Motivation is the reason we get out of bed in the morning instead of sleeping all day. It is what drives us to get to work or the gym and work harder, smarter, and more efficiently than the day before. Motivation is the reason that great ideas are turned into great accomplishments. Motivation is what drives us to get things done!

Have you ever found it puzzling, and sometimes frustrating, that at certain times you are extremely motivated and feel like nothing can stop you as you work toward achieving your lifelong goals, while at other times your motivation seems to be almost nonexistent? Why is that? Are your goals really less important to you during those “unmotivated” times? Surely that is not the answer. There are normal cycles of emotions and levels of motivation that we go through. It is easy to do the right thing when times are easy. The key to success is getting yourself to do the things you know you need to do, even when you do not feel like doing them. That is what will set you apart from the masses and get you on your way to the magnificent life you desire and deserve.

Let us first examine why our motivation to stay on track sometimes waivers and then address how we can break this cycle and produce motivation at will. One of the main factors that causes us to lose our motivation and become less productive is being reactive to our environment. Did you notice how I wrote that last sentence saying that our environment “causes us to lose our motivation”? That is a very reactive statement. In order to live our lives on purpose, we need to accept responsibility for where we are in life and become proactive by controlling our thoughts, habits, and actions. Instead of waiting for outside influences to provide motivation, decide right now that you are a motivated individual who takes productive, positive action in order to get what you want.

For example, motivation to go to the gym every day and stay on a healthy eating program often decreases during the holidays, but this is normally due to outside influences and not the fact that we are not as committed to accomplishing our fitness goals. It is during these times that we need to remind ourselves what our long-term goals are and exactly why we do what we do every day to get closer to those goals. This will not necessarily increase your motivation instantaneously, but it will keep you on track until your level of motivation increases again—and trust me, it will.

Motivation can be found in many different forms and can come from external sources or can be self-generated. I believe it is most important to have self-generated motivation based on your personal principles and life mission. It takes this strong, centered, internal drive to keep us on track as we work toward our goals. But what about all of the external influences we encounter every day, such as other people, the weather, and other events and circumstances? Is it possible to utilize these external events to provide further motivation that can act synergistically with your internal motivation? Oh yeah it is!

One simple and effective strategy I have found is to look to others who are already successful at what you are doing. Seeing others succeed (via a DVD, video, book, or live in person) can be extremely motivating. This also helps you keep your end goal in mind instead of focusing on how you may feel at the moment. Associate yourself with positive people who have similar goals and interests as your own. Having a close network of people like this can be a huge source of motivation. Read motivational books and articles often. The more positive reinforcement you provide to your mind, the easier it becomes to take positive, productive steps toward getting what you want. The subject you read does not even have to be specifically related to what you are working toward. It is easy to become inspired by others who have passionately and persistently achieved greatness, no matter what form of greatness that may be.

Can we even use the “bad” situations and occurrences as sources of motivation? Sure! Life is full of surprises and we do not always know exactly what “good” and “bad” things it is going to throw at us. The good news is that we have complete power to decide at any moment what is “good” and “bad” and how we want to respond to a certain situation. Think about that for a minute. That is very powerful!

For example, when you experience any significant level of success in life or do things “differently,” you are going to have people put you down or tell you that you cannot succeed. One way to respond is to get angry and defensive and either argue with the person until you are blue in the face or even let the other person’s opinion stop you from following your dream. Why waste all that time and energy, though, when you will never change the person’s mind, and even if you do, what have you gained? Instead, save your energy to keep working toward what you want. What if the person really gets under your skin or you just want to be angry at him? Okay, not my first choice, but if this is how you choose to respond, then utilize your anger! Use his negative attitude to fuel your motivation and work even harder with a “prove him wrong” attitude. While other people’s opinions should never determine how you live your life, learning to utilize everything that happens around you, including criticism and negative comments, will allow you to rise to an even higher level of accomplishment and self-confidence.

Too often, I hear people blaming their lack of success on their circumstances. This is another complete waste of time and energy. So what if this person or that person started with more money, better health, or better “luck”? Focusing on what you do not have is not going to help you get what you want. Besides, I guarantee there is someone right now who has less to work with than you do who is extremely successful at what you want to do.

So what motivates you? No matter what it is, use the power of motivation to help you reach all of your goals and dreams!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Russ Yeager, CFT, CPA, is the owner and operator of Russ Yeager’s Fitness Solutions. His mission and passion is helping others live life to the fullest by helping them transform their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Russ is a lifetime natural bodybuilding champion, fitness and life coach, personal training studio owner, and writer. Russ has the unique ability of applying the mental skills and disciplines learned from bodybuilding and fitness to help others make dramatic improvements in any area of life. Many of Russ’s clients describe him as “the most motivating person I have ever met.” To learn more and read more articles written by Russ, visit Also, to obtain a free copy of Russ’s brand-new e-book 27 Must-Have Tips for a Complete Physique Transformation, visit