It’s often said that motivation is the key to success. But what exactly is motivation? And how can you get and stay motivated?

Simply put, motivation is the desire to achieve a goal. It’s what drives you to do things, even when they’re difficult. Everyone has different motivations—for some it may be a desire to make a difference in the world while for others it may be a desire to succeed financially or professionally. Whatever your motivation, it’s important to set specific, realistic, and achievable goals. This will give you something to strive for and help keep you on track.

Of course, even the best-laid goals can sometimes become derailed by life’s inevitable surprises and challenges, especially when working towards long term goals. That’s why it’s important to find ways to stay motivated even when things get tough. These tips will help.


Tips for How to Get and Stay Motivated


1. Rewire Your Mind to Think Positive

Have you ever found yourself feeling unmotivated for no reason, or dwelling on a mistake long after it’s been made? If so, then you’re not alone. Negative thinking is a common trap that we can all fall into from time to time. But the good news is that it’s possible to rewire your brain to think more positive thoughts. Here are three strategies that can help:

1. Be mindful of your self-talk. The way you talk to yourself can have a huge impact on your mood and outlook. So next time you catch yourself saying something negative, try to reframe it in a more positive light. For example, instead of “I’m such an idiot,” try saying, “Everyone makes mistakes sometimes.”

2. Practice gratitude. A daily gratitude practice can help train your brain to focus on the good in your life, rather than the bad. Every night before bed, take a few minutes to write down three things that you’re grateful for. It could be anything from your happy family and friends, to a roof over your head and a tasty meal you ate that day. Can’t think of anything? See our 100 Things to Be Thankful For Today.

I use and love the app Gratitude to keep my daily list of things I am thankful for. It’s easy to use and you can set notification reminders, so you never forget to add to your list.

3. Surround yourself with positive people. The company you keep can also influence the way you think and feel. Having the right people in your circle will help you shape your character and outlook in life for the better.

Need more ideas? Read 5 Ways to Rewire Your Brain to Be Positive.


2. Keep a Daily Journal

Many people find journaling to be a helpful way to process their thoughts and emotions. But did you know that there are actually many benefits to journaling on a daily basis?

  • For one, it can help you feel more positive and optimistic. We’ve already shared the benefits of writing down your list of gratitudes, which can also be a part of journaling (called gratitude journaling). But there are plenty of other journaling types we can use to channel what’s on our minds.

Some of these include bullet journaling (or BuJo), which is like a diary/planner that can help you organize your thoughts and plans, and meditation journaling, where you document whatever feelings or things that came up in your meditation session.

  • Additionally, journaling can help reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, simply putting your thoughts down on paper can help to provide some relief.
  • And finally, daily journaling can improve your memory and cognitive function. By regularly recording your thoughts and experiences, you’re helping to strengthen your brain’s ability to recall information.

Journaling is even easier if you use printable Journal Templates!

Keep a Daily Journal


3. Be Clear About Your Goals

A lot of people have trouble achieving their goals because they’re not really sure what they want. If you’re unclear about what you want, it will be hard to put a plan together and take the steps necessary to make it happen. So how do you get clear about your goals? Ask yourself what you want to achieve.

Make sure to dream big and write down all your long-term and short-term goals. Once you have your list, then go through and really define each item clearly. Don’t just settle for the goal to own a house, be more specific. What size of house do you want? What city do you want the home to be in? Etc…

Be Clear About Your Goals


4. Go Public About Your Goal

One way to increase the likelihood of achieving our goals is publicly announcing them to friends, family or even on social media. This may seem like a small and insignificant act, but it actually has numerous benefits.

First, announcing our goals in public makes us accountable to other people. This can help to motivate us to take action and follow through on our plans. Additionally, announcing our goals gives us the opportunity to receive feedback and support from others. And finally, it can help us to create a sense of momentum and bring us one step closer to making our dreams come true.


5. Make a Commitment

It’s not always easy to stick to your goals. You may start out with the best of intentions, but life has a way of getting in the way. Before you know it, you’re off track and feeling overwhelmed. So, make a commitment to yourself to keep moving forward with what you want to achieve. For me, the commitment was to take one step towards my goals every day. It didn’t have to be anything major or time consuming, just as long as I was moving forward. For you it could be taking one step every week or committing a couple hours every month. Whatever it is, stick to it!


