How to Motivate Yourself to Stick to Goals

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We’re all great at setting goals for ourselves. Today, we vow to cross 26 things off our to-do lists. By the end of the month, we’ll cross off 5,000. The reality is a little different, as it’s much easier to set goals than to accomplish them. Ultimately, everything boils down to how well you motivate yourself and commit to achieving those goals. Staying motivated is not easy. Whether it’s outside forces distracting you at work or that the work itself makes you feel overwhelmed, motivation plays a crucial role in succeeding. Sometimes you need some help to get back on track, and that’s what the following tips are for – to learn how to motivate yourself to stick to your goals. 

Don’t Think About the Work

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At the very least, don’t think about the work you are doing as hard. Instead, motivate yourself by focusing on the work as the pathway to accomplishing your goals. Every project you complete and assignment you hand in can help you stand out at work and is a step toward a better future. Don’t think about these tasks as difficult, tedious, impossible or frustrating. Instead, think about what the result is going to be for you to complete this assignment and accomplish the goal. If you think a work task is going to be a burden, then no amount of motivation will help. Instead, think about it as something you need to do to have a better future. 

Start the Day with Your Least Favorite Work

It may sound like the wrong direction, but your mind is generally the freshest in the morning. That makes the start of your day the best time to focus on finishing up your least favorite work tasks. If you allow your to-do list to get bogged down by work that you find repetitive, tedious or frustrating, it will snap your motivation. Don’t push this work to the side and think about doing it later. Take the opportunity to get the work done early and allow the rest of the day for work you enjoy or at least enjoy more. 

Create Smaller Goals

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All too often a work goal will fail because you simply do not know where to begin and how to motivate yourself to do it. Rather than allowing yourself to be focused on a large goal you are not sure how to attack, start with something smaller. The more digestible a goal can be, the better the chances you will accomplish the goal as well as the next one, the one after that and so on. It’s always going to be important to have a large goal you want to accomplish, but smaller goals and those wins will boost your motivation and morale. Each small goal will lead to a sense of accomplishment that builds up your confidence prior to taking on a larger objective. 

Plan Out Your Day

Just as you plan to start your day with your least favorite work, don’t ignore the plan for the rest of the day either. Working better also means working smarter, and that includes proper time management. Take a few minutes each morning and create a plan for everything you want to get done that day. Do you want to take lunch at exactly noon and return at one? Schedule your day around that. Creating any schedule will help each day feel more manageable. It doesn’t matter how you plan it out (online, using an app, etc.), so long as you do. Make sure to include breaks as well.

Listen to Music

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One of the easiest and quickest ways to turn around a day that feels like it lacks all motivation is to turn on music. It’s incredible what an upbeat tune can to do your overall mood and motivation. Within minutes, your entire day can be turned around with your energy level returning. Take a short break during the day, close your eyes and play some music. A break with just a few songs can make a huge difference in how your day begins and ends. When you feel the energy of the music, your body will allow a rejuvenated sense of energy coursing through it. After the music break is over, your motivation levels will have returned and you will be ready to take on the rest of the day. 

Remind Yourself Why You Are Working

The next time you have to motivate yourself to power through your goals, remind yourself why you are there. This goes well beyond paying the bills. You are there because you are hopefully doing something you love and want to accomplish something that will make you feel good. If you feel uninspired for a moment, that is perfectly normal. Take a step back and remember why you are working so hard, and the motivation will rush right back to you. The next thing you know, you will be diving right back into work with a completely new outlook. 

Have a Quitting Time

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At some point each day, you have to say enough is enough for the day. It’s very easy to get swept up at work, and all of a sudden time gets away from you. It’s important for you to be able to have a time of the day that is a hard stop, pencils down time. This way you can allow yourself enough time to unplug each night and refresh. You cannot be motivated to work better if you cannot keep your eyes open. When you know that 5:00 PM each day is the end of the day no matter what, you will be motivated to work better. This enables you to get more done each day so you can end on time. 


It’s not a simple issue to motivate yourself to accomplish your goals. There is no miracle cure if you cannot seem to find the right motivation to work each day. However, there are steps you can take to help get motivated and feel motivated. None of them are foolproof, nor do any of them have to be done together. You can do one, two or none at all. Just know if you really want to find yourself motivated each day, you need to do something different than what you are doing now. These tips are a great first step. If looking for more help, try a motivational wallpaper for your desktop.

David Beren

David Beren is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. He loves dogs, his kids and hacking productivity.

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