Motivation – 20 strategies for sustained success

Get motivated

Do you embark on projects full of gusto but run out of steam before you’re even halfway?

Do you start out strong but rarely reach the finish line?

Learn some simple steps to get motivated and stay on track. Even the biggest procrastinator will find a technique worth trying in among these 20 motivation strategies. Follow them all or pick one or two that appeal to you.


Motivation Strategies


1. Know why

Identify specifically what makes achieving your goal important to you. If you don’t know what you’re doing it for it’ll be hard to stick at it when the going gets tough. Ask yourself how reaching your goal will improve your life. What will it bring you that you don’t have now? Dream big and make it inspiring to create the enthusiasm you need to carry you through.

2. Visualise success

Feel it, hear it, see it, taste it – the more vividly and clearly you can imagine the end point, the better. It’s what sports people do to train themselves mentally for a big event. Imagining yourself at the finish line inspires you to continue striving for it.

3. Believe in yourself

Believe you can do it. Trust your capabilities and resourcefulness. Think of times when you’ve been successful and draw upon those strengths now. If you find yourself in doubt, ask what you need to make yourself believe it’s possible…and then do it!

4. Pros and cons

Identify the benefits and the consequences. What positive things will happen if you do follow your dream? What negative things will happen if you don’t? Find your carrot and stick and see which motivates you more.

5. Break it down

Don’t feel over-whelmed. Breaking down large goals into smaller steps creates a simple, achievable way forward and allows you to experience success along the way.

6. Reward yourself

Identify key milestones on your journey and build in small rewards when you reach them. Congratulating yourself as you progress builds confidence and provides encouragement.

7. Make a plan

Having a plan with manageable steps reduces the tendency to procrastinate. It also allows you to address any potential obstacles that might derail you. Writing down your plan and timeline helps you to see the progress you’re making and keep you on track.

8. Just start!

Don’t wait until all of your circumstances are perfect, they probably never will be. Making a start initiates early momentum and allows doors to already start opening for you.

9. Be consistent

Research shows that daily repetition can install a new habit in 21 days. This means that so-called ‘bad habits’ can be turned to positive behaviour in under a month!

10. Accept the ups and the downs

Don’t fall into the ‘all or nothing’ trap. We don’t need to be perfect to be successful. If your best-laid plans fall by the wayside, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, accept it as part of the process (and a sign that you’re human!), pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on.

11. Be accountable

When you tell a friend or a colleague what you are working towards you create an extra reason to do the best you can. Perhaps someone at work could mentor you. Be accountable to them, but most importantly, don’t let yourself down.

12. Recruit your cheerleaders

Telling friends and family what you are doing, and why, can provide much-needed support. It also means the people around you are more aware of what you need in order to succeed, making them less likely to lead you astray.

13. Get a buddy

Embarking on a goal with someone else can be hugely motivating. Spurring each other on, especially if you start flagging, can be just the boost you need. You also benefit from the feeling of ‘helpers high’ when you provide the same such support for your buddy.

14. Create affirmations

Design your own pep-talk. Feel-good mantras that you can say to yourself mornings and evenings, or at times when you most need to be strong, help keep you going. Include them in a daily meditation, or stick them on post-it notes on your bedroom mirror.

15. Find a role model

Who do you know, either personally, or from TV, music or even history, that already embodies the person you want to become? Posting a picture or famous quote of them where you can see it regularly, can help inspire you towards your goal.

16. Available resources

Research books, podcasts, TED Talks, blogs and websites related to your goal, and find tips and tools to help you on your way and provide added inspiration. Keep them in perspective though. Less research and more action might be the key to achieving more.

17. Change your environment

Create the conditions necessary for success. For example, if you need to stay focused on a big project, turn your email alert off and choose just two or three times a day to check them. Ask yourself what changes to your location or daily routine will make your path easier to follow.

18. Keep a journal

Reviewing your progress builds awareness of what is working well for you and what needs some improvement. At the end of each day write down three things you’ve done, however small, that have moved you closer to your goal.

19. Be well

Regardless of whether or not your goal is health-related, starting from a foundation of good health is essential in order to provide the energy you’ll need to keep going. So aim to eat right, exercise regularly, sleep sufficiently and reduce your stress levels.

20. Ask an expert

Don’t struggle in silence. If you’d benefit from outside help, seek it. A personal trainer, a career coach, an online training course can all be excellent resources to give you the extra impetus and skills you need. Invest in yourself to become your best ever you.

  1. The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.

  2. I fully agree Yanglish. When you look at successful entrepreneurs they often failed many times before they became successful. They are always learning what works and what doesn’t.

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