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

6 Insider Tips for New Ph.D. Students

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in Caveman Politics
Welcome to the Ph.D. “business”! It’s peculiar and you’re probably entering it at a huge information disadvantage. Profit from these insider tips.

The Positive Side to the Personality of Procrastinators

By Garth Sundem on September 02, 2015 in Brain Candy
Research is showing that procras­tination isn’t a defect in ability or personality but rather a disconnect between the demands of a task and what motivates the procrastinator.

How Do People’s Values Change as They Get Older?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
At any given moment in your life, you have a set of values that guide your actions at an abstract level. As an academic psychologist, for example, I value knowledge, and spend a lot of time pursuing it. Success has also been a value for me, and so I have devoted time to my career. My values are not shared by everyone.

The Lure of ISIS

By Saul Levine M.D. on September 01, 2015 in Our Emotional Footprint
Thousands of youth from multiple countries, cultures, religions, and social classes have abruptly left their homes and families to join ISIS, a dangerous, destructive, messianic Islamic self-styled nation (caliphate). They abandon their past values and relationships. become zealous True Believers, committed to their charismatic leaders and their God, dedicated to victory

My Father's Wisdom

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Don't Delay
My father has always been a source of wisdom in my life. Most recently, he gave me some of the most important anti-procrastination advice I have ever heard.

The Enduring, Ghoulish Legend of Lizzie Borden

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on August 31, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
The story of Lizzie Borden has taken on mythical proportions over the years. Despite her acquittal in criminal court in the nineteenth century for the murders of her father and stepmother, Lizzie has always been considered guilty by the public as a result of ghoulish media and cultural representations of her.

The Rock-Bottom List

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on August 30, 2015 in Happy Trails
A strategy for when life gets you down.

Case Study: Why She is Unproductive

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 30, 2015 in How To Do Life
We unpeeled the onion. Lessons were unearthed.

Creating a Plan of Action

By Angie Hallier on August 28, 2015 in Life After Divorce
Once you have created a heartfelt and meaningful vision for what you want you new life to look lie, the next step is to create a plan of action. The plan needs to include guidelines, a paradigm, your values and your goals for the next 12 months.

How To Design Your Dream Job

By Aaron Hurst on August 27, 2015 in The Purpose Economy
No job is a perfect fit until you take ownership of it and make it your own.

Is the Motivation Behind the Virginia Shootings Contagious?

Paul Mullen, Christopher Cantor and colleagues have published an analysis of possible copy-cat mass slayings, where they argue the influence of one rampage on another may have occurred across continents, and even over many years.

The Sin of Being Perfect

Voltaire wrote perfect is the enemy of good. Perfect is also the enemy of the authentic.

Why Do You Gamble?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on August 26, 2015 in In Excess
All surveys of gambling have shown that there are a broad range motivational factors that are central to gambling, and that attitudes towards gambling are positively related to availability and cultural acceptability. But what does the psychological research say about why people gamble?

How To Manage Situations and Emotions of Acute Stress

By Garth Sundem on August 26, 2015 in Brain Trust
The ability to keep stress in a productive “Goldilocks zone” depends less on what you have to deal with and more on how you deal with it. Here's how.

Psychology Suggests a Surprising Reason for Homicide?

Brendan O'Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi point out in their study that homicide is the second most important reason for the racial gap in life expectancy in the USA: eliminating homicide would do more to equalize African-American and white life expectancy, than eradicating any other cause of death except cardiovascular disease.

Would a Basic Income Increase National Happiness?

What if we gave everyone an extra $500 every month just for being a citizen?

Which Five Powerful Self-Beliefs Motivate Donald Trump?

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Motivate!
Research indicates most people are unable to articulate their own motives. Accurate detection of motivation is even more challenging when assessing others. Do you really know what motivates billionaire Donald Trump?

Still Procrastinating? Here's Why!

Have you been procrastinating a little too much? Have been putting off your goals for a little too long? Most of us do, and here's why.

The Nine Levers for Better Decisions

To help people make better decisions, we have nine levers to use: Clarifying goals, structuring the decision, training, checklists, incentives, behavioral engineering, picking the right people, using information technology, and designing better organizations. We don't have to be trapped by habits of using only one lever, such as training or incentives.

The Secret to Controlling Other People

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in In Control
It’s our own private collection of goals that determines what will be sticks and carrots for each of us.

Why Some People Are Just as Happy Being Single

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on August 21, 2015 in Close Encounters
Much research has suggested that married people are happier than singles, but it’s not clear if marriage actually makes people happy, and it isn’t always the case that marriage is related to greater happiness. New research shows how the goals we have in our relationships are tied to whether or not we’re happier when we’re coupled.

9 Reasons You Need a Personal Motto

By Meg Selig on August 21, 2015 in Changepower
When complicated ideas get lost in space, a good motto can remind you of what's really important.

A Workover: What If Your Supervisees Won't Work?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in How To Do Life
The art of managing people who can't be fired.

What Are the Five Mistakes That Wealthy People Rarely Make?

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Motivate!
How do you compare to the psychologically rich?

Ten Steps Out When Stuck in Doubt

By Jeff Bell on August 19, 2015 in Beyond the Doubt
Struggling with doubt? Try making belief. Read on for the four necessary ingredients and a simple recipe for putting them all together.

What Should I Do With My Life?

By Wendy Lustbader M.S.W. on August 18, 2015 in Life Gets Better
This question can give us heartache, whether we are in our twenties or sixties. Having no idea what to do next hurts, even as it might excite us on some level. Whether graduating from college or retiring from a long career, the road ahead may seem intimidating in its blankness. Freedom is supposed to be so desirable, yet its reality is often heavy with perplexing dilemmas.

Oreo Thins Paradox – Why People Pay More For Less

The new Oreo Thins is out. And it is priced at 42% premium compared to regular Oreo cookies. Why are consumers often willing to pay more for less?

Are You Building a Community, or an Organization?

Developing a sense of community in any organization is usually a plus, but keep in mind that a true community is a very difficult achievement. Most businesses and even non-profits ultimately must prioritize their organizational goals, otherwise they are likely to become a thing of the past.

Is Man a Selfish Beast?

Philosophers and psychologists have sometimes tried to attribute all human conduct to a single motive. They are mistaken.

3 Ways to Turn Jealousy Into Motivation and Self-Acceptance

By Susan Harrow on August 16, 2015 in The Body Blog
For some people — including me — studying Aikido (The Japanese Martial Art, called The Way of Harmony that works as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold) is a slow, awkward, and arduous process.