Blog, Faith, prayer

9 Tips to Get Motivated


This past week I spoke at a workshop for Cindy Rushton’s Secrets To Ultimate Productivity retreat. If you missed it, you can still grab the set of my session audio and all workships by clicking here. I spoke on the topic, Do The Next Thing. The gist of my presentation was that we need to hear God’s voice first to find out what to do in our lives. After He tells us, what then? How do we motivate ourselves to do the next thing?

Some of us are intrisically motivated versus externally motivated. Intrinsically motivated means that you do something because you enjoy doing it, like writing articles because you enjoy writing or reading books about authentic Italian cooking because you are curious and want to learn more.

Externally motivation means that you do something for external rewards, like money, praise, or awards. An example of an external motivation would be my sister wanting to make straight A’s in her college courses this semester so she can stay on the dean’s list, or you wanting to sing so you could be like Lady Gaga and have thousands of screaming monster fans. (She calls her fans “little monsters.”  I am not one of them.)

Our motivations are not always pure. As my friend Kimberly Ehlers says, we sometimes have messy motives. We may have a long to-do list to feel better about ourselves – like we’re accomplishing something. We may want to make more money in part to travel or even to buy new toys. We may do a favor for someone so they won’t be mad at us – we don’t like people’s disapproval.

Or we may have truly godly and pure motives, like my friends Pat and Kim Weber who flew to China to adopt a special-needs, Chinese baby, Hadassah.

God has a way of exposing our true inner motivations and of purifying them.  🙂  He will clean out our hearts from any motivations that don’t stem from His desires and will for us. But when we genuinely seek to do what He’s called us to do, how do we get there? How do we get going and do it?

Some ways you might get motivated:

  • Set one goal. Stick with it until it’s done. Don’t get sidetracked and distracted.
  • Tell others. Be accountable to a few close family members or friends.
  • Get encouragement from others. Encourage yourself in the Lord, like David did.
  • Focus and de-clutter negative thinking from your mind. You can do it. Today.
  • Prune. Get rid of whatever’s keeping you from doing the next thing that God told you you to do.  
  • Read biographies of successful people like Martha Stewart; listen to successful people’s webinars and audios.
  • Watch inspiring and motivational videos.
  • Get physical – walk, run, do zumba, put on an exercise tape, jump on your rebounder, skate, ski. Just do something and get your bottom out of that chair or off that sofa!
  • Reward yourself in some way when you accomplish that one thing. Buy a new outfit, get a pedicure, take a bubble bath, read a good book, go to a funny movie, treat yourself to a Mexican dinner.

A motivational French video I watched today inspired me. I am definitely not a runner, but it spoke to my heart. What will push you farther?   Leave your comments below on what motivates you.

Video – Nike ad  – Just do it



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  • Reply Kimberly February 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Hmmm…. this is a message from God! Last Sunday, my pastor said that if we know God wants us to do something, but we hold back, it’s actually revealing an idol in our life. If we don’t do it because we’re afraid of what others will think, we are fearing man more than God, and have made people our idols. If we’re too busy, well, that stuff has become too important. Sometimes it can get so tricky, we think we’re doing a good thing that God wants us to do, but when we really look deeply at why we’re doing it – ouch! Thank God for His grace and willingness to purify all the junk! Thanks, Beth 🙂

    • Reply Beth Jones February 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Idols can be so subtle in our lives – anything that hinders our intimacy with God. Some of us have been raised in homes that were performance-based and based on pleasing others…and we need to find that place of rest in learning to just please God. I think, like David discovered, God is MUCH easier to deal with than people sometimes! 😀 Thanks for commenting. Interesting your pastor talked about it, too!

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