10 Ways To Step Up Your Motivation

Ten ways to build a lasting and repeatable source of motivation whether you're running a marathon, a business, or virtually anything else!
Christi Hegstad October 22nd, 2019

Last week my daughter, Brittany, ran the Chicago Marathon – an incredible test of endurance, both physical and mental. You have to have high levels of motivation to complete a feat like that, am I right?

And that motivation isn’t just a one-time deal on race day, either. Months of preparation, training, and recommitting to the goal are required – just like with other Bold Goals we set for ourselves. Surely you can expect some “I just don’t feel like it” days now and then.

What do you do on those days? What if those days turn into weeks?

As I’ve shared many times before, definitely surround yourself with support and reach out for help. In addition, the following ten ideas can provide lasting and repeatable sources of motivation whether your goal involves a marathon, a business, a home project, or virtually anything else!

Marathon, black silhouettes of runners on the sunset

1. Recall a peak experience.
When did you achieve an important goal, complete a significant project, or truly feel ‘in the zone’? Call to mind a moment from your past that had you feeling on top of the world, then tease it apart for clues that you can apply to your current goal. This works especially well if you sometimes lost motivation or felt adrift with that earlier event, too.
2. Ask forward-moving questions.
The quality of our answers – and ultimately, our behaviors – depends on the quality of our questions. Ask yourself powerful ones! For example: “How can I infuse new life into this goal / role?” or “What is one thing I can do in the next 24 hours to boost my motivation?” Looking at #1 above, you might ask, “What helped me persevere when things got difficult back then?”
3. Clarify your focus.
Decreased motivation often accompanies increased scattered-ness. Locke & Latham, pioneering researchers in goal-setting motivation, repeatedly discussed the importance of clarity and specificity with goals. Step back, take an honest look at where you are investing your time and energy, and – like a laser – narrow your focus to intensify your results.

overcome the obstacles of your life, hurdle design

4. Stay in your own lane.
Comparing yourself to others is now easier than ever, yet Teddy Roosevelt’s words still ring true: It robs us of joy. Instead of wishing you had what someone else has, send them blessings and let their example serve as inspiration: “If they can do it, so can I!”
5. Do something for the first time.
It’s possible you’ve fallen into a bit of a rut. Try a new activity and let the excitement of learning something new – as well as perhaps the push out of your comfort zone – prompt your motivation in other areas. And don’t worry about doing the new thing perfectly – that’s definitely not a requirement!

6. Find perspective.

You might find perspective by focusing on your next step instead of all the miles you have yet to run. Or in taking an eagle’s view of what you’re aiming for; my doctorate took several years to earn, for example, but in the grand scope of my lifetime, that’s a mere blip. A little perspective can go a long way.

Why Purpose Reason Definition

7. Know your ‘why’ and revisit it often.

In the process of training for and running the marathon, Brittany raised a ton of funds and support for children with cancer. “Doing it for a cause greater than myself was a huge motivator!” she told me. Whether it’s your driving purpose for a particular goal and/or for your overall life, reconnect with your ‘why’ frequently and fully.

8. Pour into others.

It’s funny how you can massively boost your own motivation by helping others boost theirs! Volunteer, encourage, support, teach, empower … find ways to help others get motivated, and watch what happens to your own motivation in the process.

Should Would Could Did card with colorful background

9. Imagine your own advice.

If you feel low on motivation or discouraged at your progress, imagine your child, best friend, or valued employee coming to you for advice with that same problem. What would you advise them? How would you encourage them? Record what you would tell them.

Then, use that advice yourself.

10. Decide, commit, act, repeat.

While inspiration is wonderful, waiting around for it before you take action could leave you at a standstill for ages. So could waiting for the perfect time, the ideal conditions, the guarantee of success. Decide to pursue your purposeful goal, commit to doing what’s necessary, take action, and repeat. Often.


The common denominator: Look within for motivation. You can’t control whether someone applauds you or ‘likes’ your post or thanks you for your effort, and if you rely on those externals to keep you motivated, you may find yourself disappointed. Determine what will bring about your internal applause instead.

As we say in our ASPIRE Success Club meetings, we’re not just here to learn – we’re here to implement. Which of the ten ideas above will you put into action first?


Christi Hegstad, PhD, PCC is the Certified Executive + Personal Coach for difference-making achievers! Clarify your vision, free up time, and confidently reach bold, compelling goals that matter! Contact us today for coaching, speaking, and Mastermind opportunities, or click here and fill in the blue box to join our email community.

Website Design by Happy Medium