This is one of the more important budgeting tips and tricks to follow. When your budget is complete, you should go through and review your expenses and look to see if they line up with your short and long-term financial goals. I talked above how analysis is one of the best budgeting tips and tricks to keep your budgeting on track. For example if one of your goals is to get out of debt or reduce credit card balances, then you want to be sure that your monthly budgetary expenses reflect that. You should have and aggressive monthly expense factored into this category if you’re trying to pay off your credit card debt.
If you like structure and routine, following a training schedule can help you stay motivated and committed to your runs. “A training plan helps you prepare mentally and logistically, so you’re not wasting energy trying to figure out what to do and where to go. You just show up and run,” says Moore. To build a basic training plan, start by choosing the number of days a week you want to run, as well as how much time you want to run for, Moore says. From there, you can create workouts based on your current fitness level and goals.
If you have a list of things that you need to finish every day or every week, tackle the worst or the hardest or the most boring task first. This way you will feel like you achieved a great accomplishment by getting this hard task out of the way, and you will feel more motivated because now every thing on the list seems easy and achievable. I usually do this with workouts and house work, because these are usually the activities that I feel like can be the hardest or most mundane. So first thing I do when I wake up is workout, then do whatever chores I need to do in the house for that day, and once these two are done, I feel like I can do anything.
If your goals are good ones, you probably have more motivation than you realize. The trouble is, you may be wasting huge chunks of it. And one of the biggest culprits behind wasted motivation is our own self-talk. Self-talk refers to our habits of talking to ourselves, both what we say to ourselves in our own head and how we say it. If your habitual, automatic self-talk tends to be negative, harsh, and judgmental, it’s going to produce a lot of difficult emotion like guilt, anxiety, frustration, and sadness, all of which sap you of your natural motivation to reach your goals. This means that one of the best, if counterintuitive, ways to stay motivated is to stop robbing yourself of motivation with overly negative self-talk. And instead, create a new habit of gentle self-talk. Here are some examples:
Always think positively and try to let go of negative threads in your mind before they have a chance to take hold of you. Remember that you might not be able to be positive every time no matter what happens but most of us can develop on our positive thinking and the results it can lead us to. The more you are positive, the more things will become easy for you.