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

The Bonus Effect

By Alfie Kohn on September 27, 2016 in The Homework Myth
If you're told "Do this, and you'll get that," you're likely to become less interested in "this" -- and more interested in "that." Especially if "that" turns out to be money.

Don’t Call Giraffe Tongue Orchestra a ‘Supergroup’

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on September 27, 2016 in Brick by Brick
“Supergroup.” The mere mention of the term can cause involuntary eye-rolling and exasperated sighing.

Prepare Yourself for Change in 4 Basic Steps

By Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. on September 27, 2016 in Making Change
By recognizing your unspoken hesitations about achieving your goals, you can address them and prepare yourself to create the change you want.

A Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Leadership Test

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on September 26, 2016 in Science and Sensibility
Can you tell which US presidential candidate is destined for greatness?

Should You Quit Your Job When You Start a New Business?

What entrepreneurship research says about working in your startup part-time vs. full-time.

Five Easy Steps to Recharge Your Money Life

By Michael F. Kay on September 22, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Along with the flying calendar pages comes the feeling that you’re running out of time to accomplish all those financial goals you’d so optimistically planned out last January.

The Truth About the Law of Attraction

By Neil Farber M.D, Ph.D. on September 18, 2016 in The Blame Game
Millions of people are unsuccessful at achieving goals using the Law of Attraction (LOA). The reason? The LOA does not exist! Hear why from a certified LOA expert.

The Power of a Mentor

My friend Bill died today. Here's how an unlikely friendship turned into one of my most treasured ones.

Playing Dead:

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on September 16, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
Preschoolers' development lags when they're overprotected.

One-Two Punch of "Cue and Reward" Makes Exercise a Habit

By Christopher Bergland on September 15, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Do you have trouble sticking with an exercise routine? If so, a new study has identified a simple one-two punch that improves your odds of making exercise a daily habit you enjoy.

Four Steps to Find New Business Opportunities

By Judy Carter on September 13, 2016 in Stress Is a Laughing Matter
Need more clients or a new career? No matter what your age, opportunity might be outside your front door. Here are four steps to turn a casual encounter into business opportunity.
Dean Drobot/BigStock

Self-Compassion in Eating Disorder Recovery

By Greta Gleissner LCSW on September 12, 2016 in Bottom's Up
Your eating disorder does not define you. Cultivating self-compassion will help you to understand your experience and find peace within yourself.

Real Heroes Run Toward—Not Away From—Danger

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on September 10, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
A book excerpt from Project Superhero describing the experience of a first responder.

Why Dieting With a Light Switch Mentality Can Be a Turnoff

By Gregg McBride on September 10, 2016 in The Weight-ing Game
Being "on" or "off" of a diet has become part of the weight loss industry vernacular. But this way of thinking can often lead to more weight gain than actual weight loss.

The Opportunities of Aging

By Loren A. Olson M.D. on September 09, 2016 in Finally Out
We can either measure time or we can experience time. I don't know how much time I have left, but I intend to experience it rather than measure it.

It Might Be Time to Ditch the Backup Plan

By Amy Green M.A., C.C.C. on September 08, 2016 in Psy-curious
Is your backup plan a safety net holding you back? Research suggests it might be just that.

Unearthing Rarely Heard Songs of Your Youth Is Revitalizing

By Christopher Bergland on September 08, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Overplayed songs become blasé. But, tracking down forgotten music of your youth—and reconnecting with rare nostalgic songs—can take you back in time and make you feel young again.
Thomas Webb

Building a Bridge Between Intention and Action

By Thomas Webb Ph.D. on September 08, 2016 in The Road to Hell
Do you wish you could overcome your reluctance to exercise?
CCO Creative Commons

Build a Team Culture for Athletic Success

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in The Power of Prime
How team members, think, feel, behave, and perform are all influenced by the environment in which they practice and compete.

Setting up the Family for a Successful School Year

By Shimi Kang M.D. on September 06, 2016 in The Dolphin Way
With the end of summer and start of school, for many parents life can be a juggling act. Here are 3 science-based strategies to stay on track with your family's goals this year!

Want Satisfaction? Do Not Use This Goal-Setting Strategy!

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Motivate!
Some planning strategies accelerate performance and almost guarantee goal attainment. Others are counterproductive and often derail achievement. Which ones do you use?

Happy New Year! (For Students, at Least)

By Amy Green M.A., C.C.C. on September 05, 2016 in Psy-curious
Along with the chillier weather and pumpkin spice lattes, September is a time of new beginnings for students. A few strategies can help keep the accompanying stress at bay.

Seductive Details in Teaching

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on September 05, 2016 in Critical Feeling
Making a lesson fun looks like a good idea but may impair learning.
K.Ramsland

Top 5 Benefits of a Geek-Out

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 04, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
A Geek-Out goes beyond what any tour guide can tell you, because you seek a direct experience of the subject you embrace.

Tonic Levels of Dopamine Lubricate Moments of Superfluidity

By Christopher Bergland on September 02, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Next week in Vienna, neuroscientists will meet for the 2016 Dopamine Conference. In this blog post, I reflect on what I've learned about dopamine through both sport and life.

How to Avoid Communication Breakdowns

The wording of educator instructions can have a big impact on students.

Does Competitive Attitude Help Persevere With Exercise??

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on September 02, 2016 in Fit Femininity
Not motivated to exercise? What are the lessons from mentally tough exercisers?

Left Brain, Right Brain, Whole Brain: 9 Creative Tips

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on September 01, 2016 in Creating in Flow
One of these new guides for creatives may offer you the precise bit of advice you need to engage with the work that means the world to you.

Your Feelings Are Not Your Fault (Mostly)

How much responsibility should you take for your feelings? The right balance will go a long way.

Does Climate Affect Economic Growth?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 30, 2016 in The Human Beast
Economic development goes along with a temperate climate, such as Europe's. Conversely, most of the poorest countries in the world are concentrated in the steamy tropics. Why?