8 tips to motivate yourself & start achieving your goals

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Give yourself a mental smack on the bum...

10 steps to self improvement
Have you ever sat down at your computer to do some work, only to find yourself two hours later still on Facebook? Is it the same story with the laundry - you got it out of the washing basket, but it's now been sitting by the machine for the last four days? You, madam, are demotivated.

Don't feel bad - we all need a little push every so often to tackle things we don't want to do. But the truth is, the only way you'll ever get anything done is if you just get up and do it. Luckily, if you have the right plan and attitude, you'll be a lot more likely to succeed.

1. Get started
Since getting started is always the hardest part, promise yourself you can stop in 15 minutes if you want to. Make a list, get your stuff organised, and do something. It's more than likely that, after those first 15 minutes, you'll be on a roll and will want to keep going.

2. Chunk it
Spending all day on one task (especially one you don't want to do) can be mind-numbingly boring - and not conducive to keeping you motivated. Split big tasks into smaller ones, and focus on completing one bit at a time - like sorting your laundry into dark and light piles or setting up just one of the direct debits you need to do.

Woman at work, workaholic, office

© Getty - Handbag

Your laptop is not be sleeping

3. Talk to a friend
Talking about what you have to do makes it more real and can help you to see more clearly what it is you need to do and why you're doing it. It also makes you accountable, which means your friends will expect you to follow through. This can be a great motivator for exercise - ask your friend to be your gym buddy and you're more likely to go more often.

4. Visualise the outcome
Visualising future success is a good way to stay motivated, so remember what it is you want to achieve and the sense of satisfaction you'll feel when you've done it. Alternatively, imagine what will happen if you keep putting it off. Linking negative outcomes with not acting and pleasurable outcomes with taking action is a standard motivational technique.

Give yourself lots of lovely energy

5. Fuel up
Nourish your body and your brain will benefit. You may think that a large coffee will give you the energy you need to get through your tasks - and it will, at first. But there's nothing worse for motivation than a caffeine or sugar slump. Concentrate on eating foods with slow-release energy - avocados, smoked salmon and veggies are all good. It's particularly important to eat properly if you're on a diet - the lower your blood sugar falls, the less willpower you have to stop you reaching for that Krispy Kreme.

6 Sniff it out
Japanese researchers have discovered that certain scents can make you more productive, which has led to several companies in Japan now employing aromatherapy experts for their employees. For a morning pick-me-up, try sniffing lemon or peppermint oil, and keep lavender oil on hand for boosts during the day. Keep a bottle in your desk for any headdesk moments.

7. Crank up the tunes
The songs you listen to can have a strong effect on your mood and motivation. Choose a light, poppy singalong track to get you out of bed, something stirring to inspire you, something with a strong beat to psyche you up and then some songs you like to keep you going.

8. Reward yourself
Of course completing the task is reward in itself, but sometimes it helps to have other treats to sweeten the road along the route. Give yourself a sticker every time you go to the gym and then treat yourself to something from Sweaty Betty after five visits, or promise yourself you can watch an episode of Dexter once you send those emails you've been putting off.



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