I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about goal setting lately. I don’t know if it’s because we’re coming to the end of the year and I’ve been reflecting on the goals I set for myself, or because it will soon be time to create goals for the new year.
One question I get asked a lot is how I stay motivated.
Sometimes staying motivated is easier than other times. Waning motivation while working towards a goal is a natural experience.
But don’t worry, friend! There are ways you can avoid complete burnout and stay motivated as you work towards your goals.
When I feel my motivation slipping, there are certain things I do that help me get back on track.
So today I‘m sharing tips to help you stay motivated to achieve your goals. These are techniques that help me stay consistent and ahead of those dips in motivation.
Write Your Goals Down Every Day
Every day when I sit down at my desk, I write down my goals. I have a list of about 10 goals I re-write every day. This includes goals like “work out 3 days a week” or “publish X amount of posts this month”. Writing them down every day focuses my intention on those goals and helps me to connect to them.
When I let this practice slide, which happens because I am not perfect, I also find that my attention and motivation towards my goals begin to slip.
When I feel my motivation going down, I re-read my goals from previous days or weeks. Sometimes, I’ve already achieved some of those goals. Seeing that achievement, along with re-writing my goals, often gives me the boost I need to get back on track to meet my goals.
Break Your Goals Down into Smaller Goals
Sometimes our goals can become overwhelming as we work towards them. This can be extremely discouraging.
If you’re feeling discouraged or overwhelmed, examine your goal and see if there is a way you can break the goal down. Perhaps your larger goal can be broken down into 3 or 4 smaller goals.
For example, one of my goals is to make a certain income from my writing. That goal is huge and include lots of tasks that go towards achieving that goal. So I’ve broken that goal into smaller goals. I prioritize those smaller goals and I concentrate on a just a few at a time.
Connect With Your “Why”
The German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
Sometimes when we start to burnout or become less motivated, it’s because the fire that fueled us to want to achieve that goal has been dimmed. This is when you need to reconnect with why you made that goal.
Here is a simple exercise to help you reconnect with your why for a goal you have set. Sit somewhere quiet and away from any distractions. Close your eyes and think about what it would feel like to achieve that goal. Try to really fee” what achieving the goal would be like. Visualize that achievement in as much detail as you can.
Surrounding yourself with positive people or people with similar goals is an important way to stay motivated. These people may be in real-life or in online groups where you connect with others trying to reach the same goals.
If there are people in your life that are unsupportive of your goals, keep your distance from them. I don’t mean don’t talk to them or cut them out of your life (though sometimes this may be necessary). I mean just don’t share progress or accomplishments with them. Find others that will cheer you on and high five you every time you lose a pound or save $100 in your emergency fund.
See Setbacks as Lessons
Remember that success is built on setbacks and failures. Expecting that there will be bumps along the way will lessen the blow when something comes up. Instead of getting down on yourself for failing, approach the setback as a lesson. What did you learn from the experience? What could you have done better?
Celebrate Accomplishments, Big or Small
Always celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how big or how small.
By celebrating all your accomplishments you give yourself that extra little boost to keep you moving forward.
Sometimes when my motivation is waning, I will stop the Pitty party and ask myself what I have already accomplished. I’ll remind myself of each small win. This change in focus has helped me countless times to get over a funk and refocus on moving towards my goals.
Don’t Play The Comparison Game
While leaning on others and finding a support group is a great way to stay motivated, make sure you don’t get caught up comparing yourself to others working towards the same goals. Usually the comparison game comes up through social media. If this is the case for you, it might be time to hide certain friends on Facebook or Instagram.
Remember: Everybody achieves their goals in different ways and at different times. Stay in your lane. Focus on your achievements and the way you want to achieve your goal and you will find greater success.
What helps you stay motivated?
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21 thoughts on “How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals”
My husband and I recently went to a community event during which connecting with your why was the focus. We came out of that realizing we need to make this clear in our lives and now that I am reading it here, I need to really get on it.
It’s so important not to only know what your why is but really connect with it. I find that as soon as I refocus on my why, my productivity increases and I get so motivated to keep pushing.
These are great tips. As I review my year I realize I don’t acknowledge my accomplishments near enough. One of my 2019 goals is to give myself more credit. I also love looking at the big goal and breaking it down into smaller goals.
I think a lot of us, especially women, are less likely to acknowledge our accomplishments. We need to give ourselves credit for ALL the work we do! 🙂
I like your idea of rewriting your big goals every day. I tend to write them once at the beginning of the month but I’ll be honest that I don’t look at them daily.
I used to do the same but I realized that my goals were just in the back of my mind rather than front and center. This one change has made a big difference in my motivation!
These are great tips! I admit, I am horrible at writing my goals down! I know all the benefits and I know it would keep me on track but yet I never do. So I am going to make it a goal (Ha!) to write down my goals and be more focused on them in 2019! I have a whiteboard so I am going to use it for that!!
I love the idea of having your goals on a whiteboard! I may have to borrow this idea.
It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap! But it’s so much better for us if we keep our blinders on and push toward our own goal!
This is such a tricky one. Especially with all the media we consume every day. I find this happens to me sometimes. Whenever I catch myself comparing and getting down on myself, I simply think to myself “that is wonderful that person has accomplished so much and I wish them continued success. But my journey is different and unique and I WILL achieve all my goals”. It seems to do the trick!
I need to get into the habit of writing my goals down EVERY DAY. This will definitely help keep me motivated. The other stuff I’m pretty on top of but could always use a little more consistency. Thanks so much for sharing!
Consistency can be tricky. I always feel like when I “fall off the wagon” and let these practices slip that my motivation also starts slipping!
So many great tips! I have started to write down my goals for the year, but I love the idea of writing goals daily as a way to help me work towards my bigger goals.
These are really awesome tips! I’m currently focusing on how to celebrate accomplishments. It seems silly that this is so hard for me, but it’s something I struggle with.
Jenna, you are not alone! I also tend to focus on what more I could and should be doing rather than all the accomplishments. When I need to get motivated I top myself and list everything I HAVE accomplished and it’s usually much more than I think!
Love the advice given here. Especially the part about not comparing…so important! Tweeting to share.
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I really enjoyed this post. I will definitely start celebrating my little wins. That is something I never do because I feel like they are really nothing huge to celebrate lol. Thank you for this and I hope to see more awesome content from you.
Thanks for your kind words Rumi! Every win is worth celebrating and those small wins build a mountain of success!