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's Missing?

If you know what's missing from your life, maybe you can find it.

A Scientific Trick That'll Help You Stop Procrastinating

If you struggle to get things done, research shows how changing the way you think about time could skyrocket your productivity.

No One Wants a Secret Admirer

A closed mouth gathers no foot. It also gathers no friends. People want verbal affirmation of their attributes and accomplishments, not secret admirers. Regardless of how far up the food chain someone has managed to climb, everyone wants to be assured of their value and worth.

Smart, Successful, and Yet Not Happy?

Why aren't the smart-and-the-successful as happy as they could--or should--be? In this article, I attempt to provide a broad answer to this question.

Being a Great Manager: The Art of Supervision

Management is about leadership, fairness, clarity, flexibility. But with different staff with different personalities and experience, it's about adapting you style to best meet their needs. Some tips.

The #1 Rule for How to Inspire Passion in Others

By Gregg Levoy on May 25, 2015 in Passion!
For anyone in a position of leadership or stewardship—whether you're a parent or teacher, minister or manager, performer or politician, this much is certain: your passion is critical to their engagement.

A Workover: I've Lost My Motivation to Work

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 24, 2015 in How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

Remote Personality Profiling

Biographers, Business people, Investigative Journalists and Security Agencies are all interested in Profiling People for different purposes. There is certainly a great deal of information on the web but the question is what to look for and how to put it all together.

The Procrastination Prescription

Why do we put things off, even when they're important? How do we overcome our own resistance? When your plate is full and you've got the "I shouldn't be online right now" blues, try these 6 strategies to get things done ... or not.

What Really Motivates Kids

What really motivates kids (and adults for that matter)? Not rewards. Not punishments. Not even intrinsic motivation! My goodness -- what's left?

The Long Hot Pressure: Cool it With Micro-Successes

It is hard to stay motivated for the long run but easier if you take this suggestion.

3 Ways to Make Your Work More Meaningful

People who believe that their lives have meaning and purpose share a whole host of healthy benefits: they are happier, feel more in control over their lives, feel more engaged at work (and high engagement usually means less burnout), report less depression and anxiety and less workaholism.

Live Like You Were Dying

A sign on the refrigerator of my South African hostess reads “Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life…” -Lawrence K. Fish

Is Fitspiration Bad For You?

If viewing extremely toned bodies slapped with sentences making us feel guilty for stomaching anything other than a steamed vegetable does galvanize us to go for a jog, is that really so bad?

Don’t Feel Like Exercising? 3 Steps To Get You Off The Couch

In this post, I'm sharing three steps that you can try the very next time you feel yourself sinking into the couch, unable to summon the desire to move your body and exercise. Because sometimes, working out your feelings is a “must” before you can work out your body!

Play Like Lebron: How Disconnecting Boosts Your Performance

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in The New You
Before a big game, distractions in all shapes and sizes can cloud your thinking. That’s why LeBron James has disconnected from his social media accounts and smartphone for the fourth straight NBA postseason. But is this really necessary?

Adolescence and Goal Avoidance

The closer to reaching a valued growth goal an adolescent gets, often the more ambivalent and resistant they can become.

Ending Stigma on the TEDx Stage

Stigma perpetuates mental illness. A passionately delivered TEDx talk informs viewers about 3 ways they can spread hope and create bright futures!

On The Nature of True Love

We care about another’s wellbeing simply because the act of loving is enjoyable.

You're NOT Being Irrational!

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 07, 2015 in Ambigamy
Rational means comparing, using ratios. We all do that, but sometimes we compare to the wrong things.

What Is Your Employee Quotient? Take The Test

It is important to know the qualities and characteristics that make the very best employees. Exemplary employees go well beyond their job descriptions and give extra effort. Are you one of them?

The Wrong Way to Get People to Do the Right Thing

By Alfie Kohn on May 07, 2015 in The Homework Myth
It may seem a matter of hard-headed realism to emphasize "enlightened self-interest" (rather than altruism) in our efforts to promote individual acts of caring or to justify spending public funds to address infant mortality or spousal abuse. But this approach, just like rewarding children when they do nice things, is counterproductive over the long haul.

Finding Your Emotional Sweet Spot

By Gregg Henriques on May 07, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
The emotional sweet spot is the place between emotional awareness and attunement on the one hand and the adaptive regulation of feelings in accordance with long term goals on the other. This blog articulates key do's and don'ts for finding your emotional sweet spot.

Brutal Weather, Depressed Mood, What We Can Do About It

Our cruel winter in the Northeast took a greater toll on us than has been recognized. I know it took a toll on me and it took its toll on my patients. I could feel the effects of day after day without sunlight --cold weather, snow, rain and cloudiness --on my mood. Like my patients, I felt slightly depressed; had less energy than usual, and wanted to sleep more.

Bipolar Disorder and Failure to Launch Syndrome

How does bipolar disorder present as failure to launch syndrome in a young adult? Read on...

Is the Home Advantage Overrated in Sports?

Sports fans always hear about the importance of home advantage for the championship playoff series. Is it really worth it?

Want Less Stress and More Happiness? Try Hope

While many people think of hope as an emotion, researchers describe it as a cognitive theory that is tied to goal setting. Hope researcher, Dr. C.R. Snyder, often described hope with this phrase: “You can get there from here.”

4 Ways to Toss Things With No Regrets

Clutter can paralyze and terrorize, to the point where you give up and resign yourself to living with its oppressive, stressful presence. Here are some simple strategies to get rid of existing clutter and change the habits that create it in the first place.

Sex Drive? There's No Such Thing

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in Living Single
The notion of a sex drive is probably one of the most widely accepted ideas in popular culture and beyond. But there are scientific standards for what counts as a drive, and in her new book, "Come as You Are," Emily Nagoski argues that sex doesn't meet them.

What Is the Motivation for a Criminal Act?

By Sheila Kohler on April 27, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
St. Augustine, who ponders this question in 387 A.D. writes: So when people look for the reason why some criminal act has been committed their account is only rendered credible when it is evident that there may have been greed on the malefactor’s part.