Tip #1 – Set a Goal
When it comes to getting motivated, nothing is more important than setting goals.
Setting goals allows you to fix your attention on a single idea—something that
you truly want to achieve, but will not achieve in the near future.
Above all else, having goals allows you to visualize how your life will be different
when you accomplish them. Perhaps your workload will be lighter; or your
appearance will improve; or your business will perform better in the long run.
So start by setting some goals today. Decide what it is that you truly want to
accomplish; and then write that thing down on paper.
Tip #2 – Ignore Obstacles
It’s true that the world is filled with many obstacles. And these obstacles often
make it hard to accomplish our goals. But what’s also true is that we suffer from
cognitive biases that prevent us from taking action simply because obstacles
exist. That is—we place an inordinate amount of weight on the significance of
obstacles, even if they aren’t very challenging.
So, from now on, ignore those obstacles. Don’t allow yourself to fixate on them;
and don’t allow yourself to procrastinate when you think about how difficult the
challenges will be.
Instead, you should stay fixed on your goals; and pretend that the obstacles
don’t exist. When it’s time to confront them, deal with them then, but before then,
simply pretend that they don’t exist and push forward with your goals.
Tip #3 – Think in Terms of Benefits
When you think about your goals, try to visualize the benefits that will come from
them. Focusing on benefits, rather than abstract goals will help you to
understand how accomplishing your goals will palpably improve your life.
For instance, when you think about a goal, you might consider:
1. How accomplishing it will make you feel
2. How accomplishing it will improve your business
3. How accomplishing it will make you richer
4. How accomplishing it will your schedule freer, so that you have more free
time to spend with your family
Focusing on these benefits will help you develop a clearer, stronger rationalize
for accomplishing your goals.
Tip #4 – Relish Small Victories
Staying motivated is often harder than getting motivated in the first place. This is
why it is important to find daily ways in which you can celebrate your
achievements; and use these achievements to gain momentum, so that you can
stay motivated in the long run.
You can start by defining your goals more clearly. Decide exactly what it is that
you want to accomplish; and then break those goals down into a series of
objectives that you want to achieve along the way.
Each time you achieve one of these objectives, you should make it a point to
celebrate your successes. Give yourself a small reward, take a break, or let
others know about what you have accomplished. This will make you feel better
about yourself; and will reinforce your achievement of additional objectives.
Tip #5 – Create a Detailed Plan
Confusion and disorganization often makes it hard to get motivated. When we
don’t know what’s coming next, it’s hard to move from step to the next without
Instead, we have to follow an entirely ad hoc path. At each point in time, we must
make new decisions about what we should be doing; and if we haven’t thought it
out in advance, there’s a good chance these will be bad decisions.
This is why it is important to map out a detailed plan before you attempt to
achieve some goal. As soon as you have a break in your schedule, you can look
at the plan to find out what you should do next. This will prevent you from sitting
around for long periods of time without any work to occupy you.
Another benefit of having a detailed plan in advance is that it will emerge from
long-term thinking and considerations. This is much more likely to lead you in the
right direction than a plan that emerges from minute-to-minute considerations
without focusing on where you should be at the end of the day.
Tip #6 – Start Small
Whenever you set goals, you should always start small. If you accomplish your
small goal too quickly, you can always set another. But if you get stuck on a “big”
goal that you can’t accomplish, chances are you will give up—and perhaps
without making any progress towards the smaller goals.
So start small. If you’re learning to play the guitar, learn one chord at time. Get
good at that and then move to the next. If you’re learning how to do calculus, set
a small goal of working through textbook chapter every two weeks. Or if you’re
planning to boost traffic to an Internet-based business you own, then set a goal
to increase your traffic by 10% over the course of the next month.
Again, aim small. If the goal turns out to be too easy, then you’ll only be more
encouraged by your progress when you surpass your goal easily. But if you start
out big, you could find yourself highly discouraged.
Tip #7 – Think Positively
Thinking positively may sound like generic advice that has no value, but in fact, it
is a critical component of success in our life, our personal relationships, and our
work. Thinking positively shapes how you see the world, how you make
decisions, and how you feel about those decisions at the end of the day.
So, next time you start thinking “I can’t do this,” think again. Start with the
premise that you can do it; and then figure out how. For instance, maybe you
can’t do the task by yourself, but if you ask for the help of others, you may find
that the task is trivial.
No matter what you do, don’t give in to negativity. Thinking negatively will drain
your motivation; and make it much harder to achieve your goals.
Tip #8 – Break Big Goals Down into Little Goals
As I’ve mentioned in other tips, it’s important to break your big goals down into
little goals. Big goals, by themselves, are not necessarily a bad thing. But if they
aren’t approached correctly, they are likely to lead to disappointment and
So, do yourself a favor: break your big goals down into goals that are
manageable. If your “big goal” is to have a multi-million dollar business, start
building that plan month-by-month.
For instance, decide what you want your business to be able to achieve in the
next month; and then the month after that. String these goals together, so that
they all achieve your final goal in the end.
Tip #9 – Read About People Who Have Had Success
One of the best ways to get motivated is to read about others who have had
success in your field. The reason for this is that reading about other people who
are successful will make their goals and stories seem more real to you.
There’s another good reason to read about other people’s successes. If you’re
like most people, you can visualize yourself being successful, but along the way,
you probably have a harder time visualizing how you will overcome all of the
challenges along the way. Reading about how others faced challenges and
overcame them will help you to see how you can do it, too.
Tip #10 – Don’t Give Up Easily
In some situations, it makes sense to quit. For instance, if you are implementing
a new marketing plan for your business; and it turns out to be enormously
expensive and generates no profits, it may be a good idea to give up on it and try
In many, many other situations, however, we give up when there is no good
reason to do so. Perhaps we’re about to finish some very difficult task, but we run
into an unusually long string of snags right before we complete it. As a result, we
get so discouraged that we simply give up.
Well, it’s time to put an end to this. No matter how tired you are, no matter how
discouraged you are, don’t give up. If you can’t finish something tonight, give
yourself a break, and finish it up the following day.