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Set a financial penalty.

I got this one from my former pastor. He was like any other father, sometimes he would get mad and yell at his kids and he wanted to change that behavior. So, he decided that he would have to pay them a dollar any time he yelled at them. He had four kids and a pastor’s salary, so this was a really good incentive for him to change his behavior. Another version I’ve heard is to give money to a cause you really dislike. That could be a very good motivator, but you’ve got to have someone to act as a referee to keep you honest and make sure you actually follow through on your donation or pay your penalty.

Enlist a Coach or an accountability partner.

This one is a little bit tricky because you have to find someone who is willing to be a little bit mean to you, or at least very strict with you. You don’t want a person who is going to cut you a break or let you off the hook. I have a co-worker who has agreed to do this for me and my plan to take better control of my work hours. She hasn’t had to yell at me yet because I’ve been doing really well for these first two weeks, but she has been checking in with me every day and praising me for the good job I’m doing on it and I know she will get on my case if I start slipping up.

Rig the System in Your Favor.

The flip side of this is to get a partner to reward you rather than yell at you. I did this for my husband when he had been dragging his feet on finishing up some household projects. I had a $20 gift card to his favorite restaurant that I’d won somewhere, so I tacked it up on the fridge with a note that if he completed the projects by the end of the week, he could have the gift card to enjoy a nice lunch. The projects got done in record time.

One of my decluttering clients tried this with great success. Her husband had been after her to clean out their guest room for weeks. She asked him if he would take her out to dinner if she completed the project. He said he would be delighted to. She completed the project in just a few hours and then they enjoyed a nice dinner together, so it was definitely a win-win situation for both of them.

Disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.  If you click through and purchase anything, I will receive a small commission – yay me!  This is one of the ways I support this site and the various costs to run it.

Bonus Tip.

If you are really serious about change – I have a bonus tip for you. I am the queen of self-help books. I have a whole shelf full of them, along with videos, CD’s and audio tapes from every motivational expert under the sun. However, the best one I have found so far is a new book called “Change Anything”.

It is by the author of Influencer, The Power to Change the World.  Influencer is also a terrific book, but it deals with large scale situations like preventing AIDS, prison reform, and eradicating diseases in 3rd world countries. Change Anything is more directed towards personal change like losing weight, stopping smoking, etc.  I am a HUGE fan of these authors – I read their newsletters, attend their sessions (luckily, they are local), take their classes, and I read and re-read their books.  They are truly brilliant at this stuff and I’ve learned a ton from them!  You can view them for yourself at

[bctt tweet=”Motivate yourself by giving money to a cause you really dislike as a penalty”]

Extra bonus tip

I just found this on the interwebs the other day and I wanted to share it with you.  I draw these beautiful little intricate black and white drawings called Zentangles.  They are supposed to be calming and I like to do them in boring meetings.

This lady figured out a way to use them for her debt payment strategy.  Every time she paid $25 on one of her credit cards, she got to color in one little section.  I thought that was a brilliant strategy!  Here is one of my drawings – I can see exactly how much fun it would be to color in one section every time you pay a bill.

5 Tips to Motivate Yourself to Do ANYTHING

I hope these ideas will help you. Be sure and drop me a line to let me know how you are getting on with it. Or if you have any great ideas to share also. I’d love to hear them. I am always interested in more great motivational ideas.

Photo credit:  Whitneylayne @

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21 Comments on 5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Do ANYTHING

  1. Great post. Not been over to your blog for a long time, I’ve often seen your posts in linky parties and they are always great, Some brilliant tips here. I’m a sucker for a self help book. I have read a few this year already, I just find them inspiring and motivational. I shall give your recommendation a go. I do like tracking things. I like the picture idea. Over from Saturday Sharefest 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by. I do enjoy sharing helpful tips with people. I’m a sucker for a self-help book too, and I figure if I even learn ONE new idea from it, it was worth the time investment. Hope these tips helped you.

  2. Someone was just asking me about how to get motivated after a presentation I gave about putting your house on a diet. I mentioned visuals, accountability, and starting small enough to build confidence. I love filling in boxes, so have to say the chain or the Zentangles would work for me:)

    • Putting your house on a diet – what a great analogy. My house could definitely do with a bit of dieting. And I do love the Zentangle concept. These drawing and coloring books are all the sad lately.

  3. These are great tips Adrian. I think #2 would work well for me. Like you said, it works for kids and adults. =)
    Thanks for linking up at the Bloggers Brags party, I’ve pinned your post to our group board. I hope you link up next week too!

  4. Wonderful tips Adrian! Thank you for sharing! We all go through phases where we lack a little motivation. I love number 2!

    • Thanks Karina – since you are doing fitness, feel free to share any of these ideas with your clients. I think sticking with an exercise routine is always the biggest test of motivation.

    • Thank you so much. I love to share little Life Hack-type tips like this. I guess I’m always trying to game the system and find ways to stack the odds in my favor!

    • I know. I found that one on the Internet and I think it’s brilliant. I actually found another one this week that I think I’ll add. You get one of those intricate black and white pictures that you can color on, and each time you complete a step towards your goal, you get to color in a section. Isn’t that brilliant?

  5. This is amazing! I really love all the suggestions you gave. I’m in a slump right now so I need to find more motivation. I like the idea of putting a finical penalty on it and find a reward. I haven’t done either of those yet and need to . Great tips!

    • I hope these tips are helpful to get you out of your rut. It’s tough these days. We have so many things competing for our attention, so I find some of these little tricks really do help.

  6. Love these tips! Great list. I’m going to look into that book, too… I’m such a sucker for Self Help material. Found you from the SITS Sharefest, and I’d love for you to drop by and visit my blog if you get the chance. Have a fabulous weekend!

    Diary of a Debutante

  7. This is an excellent article. I love rewards when it comes to motivation. I know ppl who have swear jars. They are beneficial in changing habits!

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