How to increase your self-motivation

June 14, 2023

We all struggle from time-to-time with self-motivation. The good news is, self-motivation is not just an inherent quality for the lucky few.

Everyone can cultivate and increase their level of self-motivation.

Like most things, it will require a bit of practice and effort, but it is achievable. I want to share with you specific actions and tools that you can use to increase your own self-motivation when you think it needs a boost.

Firstly, let’s start with a definition of self motivation – what is it?

Self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things”. (Skills You Need, n.d.).

Being self-motivated is important because it is about having the drive and desire to do things for yourself, as opposed to just pleasing others and meeting external circumstances. Only acting when you are required to by others, will not create passion or engagement with what you do.

Keep in mind that we can be more motivated in certain areas and less so in other areas. So you may find that you have drive carrying out specific tasks but avoid others and need a push to do them. This is normal.

So let’s look at how we can increase our self-motivation:
  1. Use the DARN-C Model
The DARN-C Model was developed by Miller and Rollnick as a tool for motivational interviewing. The model is designed to enhance intrinsic motivation to make positive life changes. DARN-C stands for: 
Desire: How would you like things to change?
Ability: How able are you to make the desired changes?
Reasons: What are the downside of the present and advantages of the change?
Need: What needs to happen to make the change?
Commitment: The action you will commit to
You can use this model to activate your self-motivation to make a specific change.


  1. Set high but realistic goals (SMART goals)

The idea is to stretch yourself but to ensure that the achievement of the goal remains realistic. Use the SMART goal formula to set your goals to give you focus and purpose.

  1. Regularly seek feedback to figure out how to improve

Constructive feedback can point you in the right direction and give you an opportunity to strive to do better. This will ignite your self-motivation to do better next time.

  1. Develop resilience

Being able to deal with setbacks and continue to pursue your goals despite obstacles will deepen your self-motivation. All goals and projects have setbacks, so we can now use them, knowing that they are helping us to develop our self-motivation 🙂

  1. Learn a new skill that is relevant to your work role (or your desired role)

Learning something new is a way to engage your self-motivation. Be sure to choose a skill or topic to learn that truly interests you or you know would benefit you.

If you are seeking positive change, I recommend 1 to 1 Coaching Sessions to create the structure and actions to move forward. Your Coach can also assist you with staying on-track with your new behaviours. Enquire about Coaching here.

The Solo Startup Coach acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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