Motivation is a powerful, yet tricky beast. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and you find yourself wrapped up in a whirlwind of excitement. Other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to motivate yourself and you're trapped in a death spiral of procrastination. Here is the best ideas and most useful research on how to get and stay motivated.

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This isn't going to be some rah-rah, pumped-up motivational speech. (That's not my style.) Instead, we're going to break down the science behind how to get motivated in the first place and how to stay motivated for the long-run. Whether you're trying to figure out how to motivate yourself or how to motivate a team.

You don't need much motivation once you've started a behaviour. Nearly all of the friction in a task is at the beginning. After you start, progress occurs more naturally. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.

Thus, one of the keys to getting motivated is to make it easy to start.

Many people struggle to find the motivation they need to achieve the goals they want because they are wasting too much time and energy on other parts of the process. If you want to make it easy to find motivation and get started, then it helps to automate the early stages of your behavior.

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If your workout doesn’t have a time when it usually occurs, then each day you’ll wake up thinking, “I hope I feel motivated to exercise today.”

If your business doesn’t have a system for marketing, then you’ll show up at work crossing your fingers that you’ll find a way to get the word out (in addition to everything else you have to do).

If you don’t have a scheduled time when you write every week, then you’ll find yourself saying things like, “I just need to find the willpower to do it.”

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