How to Get Motivated: 10 Exercises To Improve Your Motivation

By November 10, 2023 How To Get Motivated
10 Exercises To Improve Your Motivation

How to Get Motivated: 10 Exercises To Improve Your Motivation

In life’s journey, encountering obstacles is inevitable. 

But have you ever faced a daunting challenge that seems impossible or a situation so uncomfortable that it threatens to derail your progress? Having the right tool or technique to deal with it can make the difference between failing and giving up or forging ahead and succeeding in these critical moments.

In a world filled with constant demands and unexpected challenges, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and lose motivation. However, maintaining a sense of motivation is key to enduring and thriving amidst adversity. 

That’s why it’s essential to equip yourself with practical tools that can be applied when faced with daunting obstacles or when the path ahead seems too difficult. 

In a recent article, How To Get Motivated, I talked about the importance of staying motivated and gave you 21 things you can do to improve motivation. 

Today’s article presents ten exercises you can do when faced with an opposition, a problem, or when the path ahead seems too difficult. These ten simple but powerful exercises are designed to help you boost your motivation. 

By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you can harness the power of motivation to propel yourself forward, even when the world around you seems chaotic and full of barriers.

“I Make Myself Big”

It’s fascinating to observe how distinctively we each respond to these hurdles. Just as our personalities differ, so do our methods of bolstering courage and motivation when confronted with daunting situations. This diversity in coping mechanisms is a testament to human creativity and our innate ability to adapt and find strength in unexpected places.

This is a delightful illustration of this in the Apple TV series Ted Lasso. In the show, AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton employs a rather unconventional yet surprisingly effective technique to build up her courage. 

This humorous yet poignant strategy underscores a profound truth: what might seem odd or unconventional to some can be a powerful tool for others in managing life’s challenges.

Rebecca’s approach, as depicted in the series, resonates with the essence of resilience. It’s a reminder that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to facing our fears or pushing through tough times. The exercises and strategies we adopt – as varied as they may be – are deeply personal and tailored to our individual needs and personalities.

The courage-building tactic used by Rebecca in Ted Lasso symbolizes the broader spectrum of methods we employ. 

Whether it’s a mental exercise, a physical activity, a motivational mantra, or even something as unique as Rebecca’s approach, these strategies all serve the same purpose: they empower us to face our fears and challenges head-on. They remind us that the strength we need to overcome obstacles often lies within, waiting to be harnessed in the most creative and personalized ways.

There are many ways to uplift ourselves in the face of adversity. These are not just coping mechanisms; they reflect our unique journeys and personalities. Like Rebecca, we can discover what uniquely works for us, turning daunting challenges into opportunities for growth and self-discovery.

10 Exercises To Improve Your Motivation

Whether you’re navigating professional hurdles, personal struggles, or the everyday challenges of pursuing your goals, here are ten exercises you can apply to improve your motivation in the moment:

1. The Five-Second Rule

  • How It Works: Count backward from 5 to 1 when hesitating, then immediately act.
  • How to Do It: When facing hesitation, immediately start counting down from five. When you reach one, physically move or create a specific action related to your task.
  • When This May Apply: Use this when procrastinating on starting a project or making a difficult phone call.
  • Why It’s Effective: Interrupts procrastination and jumpstarts your action.

2. The Perspective Shift

  • How It Works: Ask yourself the consequences of not acting and how you’ll feel after accomplishing the task.
  • How to Do It: Pause and reflect on the negative consequences of inaction and the positive feelings of accomplishment. Visualize both scenarios vividly.
  • When This May Apply: Helpful when avoiding a challenging task or decision due to fear or uncertainty.
  • Why It’s Effective: Helps refocus on the positive outcomes and long-term benefits.

3. Three Breaths Technique

  • How It Works: Take three deep breaths, focusing on your strength and goal with each inhalation and exhalation.
  • How to Do It: Take deep, slow breaths. Focus on each inhalation and exhalation while mentally affirming your strength and commitment to your goals.
  • When This May Apply: Ideal for moments of high stress or anxiety, like before an important presentation.
  • Why It’s Effective: Calms the mind and reinforces a positive mindset.

