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Small steps lead to giant leaps in your motivation

People sometimes come to me because they want more motivation in their lives. Sometimes they're starting businesses and want to be motivated to do the drudge work. Sometimes they're students who want to study more diligently, or people who want to exercise more.

In almost all cases, the problem is never motivation per se. If you feel overwhelmed by a daunting task, the odds are that you simply don't know where to start. If that's true for you, then read this carefully: even monumental tasks are comprised of tiny steps. Get stuff done. Make a little progress every day.

This becomes easier to do if you train yourself to think in the long term.

Playing a video game may be more fun this afternoon, but down the line having to pay late fees because you didn't do your taxes is a drag. Successful businesses tend to focus on long-term analysis of particular actions.

Couch potatoes only focus on the next 30 minutes.

While you're learning to focus on the long-term benefits of taking actions, make sure you visualise those benefits in a way that's irresistible.

Create internal pictures of how good you'll feel once you achieve your targets.

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Make the future big, bright and colourful with a chorus of loved ones congratulating you.

The fundamental rule which guides all human behaviour is this: we steer towards pleasure and avoid pain.

If something brings you enjoyment, such as a cup of tea, then start to link that enjoyment with a task that you've been putting off.

Get yourself a cuppa and sort out two or three boring jobs. The brain's not stupid. Quite quickly, it'll learn to associate pleasure with getting stuff done.

The problem isn't ever a lack of motivation. We're all sufficiently motivated to feel good. If you're putting stuff off, the real question is: how can you think about, and work through what's right in front of you in a way that hooks in with the rest of your life over the long term and have fun while doing it?

If you plan your tasks around answering that question, there'll be no stopping you.

  • Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance. Reach him at josephpond@yahoo.com or at https://www.facebook.com/Belfast Hypnosis/ ?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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