Quick, Concise Motivational Techniques to Get You Out of Bed and Going

Quick, Concise Motivational Techniques to Get You Out of Bed and Going

Here is a compiled selection of motivational techniques aimed at overcoming morning sluggishness and boosting motivation and productivity. These strategies are ideal for both individuals looking to energise their mornings and trainers teaching about motivational skills courses.

To enhance clarity and application, the motivational techniques are organised into three categories:

  • Things to Do When You Just Wake Up
  • Things to Do to Lead the Day
  • Things to Do Before Going to Sleep

This structured approach provides a toolkit for enhancing daily routines. By addressing procrastination and encouraging a proactive mindset, these simple yet powerful techniques offer a valuable resource for improving performance throughout the day. As always, the results come from doing them, not just knowing them.


Things to Do When You Just Wake Up

  1. Use the Water Alarm. Place a full glass of water on your bedside table or near your bed with the intention of drinking it as soon as your alarm goes off. The act of reaching for the water and drinking it not only hydrates you but also physically helps you in shifting from sleep to wakefulness. Plus, hydration first thing in the morning kickstarts your metabolism and brain function.
  2. Embrace the 5-Seconds Rule. When your alarm goes off, count down from 5 to 1, and then spring into action. This countdown gives you a small window to shift from hesitation to action, bypassing procrastination and building momentum for your day. Train your mind so that when your mind says, “do this”, the body does it, no questions and no hesitation.
  3. Visualise Your Success. Spend a few moments each morning visualising your day going perfectly. See yourself tackling tasks with energy, meeting challenges with confidence, and ending your day feeling accomplished. This mental rehearsal primes your brain to act in ways that make those outcomes more likely.
  4. Pull Yourself Out with a Defined Hook. A good analogy for this is putting a hook and an attached string in your environment and when you need to pull yourself out, just pull the string attached. The fun part is that you get to define the “hook”. And you can change this hook until you get the desired effect of being out of the bed.
  5. Think of the Reward of the Work. Think of the most amount of fun you had last time when you were engaged in the work you are about to do today. Now believe that you will only get this pleasure again if you do the work, so you need to get up and get going. Let the pleasure of doing the work be the reward; it is the best way to boost your dopamine!
  6. State a Morning Mantra of Gratitude. Upon waking, mentally list three things you are grateful for in your life. This practice of gratitude shifts your mindset from focusing on what you “have to do” to what you “get to do,” infusing your day with a sense of privilege rather than obligation.
  7. Set a “No Snooze” Rule. Commit to getting up with your first alarm, avoiding the snooze button entirely. The interrupted sleep cycle from snoozing can actually make you feel more tired. Placing your alarm across the room forces you to get out of bed to turn it off, helping you wake up more effectively.
  8. Apply Digital Detox Rule. For the first 30 minutes after waking, avoid screens and digital devices. Do not check your messages while you are still in bed! This encourages you to engage with the physical world around you and be in control of your time and your life. Avoid prioritising checking notifications, social media and emails which is often about handing control to someone else, rather than going through your own preset morning routine. This allows for a calmer, more centred start to the day.
  9. Use Aroma Therapy. Keep a bottle of invigorating essential oil, like peppermint or citrus, near your bed. Upon waking, take a moment to inhale the scent. These scents can help wake up the brain and boost your mood.
  10. Practice Mindful Breathing. Before you even get out of bed, spend a few minutes doing deep, mindful breathing exercises. Focus solely on your breath to help clear your mind and energise your body for the day ahead.
  11. Read Out Morning Affirmations. Have a set of positive affirmations ready by your bedside. Read these out loud to yourself as a powerful reminder of your capabilities, goals, and self-worth, setting a positive mindset for the day.
  12. Wake Up with Light. If you wake up before the sun or during darker months, use a light therapy box first thing in the morning. Use a wake-up light alarm, so rather than suddenly waking up to a harsh alarm sound, the room gets filled with so much light that it simply wakes you up naturally. Exposure to light can help improve your mood and energy by regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle and this is particularly effective with those experiencing dark mornings. It is believed that light therapy can alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by prompting your brain to decrease melatonin production (a hormone that induces sleepiness) and elevate serotonin levels (a hormone that influences your mood).


