Motivation tips are useless.

Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. However, there are millions of Google searches for motivation tips, which are largely used as a ‘quick fix’ for motivational slumps.

You are most likely here because you would like to see a surge in your motivation. It could be because you have seen a slump in your motivation. It is possible that you want motivation tips for work, tips for employees or your students.

For whichever reason, well done for taking action; it is important to take control and increase your self motivation. Read on below for 22 simple motivation tips, and most importantly, how to make them productivity habits.

Habits determine almost everything we do, as demonstrated by Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit. It is important that you understand The Habit Loop, which can be applied to any of your habits, and how it can be used to build new habits.

A habit is made up of three main components:

  1. The Cue: This is what triggers the habit. It could be other people, an emotional state, the location, a time of day  or an immediately preceding action. This tells the brain to go into automatic processing mode for the habit.
  2. The Routine: This is the actual action of the habit, such as biting your nails or missing the gym.
  3. The Reward: This provides positive reinforcement for the action, such as a nicotine hit or being able to watch more television rather than going to the gym.

Changing the habit (Or Short-circuiting the habit loop)

  1. Identify the routine: Identify the routine you would like to change.
  2. Experiment with rewards: Try out different rewards for your new habits. Are there existing rewards you could utilise?
  3. Isolate the cue: Eliminate, or change how you deal with the cue.
  4. Plan: Plan for how you will replace old habits and stick to them until they become habit (This could take around 30 days)


While this is a very simplistic view of the habit loop, it will provide you with the framework to turn these motivational tips into habits. If you would like to learn more about The Habit Loop, we would recommend reading the book.

 Let’s get stuck in.
1/ Your morning routine.
A game-changer. Almost all high performers in the world have a solid morning routine, usually waking up well before working time. Creating head-space in the morning is crucial for a motivated mind. Find yourself waking up, showering, eating and rushing out of the door to work? Wake up an hour earlier, integrate slow activities such as exercise and reading in your morning routine. Your first few hours are precious in setting yourself up for the day ahead. Use them wisely.
Make it habit: Challenge yourself to a new morning routine, and stick to it for every work day.

2/ Begin with why.

It is not by chance that highly motivated leaders and athletes take time to remind themselves why they are completing a specific task. At the core of motivation, people have a reason for carrying out an action. In any aspect of your life that you should remember why you are doing it.
Stopping smoking? Think of the countless health benefits. Looking for motivation at work? Think of how you can achieve more and aim for that. Going to the gym at 5:30 AM? Think of how you will feel after the session, full of endorphins, ready to take on the day ahead.
Make it habit: For each aspect of your life that you would like to improve, spend 30 seconds each day visualising the end result, and why you are doing it.

3/ Embrace variety.

‘Variety is the spice of life’ – probably about as cliché as you can get. However, great value should be taken from this. A stale routine leads to a stale mind and stale motivation. Exercise your creativity and add variety into your life. This can be applied to so many aspects of your life. Even if you focused on variety only in your food, there are millions of opportunities for variety.
Make it habit: Spend 30 seconds each morning determining how you can add variety to your day. Do this every day and you’ll see your mind become more stimulated.

4/ Chart your progress.

Goals are an important element of the motivational progress. Greater value can be extracted from them if you track your progress. This can be applied in terms of work, social or health aspects of your life. By doing this, you create greater clarity moving forward and reaching high performance.
Make it habit: Review your daily goals or weekly goals. For this you can use a journal, an app or even simply use the notes section of your phone.

5/ Environmental inspiration.

What inspires you? It’s simple. Once you are inspired you naturally reach a higher state of performance. How can you do this? Create an inspiring environment which you spend most of your time. Do this through simple changes; photos in your office, on your bedroom wall or a personalised inspired desktop background.
Make it habit: First, create your inspiring environment. Take the time every day to look at these sources of inspiration – how does it make you feel? If new sources of inspiration arise, make sure you add them to your environment.


6/ Join a group, forum or club.

Sharing a common goal with a group of people is invaluable. A lack of motivation will occur when an individual feels isolated while working towards a particular goal. Surround yourself with people who share a common goal. Join that gym group, take the time to speak to your colleagues that are working on a similar goal. Thousands of people use forums, even to help them quit alcohol. The internet has made this so easy to do; there are countless forums. Use them!
Make it habit: Reach out to people who share a common goal. Contribute to this at every opportunity and watch your motivation grow.
So how do we go about achieving happiness if it is not derived from our success? Many believe that the answer lies in the practice of Positive Psychology, which is defined as:

7/ Express gratitude and optimism.

