Tip #1 – Create a Blog
One good way to stay motivated and to stay focused on your goals is to create a
blog that tracks your progress. And once you do it, invite your friends, family
members, and the general public to read it.
This is an excellent example of the type of “commitment device” I mentioned
earlier. By keeping a public account of your struggles and victories, you can draw
in others; and use their commentary, approval, and disapproval to give you the
Now, if you fail horribly, you’ll do so in front of everyone. This is a strong
incentive to get things right or to face the consequences.
Tip #2 – Make a Good Playlist
Another good way to motivate yourself is by using music. Music, if used correctly,
can sustain a good mood or prolong a bad mood. Think about what songs make
you happy and keep you motivated; and use those to create a good playlist.
Of course, you won’t always be able to list to music when you’re at work; or when
you’re trying to accomplish your goal, but if you find yourself in a serious rut, then
it may be a good idea to load that playlist on your iPod; and use it to extract
Tip #3 – Make Yourself Accountable to Someone Else
Continuing with the theme of “commitment devices,” it usually a good idea to find
ways to make yourself accountable to someone else. Whether that person be
your boss, your husband or wife, your parents, or someone else important in your
life, give them a stake in your success. Keep them abreast of your decisions; and
encourage them to push you harder when you need it.
This can work especially well with your spouse, if you explain to him how
achieving your goal will help the entire family. If he understands this, then he will
also do whatever he can to ensure that you are successful in your endeavors, too
(otherwise, he, too, will lose out).
Tip #4 – Keep a Log
One good way to make sure you are working toward your goals is to keep a log
of everything you do on a daily basis. If you’re working, include it in your log. If
you’re exercising, include it in your log. If you’re eating, including that, too. And if
you’re procrastinating and aimlessly surfing the Internet, then include that also.
The log will allow you trace your steps back at the end of the day. If something
went horribly awry, you can figure out what it was. And if something went
particularly well, you can also find out what it was, so you can replicate it in the
Tip #5 – Create Conflict
Creating artificial conflict is a great way to motivate yourself. Next time someone
tells you that you can’t do something, remember it. Harbor that conflict; and use it
to motivate yourself to prove that person wrong.
This might sound like an unhealthy technique (and, indeed, it is if it is taken too
far); however, when used in moderation, it can be quite successful. Olympic
athletes, such as Michael Phelps, and others have used this technique to
summon the strength and energy they needed to train; and ultimately to execute.
Tip #6 – Forget the Big Picture
The big picture is important. Thing is something we all know; and we’ve all heard
a hundred times. But sometimes, it’s better not to think about the big picture, but
instead to think about the road that will get you there.
If you find yourself thinking too much about how great it will be once you
accomplish something, always remember that the tough part is accomplishing
that thing in the first place—not enjoying it after it has happened. So use that day
dreaming and visualization to inspire and motivate you, but avoid getting bogged
down in grandiose dreams of what might be.
Tip #7 – Challenge Yourself
Few things are less inspiring than finding yourself unchallenged with your work
and life. But this is exactly where many people find themselves at some point
along the path to one of their goals.
If you’re in this position now, you need to figure out how you can break free.
Otherwise, you will find yourself becoming increasingly disenfranchised as your
work and life become increasingly routine-driven.
Tip #8 – Push Hard, Fail, and Ask for Help
One of the things that prevents many people from succeeding is a fear of asking
others for help. In most situations in life, there is someone other than us who
knows better; and would be willing to help us if we’d only ask.
But we don’t ask them. Instead, we plod away endlessly, wasting time, and
ultimately having nothing to show for it. Instead, I suggest that you push hard
towards your goals, fail if you can’t do them; and, then, after accepting failure,
approach someone else for help.
The first time you do this, you may find it is quite difficult. But after a while, you’ll
realize that it isn’t as bad as what you were doing before: wasting endless
amounts of time trying to do something that you didn’t truly understand.
Tip #9 – Rationalize Your Goals
Creating goals and writing them down is an important part of keeping yourself
motivated. However, by themselves, goals may seem meaningless and possibly
This is why it is important for you to rationalize each of your goals. You can do
this by sitting down, thinking over your goals carefully, and making an attempt to
explain why it is that each of them is important.
For instance, if your goal is to make $150,000 next year, why is it that you need
to make that amount? Would you like to move into a nicer home with your family?
Or would you like to buy a boat? Or would you like to pay off debt?
Tip #10 – Spend Time Relaxing
One important part of staying motivated is knowing when to stop working. Of
course, working hard is important; but beyond a certain point, it becomes largely
counterproductive. Instead of getting more work done, you’ll get a lot of work
done, become burnt out, and then accomplish very little if everything.
So, instead of burning yourself out, set aside time to relax, rejuvenate, and
prepare in advance for the work that must be done to accomplish your goals.
Instead of working slowly all day, make it a point to get a tremendous amount of
work done when you’re working on your goals; and then rest when you aren’t.