Any things that you do daily, weekly, monthly to keep yourself inspired and motivated towards your goals?
I’m in a slow and steady process towards my goals and sometimes I find myself uninspired or in a funk. Looking for any helpful tips!
Great question. I found a very simple trick this year that’s helped me immensely, and hopefully it’ll help you too.
I created a Goal Journal. Every night, I write down which actions I took throughout the day to move me in the direction of my goals. It works great, because you can only write down “Nothing” for so long before you’re compelled to take action.
For example, I’ve had lower back pain for over seven years due to a pinched sciatic nerve in my back (it sucks!). But in January, I made it a goal to be free of backpain by July. Even though I didn’t know how to achieve this, writing about it in a journal every day forced me to take action. I bought several books on alleviating back pain, and I made a simple goal to stretch for 10 minutes every morning (and maintain proper posture throughout the day).
It actually worked. My back feels better than it did when I was in college. But if I wasn’t writing about it every day, it would have been easy to forget to do the stretches.
Truth be told, you’ll still feel uninspired or in a funk from time to time — we all do; we’re human — but if you keep a daily goal journal, you’ll at least be inspired to keep taking actions regardless of your mood, and that’s the most important step to achieving anything in life.
Hope that helps!
Here are 22 tips and habits for motivating yourself:
- Just get started and let the motivation catch up with you. You don’t have to wait for motivation to get started. If you want to work in a consistent way every day then sometimes you just have to get going anyway. And the funny thing is that after I have worked for a while things feel easier and easier and more fun and the motivation catches up with me.
- Start very small if big leads you to procrastinating. If a project or task feels too big and daunting don’t let that lead you into procrastination. Instead, break it down into very small steps and then take just one of them to start moving forward. Because the most important thing is to just get going and to build momentum forward.
- Get accountability from the people in your life. Tell your friends what you will do on social media, via phone or in real life. Ask one or more of them to regularly check up on you and your progress. By doing this you’ll be a lot less likely to try to weasel out of things or give up at the first obstacle.
- Get motivation from the people in your life. Spend less time with negative people who always look at the dark or apathetic side of things. And spend more of the time you have now freed up with enthusiastic or motivated people and let their energy flow over to you.
- Get the motivation from people you don’t know. Don’t limit yourself to just the motivation you can get from the people closest you. There is a ton of motivating books, podcasts, blogs and success stories out there that you can tap into to up or renew your motivation.
- Play music that gives you energy. One of the simplest things I do when I feel low in energy or motivation is to play music that is upbeat and/or inspires me in some way. A break with a few songs or working while listening to them for a while usually works well.
- Be kind to yourself when you stumble. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of beating yourself when you stumble or fail. But that don’t work that well in my experience. You just feel worse and less motivated. So try this the next time: be kind to yourself, nudge yourself back on the path you were on and take one small step forward.
- Be constructive about the failures. To make your setbacks more valuable and less hurtful be constructive about them. When you stumble ask yourself: what is 1 thing I can learn from this setback? Then keep that lesson in mind and take action on it to improve what you do.
- Compare yourself to yourself and see how far you have come.Instead of deflating yourself and your motivation by comparing yourself to others who are so far ahead of you.
- Compete in a friendly way. When you’re in school or at work make it a friendly competition with a friend to for example finish a boring or routine task first. Just that element of competition tends to liven things up. And if you want to you can also add a small prize for extra motivation, like the winner getting a free ice cream or a beer from the other person.
- Remind yourself of why you are working toward this. When you’re feeling unmotivated and low in energy it is easy to lose sight of why you’re doing something. So take 2 minutes and write down your top 3 reasons for doing this work, getting an education, working out, saving that extra money or something else. Put that note where you can see it every day or keep it in your smartphone for easy access when you need a motivational boost.
- Remind yourself of what you’re moving away from. You can also motivate yourself to get going again by looking at the negative impact of staying on your current path. Ask yourself: What will the consequences be if I continue on this path for 1 more year? And if I do if for 5 more years? I have found that this exercise has given me the kick-start I needed many times in the past years.
- Be grateful for what you got. When motivation is running low then it’s easy to start seeing your life and the aspects of it through a negative lens. To put your focus on what you still have and who you are – and to recharge with positivity and motivation – ask yourself a question like: What are 3 things I sometimes take for granted but can be grateful for in my life? My answers would, for example, be a roof over my head, clean water and not having to go hungry.
- Mix things up. A rut will kill motivation. So mix things up. Make a competition out of a task with yourself or with someone else. When you work out vary what you do instead of going through the motions. Listen to music and podcasts that you usually don’t listen to. New input and variation tends to be a good way to keep the motivation up (or to recharge it).
- Declutter your workspace. Take a couple of minutes to clean it up. I find that having an uncluttered and minimalistic workspace helps me to think more clearly and I feel more focused and ready to tackle the next task (or small step).
- Don’t forget about the breaks. Few things can in my experience drain the daily motivation like just working non-stop. Instead, work for 45 minutes each hour and use the rest for a break where you eat snack, got out for some fresh air or do a bit of stretching. You’ll – perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively – get more done in a day and week and do work of higher quality because your energy, focus and motivation will simply last longer.
- Adjust your goal size. If a big goal in your life feels overwhelming set a smaller goal to find your motivation again. And if a smaller goal doesn’t seem inspiring try to aim higher and make it bigger goal and see how that affects your motivation.
- Exercise. Working out doesn’t just affect your body. I find that just 20-30 minutes of lifting free weights releases inner tensions and stress and makes me feel more focused and motivated once again.
- Take 2 minutes to look back at your successes. Close your eyes and let the memories of your biggest successes – no matter in what part of your life – wash over you. Let those most positive memories boost your motivation.
- Do a bit of research before you get started. Learning from people who have gone where you want to go and done what you want to do can help you to avoid pitfalls. And to give you a realistic time-table for success. This is important to not get demotivated when things aren’t happening as fast you had wished.
- Take a 2 minute meditation break. This is something I have only done for the past few months. When my mind is a bit tired or perhaps even overloaded my energy and motivation goes down. So in the afternoons – or when needed – I tend to sit down with closed eyes and just focus on my breathing for 2 minutes. This clears my mind and releases inner tensions.
- Go out in nature. Few things give me as much new energy and motivation to take on life as this does. So I often go out for a walk in the woods or by the sea and I’m just there in the moment with the nature, the fresh air and I don’t think about anything special.