• Ryan Moore

Do you know how to get motivated?

How do I get motivated?

This is not only a loaded question, but it is also one that can sometimes be difficult to tack down and answer. Luckily there is a theory in Psychology that can answer most of these questions and it even has a helpful accompanying model to-boot. It short, this model states that in order to be motivated towards self-actualization (self-development) you need to have your most basic needs met first.

Using this model can help you to make decisions about the things that must be taken care of in your own life, before almost any personal development can take place. If you are looking to grow yourself, learning and understanding this theory and model can be your gateway to understanding what you need to get motivated to change your life.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This model is named after an American psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow. In 1943, he published a paper called “A Theory of Human Motivation” (Source). It was in this paper that he outlined his theory that personal motivation is dependent on certain personal needs being met in someone's life.

The model is a pyramid split into 5 different sections. (see image below) In order to meet the needs in a higher tier, the needs in the tiers below must be met. Psychology today outline a distinction that is important here:

(Image Source)

“Maslow (1943) initially stated that individuals must satisfy lower level deficit needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. However, he later clarified that satisfaction of a needs is not an “all-or-none” phenomenon, admitting that his earlier statements may have given “the false impression that a need must be satisfied 100 percent before the next need emerges” (1987, p. 69).” (Psychology Today Article)

(Image Source)

Motivation level changes depending on where your needs are being met, and where they are not being met within the 5 sections of the pyramid. Here are two examples of how motivation is affected.

Example 1:

The longer you are thirsty, the greater your motivation to quench your thirst becomes. If you have a physical need that is not met, your motivation to fix that physical need increases the longer the need goes unmet.

Keep in mind that in order to take care of a need, you must be aware of it. If you have strong avoidance tactics, or denial tenancies, you may want to take a look at the pyramid and give yourself some serious self-honesty about what you really need.

Example 2:

If your physical needs are not being met because you are always exhausted, your motivation to improve in higher tiers of the hierarchy are low. If you are trying to accomplish your greatest dreams at work, you need to take care of your physical needs first. Get some sleep!

To the point

If you found yourself here, you are likely trying to figure out how to get motivated. If you have read this far, it means that you already know that there is no quick fix for that. Finding motivation involves working on your own self-awareness of what you need. When your needs are met, your motivation perform at your best increases.

Sometimes taking a deeper dive can be difficult, but if you took the time to read this, you must probably to grow, and you probably want to get motivated. Isn’t it worth investing that time in yourself?

In short, if you want to grow, and develop, and find that motivation to tackle your dreams with passion, you need to take care of yourself. The two easiest ways to make a marked improvement on your motivation are:

  1. Learn more about what you need. Not just as a human, but as an INDIVIDUAL.

  2. Take care of yourself. Meet those needs.

Putting it into practice

Recognizing what your needs are is the hard part. The easy part is putting what you have learned into practice. The only thing left to do is to create a habit around taking care of your needs. Here is your step-by-step:

1.) Carve out time every day. Yes, every day. Most of the people who have ever found massive amounts of success or happiness have a space in their day for self-care. Most will find it useful to do this in the morning. It tends to set the tone for the day, and if you start the day with taking care of yourself and your needs, it becomes much more difficult to get knocked down. For more details on how to create a morning routine, check out my article on Morning Routines.

2.) Check in. In the beginning of the time you have set aside, just check in. Take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy if you want, and try to determine what needs you need to meet today. These needs are the things that are most likely to hold you back or keep you down.

3.) Take care of those needs.

  • If you are always exhausted and feel like you cannot function, your morning routine might just be to sleep a little longer. (or turn your lunch break into a nap)

  • If you have belonging, love, or social needs that must be met, you may make a morning ritual of calling a loved one.

  • If you have Egoic or Esteem needs that must be met, do a freaking power stance and tell yourself positive affirmations. Flex that self-love!

  • Remember that everyone’s needs are different. If you have a need that is specific to you, seek that out and tend to it.

Take care of yourself and have fun while doing it. Working on, and investigating yourself CAN be fun if you approach it with that mindset. Go forth and kill it today.

Carpe freaking Diem!




I am a life coach in the Boulder/Denver area, and offer phone/zoom coaching sessions. I also offer free consultations, so if you want to learn more, click HERE to get in touch.

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