Motivation is capricious and fickle. One moment we masterfully manage things and demonstrate miracles of productivity, and the next we just want to crawl under the covers and do nothing. Fortunately, scientists have found some simple, fast, and very effective methods to help you regain and keep inspiration.

1. Tell yourself that you will start over

How long will it take: 3–5 minutes.

Have you ever wondered why everyone chooses January 1st to start life anew? Yes, it’s New Year’s and a beautiful date for a “restart”, but this day is no different than July 28 or any other day.

In fact, everything is simple and you can start again at any time. And it will give a new surge of energy. Researchers at the Wharton School of Business figured outthat “temporary markers” like January 1st or birthdays help us “detach” past failures from ourselves and look at life more broadly. This is how we get the motivation to move forward.

Think about what happened to you recently. Perhaps it was a promotion or a painful breakup. Use any event as the beginning of a new life. Sit down at the table, pick up the phone and write yourself a short message. For example:

  • “I constantly complain about how busy I am, despite the fact that I waste a lot of time in vain. From now on, I promise to make the most of every minute and become more efficient.”
  • “It is high time for me to open the business I have always dreamed of. I’ve put it off for too long. But I won’t rush. Let this be my side project. Let’s see where this whole thing leads. Today, I will start doing my best for this.”

Remember that your promise is valid as long as you believe in it.

2. Eat chocolate

How long will it take: 1 minute.

The beneficial properties of chocolate have long been proven by scientists. This dessert raises the level of serotonin, which calms us, as well as phenylethylamine, which stimulates the production of dopamine. All this helps to keep motivation at a high level.

If you want to start the process even more actively, choose white chocolate.

3. Sign a contract with yourself

How long will it take: 3–5 minutes.

To do this, write down a specific goal, such as losing 5 kg by June or becoming an entrepreneur by the end of the year. And then ask a friend to make sure you keep your promise. But not just like that. Allocate money, say, 5,000 rubles. If you reach the goal, you will get them back. If not, your friend will donate this amount to a charity.

This method will help fight a common cognitive distortion – hyperbolic discounting. It manifests itself in our tendency to prefer small, but instant wins to large rewards that will be available later.

If a person has a choice – to watch their favorite series or go for a run, most likely, the choice will fall on the series. Because this is the pleasure that he will get right now. And jogging is, of course, useful, but the desired effect in the form of weight loss and other bonuses will not appear immediately. The contract will help you avoid this kind of thinking trap.

Taking the easy path will cost you money and the promise you made to yourself. In addition, you set not a shaky, but a specific goal. This makes the task clearer and the result more achievable. Well, if you still fail to achieve the goal, you will help people who need it, and this is also a victory.

4. Surround yourself with green

How long will it take: 5–10 minutes.

Different colors make us to think about different things. Have you ever wondered why the huge “Sale” signs are most often done in red? It’s simple: it helps people respond faster and stronger to the information they receive.

Red color associated dangerous and draws attention. There is also a color that increases the level of motivation and energy. And it’s green.

Participants of one research They were asked to write down as many ways as possible to use the tin can. The task was given less than 2 minutes, and before it was completed, people were shown short flashes of green, blue, white and gray. Green ended up sparking the most creativity.

In another small experiment participants exercised on a stationary bike while they were shown a video of a trip along a village road with a green, gray or red filter. Green didn’t just motivate cyclists, it relieved fatigue and made them happier.

To turn the results of research in your favor, you can take a walk in the green park. If there is still a long way to go before the foliage appears on the trees, put the most green picture on your desktop, for example, a beautiful forest or a wide open field. And the next time you feel like you’re lacking motivation, take a few deep breaths and look at the splash screen. This will help you get inspired quickly.