How to Motivate Yourself to Do Something with Your Life

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Want to take action toward your dream? Discover these easy and effective six steps to get you started.

We’re approaching the midpoint of 2020. Many things we thought impossible have happened right before our eyes. Do you have a plan to safeguard your life against the unexpected? If not, are you motivated to take action?

Don’t be the driftwood that settles wherever the tide of life takes you.
Be prepared by making a plan, and a Plan B.
Know your purpose and grow your roots.
Do what you’re supposed to do. Every day. 

First, get past your emotions.

Change is hard. It takes time and work.

When the situation overwhelms you, you may not feel ready to take action. If you catch yourself constantly scrolling on your phone, reading everything, and feeling nothing, you are ready. If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to start, your first step will bring that moment to you. 

Remember, inaction drains your energy. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get started. 

Second, take a walk every day.

Walking helps you think. Period.

Breathing in the fresh air, bathed in the sunlight, hearing the bird calls, enjoying the landscape, all of which elevate your mood and bring clarity to your thoughts. If you’re stressed by a problem, a walk will bring the solution closer to you. 

If you want more motivation to take action, Mayo Clinic says walking can also trim your waistline, prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, strengthen your bones and muscles, and improve your balance and coordination. 

Woman walking on a trail


Third, make it up as you go along. 

Stop fussing about the details. Take action before you figure out everything.

Don’t keep playing all the worst-case scenarios in your head. You don’t need the entire map drawn out before taking the first step. When you drive at night, you can only see as far as your headlights allow. As the road extends before you, you find your way to the destination.

Four, reflect daily. 

All it takes is five minutes of your time to review your day’s work.

You’ve worked hard for the day. Do you know which of your action helps you get closer to your goal, and which doesn’t? 

Daily reflection allows you the opportunity to examine your progress, so you can eliminate the action that is unnecessary, distractive, and ineffective. This is the process of performance improvement. You want to work smarter, not harder. 

Five, time is money.

Make sure you get your money’s worth every day. 

I’ve made four career changes (business -> Engineering -> Pharmacy -> author), and now I’m taking action toward the fifth one. People ask me, how do you find time to learn new things? What if things don’t work out the way you want? Wouldn’t that be a waste of time and effort? Well, honestly, if something interests you, you’ll find the time. You’ll re-prioritize your life to nurture that interest. Because it makes you happy doing it; feel good about yourself when you get better at it.

Don’t believe me, here’s an example:
A San Francisco Bay Area 19-year-old created a crazy-detailed BART set that LEGO might add to their product line. Sergio Aldana rides BART every day from El Cerrito del Norte Station to Pleasant Hill, where he’s a sophomore at Diablo Valley College taking product design classes.

And he’s combined two longtime interests into one passion project (see picture below). This model consists of 2,817 pieces; just 183 pieces shy of the 3,000-part limit for LEGO Ideas projects.

BART Lego Design


Six, aim for the experience. 

We were born with nothing and will die with nothing. It’s the experience that counts.

Will I succeed with my fifth career change? I don’t know. It’s the same uncertainty I faced with all my previous changes. However, I do have muscle memories from countless trial and error. I learned to look for patterns, be flexible, kind, and open. My odds of success get better as I go. 

Give your grandchildren a reason to look up to you, round-eyed, in awe. Take action for the sake of experience, not rewards. You’ll go further that way. Think of life as a train ride. We’re all heading for the same destination, but everyone sees a different view. Stop looking at life through others’ lenses. Find your own horizon. Make your ride the most splendid and memorable.

Have I motivated you to take action? Let me know! 

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Dr. Ivy Ge

Doctor of Pharmacy, author of The Art of Good Enough. She writes to inspire women to design their own fate. Her writings and interviews have been featured on MSNBC, Thrive Global, Working Mother magazine, Parentology, and The Times of India.

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