Motivation Techniques

Motivation is the essential ingredient necessary for any idea to become a reality. Whether you want to get started on a mundane chore or if you want to make big changes in your life that will take planning, time and resilience; knowing how to create and maintain your enthusiasm and drive will help make things happen.This drive to get things done can be created just by using a few simple hypnotic techniques alongside some simple self management tools.


Loss of drive

Many of the challenges facing clients who access hypnosis have tried to make changes for themselves before they come into therapy. One of the key reasons that people have failed to reach their targets whether is becoming smoke-free, finding their healthy weight, addressing their addictive lifestyles, curing their phobias or restoring their confidence for example is that they lose their original drive and energy to keep the working towards their goal as challenges persist.


Other motivation techniques

Act as if. A brilliant technique to get you started when it is an activity that either gives you negative thoughts or you are currently depressed, lacking focus and have got into a rut losing sight of your own potential and purpose. Other approaches include break tasks down, have little rewards for starting, tell others and set yourself mini deadlines.

If it only takes a minute, then do it!

If it only takes a minute. A quick win approach to small tasks. Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks that are in front of you? Has the list got so big that it paralyses you with anxiety? Use the "If it only takes a minute" approach to get some re-energising quick wins under your belt and you will soon be back on form. As you see any job which needs doing, ask yourself how long will it take to do it. If it only takes a minute or so, do it now. This quick win approach will help with self esteem and stop your feeling overwhelmed by tasks.

The Ten Minute Blast

The Ten Minute Blast. Have you found some jobs just too big to even know where to get started? Use the Ten minute rule and get a result every time. All you need to do is start a job, but only to do it for ten minutes at maximum outcome. So if you are tidying a wardrobe, just do ten minutes and whatever you achieve is enough, then forget about it for now. This approach motivates you enough to carry on. but if it does not it is still a little closer to being complete.


Hypnosis for Motivation

Motivation, or lack of it is very common. Hypnosis can be a huge help with dealing a loss of focus and drive or for feeling overwhelmed. Hypnosis can help re-energise you to make changes get down to revision or start planning so that you can make those changes..

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Use the resources below to learn

The Act as If Principle. Get motivated fast.

Act as if is an easy to use technique to create instant motivation to do something or build motivation when you are having a dip in your motivation. It is one of the simplest forms of positive hypnosis or self hypnosis conducted out of trance.


This technique is the process of acting like you want to do something, even though you may not feel like doing it. To use this motivation building trick, you adopt the posture, tone, physical approach of someone who you imagine would like doing the activity that you are struggling to motivate yourself to do. Then start the activity in that manner and maintain this acting approach. After a short time the positive feelings which you would like from doing that activity if you really were keen and motivated to do it start to emerge naturally. So the act of pretending to enjoy doing something actually creates the positive feelings of doing it. Sounds too good to be true, so Act as if you believe me and try it out.


Instant Motivation

By learning the Act As If Principle, people with little motivation can become motivated and achieve more which in itself will result in raised self esteem. The act as if principle was first written about over 100 years ago by William James who outlined how to create motivation to do things people are reluctant to do. The Act As If principle is still used extensively today within all motivational change work from addictions, weight management, anxiety management and through to undertaking tedious task when experiencing a depression condition.


James suggested that you should adopt the manner, facial expressions, pace, tone, posture, dress whatever is typical of someone who is keen to do the task and set about doing this and in a short time anyone acting as if they wanted to do this would soon get the feelings which would be associated with someone who really wants to do this.


Build confidence and friendships with Act AS IF

This simple form of self suggestion or self hypnosis is key to developing self esteem and confidence as you can pretend to be excited about doing a task instead of anxious or scared. Equally you can use this technique to build peer networks if you are socially isolated. If you are anxious about meeting new people Act as if can give you the confidence and motivation to meet people and build support networks by just Acting like your are confident in new social settings.


Many professionals use the act as if principle when they have to deal with difficult situations or ones which lead them to feeling vulnerable and nervous. For example some professionals like nurses and police officers will appear very calm in dangerous or unpredictable situations despite feeling the opposite but by giving a confidence appearance leads them to feeling confident. Equally when teachers have to deal with a difficult class or a social worker has to deal with new situations they will adopt a calm and confident manner which helps them feel calm and confident.


If It Only Takes a Minute Technique


The only takes a minute technique is a simple tool to help combat motivation issues which also builds self esteem so it is great at treating depression, anxiety and any motivation sapping conditions.

Getting simple tasks completed, which takes a moments have massive health benefits.


