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

How to Shrink Your Fears Down to Size

By Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Making Change
When you stand tall against your fears, they become smaller. First learn to face your fears. Then summon your courage and do it!

Finding (and Making) Sweet Spots in Your Creative Process

By Wilma Koutstaal Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Our Innovating Minds
Where's your sweet spot for coming up with good ideas?

Profanity and Seemingly Inappropriate Words in the Classroom

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on September 20, 2017 in Curious?
What is unacceptable in a classroom setting? Besides profanity, there are certain words that are antithetical to thinking. I had to put an end to what was wearing me out.

How to Build Your Resilience

By Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D. on September 18, 2017 in How to Be Yourself
Importantly, resilience is an acquired skill, which means whether you sink or swim is actually dependent on a skill that can be taught and learned over time.

How Can Leaders Find Happiness?

By Peter Bregman on September 18, 2017 in How We Work
Discover the SHARP model for a happier life, an easy way to beat procrastination, and the number-one factor in predicting well-being.

Rewire Your Burned-Out Brain

By Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed. on September 18, 2017 in Radical Teaching
You can rewire your brain to reverse burnout symptoms and boost your optimism, pleasure, and positive expectations.

Should You "Write First, Edit Later"?

One of the most common pieces of writing advice is "write first, edit later," but does this work for everybody?

Healthy and Unhealthy Risk

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on September 13, 2017 in Life After 50
Are you stilted in your career because of fear of failure? Or are you a self-destructive risk-taker? Either way, your reality testing is distorted.

Can Too Much Information Increase the Risk of Drunk Driving?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in Media Spotlight
How effective are public service announcements in persuading people not to drive when they are impaired? The results of a new study may surprise you.

How Can Jobs, Housing, & Friends Aid Remission?

By John F. Kelly Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in Addiction & Recovery 101
What effect do jobs, housing, and friends have on the brain of individuals in recovery from addiction?

A Plea for a Friendly Focus on Superordinate Goals

By Richard Smith Ph.D. on September 11, 2017 in Joy and Pain
Perhaps the recent hurricanes will inspire collective efforts to address climate change.

48 Minutes of Exercise (Per Week!) Has Surprising Benefits

By Christopher Bergland on September 11, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
If long workouts aren't for you, there is some good news: A growing body of evidence shows that small doses of physical activity can reap significant benefits as you get older.

Bipolar Disorder and Expectations About the Future

By Elizabeth Brondolo Ph.D. on September 10, 2017 in Take Control
I thought I could handle things, but bipolar really interferes.

How Procrastinators Get Things Done

When deadlines are not absolute or clearly defined, procrastinators do successfully meet them.

Are You Giving Yourself the Level of Self-Care You Deserve?

By Gregg McBride on September 09, 2017 in The Weight-ing Game
When we care for something, it thrives. When we shun it, it withers. Therefore, isn't it time we stop mentally knocking ourselves down when we think of goals we haven't yet met?

Advice for Grad Students (and Senior Faculty)

By Elliot T Berkman Ph.D. on September 08, 2017 in The Motivated Brain
Starting a graduate program? Here is some advice about succeeding that you might not have heard.

When to Push a Child

By Stuart Shanker Ph.D. on September 07, 2017 in Self-Reg
Self-Reg helps us to understand when and why perseverance turns into something vastly different, with far from salutary effects.
COD Newsroom/Flickr

How to Talk to Students About Why STEM Matters

By Ross E O'Hara, Ph.D. on September 06, 2017 in Nudging Ahead
A few lessons on how to talk to STEM students about why what they're learning matters and motivate them to pursue science.

An "Intelligence Pill"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 05, 2017 in How To Do Life
One of humankind's most world-improving goals.

Literacy Rampage: So, You Wanna Be Literate?

By Frank J. Ninivaggi M.D., F.A.P.A. on September 04, 2017 in Envy This!
Becoming literate has longer-term implications for major developmental and life transitions. Health literacy emerges from basic literacy.

What Gets You Up on Monday Mornings?

Your reasons to work influence your performance and your well-being. Find out which ones are best.
Ryan McGuire/Gratisography

Modern Love

By Elizabeth Young on September 01, 2017 in Adaptations
How much organizing should one woman do to go out to dinner and split the bill? 

One Surefire Way to Release Endorphins Into Your Brain

By Christopher Bergland on September 01, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Researchers in Finland have identified a reliable way to trigger the release of endorphins in the human brain.

Bargain Life:

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on August 31, 2017 in A Swim in Denial
The Houston disaster fascinates us because the conflicts reflect storms within us.
Flickr

How to Get Better at Achieving Your Goals

Setting goals is, at its core, about behavior change.

Dogs Keep Their Owners Happy and Healthy in Symbiotic Ways

By Christopher Bergland on August 31, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
What motivates dog owners to stick with habitual walking routines come rain or shine? According to a new study, happiness (not physical health benefits) is their prime motivation.

Accepting Payment Satisfies Primitive Drives

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on August 29, 2017 in The Dolphin Divide
How hidden associations manipulate our motivation. Rarely do we work solely for the reasons we think.
Paul Ekman Group

My Six Discoveries

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on August 29, 2017 in Face It!
Lies can be detected from nonverbal behavior—but only some people can do it.

My Child a Bully? Never! Well Maybe…

By Janet Hicks Ph.D. on August 28, 2017 in Raising Parents
How can a parent help their child when he is bullying others? A few suggestions to get to the heart of the problem.