5 Ways to Remain Motivated and Focused on Kicking Ass Did you even know that there are two very useful hours before 9 a.m.?

By Jonathan Long

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The thought of entrepreneurship is initially appealing, and motivation is often abundant, but reality soon kicks in. In the real world, startup pitches aren't as simple and smooth as they appear on Shark Tank, and the lifestyle isn't as glamorous as the media portrays it.

Related: The 10 Biggest Motivation Killers and How to Fix Them (Infographic)

The truth is, you have to be your own motivator, and if you can't do that, the end result won't be favorable.That said, it never hurts to seek out additional ways to stay motivated and focused on reaching your goals. Here are five -- but remember, you have to be motivated to get motivated.

1. Start your mornings at the gym.

Don't place yourself in front of your computer and jump into your emails as soon as you wake up. Get into the habit of going to the gym every morning. Even if you don't want to lift weights, spend 45 to 60 minutes on the treadmill, or spin bike to get your blood flowing.

Not only is a workout extremely healthy, but you will notice your energy level rising to a new level, giving you the ability to power-through even the most hectic and stressful days. Feeling tired and groggy is a motivation killer. So, engage in regular physical exercise to improve your energy levels and help you stay motivated throughout the day.

2. Attack your "to-do' list early.

Starting your day early has so many benefits. Let's assume you take the advice from point number one above, and decide to hit the gym every morning from 5 a.m.to 6 a.m. Next, after a short shower and breakfast, you can realistically start your day at 7 a.m. full of energy.

This gives you two solid hours of distraction-free time to hammer out your to-do list. When 9 a.m. rolls around, you will have emails, phone calls, customers and employees to deal with. Clearing your plate as much as possible prior to the workday's official start will reduce stress and help you maintain a positive outlook, which is crucial to continued motivation.

Related: 3 Fun But Unorthodox Employee-Motivation Hacks

3. Track your numbers.

How many website visitors did you receive today? How many of those visitors became leads? How many converted into paying customers? How many customers walked through your doors? And what about the revenue generated today? These are all motivating numbers, because they allow you to see your hard work pay off.

Numbers never lie. And a steady increase provides the motivation you need to keep pushing hard; stagnant or dipping numbers, meanwhile, provide the motivation needed to make changes and turn things around.

4. Visualize success.

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." -- The late personal success author Napoleon Hill

This is one of my favorite quotes: You are never going to achieve something that you can't fully see in your mind and believe, with 100 percent certainty, that you can accomplish. If you need a little extra motivation, consider creating a vision board and placing it over your desk.

Constantly visualizing your goals etches them in your mind. Your thoughts are powerful. When your goals become your dominant thoughts, the motivation comes naturally.

"The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe." -- The Secret

5. Carve out time for yourself and your family.

Hitting a brick wall and experiencing burnout is a quick way to kill your motivation. You have to establish an "off" mode and use that time to get away from your business. Do what makes you happy outside of work: Spend time with your family, explore personal hobbies or just enjoy a good book completely unplugged from your business.

With the technology and conveniences available today, we have completely broken away from the traditional 9-to-5 workday. If a client knows that you are typically awake until midnight and emails you at 11 p.m., he or she may genuinely expect a reply. Since we are plugged in almost around the clock, you need to make sure you allocate time for yourself and your family.

Unplugging myself from my business every Sunday has been the best decision I have made -- it's just the right amount of time away to keep my motivation at a constant 100 percent.

What other ways do you stay motivated? Share your tips in the comments section below.

Related: Lacking Motivation? Follow These Steps to Get Back on Track.

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

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