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How to Motivate Yourself in 5 Easy Steps


What do you think motivation is?  It is the desire to do something, the act or process of motivating…in other words, it’s the “get up and go” that gets you moving toward a goal or thing that you want.

As a child, were you motivated by your parents rewarding you for cleaning your room or did it work better for them to threaten you with a grounding or a similar punishment?  If you are motivated by a reward, the shiny object that provides a measure of pleasure in your life, then you are a person who is motivated “towards” something.  If you are motivated by avoiding pain, than you are a person who is an “away from” person.

Just recently, I had the opportunity to get very, very motivated…….my brother-in-law and his wife were coming to visit us and our deck had been in need of a very thorough sanding and staining. It’s a big job and Shane and I had been procrastinating doing it. 

I discovered that I work really well with the picture of the “reward” (in this case, my beautiful, finished and stained deck) clear and in front of me.  Perhaps you are that way as well, you would feel motivated by posting the pictures of what you want on your fridge or on a vision board.  The prospect of a reward entices you forward!

My husband, on the other hand, works really, really well with the idea or picture of a possible negative event if he doesn’t get it done.  He was more concerned about what his brother would think if he saw the deck in the condition it was in, originally.  He worked very hard to “avoid” the pain of his brother’s perceived judgement.

So, here is what you can do to motivate yourself and kick laziness and procrastination to the curb!

Motivation strategy for a “towards” person

1.        Imagine a time when you were really, really motivated

2.        Is there a picture?  Where in space, is that picture located? Is it in front of you, like a panorama, or does it have a frame around it?

3.        Is the picture bright, dim, flat or 3D?

4.        Is there any motion or feelings associated with that picture?

5.        Is there any sounds?  If so, are there any directions to the sounds?

Now, think of the goal that you want to achieve. Notice that it probably does not have the same qualities (we call them sub modalities in NLP) as the memory that you have of the time when you really, really were motivated.  We are just going to shift things, just a little.  We are going to change the aspects of the goal you are having trouble achieving, the one you might be calling yourself “lazy” for.  

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

1.       Why is this goal important to you?  What will happen if you accomplish it?

2.        Is it a good for you, good for others, good for the planet goal, if you accomplish it?

3.        What will happen if you don’t accomplish this goal?

4.        Imagine that you can change the sub modalities of this new goal to be the same as the ones in the motivated goal that you accomplished……change the qualities of the picture, the type of light, the size of it, the sounds and feelings associated with it……just like that

5.       See yourself at that time in the future that you want the goal accomplished by and feel the feelings of pride and satisfaction for having done it…..that’s right

Now, how easy was that to give the new goal the same sub modalities as the memory of the time you were very, very motivated?

Feel the change, just like that…..

Be careful when you are applying this strategy to any goal……you should make sure that your goal is something that is good for you, good for the people that you love, and good for the planet…..because you will be motivated to go after it.

For those of you with an “away” from strategy, I would caution you about thinking in catastrophic terms about what will happen if you don’t accomplish your goal.  Try a different approach and give the “towards” strategy a go….you might be surprised! 

Here’s to new beginnings and feeling energized, optimistic and focused, all of the feelings that come to you when you are in a motivated state!



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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

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