Things to Do to Lead the Day

  1. Use the Power of Cold Water. Incorporate a cold shower or splash your face with cold water as part of your morning routine. The shock to the system can increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and stimulate your metabolism, giving you a natural boost of energy.
  2. Do a Ten-Minute Stretch. Upon waking, preferably after your early cold shower, spend ten minutes stretching your body. Go outside or open the windows to get fresh cool morning air. Incorporate deep breathing to oxygenate your brain and muscles. Morning yoga moves can be particularly effective here. This physical activity signals your body it is time to wake up and increases your energy levels.
  3. Prepare a Nutritious, Energising Breakfast. Choose a breakfast that combines proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates to fuel your body and brain. Preparing a meal such as cottage cheese with nuts and fruit, or eggs with avocado and walnuts, ensures you have the energy to tackle the day.
  4. Think You Are the Wisest and the Youngest. Today, you are the youngest you will ever be, and you are the wisest and most resourceful you have ever been. Embrace it! Nothing can stop you from getting something if you truly want it and are willing to work for it. It doesn’t come to you, you will have to go and get it, and you will succeed; because, you are young, wise and have plenty!
  5. Engage in Morning Pages or a Journaling Session. Spend a few minutes each morning writing in a journal. This could be “morning pages,” a stream of consciousness writing meant to clear your mind, or a more structured form of journaling to set intentions, plan your day, or express gratitude. This practice can sharpen focus, reduce anxiety, and foster creativity.
  6. Listen to a Morning Playlist. Compile a playlist of songs that uplift, motivate, and energise you. Listening to this playlist as you go about your morning routine can will increase energy levels and set a positive tone for the day. Music has a powerful effect on our emotions and can be a fantastic tool for motivation. Don’t use music that is so calming that puts you back to sleep! The morning is not about chilling out; is about getting into action—to chase those dreams you dreamed.
  7. Solve a Puzzle or Brain Teaser. Keep a puzzle book or app handy and solve one puzzle every morning. This mental stimulation can help wake your brain and make you feel accomplished from the start.
  8. Engage in Design. Rather that consuming somebody else’s work, give to the world. Focus on designing and creating which lets you to express yourself. It puts you into problem-solving mode and boosts your creativity; you have to think “what-if” and “imagine” which is always exciting. Let this be the starting point of a new adventure.
  9. Plan a Midday Treat. Schedule something enjoyable for your midday break, like a special snack, a short walk in a nearby park, or a catch-up with a friend. Having this to look forward to can motivate you to be more productive in the morning.
  10. Use Visualisation Boards. Spend a few minutes each morning looking at a vision board with images and quotes that represent your goals and dreams. This visualisation technique helps keep your objectives top-of-mind and motivates you to take steps towards them throughout the day.


Things to Do Before Going to Sleep

  1. Think of the Most Exciting Thing You Want to Do. The night before search for the most exciting thing you can think of that you can do tomorrow and visualise yourself doing it. There is always one you can find. It doesn’t have to be monumental; it just has to matter to you personally. Think hard enough so that it stays in your memory. The next day when you wake up, you are very likely to remember it and it would give you that little extra push you need to get out of bed. This sets a positive tone for your morning, reminding you that every day holds the promise of achievements, no matter how small.
  2. Write an Evening Note to Yourself. Before going to bed, write a note to your morning self. This note should include a word of encouragement, a reminder of something you are looking forward to, or a reason why today is important. This personal touch can provide a sense of continuity and purpose between your evening and morning selves, making the act of getting out of bed feel like fulfilling a promise.
  3. Prepare Everything the Night Before. Lay out your clothes, prepare your breakfast ingredients, make your lunch if you are going out, and have your to-do list ready for the next day. Knowing everything is set up for you can reduce morning stress and make the prospect of starting your day less daunting.
  4. Set Daily Themes. Assign each day of the week a theme or focus area (e.g., Personal Project Monday, Wellness/Social Wednesday). This provides a specific direction for each day, making it easier to plan activities and stay motivated.
  5. Plan to Learn Something Tomorrow. Dedicate time each morning to learning something new, whether it is a skill, a language, or reading about an interesting topic. This not only enriches your mind but also gives you something exciting to look forward to each day.
  6. Do Reflective Journaling. In addition to planning for the next day, spend a few minutes reflecting on what you learned and achieved today. Acknowledging your accomplishments, no matter how small, can boost your self-esteem and motivation for the next day.
  7. Do Evening Stretches or Yoga. Incorporate a short session of gentle stretches or yoga poses to release any physical tension and promote relaxation, preparing your body and mind for a restful sleep.
  8. Listen to a Relaxation Playlist. Create a playlist of soothing sounds or music that help you relax and unwind. Listening to this as you prepare for bed can improve the quality of your sleep, making it easier to wake up refreshed.
  9. Disconnect Completely. Set a specific time to turn off all electronic devices, at least 30 minutes before your intended sleep time. This digital detox can help calm your mind and improve your sleep quality.
  10. Immerse Yourself in a Scented Sleep Environment. Use a diffuser with relaxing essential oils like lavender in your bedroom. The calming scent can enhance your sleep environment, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling rejuvenated.

If you have any suggestions or additional ideas on motivational techniques designed to combat morning sluggishness, enhance daily motivation, and boost productivity, please feel free to share them in the comments. Your input could greatly benefit others seeking to refine their motivational practices.

1 comment

Becky Kennamer

Becky Kennamer

This was a wonderful read, learned several ideas to help me get through my day and share with others. Thanks!

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