If you listen to any successful motivational speaker, you will probably hear them talking about routines or rituals. These routines and rituals are nothing to do with OCD or witchcraft (although they do work like magic!), but rather certain things which are built into their day.
While all of them will have their own points to follow, they are each designed to work on the same principle – self-motivation. These methods will be followed on a daily basis without fail; so much so that they happen automatically while super-charging motivation and propelling each person’s dreams forwards.
Read on to discover 8 rituals that help you to cultivate self-motivation that lasts.
1. Practice Gratitude
Readers of this site will already be familiar with our stance on gratitude – it’s an absolute game-changer in the world of self-improvement. No, scratch that…it’s an absolute game-changer in the world.
Try waking every morning and listing three things that you are grateful for. Don’t necessarily look for the big things – gratitude can and should be for the small things, too. A great book you were reading, hearing your favorite song on the radio, the smile that person on the train gave you…all those small, seemingly insignificant moments that lift your spirits during the day.
Doing this every morning, before even getting out of bed, works in several ways:
- It makes you focus on the things in your life which are good
- It automatically puts the spotlight on positivity and happiness
- It diminishes negativity and the things which can drag you down
The more you incorporate gratitude into your daily life, the more you will see a positive change.
(You may also like: 20 Positive Gratitude Affirmations to Make You Thankful and Mindful)
2. Take Some Form of Exercise
If you don’t fancy pounding the streets, that’s absolutely fine – exercise can be something as simple as yoga or as strenuous as a sparring session in the ring, but the benefits will be the same.
Exercise will invigorate you, get the blood flowing, and infuse your day with energy, making you more equipped to deal with any challenges which may come your way.
Choose one that suits your needs, or switch things up for even more variety:
- Yoga is not as non-strenuous as it seems, so don’t think it’s a soft option. Perfect for improving muscle tone, strengthening cardiac function, and improving respiration, yoga is an ideal form of exercise for any age group or fitness level.
- Qi Gong is another form of yoga that focuses more on energies. Designed to integrate intention with attention, it’s a gentle but very effective discipline that will open up the energy meridians or pathways, and allow the energy to flow unhindered throughout the body.
- Running is a great motivator! Even if you don’t feel like getting up and heading out into the cold November rain, once you have done it you will feel a massive sense of accomplishment and ready to take on the world.
Whichever form of exercise you choose, make sure it is one that suits you. If you absolutely hate it, you won’t gain anything from it, so experiment until you find one which you can enjoy, then start the day with your blood pumping and your body glowing.
3. Drink Lemon and Hot Water
Don’t start the day off with a steaming cup of coffee, as tempting as that may be. Drinking lemon juice and water is a much more beneficial way to wake up the system, and it comes with a whole raft of health benefits, including:
- Detoxing the body. What better way to start the day than with a whole system flush? This practice also sets the tone for the rest of the day, mentally discouraging you from putting junk food and processed sugars back into your newly cleansed body.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties will help to ease joint pain and keep levels of inflammation low. As inflammation is thought to be a major cause of serious illnesses, this long-term ritual will pay huge dividends.
- It boosts energy. Lemon contains more negative ions than positive, which boosts energy levels as it enters the system. Plus, that beautiful, clean, citrusy smell will lift spirits, too.
- High levels of Vitamin C will give your immune system a hefty boost, keeping you healthy and fit to pursue your dreams.
These are just a handful of the benefits of drinking lemon water, and every one of them is a huge motivator to continue with your healthier, more positive lifestyle.
4. Be an Early Riser
Getting up earlier than normal has huge motivational benefits, and is something that many of the world’s most successful people do every day.
Founder of the Virgin empire, Richard Branson, wakes up around 5.45 am, even when on vacation, and uses this time to exercise and have breakfast. Tim Cook, CEO for Apple, rises even earlier, at 3.45. Before he even starts work, he’s managed to fit in an hour’s worth of emails, a session at the gym, and a coffee at Starbucks.
