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

10 Strategies for Developing Self-Control

Self-control strategies are considered key drivers of behavior change to promote healthier behavior.

Why Simple Advice is Often the Best Advice

By Gregg McBride on March 25, 2017 in The Weight-ing Game
No matter how many times we replay past events or decisions in our heads, they are never going to be undone. So the sooner we swallow hard and move on, the better.

Are you a Luck Maker or Breaker?

How lucky are you? And if not, why not?

8 Things Mentally Strong People Do to Gain Financial Freedom

These strategies can help you gain better control over your mind and your money.

Why We Accidentally Prevent People From Changing

By Nick Tasler on March 22, 2017 in Strategic Thinking
New research reveals a hidden bias that prevents our kids, our co-workers, and our spouses from making the changes we hope to see.
Richard McDowell/Shutterstock

Self-Deception Helps Us Accomplish Goals

By Tim Cole Ph.D. on March 20, 2017 in Intimate Portrait
More often than not, we lead with our goals and desires, not the facts. New research on how our ability to delude ourselves can be quite useful.
Pixabay

Mirror Neurons, Empathy, and the First Memories of Life

By Arthur J. Clark Ed.D. on March 19, 2017 in Dawn of Memories
How neuroscience informs the meaning of early childhood recollections.

How Relationships Work

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on March 19, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Want a straightforward, research-backed, practical overview of how relationships work? Here it is.

Six Money Hacks to Trim the Fat From Your Budget

By Michael F. Kay on March 16, 2017 in Financial Life Focus
Smart tactics can firm up your wallet and put you on track.

The Morality of Monetary Motivation

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on March 14, 2017 in Scientocracy
In a perfect world, we would not need to reward anyone for taking their kid to the doctor. In the imperfect world we live in, such rewards are far better than the alternative.

A Really Big Question Part 2

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Ambigamy
Two friends happen to meet at a coffee shop and get talking about the meaning of life. They end up opening a giant worm can of wondering.
Bryan Sherwood, flickr

“My Highest Ambition Is To Be What I Already Am.”

By Gretchen Rubin on March 13, 2017 in The Happiness Project
What is self-acceptance, really? Or self-knowledge? A mystery.
Thomas Ward

Walking Meetings? Proceed With Caution

By Thomas Ward Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Creativity for You
The benefits of walking meetings have been widely discussed. But they're not always the right choice. Find out why.

Will You Achieve Your Goals This Year?

It's way past New Year's...but where are you with your resolutions?

Why Is My Child So Mentally Lazy?

By Stuart Shanker DPhil on March 10, 2017 in Self-Reg
Are children and teens “mentally lazy”? Is it a generation that would rather play than study, or one whose “limbic braking system” is affecting their ability to think and learn?

The Marshmallow Myth

By Nick Tasler on March 09, 2017 in Strategic Thinking
New research suggests that delayed gratification is overrated.

What Motivates Cemetery Vandalism?

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on March 09, 2017 in Time Out
Cemetery attacks are not just vandalism—they have psychological and political motivations.

Getting Things Done, Procrastinating or Not

Procrastination should not be linked with failure, just as early action should not be tied to success.

Constructive Discomfort

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on March 08, 2017 in Anxiety Files
Practicing discomfort can help you achieve the goals that are important to you. But it means doing things that you don’t want to do.

Annoyed at Work? The “Flow” Hack Transforms Motivation!

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on March 06, 2017 in Motivate!
Is your job boring, tedious or overwhelming? Even the worst positions can be transformed to engaging and exciting when you master the Flow Hack. It only takes a few minutes a day!

The Underrecognized Inspirational Value of Persistence

How long should you stick with searching for ideas – and why?

Let Go of Your Big Goals and Focus on This Instead

On my whiteboard in my office, I’ve written, “One thing at a time. First things first. Start now.” Below that, I’ve added, “Baby Steps. Just Begin."
By Annie Mole (Circle Line Party Festivities) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Why Do People Drink?

The motivational perspective predicts that people will be motivated to use addictive substances to the extent that they expect that doing so will result in desirable effects.

Essential Anxiety Cure Taught by Children

By Kimberly Key on March 03, 2017 in Counseling Keys
This is in response to a reader who asked why children seem to be able to bounce back from stress better than adults.
melodi2/FreeImages

Writers: How to Be Fired Up, Not Burned Out

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in Creating in Flow
Starting something new is not the only way to get excited about writing again. Here are some reflections about how to find flow.

Do More, Feel Better

By Joel Minden, PhD on March 01, 2017 in CBT and Me
Overwhelmed by sadness, negative thinking, and passivity? Use activity as a behavioral antidepressant.
www.123rf.com with permission

How Athletes Can Perform Their Best When it Really Counts

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in The Power of Prime
It’s that time of the competitive season in many sports when results REALLY start to matter and it’s REALLY important that athletes perform their best.

The Military and Management Incompetence

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in A Sideways View
Forty years ago Norman Dixon wrote The Psychology of Military Incompetence. It is the story of loss battles and poor generalship. It has important lessons for us today

Moving Out of Life as a Lab Rat

"Lab rat living" feels as if you are “doing time.” There is no psychological engagement with the world, resulting in a limited range and depth of your emotional experiences.

Why Money Matters for Meaning

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on February 27, 2017 in More Than Mortal
New research reveals that economic insecurity threatens perceptions of meaning in life.