One Simple Step to Staying Motivated

One Simple Step to Staying Motivated

One Simple Step to Staying Motivated

By Ricardo Gomez

Staying motivated is the key to getting what you want out of life. If you’ve struggled to feel energetic day after day or if you have a tendency to procrastinate, then you are slowing down your progress on meeting your goals.

One reason many lose their motivation is from being overtaken by all the thoughts, activities and responsibilities around us. We stay busy, but all of this activity distracts us from getting the things done that matter the most.

What if you could get a jolt of motivation, any time you need it? There is one very simple technique that takes a few minutes to learn and only five seconds to employ, any time you need it.

As many of us know, there are many books and videos that promote different ways to get the most out of every day, from making lists and prioritizing the big tasks first to daily exercise, meditation and a good night’s sleep.

There are times in our lives when we naturally feel motivated – January new year’s resolutions, pre-summer diets and exercise regimes – but what happens to those new commitments we make to ourselves?

Life happens. For some people, it is tuning into their favorite TV show or binging on sports at tournament time. For others, it may be grabbing drinks at happy hour during stressful times at work or scrolling through endless news feeds on social media. For many, it is the combination of work and family responsibilities.

The question to ask yourself is: are my activities getting me closer to the things I thought I really wanted?

Chances are, they are not. You are simply missing a vital resource.

That resource is anchoring. Anchoring is the act of connecting a stimulus to a certain emotional response. It is comparable with the work of Pavlov’s (Winner of the Nobel Prize) experiment on dogs. Pavlov sounded a bell as the animal was given food. The animal salivated when they saw the food. After some connection between the bell and the food, the activation of the bell alone, triggered salivation on the dog.

Most of us have involuntary reactions to “anchors:” the smell of a specific dish brings back memories, the melody of music can remind us of a certain event, a touch can bring us back to a specific moment in our past with a person we care about. Those anchors work naturally and you might not even be aware of them.

You can also create an anchor for yourself anytime you need it.

When you need a jolt of motivation, find a quiet place and think of a moment from your past when you were at the peak of a motivating experience. Then apply a specific physical stimulus while you think of that moment. You can touch a knuckle on your hand, or squeeze the lob of your ear. Hold it for 5-15 seconds. Then, the two are linked neurologically – your motivating thought with your anchored touch.

Now, change your state. Think about something else or move your body to get out of that state. Test your anchor, by firing the anchor to make sure you respond to this new state. Do you feel motivated now? If so, it is a strong anchor.

Fire up that motivating thought through your anchor anytime you need it. Repeat it as much as necessary until it is strongly anchored.

Now, imagine if every morning when you wake up, you could start your day like this. And what about the power of firing up your anchor before a project meeting or presentation?

You can anchor yourself over and over again for as many positive states as you want, such as being happy, excited, relaxed, peaceful, confident, grateful, clear, optimistic and more. Have fun with it!


Ricardo E. Gomez, NLP and TLT Coach is a business trainer and executive coach based in the Washington D.C. area. Ricardo’s specialties include personal, relationship, and breakthrough coaching, healthy lifestyle guidance, and, for executives, goal setting, decision making, leadership and communication skills. Of Spanish descent, he was raised in Paris and has lived in the United States for 20 years; Ricardo is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

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  1. Brett Ellis
    Brett Ellis

    Thank you for taking the time to write this article Ricardo!

    Anchoring is a very powerful tool that I have neglected to utilize recently and your article brings me full circle to applying the process again.

    • Avatar
      ricardo gomez

      Thank you Brett, I love to share and learn from each other, we have here an awesome community 🙂

      • Brett Ellis
        Brett Ellis

        I agree Ricardo – collaboration has a uplifting pace to it. It’s wonderful to be a part of and observe!

  2. Avatar

    What a great Article.

    By reading this article, it took me back to the first time I was introduced to Anchoring! Which was a motivating experience in itself for me!

    When I read the paragraph;
    “Most of us have involuntary reactions to “anchors:” the smell of a specific dish brings back memories, the melody of music can remind us of a certain event, a touch can bring us back to a specific moment in our past with a person we care about. Those anchors work naturally and you might not even be aware of them.”

    This paragraph has me thinking more on how I may or may not react to specific anchors unconsciously or consciously, whether that be negative or positive and to become aware of them so I can become more in charge of my results.

    This Article has brought back to mind for me the utilization of the techniques of anchoring so I can make it easier for me to stay focused and enrich my experiences.

    • Brett Ellis
      Brett Ellis

      I agree Lauren! Reacting to unwanted states by anchoring wanted states! So simple isn’t it!!

      I recall being asked at my NLP Practitioner Certification Training in 2006 if I’d like to be in charge of my states!! Crazy question, who wouldn’t want to be in charge of their states??? Chaining anchors blew my mind!! 🙂 Pun intended!

      • Avatar

        I find that what blew my mind is that all I need to do is create that stimulus of the desired state and from then on just “think” about that stimulus and I will be directly in that state without applying the stimulus physically. Magick!

    • Avatar
      ricardo gomez

      Fantastic Lauren, yes its great to be conscious / aware of the possible involuntary anchors that do not serve us the best 🙂

      Glad to be able to reignited that thinking for you 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Fini Todd

    Awesome article Ricardo, I really liked “are my activities getting me closer to the things I thought I really wanted”….this hit home with me and I am going to ask myself this when I find myself doing activities that do not serve me! I can be very busy but all of that activity can distract me from getting the things done that matter the most, like you also mentioned.

    Simplify, focus on what I want and keep motivated!! Thank you for assisting me in a realisation!

    • Avatar

      I agree Fini,
      By asking that simple question brings me back to the experience in the now and ‘chunks up’ for me the intention of my choices to Being, Doing and Having what Im experiencing in that moment. This simple question also clarifies for me if my thoughts are my thoughts and my desires are motivated in a healthy way for me that is what I want for me and my future.

      Great point to clarify with ourselves and to support our loved ones and those around us to recognize the experience that is being experienced and that it is their own motivation and desire.

      Thank You Fini for pointing that out, its great to tend to these things we wouldn’t otherwise tend too without the support of others noticing what they need to notice and sharing their experiences 🙂

      • Brett Ellis
        Brett Ellis

        I like it!!! Is what we do supporting our desires? a great question in staying focused on what we want and how we want it!! I like it a lot! 🙂

    • Avatar
      ricardo gomez

      Thank you for the great feedback Fini, its awesome to realize how much things get better once you focus on what gets you closer to what you really want, like a good friend of mine told me once “..One have to be careful on all those distractions that life throw out at you :-)”

  4. Avatar
    Sophie Hills

    Thanks for the article Ricardo, anchoring is a wonderful resource tool to elicit positive states any time.

    I have found that daily activities have distracted me in my past and your article reminded me that I do have these wonderful tools that I am able to use to assist myself in the process. Now I have no excuses!!!!

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