5 Tips for Self-Motivation

It’s not about how many times you fail, but how many times you get up

Nov 19, 2019

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Setting goals for ourselves can bring tremendous joy and satisfaction, whether it means pursuing a passion, making healthy lifestyle changes, or spending more time with your family. When setting these goals, self-motivation plays a key component.

But making big life changes requires perseverance. When you’ve already developed certain habits, accomplishing those goals doesn’t always come as easily as you’d like and it may be hard to stay motivated over the long haul.

At first, you might feel a burst of energy and work toward your goals at full throttle. But when results don’t happen as quickly as you’d like, you can lose steam and find it difficult to stay motivated. These tips will help you to overcome the dips in motivation and stay on track toward achieving goals.

Break down big goals into smaller ones
Sometimes having a big vision makes it difficult to even know where to begin. Breaking down a big goal into smaller tasks will help to lay out the steps toward success according to Psychology Today. Another bonus: each time you complete these small steps, you’ll trigger a flood of dopamine, a chemical in the brain often called the “feel good neurotransmitter”. 

Celebrate small wins
When hard work pays off, you certainly deserve a moment to celebrate and give yourself credit. Mark each milestone by treating yourself, whether that means buying something nice, taking the afternoon off, soaking in a long bath, or indulging in your favorite meal. An article in Harvard Business Review tells how attention to small wins can help lift people out of depression.

Get enough rest
When it comes to pursuing a goal, rest is just as important as working hard. Make sure you get enough sleep. A study shows that sleep has a major impact on overall health and performance. As it turns out, daydreaming can actually have positive effects on your brain, so give yourself a chance to “turn off” by taking breaks. 

Surround yourself with supportive people
Having the right friends in your life will have a big impact on everything, especially when trying to make a major change. People who have a good support system have a much better chance of succeeding. You’ll need cheerleaders on the sidelines who can lift you up when self-motivation drops. When you feel discouraged, don’t be afraid to ask for help from those supportive people in your corner to stay motivated.

Practice gratitude
When reaching for a goal, many can fall into the habit of focusing on the shortcomings rather than the achievements. This can kill motivation. Count your blessings and remind yourself of the small wins so far. An attitude of gratitude not only grows self-motivation but also improves health, self-esteem, and mental strength (things you’ll need to stay motivated).

Remember that going through a major life change doesn’t happen easily. You will likely come across wins along with missteps and failures. But that’s normal! 

It’s not about how many times you fail, but how many times you get up. You’ll learn throughout the process and come out a more enriched person. As you stay motivated and overcome challenges, accomplishing your goals will feel even more deserved and rewarding.

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.