If you’ve read my story, you might know that I’ve made a pretty big life change recently. To sum up quickly, I left my corporate career to pursue my goal of becoming a full-time lifestyle blogger. I liked my job, but I had realized that my true passion was to help others on their path to a more simplistic lifestyle by sharing my own journey. It was both a scary and exciting move, and while I miss my old coworkers and daily routine (not to mention stable income), I have no regrets that I finally had the courage to create the life I’ve always imagined.
That said, I still have those days where I wake up in the morning and just don’t feel motivated. Do you ever have those too? I find it especially hard working for myself as I am constantly having to be the source of my own motivation, which gets exhausting sometimes. When I have those days, there are a couple of things I do to get myself back into the swing of things. I thought it would be an interesting thing to share with those of you who can relate. These are things that would work for any sort of goal, whether it’s progressing in your career, getting in shape, learning a skill, and so on. So, here are my 11 tips that I hope will help you stay motivated towards achieving your goals!
1. Think about why you started.
This is the first thing that I do when I’m not feeling motivated, and it helps so much. Think about the initial reason why you decided to do what you’re doing, make this life change, or work towards this goal. For example, if your goal is to get in shape, think about why you wanted that in the first place. Was it to increase your ability to do things like carry groceries, go for hikes, or climb the stairs of your apartment building? Was it to feel more comfortable in your own skin and like the best version of yourself? Whatever the reason was, hold that in your mind and remind yourself of it every day.
It also helps to visualize yourself succeeding and achieving that goal in your mind. For myself, I try to envision the lifestyle that I want and that I’m working towards. My ultimate goal is to help others live a simpler, less stressful, and more intentional life, and be able to support myself by living my true purpose. Closing my eyes and envisioning that I have finally achieved that goal, where my passion is my work, helps me get going again more than anything else.
2. Take one step towards your goal every day.
One of the worst things you can do when you have a big goal is to think about how long it’s going to take to get there. Instead, take each day as it is: one piece of the larger puzzle that is your end goal. Do at least one thing towards your goal each day, however small that may be. By consistently putting in effort, you will make progress, feel productive, and build momentum.
3. Don’t be a perfectionist.
Another no-no is to be a perfectionist about everything. This is something that I personally struggle with a lot. Whenever I come up with a new idea, my mind instantly goes to thoughts like, “Don’t you need special equipment for that?”, “You should really do a lot of research on that topic first,” or “You need to achieve A before you can do B.” But really, at the end of the day, I’m just creating reasons for me to postpone taking actions towards my goal. Perfectionism is a very self-defeating mechanism that crushes productivity and can completely derail you from your goal. The more important thing is just to take action, perfect or imperfect. If you get it right, then you’ll have moved further along in your journey. If not, you can learn from that experience and course-correct next time.
4. Show up.
Half the battle in staying motivated is just getting there in the first place. This could be physically (to the gym, to the office, to the networking event), mentally (being focused and concentrating on your tasks), or a combination of the two. When you show up, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a lot easier to complete your tasks than you thought it was. For me, if I know I’d like to write another article, I just have to sit down at my desk and start typing. I could think about how I have to do it all day, and how much work and effort it will be, but when I finally show up it actually comes easily and I enjoy it (which is why I’m doing this in the first place!)
5. Set smaller, more achievable goals along the way.
Set yourself some realistic and achievable milestones to hit along the way. Instead of focusing on how much work it will take to achieve your end goal, it’s much more encouraging to focus on one bite-sized step at a time. Let’s use the example of progressing in your career this time. While your end goal could be getting a big promotion, the smaller steps to getting there could include volunteering to take on more responsibility or challenging work, taking a course to develop a specific skill, or asking for more feedback from your colleagues and acting on their recommendations. Each of these steps could be broken down even further to make them more achievable. Don’t forget to set yourself a realistic timeline for each milestone to work towards.
6. Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
When you reach one of those smaller milestones that you’ve been working towards, do something to celebrate! It’s an achievement in itself and you should reward yourself for all of your hard work. Just make sure that the reward you’re giving yourself doesn’t completely derail your goals, and is suitable to the size of the achievement. So if you’re closer to your goal weight, don’t eat a whole pizza or skip the gym for the next three days. My favourite rewards at the end of a productive week are a glass of wine, settling down on the couch with a book or a movie, or ordering my favourite take out. Find a reward that motivates you and keep your eye on that prize!
7. Know that we all slip up from time to time.
We’re all human, and we can’t be perfect all the time. There will be days where you do slip up, and that’s totally fine. Just don’t beat yourself up for it or feel like all is lost just because of one bad day. Accept that it happened, put it behind you, and treat every day as a fresh start.
8. Track your progress.
Keeping a journal or spreadsheet of your progress is a great way to stay positive and upbeat. Whenever you’re feeling less motivated, take a look at what you’ve achieved so far already and all of the accomplishments you’ve made. It will show you that your work hasn’t been for nothing and encourage you to keep going.
9. Do it with a friend.
Having a support system can be extremely helpful when faced with a big life change or difficult goal. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals, and keep each other updated on your accomplishments. It holds you accountable, gives you someone to share your experience with, and ignites your competitive side if you have one! Having a mentor who understands your struggles or has been there before is another way to keep yourself lifted up and feeling positive.
10. Make a list.
I love lists. I am one of those people who will add something to my list that I’ve already done, just so that I can cross it off. It makes me feel productive and I like being able to look back on my day and see everything that I accomplished. Writing it down on paper is also a way of solidifying your goal and making it feel a little more official. Whenever you need motivation, it’s something you can refer back to instead of constantly having to find the power within yourself.
11. Create a vision board.
A vision board is a poster or collage of images, words, people, or objects that inspire you and relate to your specific goal. You can create this at home from magazine clippings, souvenirs, keepsakes, or your own artwork, for example. You could also create a Pinterest board and save any ideas that resonate with you. Personally, I like having the physical board so that you can display it somewhere visible. Even though you might not look at it closely each day, at least subconsciously your brain will process those images and internalize them, reinforcing your goal and keeping you motivated.
How do you stay motivated? Let me know by commenting below. If you’re looking for more motivational inspiration, follow my board on Pinterest where I post ideas related to goal setting, quotes, and more. Thank you so much for reading and I’ll be back next week with another article!