Have you ever met an optimistic person who seems unmotivated?
People love to moan, it seems to be imprinted in our DNA as humans. The problem is, this is detrimental to our motivation and productivity. To reach a level of high performance, you should seek out the opportunities for optimism and gratitude instead. Rather than focusing on having to wake up early, focus on the extra time you now have to get the best out of life. Rather than focusing on how long a task will take, focus on how well you can complete it, and the end result. Sometimes you only need to look at it differently in order to build anticipation and excitement.
Make it habit: For every negative thought that enters your mind, think of how you can turn it into a positive one.

8/ Utilise your at-work passion.

Have you ever met a successful person that doesn’t love their job? I guess that depends on how you define success. To align your passion with your job fully may not be possible as it would require a change of jobs. However, it is possible to discover a passion, or to become passionate about a particular element of your job. This can be customer service, attention to detail, use of numbers; the possibilities go far and wide.
Make it habit: Break down your tasks to identify what you are most passionate about. Identify how you can utilise that. Embrace the passion and the motivation will follow.

9/ Utilise your out-of-work passion.

For most people, the greatest passions lie outside of work. These are often activities in which we can reach a great state of flow and ones in which we achieve the highest form of enjoyment. If your average day doesn’t involve at least one hour of activities you are passionate about, you should demand change. Make time for it, allocate that time to that activity. If you don’t know what you are passionate about, experiment and discover it, then embrace it. Once you have done this, take a minute each day to visualize that activity, and how it will make you feel – engage all the senses.
Make it habit: Dedicate at least one hour of each day to a task you are passionate about. Spend a minute each day visualising that activity and engage all your senses.

10/ Visualisation.

Did you know that our subconscious mind can’t differentiate between an event that actually happened and an imagined event? Utilising this tool can have a tremendous effect on motivation.
How does this work? We can induce motivation through positive emotions or negative emotions. This is through visualising an activity, or more importantly, the effects of an event. You should take time each day to visualise the effects of a particular task. For gym motivation, you can visualise a future you, enjoying a healthy body. You could even visualise an out-of-shape version of yourself, who has missed the gym.
As you can see, the visualisation process can be applied to any task, either positively or negatively.
Make it habit: Spend 5 minutes each morning visualising the outcomes of actions on tasks.

11/ Small wins, win big.

It’s incredible how often a lack of motivation is down to individuals feeling over faced by large, complex tasks. With large tasks comes a longer time period between completed tasks. This brings a sparse sense of accomplishment and lowered motivation levels.
Breaking down larger tasks into smaller tasks allows us to feel a sense of accomplishment more often. This also allows us to track progress with a greater sense of clarity. Using a journal can help you in visualising this.
Make it habit: List your daily goals/tasks the night before they will be completed. Break down any large tasks into smaller tasks. Tick the tasks off as you complete them.

12/ Recharge your mind.

Burn out is a monumental cause of decreased motivation. It may seem counter-intuitive to take a break from a large tasks if you’re looking for an increase in productivity. However, studies have shown that overall productivity increases when we include regular breaks.
Most importantly, you should identify the times of the day you are most productive and utilise that time. This is usually around three hours after waking.
Some recommend a 10 minute break every 50 minutes, however it is important you implement what works for you and don’t end up working for the clock. Where possible, you should opt for a change of environment when recharging your mind, even if that simply means a change of room. You should consider longer versions of this, such as a long weekend away relaxing as this can improve motivation and productivity
Make it habit: Time time in each day to dedicate to recharging your mind.


13/ Diet

‘A great body starts in the kitchen’ – you may have heard this saying. The same holds for motivation. With such an abundance of awesome whole foods in the world, we can’t afford to be eating fatty foods and sugar loaded snacks, which leave us sluggish.
If you have even a small amount of dietary knowledge you will easily be able to apply these to create a healthy meal for each of your days meals. If you don’t have a great deal of knowledge on diet and recipes, educate yourselves. The internet is full of awesome recipes and ideas and cooking is well known for its therapeutic benefits. Check out The Body Coach on Youtube for simple inspiration.
Make it habit: Plan every meal, every day and take time to look forward to it. Avoid foods loaded with bad fats and high in sugar. Check that you are drinking enough water.

14/ Exercise.

