How to find your motivation and stop procastinating

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Author: Dr. Julie. Sorenson, DMFT, MA, LPC

How Do I Learn to Motivate Myself?

Motivation comes easier for some than others. Many schools, universities, and industries try to find what motivates their students and employees daily. There are business meetings and personal development, trying to discover the why behind motivations. The truth is that it’s not one-size-fits motivation and procrastination. Many people seek out counseling to assist them in finding their motivations and learning skills to decrease the likelihood of their procrastination. 

Procrastination and How to Stop It

Procrastination often occurs because of anxiety. People know what needs to be done but often feel overwhelmed. Learning to sit with the discomfort can assist in changing your mindset and beating the cycle of procrastination. Recognizing the numerous tasks and necessary things that must be done and breaking projects into more manageable pieces can make you feel more accomplished. When breaking the tasks into smaller, more sustainable commitments, ensure you reward yourself along the way to assist in completing the task without having a nightery which adds unnecessary stress. Setting limits for yourself and not taking a back seat in your life can allow you to prepare to start and complete responsibilities fueling your motivation and drive to get it done. 

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

What pushes you to be the best version of yourself? Learn yourself, and you're why. Some people have intrinsic reward systems suitable internally for accomplishing their goals. In contrast, others have an external reward system that pushes them to finish a task. External rewards could be the paycheck they receive, a sweet or salty treat, and going out to the movies or arcades are a few examples. Victor Vroom discovered expectancy (the belief that increased efforts lead to an increase in performance), instrumentality (the view that better performance will be acknowledged), and valance (the impression that the reward was something wanted by the participant at a high level) are components that create successful extrinsic rewards. In comparison, internal rewards are an incentive to help your desire to forge through. Intrinsic motivation can be dynamic because it is entangled into identity and is a continuous cause of inspiration.

So How Do You Build Self-Motivation?

           There are some critical steps you can take to assist in building self-motivation.

  • Proactively building initiative 
  • Drive
  • Being committed to your goals
  • Resilience
  • Enjoying what you do
  • Desire to take on new challenges despite difficulties. 
  • Believing in yourself
difficult roads motivate

What Can You Do to Believe You Can Do What You Want to Accomplish?

  • Create a list of goals and break them up into smaller subsections of the plan. 
  • Make Smart Goals
  • Manage your time better.
  • Plan and don’t overextend yourself.
  • Adjust your standards, perfectionism causes stress.
  • Focus on the positives that you are doing.
  • Pare down your to do list.
  • Analyze your schedule, responsibilities and daily tasks.
  • Distinguish between the must do’s and should does and drop tasks that are not necessary.
  • Use your strengths to build upon 
  • Remind yourself of your why (everyone has a why)
  • Create habits (remember it takes 30 days of consistency to create a habit)
  • Remind yourself that if this happens, then this will happen. 
binge tv

Some days are more difficult than others, so stick to your action plan. You may have had a hard day at work and want to come home and binge Netflix.


However, if you remind yourself of your goals (for example, if you're going to run a marathon), you can tell yourself, “I can watch tv as long as I want tonight. If I run so many miles, I know I will feel better if I get it done.” Give yourself grace and if things become to difficult to tackle, find a mental health professional to assist you.


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