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How to Stay Motivated (10 Principles)

Looking for ways to stay motivated? 

Look no further.

If you have a big idea in mind, like publishing a book or perhaps starting an online business, but don’t know how to keep motivated, we’ve got your back.

In this article, we’ll go over 10 simple principles that help you stay motivated and achieve your goals. 

1. Have a goal that you are truly passionate about

Tackling every single task at once might seem like a decent idea at first.

However, being conscious of how you choose your goals makes it easier for you to prioritize what matters to you the most.

To decide what project to focus on, make a list of all the tasks you have in mind. Then look at each task and ask yourself:

  • How will it benefit other people and me?
  • What steps do I need to take to make this goal into reality?
  • How will it impact my future projects or business?

Once you have your clear goal in mind, write it down every day on a piece of paper or a journal. It’ll help you stay focused and remind you what you’re aiming to achieve. 

Another way to stick to your goal is by telling it to someone else. According to a study, the chances of reaching your end goals increases to 65% when people commit to another person instead of making a promise to themselves.

A girl reading a map outside

2. Always have a plan that gives you clarity on what to do next

Determining when and where you take action toward your long-term goal can double or even triple your productivity. 

Here are a few tips to help you create a plan for reaching your end goals:

  • Start out small. Make a list of easier tasks you need to do as part of your plan. That way you’ll get the momentum you need to tackle harder tasks.
  • Set a deadline and create a schedule. Decide the finish date for the project. It will help you see the progress you’ve made so far. Remember to set a realistic time frame to accomplish everything. 
  • Review your plan. Take your time to look back at how much you’ve achieved. Evaluate if your strategy is working or if something needs to change.

3. Start working on small tasks first

The hardest part of achieving your goals is often in the very beginning when you need motivation the most.

Make life easier for yourself and tackle easy tasks first to get you mentally and physically ready. Finishing a small step of a bigger task will boost your mood and increase your motivation.

If you want to get scientific about it, when finishing small tasks, our brain releases dopamine which helps us be motivated.  

Also, maintain your motivation by not stopping the process once you’ve started. Giving yourself a chance to stop the process can really hurt your momentum.

4. Meditation helps to focus on your goals

Meditation is one way of training your mind to focus on your goals. 

A study shows that meditation can improve our ability to solve problems and reduce needless mind-wandering. Another research also reveals that improved attention seems to last up to five years after meditation training.

There are many types of meditation, but mindfulness meditation is one of the easiest practices for beginners. It’s a simple practice that you can do anywhere and anytime. 

If you’re struggling to meditate your own, try using meditation apps such as Calm or Insight Timer.

5. Visualize the process to reach your goal

Visualizing your end goals is another great way to stay motivated for success. Research suggests that practicing and visualizing something in your mind provides a similar effect as if you’re doing it in real life.

Researchers at New York University discovered that visualizing your end goal gives people a similar emotional release as if they’ve accomplished their goals. However, it’s also suggested that it can demotivate you to take real actions.

Combat this by trying to visualize the process instead of your end objective. 

Jerry West, a former NBA player, practiced this method. He rehearsed making shots countless times in his mind before actually jumping into the court.

To practice visualization, close your eyes, and create mental images of yourself doing the activities that relate to your long term goal. Making a mood board is another way to keep yourself motivated, helping you visualize your final goal.

You can even try reading some motivational quotes if you feel like you need a little self-confidence boost. 

A white desk with a computer, a yellow mug and a plant on it

6. Find a comfortable environment

Working in a pleasant environment can also help in staying motivated. 

Pay attention to how you feel while working in a specific place, such as a café or a park. Understanding which location makes you feel the most productive helps you decide which spot to make your new base of operations.

You can also create a nice work environment in your own home or office by trying out the following:

  • Listen to music. Certain sounds can help you stay motivated and focused while working. 
  • Make your room comfortable. Decorate your workplace to suit your needs by placing favorite pictures, or adding some plants to your room. It helps to reduce stress and makes you feel more comfortable.
  • Improve the room’s lighting. Natural light can improve your mood, energy, and focus. You can even try using blue-enriched light bulbs to enhance your working space even more during darker months.
  • Keep your workplace tidy. Put all the essential tools you need in a drawer or box that you can easily access: you won’t have to stress about wasting time trying to find something.
  • Prepare your favorite drink and snack. Take time to relax and don’t be afraid to have small breaks in between all the hard work you’re getting done. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee before work to set your mood straight and boost your energy.