6. Get Support

It’s great to have goals, but sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one invested in seeing them through. If you’re looking for some external support to help you stay on track, there are a few things you can do.

  • First, try reaching out to friends and family members. They may be willing to help you out with everything from childcare to housework, freeing you up with some extra time to focus on your goals.
  • You can also find plenty of online communities who can offer some advise or insight, depending on the goal you’re working on. They can also be a great source of motivation, and you’ll likely make new friends along the way.
  • Finally, don’t forget about professional resources like life coaches and therapists. They can provide invaluable support and guidance as you work towards achieving your goals.

Get Support


7. Celebrate Any Victories

When it comes to celebrating our accomplishments, it’s important to remember that not all successes are created equal. But, a small achievement is just as worthy of celebration as a big one, and in many ways, they can be even more valuable. For one thing, small accomplishments are more attainable, which means we’re more likely to achieve them and experience that satisfying feeling of success. They also help us to build momentum and keep our motivation high.

So next time you reach a goal, big or small, take a moment to celebrate your achievement. Treating yourself with things like your favorite food or some pampering at the spa can go a long way in keeping you motivated and looking forward to the next step.

Celebrate Any Victories


8. Be Persistent & Stick With It

Anyone who has ever achieved anything significant will tell you that persistence is key. It’s not always easy to stick with something, especially when you hit a setback or run into difficulty. However, the ability to persist through tough times is essential for achieving any meaningful success. Even when times are tough, make yourself a promise to never quit!

Be Persistent & Stick With It


9. Find Inspiration

Completing any goal, whether professional or personal, can be a challenge. It can be difficult to find the motivation when you’re feeling stuck or lost. However, inspiration is all around us—you just have to know where to look for it.

  • One of the best places to find inspiration is in nature. Spending time in nature can help you feel refreshed and recharged, ready to take on whatever goal you’re facing.
  • Another great source of inspiration is other people. Seeing how others have overcome challenges and achieved their goals can remind you that anything is possible.
  • Books, movies, and articles are also full of inspiring stories and quotes that can help you on your own journey.

If you are looking for more inspiration, here are 30 Simple Things You Can Do To Get Inspired.

Find Inspiration


10. Share Your Progress with Others

We already talked about the importance of sharing your goals publicly, but you should also continue to share your progress along the way. It’s not only a great way to be held accountable, but also a nice way to get a little extra pat on the back.


11. Break Your Goal Down into Daily Tasks

When you’re trying to achieve a goal, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller, daily tasks. This approach has a couple of advantages.

  • It can help to prevent being overwhelmed, and then freezing without doing anything. Looking at a big goal in its entirety can be downright scary. However, by breaking the goal down and focusing on completing one small task everyday, you’ll gradually move closer to your dreams and build momentum along the way.
  • This approach can also help you to develop consistent habits that will support your goal. Rather than sporadic bursts of effort, you’ll be developing a sustainable routine that you can stick with over the long term.

12. Keep Dreaming

It’s so important to keep dreaming and visualizing completing the goal. Sometimes, when we get bogged down in the details or get sidetracked by everyday challenges, it’s easy to forget what we’re working towards. But if we take a step back and remember our dreams, it can help us refocus and stay on track.

Everyday take some time to visualize crossing the finish line and celebrating your accomplishment. Picture how happy and proud of yourself you’ll feel. And then get back to work! 


13. Be Proactive

Proactive people don’t wait for things to happen; they take the initiative and make things happen. So, if you’re looking to accomplish a goal, start by proactively identifying the steps you need to take and put a plan in place. Then take action and keep moving forward until you reach your goal. Remember, one bite at a time!

For help read 7 Ways to Adopt a Proactive Mindset–and Achieve Success


14. Give Yourself Breaks

Nobody ever said that reaching a goal was going to be easy. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, save money, or get ahead at work, it can be tough to stay focused and on track.