We are not short of studies showing the link between exercise and positive mental health. This is largely through flooding your brain with Endorphins. You can read how a daily exercise routine increases your productivity in this post. Most high performers integrate physical exercise in the daily routine and the facts show that you should too.
A healthy body aids a healthy mind and as such, is one of the core components of motivation. We recommend aiming for 10,000 steps at day, which you can track with a simple free app such as Stepz and a minimum of 20-30 minutes of intense exercise each day. A great way to achieve this is to take part in sport in order to maximise your enjoyment.
Make it a habit: Integrate a minimum of 20-30 minutes exercise into each day, every day.

15/ Easing in.

This is a simple technique which is linked to number 11. Starting the day with simple tasks, such as tidying the kitchen, going for a run or making your bed will go a long way in getting you into the rhythm of the day.
This can also be applied to the work element of your day. You can use the ‘ease-in’ technique at the start of your work day by completing small tasks to kick-start your day. Remember to tick them off as you go!
Make it a habit: Set one or two easy tasks at the start of your (work) day to get yourself on a role.

16/ Eliminate excuses.

When lacking motivation, it can be easy to think up excuses to get out of the task ahead. However, using an excuse to get out of a task will actually lead to a lowered self-esteem, guilt and a further drop in motivation down the line.
You should choose not to make excuses, but to visualise the benefits and opportunities ahead of you.
Make it habit: Replace the temptation to make excuses with visualisation of opportunities.

17/ Favouring (positive) action.

Humans are bad decision makers. Do you find yourself over-thinking decisions? Only to then get distracted by some meaningless form of procrastination? When working through your daily goals, you should favour action rather than dwelling on a decision. In this way we manage to maintain a rhythm in our day without unnecessary distractions.
By procrastinating, we are only putting off decisions until later. This often increases anxiety and lowers productivity.
Make it a habit: Be decisive in your activities every day. Make the decision based on the information you have available to you. Seek more information if necessary. Commit to eliminating procrastination.

18/ Proactively plan your time

If you’re not proactive in managing your time (including recording it), then it’s time to put your pen to paper. There are a variety of ways in which you can do this to get the most out of work, social and health elements of your life.
This simply requires a commitment of less than 5 minutes each day to jot down your daily goals. It is recommended that you jot these down roughly in the order that you anticipate completing them. This is such a small commitment which will have profound effects on your motivation and productivity.
Make it a habit: Commit 5 minutes at the end of each day to mapping out your goals for the following day.

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19/ Listen.

If you’re lacking motivation, take the time to listen to others. Ask your colleagues, friends and family how they are and what’s on their mind. Offering advice and listening is a surprisingly powerful source of motivation. The conversation may also provide you with an opportunity to discuss issues on your mind. This provides greater clarity on the task in hand and helps in regaining your reasoning for undertaking a particular task.
Make it a habit: Take the time each day to discuss any issues with colleague, friend or family member.

20/ Optimise your daily routine: Raise your standards and demand excellence.

It may be that you already have a solid daily routine which includes many of the elements included in this post. In this case, you should optimise your daily routine and challenge yourself to become a improved version of yourself.
It may be that certain elements of your routine have become stale… it happens! All you need to do is super-charge it.
Make it a habit: Every week, sketch out your average day and jot down ways in which you can improve it using the points listed in this article. Aim to stretch yourself and for continuous improvement.

21/ Commit Publicly

Worried that you’ll lose motivation for an ambitious goal that you have set? One of the best actions you can take is to commit publicly to your goal.
By doing so, you make yourself accountable for your actions and show a greater commitment to that goal. By linking this with number 19, you can achieve the greatest effect on motivation.
Make it a habit: For any ambitious goal, make sure you publicly commit to that goal.

22/ Meditate

For many, meditating forms an important source of motivation through contemplation. Tim Ferriss showed how 80% of high performers cite form of mindfulness practice for their success in his book Tools of the Titans.
If you don’t dedicate time to creating head-space, you should certainly give it a go. Others have found great success in a similar practice such as Tony Robbins, who swears by his morning ‘Priming’.
Make it habit: Allocate 15 minutes of each day to a mindfulness practice.


As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to increasing motivation. However, you can use these practices in your life, regardless of your current level of motivation.
Like many of the great leaders of the world, these are qualities which will greatly benefit you if you apply them and turn them into habits.
Your habits determine whether you will be a high performer, a poor performer or anywhere in-between; it’s your responsibility to shape them.
Do you have any further sources of motivation that you would like to add?
Get in touch!

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