I’m a creature of inertia. Once I get a pattern established, I tend to stick to it. (That’s why Chaos Magic and its ego techniques are so valuable to me.) And if I’m in a comfortable place (or sometimes a not-so-comfortable place), it’s really hard for me to get motivated for change.

There are a lot of things I should be doing in my life. And I don’t always actually do them. Because, Minecraft, or something.

So ways to motivate myself are important.

Mike Sententia shares a method that he uses to get motivated: exercise.

I tried introspection, thinking about what I wanted, seeing if I really believed in my plan. And I did: It’s a good plan, this is what I need to learn next, it’s a skill I care about knowing. Introspection didn’t help.

I gave in for the morning, watched a movie and played some games. That didn’t help either. Not that I was terribly surprised.

Then I remembered my post about physical exercise getting me out of a depression. I had made good on my resolution to exercise more, first doing curls with a coffee table to make sure I would actually exercise, then buying some adjustable dumbbells. I’d used them until the breakup, then had let them rest for that week.

I did a set. It was fast — I’d lost some strength from resting. But I worked until my arms couldn’t move the weight. Then I went back to my keyboard, rested for another 10 minutes. Then I did the magick training. And everything just worked.

Setting myself in motion always seems to help me get motivated to do more. As I said, it’s an inertia thing: once I’m in motion, I don’t stop easily. So something that gets me motivated to do one thing can get me motivated to do another, especially if I need to do one step to complete another. (Having company or making videos is a great motivator to clean.) So if I want to do something, physical activity helps get me going. And doing it in a certain order (i.e. ritualizing it) helps even more.

It’s a problem when exercise is one of the things I lack motivation for, though. Ooops.

I’d love to hear what other people use to motivate them to action.


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