Many people believe that to achieve goals you just have to be hardworking and disciplined. This is a half-truth: in reality, only when we are truly motivated are we able to achieve certain goals .

The motivation is the key to understanding why human beings remain tenacious in pursuing certain achievements that do not bear any fruit in the short term. In this text we will explain some keys, tricks and tips so that you can understand how human motivation works and you can have a little guide to achieve everything you set out to do in life.

You may be interested in: “Types of motivation: the 8 motivational sources”

The 10 strategies and psychological keys to motivate oneself

1. Never forget to think positive

Keep in mind that your thoughts are going to influence decisively how you face each step you take . If you approach everyday life with a positive outlook on things, you will be able to move towards your goals. If, on the other hand, you are a negative person to whom everything seems impossible, you will do nothing to improve.

Your internal speech is one of the key factors in motivating you. We all have a little inner voice that can help or boycott us. We must learn to manage its influence and be aware that our state of mind is the key for us to set goals and achieve them. If you have too many negative thoughts , it is time to eliminate them and replace them with thoughts and beliefs that play in your favour.

To achieve this: “7 techniques to erase negative thoughts from your mind”

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking when you are trying to motivate yourself.

2. Keep a personal journal that reflects your progress

If you’re an unmethodical person, this trick can come in handy. One of the keys to motivate us to achieve an objective is to be aware of the progress we are making in the short term . In this way, we perceive that our efforts are bearing fruit and therefore we are more likely to move forward. It is good to fragment your work into different mini goals that will encourage us to keep on fighting.

If you like to write, a good way to monitor your progress is to keep a small diary explaining what you have done during the day and what your progress has been . In this way you can see how far you have come towards your goal. It is also interesting that you write down both the positive (progress, good feelings, etc.) and the negative (mistakes you have made, ideas for improvement) . We recommend you to be rigid and update your diary every day at the same time.

In addition, with the emergence of smartphone applications , you can keep a virtually automatic log of your progress, depending on which fields. For example, if your goal is to run five kilometres in the shortest possible time, there are apps that monitor your activity for you. In this way you can have a lot of information on your computer that gives you feedback on your performance and progress .

3. Imagine achieving your goals, every day

A highly effective psychological trick: mentally visualise the result you want to achieve , for several minutes and in great detail. Simply close your eyes and enjoy imagining how you perceive the moment of success and satisfaction in what you have set out to do. How would you feel, with whom would you share it ?

The more and better you can imagine that moment, the more motivated you will be and the longer you will stay . If you practice this mental image for five minutes a day, your success will be closer.

More information: “The 7 habits of really effective people”

4. One day you can fail… but not two

Human beings are profoundly imperfect. If one day we fail to make any progress, we must put it into perspective. We all have a bad day when laziness paralyzes us. But the golden rule is this: you can fail one day, but not two days in a row .

If the day before you did not feel motivated to carry out the daily actions that bring you closer to your goal, the second day is key. Do not allow yourself to be boycotted by laziness or any other excuse on the second day . You can’t lose two days in a row because then you would be carving out a mental precedent to justify your future laziness.

To know more: “The 10 excuses that unproductive people always use”

5. Healthy competition between friends is a great source of motivation

We all like healthy competition, especially when we surround ourselves with people who make us feel good. This predisposition to competition can be very useful to encourage us to fight for our goals .

If you know a family member, friend or co-worker who has similar goals to yours, you can “recruit” them for healthy competition that can help you both.Week after week, you can catch up on who has managed to run more kilometres , smoke fewer cigarettes, get more sales, do more push-ups, etc.

However, this should be an incentive, not a burden: your goals should be weighted and should be equal to the other person . For example, it would be absurd for someone who starts running to compare himself to a professional runner. The key is not to constantly compare yourself but to rely on the other person to keep moving forward, so that each one achieves his or her own goals.

6. Prepare your mind for the down moments

Along a long road, you may go through good times and bad times. In these moments when things don’t go our way, certain defeatist thoughts and the uncontrollable urge to leave the ship may come to mind.

Don’t be afraid when these thoughts come to you, as it is completely natural for them to arise from time to time and invite you to stop fighting. If you are aware of them, you can manage them so that they do not affect you . For every down time you experience, think of a good reason to keep fighting.

It can also help you: “25 short positive phrases for living day to day with optimism”

7. Make a list of your reasons for staying motivated

Let’s go over the previous point. If you know your motives that push you to keep pulling the cart and working hard every day, you have a lot of cattle. It is the perfect antidote to excuses, laziness and mental kidnapping .

Many people are motivated by thinking about their loved ones. Other people approach it from a more individual sense or because of the great intrinsic motivation they feel towards that activity they practice. In any case, it is good to write down on a piece of paper what your motivations are .

8. The importance of a good counselor

When you pursue a dream, chances are other people have already achieved it before you. Having the support of a person with long experience can be key to explain some tricks and reflections so that you can achieve what you set out to do.

You can also look for courses or seminars from people who talk about what interests you. It is not advisable to disregard the knowledge that other people can bring to you. In our society, almost everything is already invented. However there are few people who have the capacity to innovate and look for new ways to solve problems . If you are able to soak up a lot of knowledge from different sources, it is likely that you will be able to motivate yourself and keep on the right track.

9. Discover your true passions

This is basic. When we genuinely enjoy an activity, we manage to have a state of Flow that allows us to perform at our best until we lose track of time. We have already talked about intrinsic motivation : is that motivation we feel for the very pleasure of doing something .

When we manage to discover what we are passionate about and are lucky enough to be able to devote ourselves to it, our intrinsic motivation will allow us to face the task and the day-to-day life in a really effective way . If, on the other hand, we do not like what we do and therefore we do not have a good dose of intrinsic motivation, we can only be motivated thanks to extrinsic motivation , that is, if we have incentives (economic or otherwise) to continue.

Therefore, it is important that you choose your life based on what you like to do, since you will be more motivated.

Discover the importance of dedicating yourself to what you love: “Gladwell’s Law of 10,000 hours of experience”

10. Get inspired by the little things in life

The key to motivation is being open to the world and finding inspiration in the small details of everyday life. Inspiration can be found in almost anything.

Not only will it allow you to be motivated at a certain time (which is also), but it will also allow you to maintain your motivation over long periods of time.

And you, how do you motivate yourself?

These are our ten reflections on how we can motivate ourselves . But each person is a world and there can surely be other tricks and strategies. We invite you to share them with us in the comments area.