In the world of business, we often talk about the importance of motivating others--our employees, our team, our vendors, our customers. Everyone, that is, except for ourselves. This, of course, is a mistake. It's just as important--maybe even more important--to motivate yourself as it is to motivate others.

So what are the tricks of the trade to motivate yourself? Fortunately, science has the answer to that question. Here are 7 simple and powerful ways that, according to science, will get you there.

1. Have a goal.

According to research conducted by Edwin Locke and his team, giving people specific goals to achieve rather than telling them just "to do their best" increases their motivation. This is also true when it comes to ourselves. When we have a goal, we will work harder and smarter to achieve it.

2. Find your passion.

We all know that we are much more motivated when we're doing something we actually want to do instead of something that bores or does not interest us.

3. Look at the upside.

Optimism is a tremendously powerful force. According to neuroscientist Tali Sharot, who wrote the book The Optimism Bias, "an optimistic mindset changes what you do every day--and that, in turn, changes the future." When you make a point of looking at the upside of things you do instead of the downside, you'll be more motivated to pursue them.

4. Focus your efforts.

Researchers have long known that when we have too many priorities, we have no priorities at all. It's much better to focus your efforts on pursuing just one or two goals at a time--certainly no more than three. Not only will this motivate you to achieve your most important goals, but it will also increase the likelihood that you'll succeed.

5. Bring like-minded people into your circle.

Scientists have found that the people you have in your work and social circles can have a huge influence on your behavior. When you hang out with people who are highly motivated, you will tend to be more highly motivated yourself.

6. Be persistent.

It's easy to feel down or become demotivated when we don't succeed on our first try. Understand that it may take many tries before you succeed at a given task. If you fail, pick yourself up and try again.

7. Reward yourself.

As motivation expert Bob Nelson points out, "You get what you reward." When you take time to give yourself a pat on the back for being motivated, then you will naturally become even more motivated.

Published on: Jun 16, 2016