We all have goals. Whether it’s to lose weight, enjoy a lavish vacation, or achieve financial freedom, we all want to accomplish something. Sadly, many people fail to achieve their dreams due to lack of consistent motivation. To help, below is a list of the best motivation tips to stay on track in 2020.
Here are the top 23 motivation tips to help you achieve your dreams:
1. Establish Well-Defined Goals
The road to staying motivated starts here. When pursuing the ideal vision of your life, you need to sit down and translate that vision into tangible goals. A well-defined and motivating goal should have no ambiguity and follow the SMART method by being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If you set goals this way, it’ll give your life a sense of direction that’ll keep you motivated in pursuit of your dreams.
2. Create Attainable Milestones
Let’s face it, audacious or long-term goals can be overwhelming. Over time, you’re liable to lose motivation because the goal is either daunting or too far out to feel achievable. To prevent this, break down your higher-level or big hairy audacious goals (BHAG) into smaller, more achievable goals by creating milestones. Milestones are smaller, more attainable goals that help you achieve your higher-level or long-term goals. This also helps you celebrate the small wins and keep you motivated as you pursue the vision of your ideal life.
3. Keep Track of Your Progress
A goal that isn’t both measurable and time-bound is one that’ll quickly demotivate you. If you can’t track your progress as you try to design the life you want, you’ll never know if you’re headed in the right direction and unable to discern how far or close you are to achievement. By tracking your progress, you’ll keep yourself motivated as you achieve related milestones on your way to the ideal vision of your life.
4. Just Start
The dirty secret about motivation is that it’s something you build more often than it’s something you find within yourself. What I mean by this is that rather than waiting for the mood to strike you or the muse to show herself, you often just need to start. Over time, motivation increases like a snowball as you pick up momentum with your habit. If you’re looking to motivate yourself to complete a task or goal, the best tip is to just do it now—don’t delay.
5. Take a Methodical Approach
In the turbo-charged and fast-paced world we live in today, people often feel like they have to achieve success instantly. For most of us, however, this can be extremely demotivating because success doesn’t typically come overnight and takes a lot of hard work and time. So, while you don’t want to be paralyzed by fear and biased towards action, you also want to take a steady and methodical approach to the achievement of your dreams. Focusing on steady, sustainable growth is more motivating than trying to become an instant (and likely short) flash in the pan.
6. Be Patient
Mentioned above, people have the tendency to expect quick results and demotivate themselves if they don’t see immediate success. However, keep in mind that achieving your dreams is rarely done in an instant. If the ideal vision for your life is big enough, it’ll take time. So, rather than trying to become an overnight success, try to become an overnight success 10-years in the making, and use your patience as motivation to achieve long-term goals.
7. Enjoy the Process
One reason why a lot of people fail to motivate themselves is because they feel like their dreams are too much work or too big to achieve. Trying to lose weight, for example, can seem like a daunting task and ultimately demotivate you from even starting. Instead, focus on the process—aka the joy of going to the gym daily and getting your endorphins flowing. As you begin to see incremental progress, you can motivate yourself to keep going because the focus becomes the process of becoming better, rather than a defined result you may never achieve.
8. Stay Positive
Often times, a lack of motivation causes negative thoughts and a downward spiral of increasingly demotivating feelings. To combat this, focus on staying positive throughout the thick and thin of life. Remember, success isn’t the absence of adversity but rather how you respond to the adversity that will inevitably come. Keep a positive mindset as you design your ideal life in order to stay motivated as you pursue your dreams.
9. Join a Relevant Community
Often times when we lack motivation it’s because we don’t have the required knowledge or wherewithal to even understand how to pursue our ideal life. To help keep yourself motivated, join a relevant community where you can ask questions and receive advice on how best to achieve the vision for your desired lifestyle. This way, your vision becomes less opaque and more clear, thereby keeping yourself motivated as you set out to attain it.
10. Find an Accountability Partner
While community support is great for knowledge sharing, if you want to keep yourself motivated, you’ll also want to find an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who keeps you on track and makes sure you’re keeping yourself honest in the pursuit of your dreams. By having someone specific to share your progress with, you’ll achieve a level of consistent motivation as you move forward in the direction of your higher-level goals.
11. Use Visuals & Visualizations
The best way to motivate yourself is to make the ideal vision of your life tangible. Often, our higher-level or long-term goals are a bit amorphous and hard to hold within your head, causing you to become demotivated. To combat this, use visualization techniques such as writing down your goals, creating a vision board, or using visualization meditation—all of which will help you keep your dreams tangible and achievable in your mind’s eye.
