Stuck? We've Got 50 Secrets Motivated People Use to Get Things Done.
You have your plan, you know what you want to accomplish, but after awhile, the novelty of your goal can start to wear off, and it becomes more of a struggle to get started every day.
We’ve all been there and we want to help.
Read on for 50 tips and tricks about how to stay motivated, from how to block out your time to how to kickstart your brain into action.
1. Recall positive memories. If you have some trepidation about attempting a new goal, before you begin, think back to a positive memory of when you accomplished something you were really proud of. Draw on those feelings to help get you over the hump.
2. Take a broad view. It is very easy to get bogged down in minutia and deadlines. Before you get to work, remind yourself of the larger end goal here. Write it down, and put it up in your work space. Have a clear understanding of what you are working toward.
3. One for you, one for them. Start the day off with a task that you are excited about and then alternate with aspects of the project that you are less enthused about. Always make sure you have something to look forward to throughout the day.
4. Set up a reward system. Promise yourself that if you complete the most pressing thing on your list that you can do something you enjoy. Once you’re done, you don’t have to stop -- you can use your momentum to tackle the next thing.
5. Get moving. Go for a run around the block, do jumping jacks, a headstand in your office -- do anything to get the blood pumping and clear your head. The endorphins and the new perspective will help energize your mind
6. Make a pump up playlist. Assemble your favorite songs, and play it before you get started or when your energy flags.
7. Break the task in pieces. Visualize the goal in multiple steps instead of one big giant project. That way you can cross things off as you go, and you will be more motivated to move onto the next.
8. Set a timer. If you start feeling stagnant in the pursuit of your goal, make like you are running a creativity sprint. Put 30 minutes on a clock and see how much you can accomplish. Take a break and then start again.
9. Write notes from the future. Write out some positive messages to yourself from yourself. Write about how proud you are that you’ve accomplished your goal or what you had to overcome to achieve where you are. If you start to get down on yourself, it’s a reminder to keep going.
10. Find images of people who inspire you. Think about your heroes and put up a picture of them in your workspace. Having them watching over you will help get you motivated to achieve the greatness that they have.
11. Remember why you are pursuing the goal in the first place. Write down a list or a mission statement and articulate all the reasons why this is important to you. Send yourself calendar reminders or post it in a place where you can see it, so you don’t forget what you’re working toward.
12. Have a pep talk partner. Connect with a similarly-minded friend or colleague who is also trying to accomplish a goal. When your motivation starts to falter, check in with them to give you a boost of confidence, and you can do the same for them. It’s sometimes easier to see what others a capable of, even if you can’t see it in yourself.
13. Figure out when you are most successful. If you aren’t a morning person, don’t start attacking your goal at 9:00 am, maybe wait until 2:30 pm. You won’t feel motivated if you aren’t providing yourself with the most optimal working environment.
14. Make an outline. Figure out what your big milestones are on your way to accomplishing your goal. Once you get to those points, make sure you celebrate what you have done. It will motivate you to keep going having taken the time to appreciate how far you have come.
15. Create a productive workspace. You won’t feel motivated to get started if you are dreading the place you have to go to to get the job done. Make your workspace a place that you are excited to go to and enjoy being in.
16. Face your fears. The only way to do away with negative and depleting energy is to face it head on. Write down all the things that scare you about the goal, all the things that you think could possibly go wrong. Once you see them clearly, they won’t have that same power over you, and you can develop strategies about what you would do in the event one does occur.
17. Use your time wisely. Before you wrap up for the day, generate a to-do list for the following morning. That way you don’t feel like you’re climbing up a mountain to start the next day and you’ll feel excited to begin.
18. Look to quotes that inspire you. If you start to feel like you don’t have the wherewithal to keep going, find some quotes from people you admire and carry them around with you or put them in your desk. They will remind you that you can achieve what you set out to do.
19. Remember that every day gets you closer to your goal. Sometimes you just can’t there and that’s okay. If you do half of the things on your list instead of the whole thing, that’s still a considerable effort.
20. Develop a routine. Start your day with a ritual that clears your head and puts you in the right frame of mind to start the day. Maybe it’s cooking breakfast, listening to music or going for an early morning workout. Just figure out what is right for you.
21. Listen to people who have been where you are. If you are feeling a bit listless, put in your headphones and cue up an inspiring podcast or TED Talk. Take an hour, go for a walk and then go back to work refreshed and ready to go.
22. Use an app. If you aren’t ready to share your goals with your friends or co-workers, a way to hold yourself accountable is to use an app like Make Me, which will help you challenge yourself alongside people with similar mindsets.
23. Get some rest. You will not feel motivated to do anything if you are exhausted. Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
24. Do a social-media black out. Just try it for a day or two at first and see how much work you get done. It can hard to stay focused if your energy is trained on monitoring what everyone else is doing.
25. Open a book. With all this time you have from not monitoring your social media, take some time to read something new. You might get an idea that you didn’t expect, and it’s inspiring to think that at one time, this person had an idea and they turned it into the book you're holding or reading on your device. If they can do it, so can you.