Beat anxiety and depression with the only takes a minute technique

When experiencing anxiety and depression or feeling overwhelmed it can be hard to find the energy and drive to motivate yourself to do anything. This lack of drive has serious impacts on the mind and body. Using this technique encourages you to physically accomplish more. The process of being active helps to have a natural endorphin release which will help you to feel happier and better about doing other things and so raise your motivation.



The technique works by doing any task which only takes a minute to do instead of putting things off for another time as soon as you are aware of the task. So instead of trying to tidy everything or doing all the domestic chores or making a host of phone calls do them straight away if they only take a minute. This  stops tasks becoming a worry and allows for lots of success during the day.


Beat Depression with a little organisation

Firstly List all the tasks that need to be done and if any task only takes a minute, do them without delay or complete them as you pass them whilst doing other things. A little organisation is really useful to keep your home tidy, file paperwork and helps to establish routine whilst combating procrastination. This technique is brilliant for treating the effects of depression and aiding the growth in self esteem as it is often little things getting neglected which leads to worsening mental health. Ignoring the small routine tasks results in feeling de-motivating for some people and the prospect of addressing these becomes overwhelming.


The technique should be used in conjunction with being reflective for example the one thing I have done well today and one thing I have learned as it is easy to neglect to recognise the many little jobs that this technique addresses and in order to get most therapeutic benefit from this it is important to reflect on the effectiveness that a person has been during the day by getting little formally overwhelming jobs done.

To get motivated when you have lost direction and drive can be as easy as wading through custard so use the Ten Minute Blast to awaken the energy that lies dormant in you.


This technique is great to use when people are displaying depressive conditions or anxiety about getting a task or series of tasks started. The objective is to do as much as possible in a fixed time. This technique is useful for gardening, domestic chores, studying for exams, sorting the family finances out, writing essays and any task which is long and repetitive. The purpose here is to achieve what you can in the time, not to complete any task. The Nike mantra of “just Do it” is a great motivational approach. Sometimes the size of a task appears daunting and overwhelming. So a great technique is to a Ten Minutes Blast at full concentration.


This is really good at building a sense of achievement and developing motivation because whatever is achieved is positive. It is an approach that does not set out to complete the task and so whatever is achieved in the time frame is a successful outcome.


A good way to start is to put the kettle on and work on a task for 10 minutes knowing a refreshing drink awaits after the hard work. This helps to give a focus for the time employed, that they are doing something whilst waiting for the kettle instead of just doing the task. You could help keep your motivation going by putting on some music that you enjoy and listen to that as you get on with whatever task is on your hit list today. Music is a great natural motivator, so make sure that the music is appropriate to the task. High energy music is good for cleaning but perhaps not so ideal for intricate work like sewing, or studying.


A common outcome from this technique is that the person employing this approach by dedicating ten minutes to the task gets the feelings of someone who really enjoys the task as mentioned in Act As If and as a consequence continues to work on the task knowing they can quit whenever they like after ten minutes and often completes the task.


Regular use of this technique will get motivated in many aspects of their lives and with it grow self esteem, confidence, coping mechanisms and ultimately reduce the range of tasks in their life that they feel overwhelmed by, and finally becoming utterly self sufficient.


As you use the Ten Minute Blast notice how by getting on with a task it helps to promote your mental health.

Learning how to self motivate will make you more resourceful when you are feeling under energised. Sometimes the simplest techniques are the best. So generate motivation using the “if it only takes a minute” approach.


The only takes a minute technique is a simple tool to help combat motivation issues whilst also helping to build self esteem so is great at treating depression, anxiety and any motivation sapping conditions. When experiencing anxiety and depression or feeling overwhelmed it can be hard to find the energy and drive to motivate yourself to do anything. This lack of drive has serious impacts on the mind and body. Using this technique encourages you to physically accomplish more. The process of being active helps to have a natural endorphin release which will help you to feel happier and better about doing other things and so raise your motivation.


This approach to motivation creation works by breaking a large task into small activities and allows the completion of small tasks to find self esteem and motivation by seeing and experiencing progress instead of being overwhelmed by the whole task.


Firstly, list all the tasks that need to be done and if any task only takes a minute, self motivate by doing them without delay or complete them as you pass them whilst doing other things. This is a really useful to keep your home tidy, file paperwork and helps to establish routine whilst combating procrastination.


A version of this technique exists in the Hotel industry which says that staff should never walk empty handed but carry something at least part of the way towards where it needs to be.


This technique is brilliant for treating the effects of depression and aiding the growth in self esteem as it is often little things that get neglected which eventually become de-motivating for some people and the prospect of addressing these becomes overwhelming. A clear sign of failing mental health through anxiety, depression or fatigue can be evidenced by the lack of tidiness and growth in disorder present in some people's homes. By staying on top of the small tasks bigger events have less negative impact.


