How to Get Motivated

Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be.

Recent Posts on Motivation

What Do You Need This Holiday Season?

The holidays don't have to be stressful. A few mindset shifts can go a long way.

How to Feng Shui Your Workspace

By Caroline Beaton on November 21, 2015 The Gen-Y Guide
The science behind your office environment.

Getting More Purpose at Work With Feedback​

By Paul Dolan Ph.D. on November 21, 2015 Happiness by Design
Feel like your job isn't worthwhile? The right feedback could change your outlook.

The Psychology of Terrorism

By Ray Williams on November 21, 2015 Wired for Success
We need to restrain ourselves from retributive justice and focus on restorative justice, one not fueled by vengeance.

Can Us Dieters Really Have Our Cake and Eat it, too?

By Gregg McBride on November 21, 2015 The Weight-ing Game
When working to get or stay healthy, any food and drink requires portion control. This is as true for green beans as it is for fresh-baked treats. That's what moderation is all about. And whether you incorporate moderation into your lifestyle before, during or after a diet, it's something you're going to want to master at some point.

Why Some Math Anxiety Might Actually Be a Good Thing

We typically think of math anxiety as universally bad for math learning, but a team of scholars have now discovered that the relationship between math anxiety and learning is much more complex.

Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change

In this article, we advance five simple but important “best practices” drawn from psychological science to help policymakers galvanize concern and thereby improve public responses to climate change.

5 Key Elements Of Sustainable Change

If you want to know whether someone will stick to a given goal (resolution) you will need to know how specific/realistic the goal, about his motivation, his level of confidence, and the strength of his willpower.

A Workover: She's Lost Her Motivation to Look for a Job

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 How To Do Life
A transcript of an exchange with a caller on my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

Think Vacations Are Luxuries? Think Again.

Interestingly, the word “vacation” comes from the Latin “vacatio”, which means “freedom; release from occupation”.

Why Are Republicans so Bad for Business?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 The Human Beast
Republican politicians bill themselves as pro-business, pro-growth, and pro-opportunity. Yet the financial facts say otherwise. Republican administrations bring hard times, for rich and poor alike. Why are their results so different from their aims? Perhaps Democrats are better at motivating workers.

Letting Go of Fear of Failure-Part IV

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 The Power of Prime
Fear of failure is about the perceptions that you hold about failure and, for the vast majority of people, those perceptions are entirely disconnected from the reality of their lives. You perceive that bad things will happen if you fail, but the reality is that nothing particularly bad, aside from some disappointment, will likely result from a failure.

The Curious Grit of Loni Love

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 Brick by Brick
Loni Love shares her inspirational story of overcoming barriers to reach success.

Should We Let Kids Study What Interests Them?

By Garth Sundem on November 17, 2015 Brain Trust
Does a child's intrinsic motivation increase math scores? Of course it does! That is, unless you look at the science.

Gwen and Blake: Why Opposites Attract in Intense Situations

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on November 17, 2015 Me Before We
While Blake and Gwen are unique, their situation is not. A heightened, shared experience can bring people together against all odds.

Motivation Is Tied to the Strength of Your Brain Connections

Would you identify yourself as someone who is highly motivated or more apathetic? Neuroscientists at Oxford University recently discovered a neurobiological mechanism that might explain why some of us are inherently more ambitious than others. The findings also explain the neuroscience of why "Just Do It" is such a motivational slogan.

Family Background, Creativity, and Genius

Is the intense motivation of creative persons and geniuses, as manifested by months- or years-long devotions to a project in science, art, or other fields, due to inheritance or other family background factors? I describe a controlled empirical study of 435 Nobel laureates in science and 215 literary prizewinners.

Change, the Not So New Norm

We talk about change all the time. Yet, in spite of the frequency with which it occurs, we are not skilled at managing it. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Voters Versus Terrorists: Who's Winning?

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Caveman Politics
While our hearts ache for the victims of this latest revolting episode of the inhumanity to which some will go to gain power over others, it is important to step back and note that the terrorists don’t always win.

Essential Lessons for Succeeding at Work

Work and career are a vital and critical part of our lives.Yet a study by Leadership IQ found that 46% of newly-hired employees will fail within 18 months. A recent McKinsey study revealed that only 26% of major organizational change initiatives achieve the desired results. Here are the action steps you need to take to avoid being a part of these dismal statistics.

Research Reveals New Risks for Daily Social Media Users

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 Motivate!
Social media usage is rampant, but the seemingly innocuous practice can be lethal to psychological health. Are you or your loved ones vulnerable to the hidden consequences of device devotion?

Are You an Achievement-Addicted Person?

There is nothing wrong with the desire to achieve, but if it interferes with other aspects of our lives, we may be "achievement-addicted" and need some balance. So what is achievement-addiction?

How to Motivate Children Through Purpose

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on November 08, 2015 Savvy Parenting
Is it difficult to know how to motivate your child to try harder and perform better? An understanding of the why is the key to improving motivation.

Being a Sedulous Ape: Good or Bad?

Learning by example, when intentional and directed, underlies true learning that is enduring and meaningful. This short piece is a “how to” discussing motivation and skill development.

The Fallacy of Pavlov's Dog

Instead of training our employees (and spouses and children) to salivate on-command, we should be instilling them with the principles of total motivation.

30 of the Best Quotes About Passion

By Gregg Levoy on November 04, 2015 Passion!
Here are some of the most inspiring and entertaining quotes about passion

Why White, Female Killers Become Celebrity Monsters

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 Wicked Deeds
When an attractive young, white woman is charged with murder, the media feed the public’s huge appetite for graphic images and information on the case. It is in the best financial interests of the media to feed the frenzy because large consumer audiences are attractive to advertisers who pay to reach their readers and viewers.

The Myth of Being "Unmotivated"

Why aren't people motivated to make changes that would improve their lives? Why would they mislead the very people they’re seeking help from? Motivational interviewing can help us understand—and point the way toward more constructive conversations about change.

The Relationship Between Desires and Feelings

By Neel Burton M.D. on October 31, 2015 Hide and Seek
Desires and feelings are more closely linked than we imagine.

How to Think Outside the Box

By Patty Chang Anker on October 31, 2015 Some Nerve
“Think outside the box” is advice you often hear. But what if you’re STUCK in a box, a routine, a view of yourself or how others view you?