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How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It


Motivating yourself is hard. In fact, I often compare it to one of the exploits of the fictional German hero Baron Munchausen: Trying to sustain your drive through a task, a project, or even a career can sometimes feel like pulling yourself out of a swamp by your own hair. We seem to have a natural aversion to persistent effort that no amount of caffeine or inspirational posters can fix.


But effective self-motivation is one of the main things that distinguishes high-achieving professionals from everyone else. So how can you keep pushing onward, even when you don’t feel like it?


To a certain extent, motivation is personal. What gets you going might not do anything for me. And some individuals do seem to have more stick-to-itiveness than others. However, after 20 years of research into human motivation, my team and I have identified several strategies that seem to work for most people—whether they’re trying to lose weight, save for retirement, or implement a long, difficult initiative at work. If you’ve ever failed to reach an attainable goal because of procrastination or lack of commitment—and who of us hasn’t?—I encourage you to read on. These four sets of tactics can help propel you forward.


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