7. Surround yourself with successful people

Your social circle has a significant influence on the standards you set for yourself for reaching that end goal.

In order to set that bar even higher, try surrounding yourself with like-minded human beings who are also more successful than you. 

There are many ways to find and connect with successful people, including:

  • Be part of an online community. Look for online forums or communities of topics that interest you and get active in the conversations. 
  • Follow influential people on social media. Reading through stories on how successful people kept themselves motivated can inspire you in reaching your dreams and getting motivated.
  • Go to a workshop or seminar. Attending seminars that also strive for similar goals as yours increases your chances of meeting successful and like-minded individuals.
  • Join networking events. Websites like Eventbrite and Meetups can help you find groups based on your interests. 

8. Don’t rely on willpower alone, change your habits

When you have the motivation to start working on your projects, it might be challenging to take action if your energy is low. 

That’s why it’s crucial to make sure you stay energized and committed every step of the way. 

One of the ways to help with that is to build good habits for yourself:

  • Have a healthy morning ritual. Many successful people take their time in the morning to do activities that help nourish their minds and bodies. 
  • Get enough sleep. Proper night sleep helps to improve your mood and strengthen your memory and motivation. 
  • Eat healthy foods. Consume nutrient-rich foods that provide the daily energy you need.
  • Go for a walk. Walking increases oxygen flow through your body, which can elevate your energy levels.
  • Stay hydrated. Lack of water can make you feel tired and less alert, so ensure to keep a glass of water near you when you’re working. 
  • Exercise. A proper exercise routine is not only good for your physical health but it’ll also help you with stress, motivation, and focus during the day.
  • Keep a daily journal. Having a journal can benefit you in many ways, help with your creativity, and allowing you to have more clarity on tasks ahead.
  • Take a nap from time to time. Napping can give some cognitive benefits. Ensure your naps take no more than 20 minutes to prevent you from feeling groggy afterward. 

9. Be flexible with your work schedule

If your current work time makes you feel unmotivated to accomplish your task, you should consider changing up your schedule.

Instead of comparing your working schedule with other people, find a time frame that works for you. 

Focus on the quality of your results instead of your work hours to reach optimal results.

This idea is also based on the limitations of our cognition in doing focused work. According to one study, an average worker is only productive for around three hours per day.

One of the ways of staying motivated and getting your important tasks done, try to get them done during your most productive time.

Not sure when you’re most productive? Start by learning about your chronotype – in other words, sleeping time. It helps you to recognize what time you fell most energetic during the day, according to sleep doctor Michael Breus.

He goes through the four main chronotypes and the most convenient daily schedule for each type. By following this type of plan can increase your overall energy and productivity, helping you stay motivated, among other things.

A person holding a candy jar against a white background

10. Reward yourself for your achievements

Preparing a reward each time you achieve a small task is a great way to feel like you’re moving closer to something important. Little rewards also keep you motivated for life, too.

Many people find it’s hard to keep their spirits high because they focus on the negative feelings along the process. However, through positive reinforcement, you can focus on the pleasant emotions of achieving small tasks.

Rewarding yourself can also help you stick to your habits more effectively.

Based on a theory of motivation, human behavior can be motivated by a desire for incentives or rewards. 

That’s why it’s important to celebrate every small win you achieve along the way. This reward could be anything, from a chance to read your favorite book to going out with your friends.

Keep in mind that your reward shouldn’t interfere with your habits or goals. For instance, if your target is to save more money, then you want to find different ways to stay within your budget while treating yourself.

Learn how to be motivated 

Despite all odds, motivation is something that can be learned. 

One of the most important things to understand about motivation is that it comes from within. Align your goals with things that you find important and that are important to you.

Before you know it, your inner motivation of reaching goals that you’re passionate about will be a driving force in your daily life.

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Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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