One way to help yourself stay motivated is to give yourself regular breaks. Just like a car needs gasoline to keep running, your brain needs occasional refueling too. Even taking a five-minute break every hour can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next task. It can be as simple as doing some stretches or going for a short walk outside.

Give Yourself Breaks


15. Have Consequences

You’ve defined your goal and made a commitment, but what happens if you don’t follow through on your plan? What if you start making excuses or put off taking action? If you don’t have any consequences for not following through, it’s easy to let your goal slip away.

Consequences can be a powerful motivator, but only if used correctly. If the consequences are too severe, they can be discouraging and lead to giving up on your goal altogether. On the other hand, if the consequences are too lenient, they won’t be enough to motivate you to take action. Finding the right balance is key to using consequences effectively.


16. Approach Tasks in New Ways

Every day, we face obstacles that prevent us from achieving our goals. Whether it’s a difficult project at work or a personal challenge, these obstacles can seem insurmountable. However, sometimes the key to success is simply finding a new approach to the problem.

Rather than getting stuck in the same old patterns, look for a fresh perspective that can provide new insights. This could involve talking to someone who has faced a similar challenge, looking at the problem from a different angle, or even taking a completely different approach.

Approach Tasks in New Ways


17. Be Kind to Yourself

Being kind to yourself is an essential part of leading a happy, healthy and less stressful life. But, it can also be a motivator! When you feel at peace, it can motivate you to move forward with your dreams.

Here are some tips for being kind to yourself:

  • Take time each day to do something that makes you happy. This can be as simple as reading your favorite book, a walk in nature, or enjoying a delicious meal. Make sure to schedule this time into your day so that you don’t let other obligations get in the way.
  • Be accepting of who you are. We all have flaws and imperfections, and that’s what makes us unique and special. Learn to love all aspects of yourself, even the parts you might not like at first.
  • Be patient with yourself. Progress takes time, so don’t expect miracles overnight. If you’re working on making a change in your life, give yourself grace and know that it’s okay if you make mistakes along the way.
  • Give yourself permission to say no. You don’t have to please everyone all the time. It’s okay to put your own needs first, especially when you already have a lot on your plate.

Be Kind to Yourself


18. Change Your Environment

When you’re feeling stuck in a rut, it just may be time to change your environment. Research has shown that making even small changes to your surroundings can lead to increased creativity and productivity.

So, if you’re struggling to find motivation, try rearranging your furniture, updating your décor, or working in a new location. You may be surprised at how these simple changes can jumpstart your creativity and help you get back on track.


 

19. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to get yourself motivated! When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. In addition, exercise can help alleviate stress and improve your sleep quality. All of these factors can lead to increased energy and motivation levels. And when you’re feeling more energetic, it’s easier to get things done and stick to your goals!

Exercise


20. Get Enough Sleep

One of the most important things you can do for your health and productivity is to ensure you get enough sleep. When you don’t get enough rest, it can negatively affect your energy levels, mood, and ability to concentrate. Not only that, but lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain, heart disease, and other serious health problems.

So how much sleep do you need to stay motivated? Most adults need between 7 to8 hours of sleep every night. If you find yourself struggling to get through the day on less than that, it’s probably time to start making some changes to your sleep habits.


21. Get Organized

Most people have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by a messy room or cluttered desk. It can be difficult to find what you need and even harder to stay focused on your work, which is why tidying things up is essential.

Research has shown that there are significant benefits to maintaining a well-organized workspace. When your environment is tidy and organized, it can help you to feel more in control and less stressed. In addition, being able to find things quickly and easily can save valuable time and increase your productivity.

Annette organizing her kitchen cabinets


22. Practice Optimism

Optimism has been shown to have a number of benefits for both mental and physical health.

  • Optimistic people are more likely to take care of their health and follow medical advice.
  • Optimism has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
  • Optimists tend to live longer than pessimists. One explanation for this is that optimists tend to have better social support networks, which can lead to better health outcomes.
  • Optimists also tend to be more resilient in the face of adversity and setbacks. 

23. Keep It Fun

Achieving a goal can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a lot of work. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, remember that there are ways to stay motivated and have fun all at once.

