A lot of people have trouble staying constantly motivated to achieve their goals. One of the main causes is seeing no immediate or short term results after putting in some work.
But we all know that good things take effort and even more so, patience.
I’m going to be talking about some very practical tips from my life and also borrow advice from personal development experts who practice self-motivation on a daily basis.
So let’s take a look at the definition of motivation.
“The term motivation refers to factors that activate, direct, and sustain goal-directed behaviors… Motivates are the ‘why’s of behavior—the needs or wants that drive behavior and explain what we do. We don’t actually observe a motive; rather, we infer that one exists based on the behavior we observe.”
There are three components to motivation as well which include:
- Activation (the decision to initiate a behavior)
- Persistence (consistent effort towards the goal even when faced with obstacles)
- Intensity (the amount of focus and vigor that goes into achieving a goal)
Okay now that you have some understanding of what motivation is, let’s continue.
One of the main things you should be doing is constantly reminding yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask yourself why you’re doing it, who are you doing it for.
Envision the people that would greatly benefit from you achieving your goals.
Envision your life as if those goals have been obtained and being in that moment.
After doing this for a while and taking action, you won’t need to remind yourself as much because everything will start turning into little habits.
Someone who is an inspiration and big on this is Michal Stawicki, author of The Art of Persistence.
Michal is someone who you can describe as “highly driven” but he doesn’t rely on his own personal traits to stay like that.
Every day after he wakes up, he takes 30 minutes to look at his vision board.
He reads his philosophy manifesto that he wrote himself to fire up his drive.
His philosophy manifesto is shaped by two books that he has read, The Science of Getting Rich and Manuscript on Purgatory, which are both focused on personal development.
Michal repeats his 1,000 word manifesto by heart while doing things like brushing his teeth or drinking water.
He then spends 10 to 15 minutes self-analyzing all aspects of his life and answering thought-provoking questions of his.
He contributes this 45-minute form of “meditation” to being able to do an insane amount of work while being a family man and productive employee.
Michal disagrees with setting goals and achieving them. He just focuses on daily discipline and habits to support the goal instead of just looking at the end goal.
Did you fail? Have a setback? That’s fine.
Find out why and then find out what you can do to get back on track. Remember there is always tomorrow to get back into the action and making adjustments.
Make a To-Do List the Night Before
This tip comes from Andrew Ferebee who is a performance coach, 7-figure entrepreneur, and podcaster.
One of the best tactics of increasing motivation and productivity is planning your day the night before.
Waking up without a list or plan means you have to waste time throughout the day figuring out what needs to be done.
Devoting 15 minutes the night before, will help you increase achievement and productivity levels. Remember to be realistic when creating your goals.
Why Motivation Alone Only Lasts So Long
Dean Yeong, self development blogger, has some great advice on motivation.
He has three key points on why motivation will work good in the beginning stages but crashes later on.
- Rewards cancel out the ability of self-motivation
- Motivation gives us a sense that we have already achieved our goals
- Motivation can distract us from what we have to do
Dean says that motivation can help getting started with a project but harmful in the long run.
He says that to solve this you need to be consistently taking action while strengthening self-discipline and having good habits.
Here’s how he does it:
- Start small. Break your goals down into smaller pieces.
- Reform your environment to make sticking to your routine easier
- Focus on your progress. Measure your progress by the small actions you take everyday.
- Do it even if you don’t feel like doing it. It’s easy to perform in a state of motivation, but hard when you’re not. Plan up front and put in the work. Small goal by small goal.
Matthew Jones, a life coach and personal growth expert has a great tip to staying motivated.
His advice is to take a step back and change your perspective. Realize how privileged you are to have an opportunity to learn new things and increase the quality of their lives. Many people do not have the ability nor opportunities that you do.
This is just one example, but many kids are asking themselves if they will eat today while other people are deciding what they don’t want to eat.
Here are some tips from success consultant, Sergei VanBellinghen.
- Surround yourself with winners. Don’t be around losers that whine and complain all the time. You start to become who you hang around with the most.
- Don’t get too comfortable. “Remember that too much comfort prevents you from growing. Never stop evolving. If you are bored at work, find something new to learn, get a hobby, or get a new job. If you are too comfortable in your relationship, romance ach other again, and flirt often with each other, as it is great foreplay.”
- No pressure. “Don’t forget that it is impossible to be positive 24 hours, 7 days a week.”
Sharon Fedlman Danzger, productivity consultant, has some advice on how to stay motivated and not procrastinate.
She quotes Mark Twain saying “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
When Sharon has difficult projects or small tasks that she doesn’t want to do, she just tries to them first and simply getting it out of the way. It’s kind of like just jumping in cold water instead of dipping in inch by inch while complaining about how cold it is.
Sharon says, “I usually find that the things I dread, are never as bad as I have made them out to be and it feels SO good to get them off my list.”
Most of the time, the sense of accomplishing something that you really didn’t want to do, gives you the energy to start on other things as well with a can-do attitude.
Sharon also advises to consider the times during your day when you’re more alert and attentive. Use these times for more difficult tasks but be sure to take breaks.
Setting Goals & Executing For Motivation
One thing I’m really good at myself, is being distracted. This is something that hasn’t been a problem before.
I realized that back then, there weren’t this many social media platforms, podcasts, and YouTube channels.
Now you can watch people play games & eat their dinner. A personal habit of mine is watching Netflix on my smartphone while doing miscellaneous things around the house. It’s great and wonderful but highly distracting.
One thing I do to mitigate distractions is physically writing down what I have to do on a piece of paper. Sometimes I will type my “To Do List” in my phone or computer, but I will notice that I have to keep checking both more frequently to remember what I typed.
