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November 19, 2015

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Stay Motivated

Photo Credit: Ambro via

Motivation is something that we all strive for, but in many cases, it easily evades us. At a place of employment, good working environment, performance reviews, and other incentives may be used to keep employee productivity high, but when those things aren’t available, how do you keep yourself motivated? Fortunately, following a few tips can strengthen your self-motivation, allowing you to achieve your goals.

Work Toward Positive Goals

It’s easy to identify what we don’t want out of life and what we are afraid of, but it can sometimes be challenging to identify exactly what it is that we are looking for. However, to motivate ourselves, we need to start focusing on positive goals rather than the negative fears that can hold us back. Instead of focusing on negative things, like saying “I don’t want to be overweight,” create a more positive goal, like “I’d like to lose 10 pounds in the next three months.” It is easy to see how the second, positive option seems much less scary, and in return, you’ll feel like the goal is actually more attainable and something that you can work toward.

Use Lists to Keep Yourself Organized 

Creating a list of the things that you need to accomplish is a great strategy that can keep you from getting into a funk. The act of sitting down to force your brain to get organized by writing out your tasks might be all that you need to get back on track. Start by listing the things that you need to do for that particular day, and check them off as you complete them. Being able to eliminate items from your list as the day progresses may be what you need to stay focused. You can also use these lists for long-term motivation; such as a list of your life goals that can be displayed prominently at work or at home. This can serve as great motivation every time that you find yourself running out of steam.

Work to Prevent Burnout 

We aren’t machines, so we need to take breaks periodically. If you try to work on your goals constantly without giving yourself time to recharge and re-energize, you will likely experience burnout and your energy will be sucked right out of you. Short breaks aren’t for the lazy – they are for people who know that they need time to recharge in order to keep going.

Using rewards can also be an important way to give yourself a break. When you’ve completed something that you’ve been working toward for a long time, be sure that you take time to do something that you enjoy. Give yourself an hour off to read your favorite novel, treat yourself to coffee at your favorite café, or order your favorite takeout.

Track Your Progress

Every once in a while, it may be helpful for you to check to see how far you’ve come. Whether you’re trying to save money, lose weight, or to ace that tough calculus class, you should be sure to track what you’re doing. This will give you motivation and will show you the positive outcomes you achieved as a result of your behaviors. Seeing your progress will give you a purpose, and even small milestones should be celebrated. Remember that every step that you are taking in the right direction is bringing you closer to your ultimate goal, whatever that might be.

Keep Good Company

The people that we spend time with can be pivotal for our overall motivation. Unfortunately, there are a variety of people that  are not motivating, whether they are just negative in general or encourage us to engage in behaviors that aren’t in line with our ultimate goals. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, a friend that encourages you to eat just one more piece of cake will not be good company. To get onto the path of success, we all need cheerleaders, some great motivational orators, close friends and unfortunately, we sometimes need to part ways with those who are trying to bring us down.

It can also be helpful to share your goals and dreams with the supportive people that are close to you. This can be a powerful motivator because you won’t want to disappoint them. It isn’t easy to give up your goals if you’ve announced them to other people, especially when you hold the opinion of those individuals in high esteem.

Remember, self-motivation is something that is entirely within your own control. As long as you use some important tools, it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are – you can always motivate yourself to achieve your goals and take action.


Sheza Gary has been a Project Strategist since 2009 and also involved in the launching of startups and tech companies in New York for over 5 years. She has keen interest in writing her own experiences about business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. She loves public speaking.