It can be making a special playlist that you listen to whenever you’re working on your goal or using colorful stickers to track your progress on your calendar.


24. Make Working Toward Your Goal a Habit

A goal is only as good as your plan to achieve it. And one of the most important parts of planning is developing the habits that will help you reach your goal.

The first step is figuring out what kind of habit you need to develop. Do you need to wake up earlier to get a head start on the day? Do you need to pack your gym bag before you hit the sack so you’re not tempted to skip a workout? Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you can stick to.

Once you’ve figured out your habit, it’s time to start building it into your routine. Try setting a reminder on your phone or keeping your gym bag in a visible spot. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up every once in a while—just get back on track and keep going.


25. Recognize Your Roadblocks

Everyone faces roadblocks on the path to accomplishing their goals, and recognizing these roadblocks is the first step to overcoming them. There are four main types of roadblocks: financial, psychological, physical, and logistical.

  • Financial roadblocks include things like not having enough money to pursue your goal.
    Psychological roadblocks can be things like self-doubt or negative thinking.
    Physical roadblocks can be things like an injury or not having the necessary skills.
    Logistical roadblocks can be things like not having enough time or not having the right resources.

If you can identify which type of roadblock is holding you back, you can develop a plan to overcome it. For example, if you’re looking to save money for one of your bucket list goals, you can sell unneeded items via a garage sale or plan a monthly budget. If you’re struggling with your fitness, you could find a workout partner or join a gym. By recognizing the roadblocks in your way, you can take steps to clear them and move closer to achieving your goal.


26. Start Small

Dreaming big is fantastic, but sometimes starting with a little goal is okay too. Starting small is a great way to keep you motivated and prevent you from getting overwhelmed when working towards a goal. Breaking it down into smaller pieces will make it more achievable and help you build momentum and motivation as you check off and celebrate each step. But, you can also just start with one of the small goals on your list.

Start Small


27. Limit Distractions

One of the hardest things about working towards a goal is staying focused. With so many distractions in the world today, it’s easy to get sidetracked and push your goals to the back burner. But if you want to achieve something, you need to be laser-focused and stay on track. So how can you limit distractions and stay focused on your goals?

  • Take a break from social media and other distractions that can pull your attention away from what you’re trying to achieve. It might be hard at first, but you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you are without constant distraction. 
  • Set aside specific times of the day/week for working on your goal, and stick to them. Make sure you have a clear plan of action and timeline so you know exactly what needs to be done and when.

28. Tackle Procrastination

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re procrastinating on something. Maybe you have a paper due for school or a big project at work, or even putting off doing the dishes or taking out the trash. Whatever it is, we’ve all been there. Procrastination can be a tough habit to break, but it’s important that we try. After all, putting things off can lead to missed deadlines, lost opportunities, and even decreased productivity.


29. Track Your Progress

Many people find it helpful to set goals in order to improve their lives or achieve certain ambitions. However, it can be tough to know if you are making progress towards your goal if you do not have a system for tracking your progress.

There are a few key things that you can do to help you track your progress and ensure that you are on track to reach your goals. These may include making a simple spreadsheet, journaling your progress at the end of each day, or creating a large wall graph which can also double as a reminder.

Track Your Progress


30. Understand Your Why

Understanding the reason why you want to achieve a goal is important for a number of reasons. First, it can help to keep you motivated when the going gets tough. If you know why you’re doing something, it’s easier to push through the challenges and stay focused on your goal. Second, understanding your motivation can help you to set better goals. If you’re clear about what you want to achieve, you’re more likely to achieve it. Finally, having a clear idea of your motivation can help you to avoid distractions and stay on track.

If you know why you’re pursuing a particular goal, it’s easier to say no to tempting (but ultimately unproductive) side projects.

. . .

Few things are as frustrating as trying to work on a project and feeling completely unmotivated. Whether you’re struggling to meet a deadline at work or finding the energy to clean your house, a lack of motivation can make even the simplest tasks seem impossible. Fortunately, knowing how to get motivated is achievable with the right mindset and some can-do attitude. Get and stay motivated with these tips!

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