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

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.”

Spring Cleaning: Tips For Finally Clearing That Clutter

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? 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.

The Environment and Deterrence of Criminality

With greater freedom comes more crime

3 Reasons You Need Mental Strength to Thrive

Building mental strength will help you reach your greatest potential, despite whatever challenges you face.

Rocket Science for Space Cadets

By Lara Honos-Webb Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in The Gift of ADHD
If you take your "unrealistic" ideas and remind yourself the stakes are high for following through and focus on completion, you can make your own reality. Stop shooting yourself in the foot by pretending the stakes are not high.

Life Lessons from My 100-Year-Old Grandmother

The inspiration for this week’s blog is the 100th birthday of my beautiful grandmother. She has been an ongoing reminder in my life that all things are possible when you believe in yourself, and it's never, ever too late to grow, change, or create a new life chapter.

6 Ways to Get Your Swagger Back

By Polly Campbell on April 20, 2015 in Imperfect Spirituality
The daily routine can leave us feeling stalled on the fast-track. But there are plenty of ways to get unstuck and feel greater satisfaction in life.

The Advantage of Quitting

Giving up frustrating goals creates opportunities.

What Seinfeld Understood About Motivation and Psychology

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in The New You
There aren’t many life lessons that haven’t been covered in Seinfeld: in the show’s nine year run it covered difficult parents, relationships, alternate-side parking, muffin tops, shower pressure, and the ethics of double dipping—to name a few. But Jerry Seinfeld, the real person, had another life lesson to offer off the air to one aspiring comic.

5 Ways to Know When to Leave the Relationship

You don't want to go home anymore. You don't look forward to seeing or being in the actual company of the person with whom you are intimately involved. You prefer the idea of the relationship to the reality of it; you have an idealized image of the beloved that is far enough removed from the everyday, authentic person that being in his or her presence undermines, erodes an

Subliminal Messages Can Fortify Inner Strength

Subliminal messages have the power to fortify your inner strength and self-confidence on and off the court.

Routine, Grit, and Vision

Establishing simple, repeatable, and mundane routines set you up for a life of adventure in everything. Small steps, big rewards.

Moral Motivation and God's Rewards

What humans' moral intuitions suggest about the relative merits of religious versus secular accounts of moral motivation.

Lovely Me

Amy loses weight by squarely facing her emotional eating patterns and envisions living the life in the body of her choice.

Will You Be Openly Secular?

By David Niose on April 19, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Openly Secular Day aims to encourage nonbelievers to be open about their personal secularity.

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

What Causes You Inner Turmoil?

Being in heated conflict not with others but with yourself can—let’s face it—be agonizing. To be split down the middle, to endlessly waver between two (and sometimes more) options, can at its worst be almost unimaginably distressing. Obsessive to an extreme, it can lead to a paralysis of will (not to mention, much lost sleep). . . .

How Most Depression Can be Beaten With One Simple Method

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Think Well
Behavioral Activation Therapy or BAT might be the single best treatment for depression. Here is what it is, and why it works so well.

Putting the Happiness Back in “Young and Happy”

By Ran Zilca on April 17, 2015 in Confessions of a Techie
Happiness is a by-product of the pursuit of success, rather than successful accomplishments. Individuals who are actively engaged in the pursuit of goals that are meaningful to them, experience a range of positive emotions and become happier.

Harming the Innocent to Punish the Guilty

By Peter Toohey on April 16, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
There are three harrowing stories here, one modern concerning Katherine Knight, and two from Greek mythology concerning Procne and Atreus. Mental derangement, jealousy and resentment, and profoundly dysfunctional families are at the heart of the cannibalistic stories. They dramatize the harm that is inflicted on the innocent in order to punish the apparently guilty.

Unique Musical "Chairs"

What training opportunities exist for professional musicians who want to incorporate knowledge and skills in performance psychology? Where might they go to augment their expertise, whether as a professor, a licensed mental health practitioner with a specialty niche, or a mental skills coach for other musicians?

Final Exams Are Just Around the Corner

By Dana S Dunn Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Head of the Class
Like birth, death, and taxes, finals are inevitable—and always there at the end of term for undergraduates in psychology and all other academic disciplines. How best to prepare for them?

Can You Really Calm Disturbing Feelings With Just One Word?

By Meg Selig on April 16, 2015 in Changepower
Can one word calm your agitated feelings? Yes! Try this simple and effective word magic and ease your distress in a nanosecond.

Feeling Financially Overwhelmed?

By Michael F. Kay on April 16, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Life is busy and maybe even overwhelming at times.

Finding Home with Jesse Malin

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 15, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Jesse Malin shares how he has used music and creativity to create community.