7 Scientifically Proven Techniques to Boost Motivation

Discover 7 scientifically proven techniques that can help you boost motivation and achieve your goals.
7 Scientifically Proven Techniques to Boost Motivation


Motivation is the driving force behind our actions and behaviors. It is crucial for achieving our goals and making progress in our personal and professional lives. However, there are times when our motivation levels may decrease, making it difficult to stay focused and productive. This is where scientifically proven techniques to boost motivation can come in handy. In this article, we will discuss seven effective techniques that can help increase motivation levels and achieve greater success. These techniques can be applied in various aspects of life, whether you want to boost productivity at work or maintain a healthy lifestyle. By implementing these techniques, you can take control of your motivation levels and unlock your full potential. So, let’s dive into the seven scientifically proven techniques to boost motivation.

Technique 1: Goal Setting

Goal setting is an essential technique for increasing motivation. Goals provide direction and purpose, and they allow us to focus our energy and efforts on something specific. Here’s how you can effectively set goals for yourself:

  1. Be specific: Clearly define your goal so that you know exactly what you’re working toward. For example, instead of saying “I want to exercise more,” a specific goal would be “I want to go for a 30-minute walk every morning.”

  2. Make it measurable: Set a specific target that you can measure your progress against. For example, you might aim to lose 10 pounds or to run a 5k race within a specific timeframe.

  3. Make it challenging but attainable: Your goal should be challenging enough to inspire you but also attainable based on your current skills and abilities. If your goal is too easy, you may not feel motivated to work toward it. But if it’s too difficult, you may become discouraged.

  4. Give it a deadline: Set a specific date or timeframe for achieving your goal. This will help you stay focused and accountable.

  5. Write it down: Putting your goal in writing makes it more concrete and helps you stay committed to it. You might also want to write down your reasons for wanting to achieve this goal and the potential benefits you’ll experience.

Overall, setting effective goals can help you stay motivated and focused on what you want to achieve. By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your desired outcomes.

Technique 2: Rewards

Rewards are an effective technique for increasing motivation. They not only increase motivation but also create a sense of accomplishment, as well as enhance the overall experience of completing tasks. Research demonstrates that rewards are significantly successful in motivating individuals to achieve their goals.

The Reward Systems

Generally, there are two types of reward systems:

  1. Intrinsic rewards- refers to the inner joy that you feel after completing a goal. These are personal achievements and self-satisfaction, which allow an individual to feel a sense of accomplishment.

  2. Extrinsic rewards- refers to physical or tangible rewards that we offer ourselves after completing a goal. These may include bonuses, promotions, or any other reward that is external to us.

Different Types of Rewards

There is an array of rewards that one can offer themselves, depending on their preference. Examples of rewards include:

  • Taking breaks
  • Going out for a treat
  • Listening to music or watching videos
  • Buying a gift for oneself
  • Having a relaxing massage

How to Implement Rewards

To implement rewards effectively, it’s crucial to set a goal that is clear, quantifiable and achievable. After completing the goal, the reward should be appropriate to the level of ambition required to achieve the goal. Furthermore, rewards should be enjoyable and within the individual’s budget.

In conclusion, rewards are essential for motivation. They encourage a sense of accomplishment and improve overall performance. When used effectively, they can assist with establishing good habits and keeping an individual on the right track towards achieving their goals.

Technique 3: Self-Talk

Self-talk refers to the internal dialogue that goes on in an individual’s mind. It can be positive, negative, or neutral and has a significant impact on motivation levels. Positive self-talk can enhance self-esteem, reduce negative emotions, and increase resilience, which ultimately leads to increased motivation.

Techniques for developing positive self-talk

Developing a positive self-talk habit can significantly improve your motivation levels. Below are some techniques for developing positive self-talk:

  1. Identify negative self-talk - pay attention to the negative thoughts you have and challenge them by replacing them with positive ones. For instance, if you have a negative thought such as “I can’t do this,” replace it with “I can do this.”

