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5 surprisingly simple ways you can boost your motivation

Deborah Hutton

4 minute read
Deborah Hutton looking out at a sunrise over the ocean.

You’ve got a work deadline; you should be doing some exercise; you don’t want to get out of bed – the list is never-ending and we all know the feeling of being exhausted.

Finding motivation can be tricky, not to mention hard work. You might’ve heard experts say things like ‘nutrition, exercise and a positive mindset will set you straight’, but what happens when you lack the motivation for any or all of the above?

Well, here are some surprising ways the 'Balance by Deborah Hutton' team have come up with to help you reset and get your mojo flowing again – and I promise, it’s all achievable!

A little word of warning, if you’re concerned that you’re struggling with motivation, the best person to get advice from is your doctor.

1. Take a nap

I know what you’re thinking: this sounds counterintuitive, right? You need to get something done, so go and take a break? However, power naps (20- 90min long) are proven to boost your memory, cognitive skills, creativity and energy level.

According to Dr Sara Mednick, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, the 20-minute power nap (sometimes called the stage 2 nap) is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano.

Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep – which is napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes – is good for decision-making skills, such as memorising vocabulary or recalling directions. Plus, getting rapid eye movement (REM) sleep – usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping – plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.

Credit: nib health insurance

2. Look for inspiration rather than motivation

Access Consciousness founder and internationally renowned speaker Dain Heer says the key to motivation is in finding the energy to do something you really don’t want to do. So his suggestion is to flip your day on its head and ask yourself, 'what do I feel inspired to do?'.

Instead of dreading going into work, become inspired to earn a wage, or become inspired to find a new job. Instead of feeling unmotivated to go to the gym, feel inspired to enjoy a nice night out with your partner at the end of the week and work on your fitness so you can indulge in that pasta.

The idea is that you’re more likely to get out of bed to do something if you’re inspired.

3. Tell someone your goal

According to five-time Olympian Natalie Cook, chasing your goals is a whole lot easier and a lot more real when you tell someone about it - isn’t that the truth!

Suddenly you become accountable because your friends won’t let you forget and you’ve got two, three, four… even dozens of people cheering you on from the sidelines!

4. Take a short cut and trick your brain

Preparation is essential and the easy way is generally the best! You’re much more likely to complete a task or do a job if you’ve planned well from the start. Turning a task into a habit also puts your brain on autopilot and saves energy. So make a small change and stick with it for three weeks until you stop thinking about it and just do it!

5. Get some vitamin B into your diet

According to Jean Hailes from Women’s Health, vitamin B is a nutritional shortcut to boosting your motivation. “The B group vitamins are essential for motivation, energy levels and brain health. Vitamin B6 in particular can help to break bad habits because it’s needed to produce the chemical dopamine. Dopamine helps to regulate the pleasure centre of the brain and can increase your motivation by sending feel-good signals to your brain,” she said.

You can find vitamin B6 in foods such as salmon, tofu, turkey, bananas, avocado, spinach, walnuts and hazelnuts. For some healthy and nutritious ideas, check out the recipe page on The Check Up.

For more from Deborah Hutton, check out The Check Up’s dedicated section.

Deborah Hutton is a television presenter, former magazine editor, entrepreneur, author, speaker and Australian media personality. Facing 50 and the shock of being diagnosed with a serious skin cancer, Deborah spent more than a year assessing and redefining herself and realised along the way, women not only needed support but also wanted to connect and talk. As a result, she launched her digital media community ‘Balance by Deborah Hutton’ in 2011.

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