To get best benefit for this technique, it could be used in conjunction with being reflective as using this technique will allow opportunities to have successes throughout the day, contributing not only to self motivation skills but self esteem growth and reduced anxiety by burning off excess energy.

Life changes take 66 days to complete

Life changes, breaking habits or establishing new patterns of how you do things takes on average 66 days to be fully ingrained in your whole lifestyle so that they are permanent changes. Therefore, if you are prepared to invest three months into doing things differently then you have a best change that by the end of that time it will become the way you will always do things for the future.


Making small changes to reach your ideal goal takes time and energy. Using the right techniques for you will help get the success you deserve.


Break down your goals to succeed long term

This research is useful for all types of changes so if you want to address addictions, weight management, getting fitter by exercising or to address issues like anxiety you need to break each topic down into individual unhelpful behaviour elements and then adopt and maintain new ways of doing each element of the activity for three months for lasting change.


Identify individual changes that you can sustain

Identify individual changes that you can sustain that are not dependent on other change plans. For example: If you want to lose three stone, and one issue is over indulgence after work on a Friday night, which leads to a weekend of unhealthy eating. You may chose to have a healthy meal that you prepare on Thursday night to prevent the Friday binge.


This activity needs to be maintained for the next twelve weeks to re-write the association with Friday night as binge night. There will be scope for occasional meals out during this change period but this should serve to gain self control for the weekend. I used this technique alongside my self hypnosis to lose over 6 stone in less than a year.


Progress not perfection. The odd deviation from a plan is OK.

The research says that skipping a day is OK as long as the trend is actively towards the new behaviour. This research is a useful piece of information for you to plan out when is the best time for you to start to make changes and also suggests how long you must keep actively working on your change goals before the work you put in is likely to reward you with a new and more effective way of behaving.


Express all life changes in the positive

This approach emphasises why life changes should be outlined in the positive as it guides you to know what it is you should be doing each day to establish this new habit.

Positive thinking keeps plans on track

Positive thinking, and the use of positive language is a simple non-trance hypnotic technique which makes sustainable change a reality. As you make any plans to change you should always express them in the affirmative.  When dealing with issues with smoking, addictions like alcohol, gambling, drugs, shopping or treating depression or anxiety it is essential to express plans and thoughts, feelings and actions in the positive, i.e. say what you want life to be like and not want you do not want it to be like.


The brain, our command centre, works in the positive, so if you want to focus on something express this as the thing to focus on instead of what you are trying not to do anymore.

For example:

"I don’t want to smoke anymore" is expressed in the negative, it says what you DO NOT want to do. A better way to express it is "I want to live a smoke free lifestyle", or "I am living a healthy lifestyle", or "I am getting my lungs to function much better".


This positive way of expressing any plans are significant for the brain because,  when people express an action in the negative such as I want to give up smoking or I don't want to eat fatty food, the brain first has to imagine smoking or eating fatty foods.  The brain then gives off the feelings it has for smoking or eating fatty foods which are the trigger sensations which cause people to crave the lifestyle habit which they are trying their best to change.


Positive thinking tools and techniques for change

So if you are ending alcohol use, you could say I am working on managing my health better, or I enjoy soft drinks, I am getting fitter, or even I drink low calorie drinks instead of expressing the behaviour change in the negative as I am not drinking any more or I don't drink anymore are more effective ways to prevent your brain from fixating on what you used to do and instead focusing on what you are working on doing instead.


Use positive thinking for planning

The use of positive thinking around the changes that you are planning also gives you a clear message on what you could be doing instead of what you are not doing. This simple hypnotic tool helps you visualise the newly established behaviour and envision some of the good feelings which will come from these changes.


E.G I am not eating sweets does not say what you should be eating instead. During the 1950’s research into food that was left by American households showed that they were cutting off the rinds of their chops and bacon. This showed that they were making their first attempts at limiting the amount of fat that they were consuming in their diet. This was also the same time that there was a huge rise in the consumption of salamis which are high in saturated fat. So, by focussing on what they were not eating, the American household ate no less saturated fat but mistakenly convinced themselves that their diets had improved.


For success in lifestyle change support your brain to do some positive thinking by expressing the changes you are making in the positive. Say what you are doing instead of what you will stop doing.

Goal Setting builds Motivation to Succeed

reach for your goals

Goal setting to boost motivation and enrich your self esteem is key to making changes to treat issues like weight management, smoking, addictions and well-being issues like anxiety and depression.


