5 Research-Backed Ways to Get Motivated!

Get motivated

With March, comes the promise of Spring and possibly the reminder that you haven’t kept up with your New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, 36% of people don’t even make it to February. Staying motivated is one of the hardest parts about making a changes in your life. Nevertheless, it certainly is possible to get motivated and achieve your goals. Here are 5 ways to get motivated:


1. See the big picture:

One study had participants build characters out of legos and paid them a small amount per character. The participants of one group had their legos stored, while the other group saw each of their characters immediately disassembled. Even though the wage and task were the same, the researchers found that the group whose work was stored produced 11 characters, while the disassembled group only produced 7. This shows the importance of believing that what you do has meaning. So, if you’re low on motivation remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.


2. Set sub-goals:

One study found that achievement itself predicts future motivation. As participants achieved better grades, they begun to believe in themselves more and subsequently worked harder. So, set small, achievable sub-goals that will produce demonstrable results.


3. Get social support:

One study found that of those who embarked on a weight loss program alone, 76% of individuals completed the program and 24% maintained the weight loss for 6 months. Of those who embarked on the weight loss program with social support, 95% completed the program and 66% maintained the weight loss for 6 months. So, seek out support from friends, family or others who share the same goal.


4. Set deadlines: 

Another study found that people are willing to set costly deadlines on themselves and that these self-imposed deadlines are effective in increasing motivation. They also found, though, that externally imposed deadlines were more motivating than self-imposed deadlines.


5. Look at cute pictures: 

Yes, a study has shown that looking at cute images triggers positive emotions in the brain and increases motivation. Specifically, it showed that viewing pictures of puppies and kittens improved subsequent performance on a task by 10% more than looking at pictures of adult cats and dogs. Finally, an excuse to browse Reddit.

Let us know if you have any other helpful strategies!



Ariely, Dan, Emir Kamenica, and Dražen Prelec. “Man’s search for meaning: The case of Legos.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 67.3 (2008): 671-677.

Ariely, Dan, and Klaus Wertenbroch. “Procrastination, deadlines, and performance: Self-control by precommitment.” Psychological science 13.3 (2002): 219-224.

Diseth, Åge. “Self-efficacy, goal orientations and learning strategies as mediators between preceding and subsequent academic achievement.”Learning and Individual Differences 21.2 (2011): 191-195.

Nittono, Hiroshi, et al. “The power of kawaii: Viewing cute images promotes a careful behavior and narrows attentional focus.” PloS one 7.9 (2012): e46362.

Wing, Rena R., and Robert W. Jeffery. “Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance.” Journal of consulting and clinical psychology 67.1 (1999): 132.



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