10 powerful habits of highly self-motivated people

Feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired? You’re not alone.

It’s not always easy to find a way forward when your motivation is at an all-time low.

The good news is, self-motivation is a skill you can practice and master. And it all starts with taking action.

Get inspired by learning about the powerful habits of highly self-motivated people.

Find out how you can unlock your inner drive and get the push you need to achieve your goals.

Let’s get started!

1) They maintain a sense of purpose

For self-motivated people, their “why” is the fuel that keeps them going when everything gets tough.

They remind themselves why they want to do something. They say it out loud or write it down.

But it doesn’t stop there: They go beyond the mere benefits of getting something done. They figure out a compelling purpose.

They may say: “I am here to make others great” or “I can use my talents and skills to be part of the solution.”

Knowing that other people can benefit from their efforts gets them back on track. It inspires them to work harder and better. 

2) They make a plan

It’s difficult to stay motivated when your mind is confused and cluttered with all of the tasks you need to do.

That’s why self-motivated people always take time to plan. It helps them ….

  • Have an overview and think through the entire process from start to finish
  • Be proactive and prepared
  • Limit distractions because they know what to focus on
  • Get organized and manage their time
  • Make progress and move forward in the right direction

And the plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as identifying the top three things they need to finish each day or breaking down their goals into manageable steps.

3) They step outside their comfort zone

Highly-self motivated people challenge themselves to reach new heights. Yes, change can be crippling and scary, but it also provides a powerful motivation to act.

Think about this for a minute: Can you really expect to grow if you don’t try new things or if you don’t take risks?

Simply put: Highly-self motivated people don’t like to spend their lives wondering about all the what-ifs.

They set themselves up for success by stepping out of their comfort zones now and then. They build confidence by doing things that scare them. 

Ultimately, they become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and realize that they are capable of much more than they thought they were. 

4) They practice gratitude

highly adaptable individuals 10 powerful habits of highly self-motivated people

An attitude of gratitude goes a long way in self-motivation. It changes how you perceive and feel about people, things, and situations. 

And for highly self-motivated people, focusing on everything they’re grateful for keeps them happy, healthy, and energized. This simple practice has its way of picking them up during those lowest points.

They look back at where they started, consider how far they’ve come, and appreciate what they’ve achieved. It’s how they learn to never take anything for granted.

They also take it to next level by expressing their gratitude. They make an effort to thank the people in their lives who’ve helped them along the way.

5) They take breaks

Taking breaks is an overlooked yet very crucial aspect of boosting self-motivation. Many studies have shown how taking short, regular breaks can help you jump-start your brain, reduce your stress, and increase your productivity.

Highly-self motivated people are very intentional about how they spend their time off. They go easy on themselves by scheduling occasional breaks throughout their day.

They practice self-care by committing to regularly step away and recharge. They maximize five to ten-minute breaks by….

  • Going for a short walk
  • Getting up to stretch
  • Reading
  • Having a favorite snack
  • Taking a nap
  • Getting in touch with family and friends
  • Meditating
  • Letting their mind wander

6) They celebrate their wins 

Consider this: When was the last time you rewarded yourself for a job well done? 

It’s a no-brainer that rewards keep us happy and excited. Rewarding yourself often plays a huge role in sustaining self-motivation.

Even if it’s just for a small accomplishment, highly self-motivated people never forget to give themselves a pat on the back.

They don’t wait until the end to reward themselves. Acknowledging those tiny successes helps them find that daily dose of motivation to keep going.

Plus, they keep it creative and fun. It can be as simple as going out for ice cream, treating themselves to dinner or a movie night, or celebrating with friends. 

7) They surround themselves with positive people

Highly self-motivated people are empowered to accomplish more because they keep good company

They spend time and deepen relationships with people who share their interests and goals and are very supportive of them.

They build a support team of people who ….

  • Cheer on their success and cheer them along the journey
  • Are always willing to help through thick and thin
  • Inspire them to be better persons
  • Push them to make the changes they need to succeed
  • Make them feel like they have what it takes to reach their goals

And it gets better: Self-motivated people also find inspiration by learning from others’ success. They join like-minded groups, attend workshops, read books, and seek out mentors. 

8) They harness the power of positive affirmations

personality traits that show youre emotionally mature 10 powerful habits of highly self-motivated people

One of the best ways highly self-motivated people stay inspired is by visualizing their success.

They make it a habit to imagine how it would look and feel like to achieve their goals. They transform their minds by walking themselves through the process of the joys that success brings.

But they don’t just rely on thoughts. They translate these thoughts into words, which then allows them to eventually launch into action.

They may tell themselves:

  • I have what it takes to become whoever and whatever I want.
  • I give myself permission to grow.
  • I acknowledge my self-worth. I am building my confidence.
  • Though these times are difficult, they are temporary. I can overcome this challenge. 
  • Every day, I get closer to reaching my goals.

9) They fail forward

Here’s what sets self-motivated people apart from the rest: They pick themselves up and try again no matter how many times they fall.

The thing is, we all fail and make mistakes. It’s how we handle it that can make matters better or worse.

And for highly self-motivated people, failure is not a hindrance but a stepping stone to success.

They look for the silver lining to any situation. They focus on what they can learn from the experience.

They figure out what went wrong and analyze what they could do differently next time. Then they go back to envisioning their best possible selves. That’s how they move forward wisely and gracefully.

10) They cultivate a growth mindset

This one’s connected to my earlier point about how self-motivated people view failures as opportunities.

You see, it comes from their belief that great possibilities will lead to greater things.

At the end of the day, mindset matters. And self-motivated people believe that their desire to improve, learn, and grow determines their ability to thrive through any setback.

They associate hard work with success, which means they keep striving and putting in the time and energy to turn their dreams into reality.  

In a nutshell

To summarize, here are 10 powerful habits of highly self-motivated people:

  1. They find their ‘why.’ They work harder and better when they know that someone is benefitting from their efforts.
  2. They make a plan. They break down their goals into simple, manageable steps.
  3. They step outside their comfort zone. They feel the fear and do it anyway.
  4. They practice gratitude. They focus on what they have and express their appreciation.
  5. They take breaks. They’re very intentional about how they spend their time off.
  6. They celebrate their wins. They reward themselves for all their successes, big and small.
  7. They keep good company. They build strong relationships with people who encourage, inspire, and support them.
  8. They use positive affirmations. They visualize their success and harness the power of words to make it happen.
  9. They fail forward. They learn from mistakes and view failures as stepping stones to success.
  10. They cultivate a growth mindset. They believe that they can improve through hard work and persistence. 

Hopefully, this article has inspired you to continue with your self-motivation journey. Cheers to reaching your goals and becoming the best version of yourself!

Picture of Maria Fatima Reyes

Maria Fatima Reyes

Fat Niebres is a freelance writer who loves to chase stories that matter. She finds meaning and inspiration in the mundane. When she's not writing, she's probably reading, eating, traveling, or having deep conversations with her husband. She brings her experience in broadcast, print, and NGO communications, and has been published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Inquirer.net.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.