11 Self-Motivation Techniques to Ignite Your Passion

Self-Motivation is the Secret Sauce

Self-motivation is the key to any success you have in life. Sure, you can be inspired by others. Maybe you have a coach or a mentor to consult. Continuing education helps you develop the tools of success. 

Nevertheless, without a way to motivate yourself nothing happens. 

Certainly, all those other things contribute to motivation, but in the end it’s all about what you do mentally and physically to motivate yourself.

Even the most experienced and successful achievers can use a little help getting motivated from time to time. Motivating yourself is a learnable skill. Everyone procrastinates at times. It’s human nature. Several tactics and strategies can lift your motivation to the critical level necessary to get yourself moving again.

Below are 11 techniques that applied offer guidance and suggestions about how to keep the motivational fires burning. 

11 Self-Motivation Techniques.

Try them all, keep the ones that work for you.

Choose Gratitude.

Grateful ladyIt’s much easier to motivate yourself when you’re in a positive mood. Focus on the wonderful things in your life that fill you with gratitude. Cleaning out the garage won’t seem quite as daunting. Keep your mind on the positive things in your life.

To dig deeper read: Ten Ways Showing Gratitude Enhances Your Life.


Learn how to be a finisher.

photo of a checklist for self-motivation

A trail of unfinished projects can dampen anyone’s enthusiasm to start another. Avoid quitting before a task is 100% completed. You’ll be more interested in taking on new tasks when you expect to be successful. Success breeds success.

You probably have incompleted actions in the past. If you think of this in terms of energy each one of these incomplete cycles holds some of your unconscious attention and energy. If there are enough of these they may be a cause of procrastination.

It’s not necessary to go back, and complete all those cycles, that’s an impossible task. To clear this energy and increase your power of self-motivation, create a list in your journal and start listing all the tasks you know you never completed. 

Perhaps it’s a university degree, or a project in the house, or a forgotten personal development course.

No matter what it is, write it down and put a tick beside it as an acknowledgment that you have released it’s power to affect you negatively.  

Expect mistakes.

a graphic sign that says oopsThe only people that don’t make mistakes are those who never do anything. The more mistakes you make, the more you’ll learn. Mistakes can be very positive. Use them to your advantage.

If you’d like more detail read this excellent article at Smart Leader Ship Hut Dare to Make Mistakes

Keep yourself grounded in the present. If you’re worried about the future or beating yourself up over the past, it’s challenging to get anything accomplished. Focus on your breathing for a few minutes if your mind is running wild.

Another suggested practice is to stop what you are doing, and shift your focus to objects around you and notice their color, shape, and size. This brings you back into present time. 

When you become mindful you no longer caught up in the past or the future. You are then able to think clearly. 

Read More about the health benefits of mindfulness here.

Keep yourself grounded in the present.

Lady meditatingIf you’re worriedabout the future or beating yourself up over the past, it’s challenging to get anything accomplished right now.

Focus on your breathing for a few minutes if your mind is running wild.

Try this meditation if you need help: Be in the Silence.

Focus on the result.

Photographer with cameraYou’ll find it difficult to get started if you sit around and think about all the work that needs to be done. Focus on the result and you’ll feel much more motivated.

Another way to approach this is to break big tasks into smaller ones. Do that first and you will find your self-motivation skyrockets with each small task you complete. 

While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things are extraordinary.

Source: Matt Bevin

Add a carrot.

Rabbit looking at a carrot. Treat for self-motivation You go to work every day because you know that a paycheck is coming your way. Would you go otherwise?

Give yourself a small, but meaningful, reward when your work is complete. Determine the reward before you get started.

You’ve heard of the carrot and stick approach. Unfortunately, we use the stick to beat ourselves up and forget about the carrot.

In simple terms, add a carrot.

Use a timer.

digital timeDecide how long a task should take and see if you’re right. Set a timer and see if you can beat the clock. A little time pressure will help to keep you focused on your work. There are many timer apps and programs available at no cost.

You can also use a timer as a tool to boost your motivation and productivity. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique and you can read about it here: How To Use The Pomodoro Technique To Get Things Done

Read self-motivational quotes.

a poster with a motivational saying. Reading inspirational quotes by those who have achieved great success can be very motivating. Spend a few minutes reading these great quotes and you’ll be sure to experience an enhanced level of enthusiasm. Consider creating a list of quotes that you can keep nearby in case of an emergency.

You can also good to our Quote Gallery for some of the best inspirational quotes. 

Word of Warning. This is a great self-motivational technique but be on guard because you can easily become distracted and spent too much time reading quotes rather than getting into action.

Set a specific time to do this. 

Decide what success will look like. 

a cartoon picture of a lion in a suit with thumbs upMany people fail to recognize success when they obtain it. This leads to a lack of will power and motivation to continue on. You feel like you are never going to get there.

That’s why you need to give yourself a recognizable signpost of success. You might also consider what is the price of failing to follow through?

Make a list of the negatives. Some of us are more driven by pain then we are by reward.

Using both to your advantage can be powerful.

Get some exercise.

A cartoon of a woman showing her arm muscleIf you’re feeling stuck, go for a brisk walk or a short run. Taking a short break every 60 minutes has been shown to increase productivity. (See the section on using a timer.)

Keep your breaks short so you don’t get off track.


Measure your progress.

Carpenter measuring his work Big goals or projects can take years to complete.

Measuring your progress along the way is a great way to keep your spirits high.

Set short-term goals to keep you focused.

Write success stories to yourself.

Instead of waiting until you reach your goal, write success stories on a blank sheet of paper detailing a success you’ve had, an insight you’ve gained from your work, the feedback you receive from a client or your boss. 

These become self-motivation tools you can refer back to when you feel your enthusiasm lagging. 


As I said at the being, self-motivation is the key to any success you have in your life.

You now have 11 techniques you can use to find the motivation to push through any obstacle or difficulty you might encounter.

Choose Gratitude

Learn How to Be a Finisher

Expect Mistakes

Stay Grounded

Focus on Results

Add a carrot 

Use a Timer

Read Inspirational Quotes

Decided What Success Looks Like

Get Some Exercise

Measure Your Progress.

Some of these techniques will resonate more than others.

Find the ones that work best for you.

And since I am always curious what technique do you think you will use after reading this article?

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Mindfulness, gratitude and transformation. Learn the techniques and practices to live a fuller and more rewarding life. 

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