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How to Keep Yourself Going When You Just Feel Like Quitting

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Keeping yourself motivated is an age old problem. The fact that it is still a problem says it has yet to be solved, but it also promises that there are some time tested solutions that probably help.

Considering that there are many different types of people in the world, obviously different methods work best for different people. However, there are some tried and true methods of self-motivation that work for almost anyone with a little creativity thrown in the mix.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is almost always a winner. Rewarding yourself is the fun part, and it does not have to be something big or expensive. Think about those small pleasures in life and decide that you will enjoy at least one when you have accomplished the task at hand. This will look different for everyone. Here are some fun possibilities.

• Keep a stash of a forbidden treat and indulge when a particularly tedious task is completed.

• Spend some time watching a favorite show on the DVR guilt free.

• Head out for your favorite drink to enjoy while you complete the next task, whether it is a favorite coffee drink or a flavored soda.

• Call a friend and go out. Enjoy some socialization.

Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement also works surprising well. Remind yourself of the negative impact of not getting the task done. Could you lose your job? Will you look horrid on the beach? Could you lose a great friend? None of these are fun. Keep a reminder such as a bill that is due or a picture of how you look in a swimsuit right now to remind you of the negative consequences of not finishing.

Break It Down

A large task can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Breaking up the task into smaller goals gives a feeling of accomplishment that is great motivation to keep at it. Being able to see progress keeps you focused and can prevent you from getting discouraged or overwhelmed. Try setting a goal number of pounds to lose in a week, or a set number of pages to write in a day.

Recognize Your Own Accomplishments and Faults

Repeat encouraging words to yourself when you do well. Recognize when you do a great job, and allow yourself to bask in it for a bit. However, by the same token, recognize your faults. A missed deadline or mini goal should not go unnoticed. Do not resort to self-defeating behavior, which can be counterproductive, but be sure to be honest with yourself that you did not do so great this time. Do not enjoy your treat for doing well, but rather vow to do better next time and do so. Enjoy your self-chosen reward then.

The fact is, self-motivation can be difficult because we have a hard time seeing ourselves objectively. It is hard to find a balance between being too hard on ourselves and being totally undisciplined. Try some of the techniques above and make strides toward motivating yourself in all your endeavors.


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This article was contributed by Michele Allen who writes on various health topics. She's almost done with her CNA training and is very much looking forward to beginning her CNA career.

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Jerry Katz says:

Great advice especially for those who feel down and almost feel like quitting.