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How to Stay Motivated

My dad always says, “Find something that puts a fire in your belly.” Teenage Me would often roll my eyes, turn up the volume on my latest self-burned punk/emo mix CD and let Travis Barker’s drum beats muffle the unappreciated wise words of my father. As an adult, I can finally understand the sentiment of embracing motivation and passion while pursuing goals. I can also recognize a possibly unintentional deeper meaning here- if left without fuel, fires burn out.

Establishing a goal is the easy part. Hard work comes with actually following through with the steps required to achieve that goal. Maintaining motivation can be difficult, and I always say that building motivation is somewhat of a catch-22. The best way to increase motivation is to just do it (insert Nike symbol here). We feed motivation by reflecting on how we feel as we complete steps toward a goal. Even if the motivation begins as a small flame, we can turn it into a bonfire. Here are some tips for building and maintaining motivation while working toward goals:

  1. Remind yourself of your goals.
    • Write your goals down and display them in a place you look at often. Make sure they are specific and detailed to better organize steps necessary. Take away the “Oh, right, I forgot I wanted to do that” moment and shoot directly for goal achievement. Goals can be easily pushed to the side and forgotten about if we don’t make a point to keep them in our focus.
  2. Discover the WHY.
    • Any task has a number of good reasons behind it. Even small things can be analyzed to find something good. Consider washing dishes. We don’t complete the task for no reason- we complete the dishes in order to have a greater sense of cleanliness and organization (and it helps keep little pestering pests away, but that’s a different blog post). It’s all helpful in creating an image of the bigger picture we are striving for.
  3. Partialize your goals.
    • If we view our goals as one large chunk, it can become overwhelming and cause a person to shut down or give up. By breaking goals down into smaller pieces, we can more easily set targets and obtain a greater sense of achievement. Additionally, developing a deadline for each step can be crucial in maintaining momentum.
  4. Acknowledge your achievements.
    • Track your progress and celebrate benchmarks along the way. Congratulate yourself when you have completing a smaller chunk of the overall goal. Acknowledging progress made toward your goal can propel you forward to the next step.
  5. Be flexible.
    • I have said this so many times that I feel like it should be my new tag line, but: BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF. If something is not working, be flexible and try it a different way. If you find yourself frustrated, stressed, or overwhelmed, be flexible enough with your deadlines that you can allow yourself a moment to step away and regroup. Achieving a goal looks differently for every person. Don’t just find a process, find YOUR process.

What helps you stay motivated?

10 thoughts on “How to Stay Motivated

  1. I find that scheduling helps. If something is on my calendar, it’s more likely to get done.

  2. I really need to keep focusing on #2. I don’t take the time to discover the WHY nearly enough. Thanks for the reminder! πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you for sharing this great post πŸ˜€ I really struggle to set myself goals, but after reading your post, it’s encouraging me to sit down and think about what they may look like. I have some goals floating around my mind, but they are easy to forget or β€˜park’ of you can’t always visualise them. Thank you for sharing πŸ™πŸ»

    1. The Who, What, Where, When, Why of goals is something that I don’t consider nearly enough, as well! But I do find that planning out the details makes me more excited for the finished product, no matter what the goal is.

  4. I saved your post, overtime when i lose my motivation, i will read it to motivate myself again:)

    1. You got this!!

  5. Good Ideas! Goals are important. I keep mine on-line and update them as progress is made. Be sure to be gentle with yourself as you work on attaining you goals.
    And thank you for deciding to follow my blog site. I hope you’ll feel free to leave comments, ask questions, or disagree.

  6. Great post.
    Finding your why is essential! πŸ’–

  7. Kel, I like your number three – Partialize your goals. That is a step many fail to do and won’t get started walking down the path toward the goals. To me, it also makes changes more sustainable, such as I am going to exercise fifteen minutes every day and drop my weight five pounds to some thresh hold in two weeks. Now, about that punk/ emo mix….Keith

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