Related: Set a Simple Goal for the Year
26. Take a cold shower. Yes, really. When you take a shower in the morning or even when you wash up before heading out the door, put the water as cold as it can go for 30 seconds. It will wake up your brain and make you ready to get going.
27. Give hot-desking a try. Another way to get yourself focused and motivated is try working someplace new. Think about the spots in your office or home that share the qualities that that help you focus, like a cool temperature or being near natural light. Give them all a shot to give yourself more options.
28. Be a mentor. Make yourself available to newer staffers at your company or the up and comers you meet through any professional societies. Helping someone else achieve your goal and seeing how hard they are working will also inspire you to be motivated about your own projects.
29. Be prepared to change course. If after a certain point, maybe a few weeks, and something isn’t gelling, and you’re starting to dread doing the work, take a step back. It is entirely possible you have to change an element of your project or goal to make it work better for you. There is no shame in taking things in a different direction.
30. Remember it’s okay to make mistakes. One surefire way to deplete your motivation is to be terrified of doing something wrong. If you don’t make a mistake, you aren’t trying hard enough. Don’t let a fear of failure paralyze you.
31. Seek out collaborators. Think about the way you work best. Are you more of a lone wolf, or are you more excited to get started when you have someone to bounce ideas off of? If you’re the latter, find someone who wants to achieve the same goal and collaborate with them.
32. Schedule regular breaks. It is impossible to keep the same level of motivation and energy throughout the day if you are working non-stop. When you put together your calendar for the week, be sure to set aside time to take a break and fill the time with things that recharge you.
33. Avoid negativity. Does reading the news during the day stress you out? Read the headlines only once during the day. Do you have someone in your office who is constantly complaining? Change the subject to something more upbeat. Do your best to take the negative sources of energy in your life out of the equation, so that it doesn’t drain you.
34. Make a gratitude list. Remind yourself of the people that you are thankful to have in your life. Put it up in your workspace to show you who will be proud of you when you finish your goal.
35. Remember it’s never too late to start fresh. People often start new goals for the New Year or with the change in season, but you can have a fresh start whenever you want. If you have a bad day or bad week, don’t beat yourself up. Instead wake up the next morning and say today is a fresh start. This is one thing I can do to change my outlook today. And then go from there.
Related: 5 Ways to Achieve Your Desired Win
36. Eat brain-healthy foods. Snack on high-protein options like salmon, lean meats or nuts, or something that’s high in antioxidants like blueberries to help keep your mind sharp and focused.
37. Stay hydrated. If your mind feels sluggish and it’s hard to connect the dots, you might not be drinking enough water throughout the day. Like sleep and a healthy diet, staying hydrated is key to making your brain work for you.
38. Laugh. Take a minute to watch a funny video or share a joke with a friend. Laughter will put you in a better mood and you can channel that boost of energy into getting over the finish line with the task at hand.
39. Join a professional organization. You will meet likeminded people who are also working toward goals of their own, and it will motivate you to have meet your milestones so you can share them when you meet up with members of your community.
40. Put some money on the line. Lay out the milestones you want to meet for your goal. If you don’t meet one when you say you will, you will donate money to a charity of your friends or co-workers choosing.
41. Incentivize yourself. On the flip side, ask your family, friends and colleagues if they would be willing to donate to a charity of your choosing for when you do meet your marks.
42. Just get started. If you can’t find the motivation one morning, and nothing seems to be doing the trick, just start. You can always revise the next day when you’re in a better frame of mind, but it’s easier to build from something rather than starting with a blank page.
43. Find one good thing about each day. At the end of every day, write down one positive thing that happened to you and one thing that you are excited about for tomorrow. Constantly remind yourself that there are good things to look forward to even if you have a bad day.
44. Stop seeking perfection. You will never be motivated to do anything if you hold yourself to an unrealistic standard about what is possible. Don’t let perfectionism stand in the way of real progress.
45. Fake it until you make it. If you don’t feel motivated, go back to elementary school in your mind and make believe that you are excited to get going. Ape what that looks like until you start to feel it for real.
46. It isn’t a race. If you feel bad because you are comparing yourself to others, stop right now. It can be hard to feel excited to do your your work when it seems like everyone around you is doing amazing things and you can’t measure up. Remember that everyone experiences challenges, they might just not be forthcoming about them on Facebook or Instagram.
47. Enjoy yourself. Yes, accomplishing your goal will be hard work, but it shouldn’t feel like a slog. If it does, ask yourself, who am I really doing this for? And think about what you can do to bring more joy to the proceedings.
48. Look at colors that inspire creativity. Oranges and greens have been found to boost creative energy. Decorate your office with a motivational color scheme or get outside and look at the greenery to center your mind.
49. Don’t give up midstream. Promise yourself that if you do start a task that you will finish it. Stopping in the middle is not an option.
50. Follow the leads of your heroes. Read about the people you admire most. What do they do to get motivated? Give one of their tips a try and see how it works for you.