12. Find Inspiration
Regardless of who you are, there will certainly be times when you feel demotivated and seem to have lost hope in accomplishing something. If this happens, it’s important to find some inspiration to remotivate you. Look for inspiration in books, podcasts and online articles such as a list of inspirational quotes, biographies, or tactical content on how to actually achieve your goal. Finding a consistent source of inspiration will help keep you motivated and moving forward.
13. Get a Career Coach
If a community or accountability partner aren’t helping you motivate yourself, consider professional help. A career coach is a professional whose job is to empower you by offering practical advice and assistance in pursuit of your dream and vision. This level of professional support blends the benefits of community and accountability to keep yourself informed and on-track as you achieve the goals you covet.
14. Define Your “Why”
Why do you even want to achieve the things you do? No, not for money or fame or some other shiny object. What is the underlying reason or reasons? Is it to grow as a person? Help your community? Earn the freedom to travel? Identifying the underlying reason why you’re pursuing a specific path will help you stay motivated because you’ll never forget the purpose. For example, if you want to start a business, don’t focus on the revenue as motivation (that’s surface level), instead, focus on the positive change you expect your product or service to make.
15. Be Aware of Resistance
Let’s face it, the urge to quit something hard is always present. Anything worth doing will seem daunting at some point—you’re no different from anyone else if you feel the desire to give up. However, this is just natural human resistance to struggle and unconscious bias towards the path of least resistance. When you feel resistance, don’t let it demotivate you. Use it as validation that you’re headed in the right direction because it is hard. Remember, the obstacle is the way.
16. Keep a Daily Journal
Like resistance, when the going gets tough, it’s natural to spiral into negative thought loops that make you question yourself and your direction in life. To avoid this, try keeping a daily journal where you can get your thoughts out of your head. Often, the simple act of organizing your thoughts and writing them down, even if they’re negative, clears your head and lets you refocus and re-motivate with clarity. This will also help you identify vague feelings and also has the positive benefit of making things feel less daunting when you list out your concerns.
17. Reward Yourself
People who have big goals or dreams often forget to stop and smell the roses. This can quickly become demotivating if you feel like wins and achievements are scarce. Combat this by rewarding yourself for the small wins, which will motivate you to keep going in your pursuit of increasingly larger wins. Finally got that raise you deserve? Take yourself out for a nice dinner before you instinctively think, “what’s next?”
18. Know Your Peak Hours
Most people are productive during a specific time in the day. For many, it’s the sweet spot in the late morning/early afternoon between 10-1pm. However, this isn’t true for everyone. Some are night owls and prefer to work in the late afternoon or evening. Regardless, you are most highly motivated during your peak hours. So, when trying to motivate yourself, make sure you’re maximizing the time you’re most alert and ready to work.
19. Take a Break
We all want to be productive, but even productive people need downtime. Often, when we’re pursuing a big goal or initiative, we feel like we can’t take any time off. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, you might say. Well, if you don’t take time for a little R&R while trying to achieve your ideal life, you might be dead before you achieve it. Work hard when you have to and don’t use it as an excuse, but make sure you recharge, refresh, and refocus if you want to stay motivated.
20. Make it Easy
Something that Tim Ferriss said really stuck with me. “What would this look like if it was easy?” he asked. Often, when we’re trying to achieve big things, we think that the harder it is the better. While nothing worth achieving is easy, if you’re feeling demotivated in your pursuit, ask yourself, “what would this look like if it was easy?” For example, if you want to start a podcast, instead of worrying over the best equipment and branding, how about you start with simple and consistent iPhone or GarageBand recordings to get yourself in the groove first?
21. Take Care of Your Health
If you’re not taking care of your health you won’t have a high capacity for motivation. Being healthy ensures you’re physiologically balanced and also increases your confidence, which bleeds over into other areas of your life. If you aren’t healthy you’ll often be demotivated, but if you take care of your health you’ll have a higher propensity for motivation.
22. Try Something New
While consistency is key, you also shouldn’t do something if it clearly isn’t working. If you have a routine that isn’t yielding the results you want, why don’t you try to change it up? Sometimes giving yourself a fresh start is the exact thing you need to kickstart your motivation and make you feel excited all over again.
23. Share Your Goals With Others
Joining a community, getting an accountability partner, or hiring a coach are all good ideas, but sometimes the only thing you need to motivate yourself is to tell other people about the thing you’re trying to achieve. While some science disputes this (because talking about it stimulates the same pleasure system in your brain as actually achieving it), sometimes putting your intentions out into the world motivates you to achieve it because you’ve made it known.
Conclusion: Motivation Tips
While there are many ways to motivate yourself, the best motivation tips for you is the one that works best. Try the tips above as well as experiment with your own to find the best mix. Ultimately, you’ll naturally go through periods of motivation and demotivation, and as long as you consistently get back in the saddle, you’ll be more than fine.