Get Real To get success

Self esteem can be further enhanced by identifying realistic personal goals in the short term and working towards them and achieving them. It takes 66 days to make a small change such that it becomes natural so having lots of small goals makes the bigger goals of getting to your target weight or living without addictive behaviours more likely ot be a reality.


Beat Distractions

Without setting clearly defined goals it is easy to be distracted and become vulnerable to revisiting the old unhelpful habits and behaviours which your are seeking to break free from.

These goals do not have to be onerous, they can include getting errands done but could also include very personal goals that serve your spiritual or intellectual needs. So you could set goals around running a marathon or learning to cook a particular meal.


Organised instead of chaos to feel in control again

To achieve these goals it may mean that you have to become more organised, using your time better and building in time to achieve these goals.

To better manage your time to meet personal goals there may be a need to list your obligations, start using a calendar and a diary so that everything which needs to be done is achieved and that there remains time to meet your bigger personal goals.

Smart Goals to beat addiction and success

Get SMART to get successful

By using SMART targeting of your goals Which means that any goals should be specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resourced, although some people say realistic which is the same as achievable and then Time bound, so has a deadline. For weight management a SMART goal could be lose three stone in a year by healthy eating 3 balanced meals a day with flexibility for occasional treats at weekends. To be measured monthly aiming for average weight loss of 1lb per week.


Goal setting boosts confidence and self esteem

Clear SMART goal setting can boost self esteem as there is scope to see progress during the period of change and also opportunities to amend the approach if the plan is not realistic to meet your personality needs. With evolving self esteem it makes the person more resilient during times when changes are difficult and so this helps the change plans to be more successful. So if you want to change and make it a success be clear about your goals and adopt a level of self awareness and honesty to make the strategy realistic to your personal strengths.

Challenge complete cross finsih line and beat addictions

Stay Motivated avoid displacement

Stay motivated when making changes by learning about the hidden obstacles which may undermine you and how to beat them. One of the biggest obstacles to face when making changes is displacement. This is someone dealing with any issue including addiction, weight, self harm anxiety and depression uses a distraction activity to avoid working on their key goal or to avoid focusing on how they feel.

Get better motivated by unblocking unconscious barriers

This process is a commonly used unconscious barrier or defence mechanism where the mind focuses on a new activity or a new goal because the original goal is deemed too unacceptable or dangerous to work on right now. Displacement techniques are used by anyone who have unhelpful or unpleasant feelings and are not skilled at managing them and so use other things to focus on instead of the things which give them these unpleasant feelings

A simple example when experiencing grief a person may occupy themselves by planning the funeral in meticulous detail so as not to experience the unpleasant feelings of grief.

For people who are seeking to make changes in their life they may find that they are displacing, or finding things to do which gets in the way of the changes that they are seeking to make. This would suggest that the thing which they do which is unhelpful also serves a secondary purpose which they are not yet able to identify. To get motivated use the techniques which surround this page on issues where avoidance is evident.

For example: A client may want to stop using drugs but keeps delaying when they will quit or reduce saying that they have too much to do to focus on this. The underlying issue may be that they fear failure and need support to deal with their self esteem before they will be motivated enough to make a concerted effort to end drug use.

Displacement is a common experience when attempting to make lifestyle changes and when you identify this characteristic of change within your own chosen change path, ask what benefit your current behaviour gives you. It could be that it keeps you in a relationship, gives you an economic benefit, it may give you responsibilities that you have never had before or it may be a fear of failure because you lack self confidence.


Figure out why your are displacing

Once you have identified the purpose of your displacement activity, the thing which is stopping you moving forwards, then it is this issue which you need to address, either personally or with professional help and then the thing that you seek to change will be easy to solve.


Hypnosis and other talking therapies are key to addressing displacement

Hypnosis can be used to identify some long forgotten reasons for adopting behaviours that are no longer useful. Regression Therapy in hypnotherapy, where a client is taken back to the point in their life when this unconscious thought or belief was first established can be used to help bring the purpose of the behaviour out into the open. Once apparent the displacement activities no longer persist.

Motivate Yourself - Life Coaching Secrets

To motivate yourself to keep going when your plans get difficult it is essential to make sure that whilst you have your eyes focused on the big change you stay in touch with the basics too. Meeting your own personal needs is essential to have the resources and stamina to continue on your recovery journey when times get difficult. In the midst of addiction recovery there are times when the challenges facing an addict seem either insurmountable or just not worth the effort. Either way the governing resource you lack is the self esteem to recognise that you deserve and can access your recovery just like everyone else.