  2. Use affirmations - affirmations are positive statements that you consciously repeat to yourself to change your thinking patterns. Start by creating a list of positive affirmations that resonate with you and say them to yourself frequently.

  3. Use positive questions - asking positive questions such as “How can I achieve this goal?” instead of negative questions like “What if I fail?” help to shift your mind to a more positive outlook.

  4. Celebrate small wins - acknowledging small achievements help to maintain a positive mindset and increase motivation. Celebrate even the smallest progress made towards your goals.

  5. Surround yourself with positive people - the people around you can influence your self-talk. Surround yourself with individuals who have a positive outlook on life.

By practicing these techniques for developing positive self-talk, you can boost your motivation levels significantly.

Technique 4: Visualization

Visualization, also known as mental imagery, is a powerful tool for increasing motivation. By visualizing yourself completing a task successfully or achieving your goals, you can boost your confidence and motivation to take action.

Explanation of how visualization can increase motivation

Visualization works by activating the same neural pathways in the brain that are involved in actually performing the task. When you visualize yourself successfully completing a task or achieving your goals, your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is linked to motivation and reward. This increases your motivation to take action and work towards your goals.

Steps to execute effective visualization

To use visualization effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a quiet, comfortable space and sit or lie down. Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed and get comfortable.

  2. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and relax your body.

  3. Visualize yourself completing the task or achieving your goal. Imagine yourself performing the task successfully or achieving your goal, in as much detail as possible. Imagine the sights, sounds, and feelings associated with the task or goal.

  4. Focus on positive outcomes and emotions. As you visualize yourself completing the task or achieving your goal, focus on positive emotions, such as happiness, pride, or satisfaction.

  5. Repeat the visualization daily. Visualization is most effective when done consistently. Try to visualize yourself completing the task or achieving your goal daily, for a few minutes each day.

Example of visualization for motivation

Let’s say you are feeling unmotivated to study for an upcoming exam. Here’s an example of how you could use visualization to boost your motivation:

  1. Find a quiet, comfortable space to sit and relax.

  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and body.

  3. Visualize yourself sitting at your desk, studying for the exam. Imagine the textbook in front of you, the highlighter in your hand, and the sound of your pencil scratching on paper.

  4. As you visualize yourself studying, focus on positive emotions. Imagine how proud and accomplished you will feel when you ace the exam.

  5. Repeat this visualization daily, for a few minutes each day. Over time, you will feel more motivated to study and achieve your goal of acing the exam.

Visualization is a simple but effective technique for boosting motivation. Try incorporating visualization into your daily routine and see how it can improve your motivation to achieve your goals.

Technique 5: Accountability

Accountability can be a powerful tool to increase motivation as it keeps us responsible for our actions and pushes us to do better. When we have someone to answer to or a system to track our progress, we feel more committed to achieving our goals.

Explanation of how accountability can increase motivation

Accountability increases motivation by creating a sense of responsibility and urgency. When we know that someone is checking up on us or that there are consequences for not meeting our objectives, we are more likely to put in the effort needed to reach our goals. This drive comes from within, as we are invested in achieving our targets and creating a better future for ourselves.

Examples of how to stay accountable

There are various ways to stay accountable, and some effective examples include:

  • Partner Accountability: Having an accountability partner or a buddy system can create a sense of responsibility and push us to do better. This partnership can be a friend, a family member, or a coach who provides support, feedback, and encouragement to help us stay on track.

  • Journaling: Writing down our goals, achievements, and progress in a journal can help us track our results and become more accountable. This process also gives us valuable insights into our habits, patterns, and areas of improvement so that we can adjust our strategies accordingly.

  • Public Commitment: Announcing our goals or intentions publicly can be an effective way to stay motivated and accountable. This public commitment creates a sense of expectancy and pressure to achieve our objectives, as we are no longer just accountable to ourselves but to others who are watching and cheering us on.