4. The Power of Visualization

  • How It Works: Close your eyes and vividly imagine overcoming the obstacle.
  • How to Do It: Close your eyes and imagine completing the task successfully. Focus on the details of the success and the feelings associated with it.
  • When This May Apply: Useful when feeling doubtful about your ability to complete a task or reach a goal.
  • Why It’s Effective: Creates a mental blueprint of success, boosting confidence.

5. The ‘One Thing’ Question

  • How It Works: Ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do right now to make progress?”
  • How to Do It: Ask yourself the most minor step you can take right now. Focus on this one task without worrying about the entire project.
  • When This May Apply: Great for overwhelming moments, especially in large projects or goals.
  • Why It’s Effective: Simplifies the task into manageable steps and reduces overwhelm.

6. The Gratitude Focus

  • How It Works: Quickly think of three things you’re grateful for.
  • How to Do It: Quickly identify three things you are grateful for. Focus on why these things matter to you and how they make you feel.
  • When This May Apply: Useful when feeling demotivated, frustrated, or encountering setbacks.
  • Why It’s Effective: Shifts focus from obstacles to positivity, enhancing mood and outlook.

7. The Success Replay

  • How It Works: Recall a past success and your steps to achieve it.
  • How to Do It: Think of a past achievement and your steps to get there. Remember how each action led to your success.
  • When This May Apply: Beneficial when facing self-doubt or starting a new challenge that feels daunting.
  • Why It’s Effective: Reminds you of your capabilities and resilience, inspiring action.

8. The Body Posture Adjustment

  • How It Works: Change your physical posture to a more confident and assertive stance.
  • How to Do It: Adopt an assertive, confident posture. Stand tall, shoulders back, chin up, and hold this pose for a few minutes.
  • When This May Apply: Effective when you need a quick confidence boost, like before a tough negotiation.
  • Why It’s Effective: Enhances psychological state by embodying confidence and readiness.

9. The Affirmation Boost

  • How It Works: Repeat a personal, empowering mantra or affirmation.
  • How to Do It: Choose a positive, empowering statement and repeat it to yourself. Say it out loud or in your mind with conviction.
  • When This May Apply: Helpful in moments of self-criticism or when preparing for a situation where you need to believe in yourself.
  • Why It’s Effective: Strengthens self-belief and mental fortitude.

10. The Problem-Solving Timer

  • How It Works: Set a timer for 5 minutes and brainstorm as many solutions as possible.
  • How to Do It: Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down all possible solutions to your problem, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.
  • When This May Apply: Ideal for situations where you feel stuck or when a problem seems insurmountable.
  • Why It’s Effective: Encourages creative thinking and breaks inertia by initiating action.

Each exercise serves as a practical tool to confront and overcome immediate challenges. They are designed to shift your mindset, reduce anxiety, and motivate you to push through tough times. By practicing these exercises, you can cultivate a habit of resilience, ensuring that no obstacle is too big to overcome.

As you journey through life, remember that stepping out of your comfort zone is often where the most significant growth occurs. In these moments, when faced with challenges and discomfort, our true potential is tested, and our dreams are realized. Remember, every outstanding achievement begins with the decision to try, and it’s in the trying that we find our strength and resilience.

The ten exercises in this article are more than just techniques; they are reminders of your inner power and capability. They are tools to help you navigate the unpredictable and often challenging path towards your goals.

Whether it’s the Five-Second Rule to jumpstart action, the Gratitude Pivot to shift your perspective, or the Problem-Solving Timer to tackle obstacles head-on, these exercises support you every step of the way.

Embrace these strategies as solutions for difficult times and daily practices to enrich your journey toward happiness and success. Let them guide you in breaking free from your comfort zone’s constraints and pursuing a life filled with purpose, joy, and accomplishment.

Remember that every obstacle is an opportunity to grow, every challenge a chance to excel, and every moment an occasion to be the best version of yourself. 

Apply these exercises whenever you need a boost, and watch as you transform obstacles into stepping stones on your path to success. Your happiness and goals are within reach — all it takes is the courage to reach and grasp them.

Love, Jim