Applied Psychology

Tips to Become More Self-Motivated

Aug 30, 2023 | By Jenna van Schoor

Being self-motivated can be challenging in a demanding and stressful work environment. With the additional pressures of our personal and family lives, finding the time and energy to meet our goals can be even more tricky.

Learning to become more self-motivated is essential to stay focused and inspired. It’s also crucial to understand how motivation works, including how internal motives drive human behaviour. To help motivate you to develop the skills you need to succeed, this post shares tips to empower yourself and others to achieve their objectives.

Tips for becoming self-motivated

Understand how motivation works

The first step to becoming more self-motivated is understanding what drives human behaviour. While human nature is complex, it can be helpful to gain insight into some theories of human behaviour that explain internal and external motivation.

For example, internal motivating factors can include a desire for personal fulfilment. This can range from your work or to make a difference in society. External motivating factors can be societal standing, salary, or external praise.

Once we understand what drives us, we can use this awareness to start setting goals and implementing plans to achieve them.

Set goals

Goal setting can help us create a sense of purpose in our lives. This purpose can direct our energy towards activities that bring us closer to achieving our dreams. We can also build more constructive working relationships by setting clear and achievable goals. 

In the busyness of everyday life, we can lose sight of what is important to us or what we are trying to achieve. However, by creating an outline of what we want to accomplish in life, we can start identifying what milestones we want to reach.

This outline can shift and change over time, but the most crucial part of goal setting, or creating a career plan, is to review your goals regularly.

Create an action plan

Setting goals is only the first step. So, creating an action plan to support these goals is vital. There are many ways to approach goal setting, some more structured than others, but the main aim is to ensure they are clear and achievable. 

Goals also need to be time-bound. Otherwise, it can be easy to keep shifting things out to a later date. Things can change, and other priorities might force us to change our plans. However, remaining accountable to yourself and others is the most important thing.


Once you have compiled a list of goals and a measurable plan to achieve them, it’s time to prioritise. Deciding what is essential can be the trickiest part. Our priorities can shift daily, especially when we have personal and professional demands on our time.

Consistently reviewing your goals and objectives allows you to always focus on what is most critical. Of course, it may be unrealistic to do this daily. Still, by reviewing your list of tasks weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually, you can stay on top of your priorities while allowing room for inevitable diversions.

Prioritising can also help you build grit and determination, which can help you persevere even when you feel despondent.

Reward yourself

Taking the time to become more self-motivated can be hard work! While you must stay focused and diligent, rewarding yourself for everything you have achieved and celebrating your successes is essential.

Rewarding yourself can be as simple as carving out some me-time during the day or splashing out on a special treat. By giving yourself time to honour all your work and taking a moment to pause, you can stay more motivated than if you constantly push yourself to achieve more.

Taking care of yourself, in general, is also vital, as you won’t be able to stay motivated for long if you aren’t eating or sleeping well.

Build a professional support system

Discipline is an art, and having people who support you can go a long way in helping your efforts to be more self-motivated and achieve your goals. In addition, everyone needs people who can offer constructive feedback and give honest opinions about improving their lives or navigating difficult situations.

Family and friends can help immensely, but involving mentors or accountability partners in your goal-setting and action plans can substantially impact achieving your professional goals. They can give you more objective feedback and help you stay accountable. Developing a professional support system can also help you take advantage of more networking opportunities and expand your horizons.

Learn more about motivation with SACAP Global

Motivation is an art; building discipline and staying inspired is a constant work in progress. However, by following the tips above, you can empower yourself with the skills to become more self-motivated. 

Do you want to learn more about motivation, how it works, and how you can develop a dependable approach to setting and achieving goals? Sign up for our micro-credential: The Art of Motivation.

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