  • Rewards and Consequences: Setting up a system of rewards and consequences can be a powerful way to stay accountable and motivated. By rewarding ourselves for achieving our goals or facing consequences for not doing so, we create a sense of urgency and investment in the outcome.

Overall, accountability can be a powerful motivator as it creates a sense of responsibility and urgency, making us more committed to achieving our goals. Whether it’s through an accountability partner, journaling, public commitment, or rewards and consequences, these methods can help us stay on track and achieve success.

Technique 6: Exercise

Exercise is not only vital for physical health but also has a significant impact on mental health, including motivation. Regular exercise helps the body release endorphins, which are hormones that reduce pain and stress while increasing happiness, improving mood, and boosting motivation.

However, not all exercises are equally effective in improving motivation. For instance, exercises that involve group interactions or those that challenge the body and mind simultaneously have been scientifically proven to yield better results in motivation.

Best Types of Exercise for Motivation

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise refers to any exercise that increases heart rate and respiration, such as running, jogging, cycling, or brisk walking. Aerobic exercise requires high levels of oxygen consumption and can stimulate the release of endorphins, reducing stress and increasing motivation.

Strength Training

Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or resistance training, can challenge the body’s physical limits while supporting physical fitness. It can also increase muscle mass and lead to better body function, improving overall mental health and motivation.

Yoga and Mindful Exercise

Yoga and other mindful exercise routines such as Tai chi combine gentle movements and deep breathing to enhance concentration and promote relaxation in the body. These exercises are highly effective at reducing stress and improving mental clarity.

Incorporating these exercises into daily routines, whether in the morning, during lunch break, or in the evening, can significantly enhance motivation levels.

Some helpful tips for exercising regularly include creating a workout routine, setting fitness goals, tracking progress, and finding a workout partner or group to exercise with.

In all cases, it’s essential to choose an exercise routine that fits personal preferences, abilities, and goals, and gradually increase intensity to avoid burnout.

In conclusion, exercise is an effective technique to enhance motivation levels, and incorporating one of the workouts mentioned above routine can make a big difference in overall mood and motivation levels.

Technique 7: Sleep

Getting quality sleep is essential for maintaining overall health, and it can also significantly impact motivation levels. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, sleep quality is significantly associated with self-regulation, a crucial aspect of motivation. Here are some ways to improve sleep quality and, in turn, boost motivation:

Steps for improving sleep quality

  1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve sleep quality.

  2. Create a relaxing sleep environment. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet to promote deep sleep.

  3. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption. Both can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, leading to poor sleep quality.

  4. Avoid using electronic devices before bed. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupt your sleep cycle.

  5. Practice relaxation techniques. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, leading to better sleep quality.

Discussion of the importance of sleep

Besides promoting physical and mental health, getting enough sleep can significantly impact motivation levels. A lack of quality sleep can make it challenging to stay motivated throughout the day, leading to decreased productivity and increased fatigue. It can also lead to poor decision-making and decreased cognitive function, making it harder to focus and stay on task.

Therefore, by improving sleep quality, individuals can boost their motivation, increase productivity, and achieve their goals more effectively.

In conclusion, getting quality sleep is a crucial component of motivation. By implementing the steps listed above, individuals can improve their sleep quality, leading to increased motivation and better performance in all areas of life.


In today’s fast-paced world, it is increasingly important to stay motivated in order to achieve our goals. Throughout this article, we have discussed seven scientifically proven techniques that can help boost motivation:

  1. Goal Setting
  2. Rewards
  3. Self-Talk
  4. Visualization
  5. Accountability
  6. Exercise
  7. Sleep

By implementing these techniques, we can increase our motivation and achieve greater success in all areas of our lives. However, the key to success is not relying on just one technique, but rather using a combination of all seven to create a comprehensive approach to motivation.

Remember, achieving and maintaining high levels of motivation takes work, but the rewards can be immeasurable. By dedicating time and effort to improving our motivation, we can achieve our goals and reach our full potential. So, let’s get started on the path to success and keep ourselves motivated along the way!