While 3.45 may seem eye-wateringly early for most of us, having even an extra hour in the morning could mean getting more work done, finishing earlier in the day, and/or spending time with family and friends. What’s more, your day will seem a lot more leisurely and you will never feel rushed.
(Also read: 46 Good Morning Quotes to Inspire and Motivate You)
5. Make a List
One of the most motivational habits you can get into is to start your day off by making a list of two or three tasks you need to do which will facilitate your ultimate goal. I’m not talking about the usual tasks we do every day, like washing clothes or cooking dinner, but rather ones which are a step in the right direction towards a bigger goal.
- If your goal is to go to the Maldives in 6 months’ time, your tasks might include settling on a hotel, booking your flights, and finding a scuba diving school in your area.
- Perhaps your ultimate goal is to write a novel, in which case your list could include writing another chapter, sitting in a coffee shop to people-watch for ideas, or buying a new notebook for taking notes.
As long as your tasks take you one step closer to achieving your goal, then include them on your list, and tick them off as you accomplish them. This will spur you on to complete the next task on the list.
6. Make a Wish into a Goal
To paraphrase best-selling author and inspirational speaker Steve Maraboli, writing down what you want to achieve turns a mere wish into a firm goal. Of course, your goal starts in your head, but by taking it out of your head and committing it to paper, you are cementing that ambition as fact.
If you have artistic skills, you could even draw your goals, but either way, putting pen to paper will give them a physical form, which makes them much more real.
For instance, imagine that your goal is to get a promotion. You could write down ‘I am (new job title) of (name of company), but always write it as if it is happening now. If you are more of a visual person, you could draw yourself sitting in your boss’ chair (but be careful he/she doesn’t see it!).
The more detailed you can be, the more your goal will come alive and take root inside your head, and when that happens, you will be unstoppable.
7. Forget Easy Listening and Pump up the Volume
What do you listen to on the way to work, or while you’re eating your breakfast? The news? Easy FM? Whatever is on at the time?
It’s time to revamp your listening experience, and here’s why:
- Watching or listening to the news is a surefire way to feel down in the dumps because there are far more bad news stories than glad news stories – happiness does not bring in the viewers. If you listen to tales of doom and gloom before your day has even really begun, you will struggle to get back on a natural high.
- Mundane Fm, aka anything that can play mindlessly in the background. Sure it will provide background noise, but are you even really aware of what you’re listening to? You could be subliminally filling your head with stories of failed love, anger, and even death, and that does not make for a jolly start to the day.
- Whatever is on at the time is just lazy! You’re missing out on some crucial time to feed your soul with music or podcasts which will lift your spirits and put you in a wonderful mood, and the way you start the day sets the tone for the rest of it.
Utilize that time, whether it’s while you are eating breakfast, working out, or commuting to work by putting on some upbeat, happy music. It’s no accident that gyms use fast-paced music – it’s been proven to make people move faster and work harder.
If you’re not a music lover, there are literally hundreds of motivational podcasts available on the ‘net, as well as Ted Talks and YouTube channels. Listening to one of these will be like having a pep talk every day by someone whose enthusiasm for life and success knows no bounds, and they’ll be right there in your ear!
8. Stop Caring What Other People Think
There’s an old saying – what other people think of you is none of your business – which is so true and so freeing that its power is incredible. Being weighed down by conforming to other people’s expectations is like a bird having its wings clipped – it holds you back from reaching new heights.
That’s not to say that you can behave like a jerk and not care who you hurt in the process, because you want to be a decent human being, but if people doubt you, or judge you, or put you down…so what?
Be unapologetically you and stick to your guns, because people who try to drag you down are already beneath you. Once you leave their criticism behind, the only person you will be answerable to is you, and that’s a wonderful way to focus your attention without any unwanted or unwarranted distractions.
There are many rituals and routines for self-motivation, and it’s important that you choose ones that suit you, but you won’t know which ones they are until you try.
Give the above 8 rituals a go, and you might find you enjoy all of them, or choose one or two and add in more as they become second nature to you.