It was brought to my attention that most people know they need to learn to be self-motivated, but they just do not know how. As a continuation to the post “Work Ethic According to Bill Coplin”, here are some ways to kick yourself in the butt:

1.) Figure out your goal. Think about what your ultimate goal is. This may be a career objective, finishing college with a certain GPA, doing well in a class, or getting a promotion. It is important to define your goal specifically so that you have an objective on which to focus.

2.) Help yourself stay focused on your ultimate goal by setting long and short term goals that will provide a step by step plan for obtaining your objective. First , make a general timeline of how you will reach your goal. Then begin making short term goals that will keep you on track. Sometimes it is necessary to have a day by day plan detailing how you are going to achieve your goal.

3.) When trying to maintain focus, be careful not to motivate yourself by fear. Concentrating on fears such as letting people down or looking incompetent will give you a negative mindset that can easily lower your confidence. It is hard to remain motivated when your confidence is low, and the little voice in your head is telling you that you will fail. To avoid this, make sure to reward yourself for accomplishing those short term goals and focus on your achievements, no matter how small.

4.) Continually raise the bar for yourself. After accomplishing a goal, set your standards higher for your next goal. When you succeed it will give you a confidence boost that will help maintain and even increase your motivation.

5.) Make sure to remind yourself why you want to achieve your objective. It helps maintain daily momentum if you give yourself a day to day game plan, but without a fundamental desire for the outcome, it will be hard to stay focused no matter how many short term goals you set.

6.) If you are still having problems maintaining motivation, link your success to other’s success. If possible, join groups that share your interests. This is particularly valid for college students who are set on a certain career or major and have the opportunity to join a club dedicated to that area of study. Being around other people who are motivated towards a similar goal can help boost your own motivation. You might even discover new reasons for why you want to achieve your goal. As well, these types of clubs often provide external deadlines that help keep you on track, although it is important that you do not to create a negative environment in which you are motivating yourself with the fear of letting others down.

7.) Stay busy. While providing yourself with some down time is necessary, it is a fact that busy people stay busy. It is easier to go from one task to the next than to get up from the couch and do something productive.

8.) Plan for downtime. Scheduled down-time sounds like an oxymoron, yet it can help reduce stress. If you structure your day so that you can accomplish your goals and reserve some time to relax, that downtime will not be spent feeling guilty that you are not being productive.