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20 Motivation Hacks You Wish You Knew Earlier

20 Motivation Hacks You Wish You Knew Earlier

Having the idea to do something is the easy part. However, acting on and continuing forward with those ideas is the hard part. This is where motivation plays a large role. If you lack the motivation to do something, it just won’t get done. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to use a lack of motivation as an excuse. Today, we will take a look at twenty motivation hacks that will jump start your ability to get things done faster and in more of an efficient way. Let us know in the comments below if you have any motivation hacks that we could benefit from as well!

1. Outsource Your Inspiration

One of the biggest motivational tools for many individuals is the inspiration of others to help them out in whatever goal that they may have. I recommend checking out the Pact app for iPhone. Connect your credit card to the app, make a goal and commitment, and if you check in with the app a certain amount of times a day, you will earn money. If not, you will have to pay a set amount. Money is, of course, a huge motivator for many people and Pact proves this is true.

2. Broaden Your Library

Books are a great way for you to motivate yourself to not only do well in what ever endeavor you are attempting to complete, but they can also reveal smart ways to complete such endeavors in a specific amount of time. Amazon is your best bet for having a level of control on how much you pay for the quality of books you want on a specific subject. A great start would be to look into the “…For Dummies” series of books that allow you to learn or complete a certain task in an approachable manner.

3. Goals of Hierarchy

When you have a main goal that you are trying to achieve, it is smart to have backup plans or intentions in case the first one fails. This in no way should be taken as finding an easy way out. Having a back-up plan will allow you to know that if you are unable to proceed with your previous plans, that the endeavor isn’t fully out of the window.

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4. Make Your Goals Known

If other individuals know that you are working to achieve a certain goal, you are more likely to push through the difficult aspects and succeed. However, if you ultimately fail in achieving your goal, it can seem a bit tragic to come to the realization that so many people know your goal. This is why it’s smart to share, but not boast on your new goal intention.

5. Reassess Your Network

Without leaving out positive friends and family, reassess your network and look into adding individuals who have your interests at heart. These will be the individuals who will look to ensure that you are staying on the right track and won’t pressure you to fall off the wagon.

6. Make it a Group Effort

“Competing” with others who have a similar goal as yours will allow you to feel like you aren’t going into the goal alone. Having the motivation of teaming up with others to reach a certain individual or cumulative goal is a smart and healthy way of introducing competition with the main intent of improving the lives of those you care for.

7. Quotes That Go a Long Way

Positive quotes and thoughts of inspiration are one of the most common and best sources of motivation. Having quotes as your computer or mobile phone background, framed in your office, and everywhere else you encounter will push you to think positively and also push through difficult parts of reaching your goal.

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8. Become Realistic

There is a time when you need to come to the realization that certain aspects of your goal must change. In planning any aspect of your goal, it is important to remember that you must be realistic and honest with yourself about your limits and potential. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t give yourself goals that will set yourself up for failure.

9. Chart Your Goals

Make use of checkpoints to ensure that you are on track for your goal and its process. For weight loss, you may want to invest in a dry erase progress chart that you are able to update with the amount of weight you have lost so far. To enhance the progress, you might consider having a reward for meeting thee checkpoints.

10. Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow

There are many individuals who feel that it’s best to schedule their goal for a certain day or time other than the day they intend on going through with their goal. For example, on New Year’s, many individuals say they intend on getting a gym membership next week or in February. Why not start on your goal as soon as possible? It will ensure that you follow through with your goal in the near future.

11. Journal Your Thoughts

There are times when reaching your goal can be hard. There are times when you have the contemplation to quit. If you don’t feel comfortable to share these feelings with someone, write it in a journal. This will allow you to pour out your feelings in a medium, allowing you to pour the rest of your energy into something more productive.

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12. Make Use of Visual Motivators

Being able to see your end goal is one of the greatest ways to have the motivation to move forward. If you have a photo of your goal weight when you were younger, look to this photo as motivation to move forward. If you have an art piece that took you forever to create and you need the motivation to work on your next piece, look to your work of art as motivation.

13. Find Joy In Your Task

The road to your goal can be difficult, but it’s important to not forget to find joy in the road toward achieving your goal. Find joy in the checkpoints that are met in trying to achieve your goal, for example. Finding joy in the minor aspects of achieving your goals will push you to want to continue on with what you want to ultimately achieve in the end.

14. Discern Good Motivation

It’s important to not only discern the motivation you are getting, but also discern the positive motivation you are receiving. There are some individuals that don’t know how to tell you when you are doing amazing, but the worse noise come from those who are unable to tell you when you are falling off the wagon. Invest in honest friends and you will be on your way to your goal.

15. Prepare Yourself for Motivations

If you don’t put yourself in the right mindset to get a goal completed, it will not happen. It is important to get yourself in the right mindset by taking a step back and looking at what you have succeeded in doing so far, what you hope to do in the future, and your final end goal.

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16. Create an Agreement

Having an agreement with your friend as a to what your ultimate goal should be and what happens when you find yourself falling off the wagon. Having this agreement with a friend will allow you to have something written on paper that if you succeed, this will happen and if you fail, you will have to pay the consequences.

17. Initiate Continual Checkups

As you work on your goal, reassess and ensure that the acts that you are doing leading up to your goal are done in a fashion that will ensure that you are completing your goal with the right intentions and passion. If you are working out, make sure you are doing so with the mindset of having your health as number one, not the opinions of others.

18. Optimize Your Precious Time

While you get your goals completed, look into optimizing your time left open. When you wake up in the morning, you may see having a quality breakfast of impeding you from getting work done. However, if your goal is to enhance your productivity, look into possibly knocking out emails during breakfast or fitting in treadmill time while catching up on a business call, for example.

19. Keep a Tally

Keeping some sort of quantitative track of your goal is a great way to visually see your progress in a way that may not have been visible before. If you are losing weight, keep track of the amount of pounds lost. If you are trying to cut back on smoking, keep track of how much money you are saving by not lighting up.

20. Understand Failure Isn’t Okay

Ultimately, we know that failure isn’t okay and isn’t an option. If you fail, you aren’t doing something correctly. This may seem harsh, but it is only harsh because we have the wrong impression of what failure means. If you don’t succeed in your goal, that isn’t failure. If you don’t get any lessons out of not achieving your goal, that in fact is failure.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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