Physically writing may be old school, but it works. Studies show that when writing down goals by hand versus typing, the brain is engaged a lot more actively.
When you want to stay consistently motivated, write your end goal on a piece of paper. Then you want to break it down into smaller chunks, and set small targets and rewards.
Having a goal like “Become self-employed this time next year” or “Get a six pack” is super vague. Even with more narrow goals you will be stressed out and super overwhelmed.
You want to make several small goes that will eventually lead to achieving the end goal, such as taking a 10 minute run everyday, or writing a blog post once a week.
Accomplishing each small goal whether once or daily triggers a dopamine rush in your brain, according to Neuroscience experts. This helps extremely when you are trying to stay consistently motivated.
Have you ever had to clean the house and you were overwhelmed with all the chores? You had to vacuum, mop, wash dishes, throw out the trash, etc. In a millisecond you thought about how uncomfortable each chore actually is, and would rather “Netflix and Chill” with Ben & Jerry.
Honestly, cleaning can be brutal but I guarantee after getting the first thing done, you’ll start thinking “Okay. I came this far, might as well do that too”.
Then it becomes “Yup, too late to turn back now. Might as well clean all the rooms in the house and maybe organize some stuff.”
Lastly you’ll be saying, “Good thing I cleaned today. This house looks great. I might as well go for a walk too.”
So if you want to stay motivated, divide your bigger goals into smaller realistic ones, and start executing.
A Tip for Taking Action
I once read an article from Malan Darras’s blog talking about how he “rolls a pebble” to get started on things.
“I open my door, roll a pebble down the hallway towards the elevator (I live in a hi-rise apartment building) and then I go get it. When I get the pebble, I roll it again.”
Note that the pebble is a metaphor and no pebbles are actually being thrown. It’s about imagining the pebble being thrown and you have to go pick it up .
Malan writes in his blog post “So I opened my door and “rolled a pebble out my door toward the fitness center: I ended up doing 40 minutes of cardio and burned some calories. My blood started moving out and I felt better: After cardio, I had more energy so I “rolled a pebble” again.
Here’s some tips from Malan for those who are having way too much fun outside and can’t get anything done:
- “Can’t get to the gym? Roll a pebble to the gym and do one set of curls, If you feel good, do some more.”
- “Can’t get your blog started? Roll a pebble to a domain name registrar and spend $10 on a domain name. Then, maybe install WordPress.”
- “Songwriter’s block? Roll a pebble to your guitar and find two chords that work together.”
You’re gonna have to deal with setbacks
So you started to take action and things seem to go fine. Soon you notice you are exhausted. You had to do something else that took all your mental energy today. Your schedule is messed up and the mojo is thrown off.
You promise yourself it’ll get done tomorrow. A few days go by, nothing was accomplished, and you lose the drive. Scrolling through Instagram memes will make you feel better right? Wrong.
- Take a look at the goals you’ve written down again on that piece of paper. This usually works pretty good.
- If it was a setback figure out what you can do. Adapt, re-adjust and “roll the pebble”.
- Read up on people who endured many setbacks but came out successful in the end. This can be from people who fought serious diseases, or survivors of terrible tragedies.
I recently watched a documentary on the attempted assassination on Bob Marley.
At the time, Jamaica was going through a civil war and on its way to become the next Cuba. Violence was a part of everyday life and all Bob Marley wanted peace. He took no sides in the political war.
His father was white and mother was black, therefore he said he didn’t “dip” in either side.
He planned to do a free concert to stop the violence in Jamaica through his music. The political parties tried to capitalize on Marley’s concert, and this lead to people believing Marley’s free concert was actually a political tactic.
The night before the concert, armed men fired weapons into Marley’s home and wounded Marley. His wife took a bullet to the head and his manager was shot as well.
Marley felt a great sense of betrayal. He even knew the person who shot him. Everyone told him to not do the concert in fear of their lives.
Marley then proceeded to do the concert and it became one of the most memorable and best concerts he ever gave.
Marley’s music still goes on to inspire people to this day. His music was played during the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989. He was honored by Zimbabwe in 1980 thanks to inspiring freedom fighters. Played during NASA’s Rover landing on Mars, and right after the Berlin Wall fell. The lyrics from ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ were chanted repeatedly during the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests.
Badass human stories like these should inspire you everyday to not give up on your goals.
Best Motivational Quotes for Students & Success
Here are some motivational & inspirational quotes for all you students, parents, hustlers, wanna-make-a-change folks out there.
“If you were able to believe in Santa Claus for like 8 years, you can believe in yourself for like 5 minutes.”
“Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think aout what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.”
“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but its persistence.”
“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.”
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that, fear has no power. You are free.”
Best Motivational & Encouraging Quotes for Students
“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”
“Work while they sleep. Learn while they part. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.”
“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”
“Unsuccessful people make decisions based on their current situations. Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be.”
“It never gets easier, you just get better.”
“Sometimes the people around won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to. It’s not for them.”
“If you can’t handle stress you won’t manage success.”
Short Best Motvational Quotes & Words for Students
“Your only limit is you.”
“It’s up to you.”
“Do epic shit.”
“Life is tough but so are you.”
“Impossible is just an opinion.”
“Create your own sunshine.”
“You didn’t come this far to only come this far.”
“Let them hate. Just make sure they spell your name right.”
“One day or day one. You decide.””97% of the people who quit too soon are employed by the 3% who never gave up.”
Positive Quotes for Students
“Don’t chase people. Be an example. Attract them. Work hard and be yourself. The people who belong in your life will come find you and stay. Just do your thing.”
“I choose to be happy.”
“Don’t ruin a good today by thinking about a bad yesterday. Let it go.”
“Whoever is trying to bring you down, is already below you.”
“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”
“It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us.”