How to be More Self-Motivated

Pami Parker

Learn what self-motivation is and how to boost your motivation.

Are you having a hard time getting motivated? Are you curious about what leads to greater self-motivation or how you can boost yours? Then you’re in luck. ​In this article, you’ll learn science-based tricks to boost your self-motivation.

So ,what is self-motivation anyway? Self-motivation is the internal state that helps us initiate, continue, or terminate a behavior. For example, we might be self-motivated to eat something when we’re hungry. We might be motivated to keep working a job so that we can pay our bills, or we might be motivated to break off a relationship when it no longer makes us happy. Pretty much any behavior you can think of can originate with self-motivation.

Examples of Self-Motivation


Starting tasks promptly and getting them done on time.


Making sure to clean the house when it gets messy..


Doing the dishes right after eating a meal.


Making an effort to say kind things to friends and family.

How to Build Your Self-Motivation Skills

If you want to build self-motivation, there are some key skills you can develop. Here are a few:

Tips to Boost Self-Motivation

1. Make Goal-Pursuit More Social

Past research among employees has shown that the single factor that contributed most to commitment—which they considered a part of motivation—was a drive to bond . When we think about self-motivation, we might imagine grueling schedules or long To-do lists, but the truth is we can make motivation easier if we find ways to bond while pursuing our goals. So, if there is an activity that you’re having a hard time doing, try making this activity more social.

2. Find Something You're Good At

The same research study that we mentioned above also showed that feeling like we comprehend what we’re doing at work can lead us to be more engaged. That makes sense, right? If we’re good at something, it’s probably less frustrating and we enjoy it more. Related research suggests that we stay the most engaged and motivated when the difficulty of a task is in the sweet spot between being too hard—which can make us feel bad about ourselves—and too easy—which can be boring.

3. Tap into your Drive to Acquire or Defend

Workplace researchers suggest that two more drives can motivate us: the drive to acquire things that boost our well-being (e.g., food, money, experiences, entertainment) and the drive to defend ourselves. So, it may be helpful to remind ourselves of these drives and how our actions can help us fulfill them.

4. Build Habits

Once we get in the habit of doing something, it becomes way easier to keep doing it. That means that learning how to build habits can be a useful skill for becoming more self-motivated. To build habits, BJ Fogg, author of Tiny Habits, says to start with a teeny, tiny, minuscule habit. Grow it from there. For example, if you want to get in the habit of walking a mile every day, start by taking one step outside your door, then a few steps, and keep adding a tiny bit at a time.

5. Set Implementation Intentions

Implementation intentions are kind of like a backup plan—they set up strategies ahead of time in case plan A doesn’t work out. To create an implementation intention, you just set an intention that IF X happens, THEN you’ll do Y. For example, if you need to go to the dentist, then you’ll do your work later that evening.

In Sum

Boosting motivation is something we all need from time to time. Hopefully, this article provided you with some useful ideas for how to boost your motivation and achieve your dreams.

Motivation & Goal Achievement Masterclass©

The Motivation & Goal Achievement Masterclass© is a comprehensive six-module coaching package. With this masterclass, you will be able to help your clients achieve meaningful success through the science of motivation and goal setting.

Decades of research show how much the types of goals people set matter. Some goals are better for people’s mental health, personal growth, and wellbeing than others, because they better express a person’s underlying interests, values, talents, needs, and motives.

If you’re passionate about developing yourself and helping others find the necessary motivation to reach their life goals, the Motivation & Goal Achievement Masterclass is for you.
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