To build and nurture your self esteem it is essential that you are meeting your own basic emotional needs. It is essential that you do not be a martyr to whatever it is that you are trying to achieve. Motivate yourself by finding the simple things which make you happy and make time to do them alongside your bigger change plans.


Motivate yourself by meeting your emotional, economic, social and spiritual needs are met

These needs include social, physical, intellectual spiritual, emotional, economic needs amongst others. As you meet those needs you learn to feel more rested within yourself and feel fulfilled and complete. Aspects of the website will give guidance on how various aspects of your needs can be met.


Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Malsow an academic from the 1950’s described within his hierarchy of Needs  that people have to have their needs met in order to reach their bigger life goals which he referred to self actualisation.

When it comes to fundamental change work, whether addictive behaviours, weight issues or lifestyle issues like confidence or anxiety, the process of identifying and meeting your basic needs is crucial.


Build opportunities to meet your needs throughout your day

These basic but essential needs can be met through the day to day interactions which life can offer. By having friends and family contact, opportunities to exercise, be intellectually challenged and stimulated relative to your ability and interests, have opportunities to connect with your sense of awe within a framework of religion or via nature and have opportunities in your life to have some financial autonomy and do all this in a manner which allows all the other needs to be met will help develop your sense of self esteem and sense of self.


To motivate yourself, identify and meet your own basic needs, as this will lead to greater self esteem, confidence, resilience in adversity; whilst also development of your self and your identity and values. This will support you to deal with any difficulties in making changes as this sense of yourself and its’ values will give you the resilience to continue to change when difficulties arise and find the resources to find the motivation to continue to pursue changes through your life.

Guilty Feelings

Experiencing all consuming guilty feelings is a common problems people face when they are trying to make positive changes in their lives. Guilty feelings about what you said or did is really common with those trying to make changes. For people who are anxious, learning to live beyond addictive behaviours, self harm, eating issues guilt is a huge obstacle to learn to manage. Guilt is one of the most destructive emotions that people experience. It has a key function to make us feel so unhappy with a behaviour that we do not repeat it. For some people though, it is present in so many spheres of their life it ends up causing people to repeat the behaviour they are trying to move away from.


We can feel guilty not only about what we have done but about who we were or who we have failed to become.

Some people feel trapped in a world of guilty feelings:

For example, being good enough, as a parent, a partner, a friend or even as a child. Other people experience guilt when others have suffered, even if they did nothing to cause this. This is most common with survivor’s guilt where those who are left behind choose to blame themselves for a random act or for not being with their loved ones as they passed away. Some people are consumed by guilt when they were only trying to help and the outcome was not what they intended.


Whilst for others guilt is a feeling they still have for an event they take full responsibility for whether they are responsible or not it stops them moving forwards and they find they punish themselves each day and are unable to let go, stop thinking about these events.


Some people are trapped by guilty feelings

The effects of guilt for some people is that they are so consumed by this emotions that they are unable to let go of these feelings and so are never really fully present in their own lives but instead stuck in the past. They may find that they cannot sleep, commit fully to relationships, affect their friends and family, struggle to eat, and are not able to enjoy the happiness of others because they do not believe they deserve to be happy.


How does guilt prevent you from moving on with your life?

Guilt is a key barrier to letting go of your past and making the changes to move on with your life.

Guilt not only stops you from letting go of past events but also limits your ability to think and act so that you are able to grow and find lasting peace as you try to get on with your life.

Guilt is damaging in a variety of ways. Not only does it keep you stuck in an event and an emotion but it also limits your desire to be yourself and experience life with all its potential emotions. Guilt is self limiting, it results in you not choosing to try things out in case you make the same mistakes again.

Guilt also makes you choose to talk to yourself in a way that others would not find acceptable nor would you talk or think about others the way you think about yourself.


How can therapy help?

Therapy can offer a range of immediately effective and longer term tools and techniques to let go of guilt and guilty feelings.

  • The tools will help you to step back from the event so that you are not long held prisoner by those feelings.
  • It can help you to see the events in their true perspective instead of through judgemental eyes.
  • Therapy can support you to see events in such a way that you are able to evolve and accept yourself fully and accept yourself as a person who will always have experiences that affect them but will now have the resources and the stamina to work through experiences which once were sources of guilt.
  • Therapy can help you to be kinder to yourself, to be truly honest to yourself and to give yourself permission to value yourself and all your limitations.
Contact Positive Hypnosis here to book your free 30 minute online appointment via Skype or face to face in Sheffield UK.
Find out how quickly therapy can support to reach your goals or contact me directly at or via Twitter @hypnosisdave


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