How to stay motivated in life?

This is that one billion dollar question that I get in my mail frequently.  Whether it be from students looking for answers to how to stay motivated in school or entrepreneurs looking for some effective motivational strategies for themselves and their teams. Everyone these days is in search of some ray of motivation be it extrinsic or intrinsic because it is one of the most powerful resources that you possess.

However, motivation is a tricky monster to handle. On some days you find yourself oozing with motivation but other times you are questioning and doubting your goals, trapped in the tunnel of procrastination. No one is an exception here and neither am I. I often wonder how I motivate myself all the time. How do I stop being so lazy? To end this constant battle with motivation and to help you achieve your goals I delved into extensive online research for days.

So, I have rounded up some of the best ways widely used to help you stay focused and motivated in life. Let’s have a look at them.

Different people have distinct goals and so is their need for motivation

We can’t go at the same pace all the time. As we need food daily to boost our energy level so we need the motivation to keep going at the same pace in our lives. People often lose interest while working for the dearest of things.

It is human to lose focus while moving in the same direction because the human mind needs to relax, it too needs to revamp its energy level.

Once the mind is devoid of focus it can’t work the way it started, so consequently, it starts looking for distractions. The person, being demotivated to work ends up being anxious and worried. But before picturing the further bad picture; stop for a while and look for the factors that can help you in staying motivated and can save you from anxiety.

7 effective strategies to stay motivated every day

Before starting let me tell you motivation is a powerful and life-changing force. It not only changes your present but your future as well as it is your daily routine that builds your future.

For a more insightful and wholesome knowledge of what it is, click through What is motivation and why is it important for a better understanding.

Now, let’s get into it.

1- How to stay motivated- Know your WHY

Know your WHY! What that means is that you should know why you are doing anything. Why do you wish for what you wish for? Or why do you aim for a certain goal in life? Is it your internal happiness and satisfaction that is the source of it? Or is it any external outcome like financial independence, promotions, rewards, or anything of that sort?

When you are clear about your purpose of doing a task or an activity then you have a constant stimulus to work towards it too. If you are clear that you want to lose weight to look healthy then you are more enthusiastic at the gym until the desired results are achieved.

If you want to enroll in an online course to enhance your skill set, you will be more passionate about every upcoming class without wanting to skip it. Although, the thought of How do I know what motivates me might have crossed your mind.

But, that’s nothing to worry about. To make it easy for you, look for that one thing that makes you excited and energetic all at once. Now you know what to aim for in the future!

So, it’s not the ‘what’ or ‘how’ that matters the most but the Why that matters to stay motivated. Have realistic self-talk, figure out you’re why, enlist your priorities, and then start the journey. You’ll feel better motivated and focused than ever!

The secret of getting ahead is in getting started – Mark Twain

2- Make realistic and practical goals

Human nature aspires to become invincible, to achieve which has not been achieved by anyone before because that satiates the very basic instinct of being perfect within us. Most of the kids playing in the nearby playground idealize becoming superman or batman. All the heroes doing marvels impact the instinct of being perfect within us.

But can we become Spiderman overnight? no matter deep inside how much you want to turn down Donald Trump and replace his place you cannot do that overnight. You must be contemplating why, because that’s practically impossible. There are so many things that our whim wants but they are restricted by probability.

While making goals keep in mind the practicality of them, and the probability of their occurrence, and do make use of reason and logic rather than emotions while forging aspirations. Practical, realistic, and achievable goals keep one on track of progress and consequently one stays motivated.

3- Chunk your dreams into smaller, easily achievable goals

We all make goals without the constraints of time and energy. No one wants to delimit their aim by bounding it with time. A kid presently in 7th grade might want to become a successful surgeon one day and that takes a lot of time and energy. Mere thinking of it as a years-long process needing lots of energy and money makes one exhaustive beforehand and makes it look unachievable.

But breaking down it into yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals can make it look so near. It is necessary to break long-term goals into short-term goals because it makes them look humanly achievable, it organizes the work moving from smaller steps to the ultimate goal.

Another advantage of it is it keeps the mind away from exhaustion when you know you have done today’s assigned work for reaching the ultimate goal your mind becomes burden free and you stay motivated.

4- Remind yourself of your goals to stay motivated every day

Once you have figured out you’re ‘Why’, jot them down and have a realistic approach towards them. Divide your big dreams into smaller achievable tasks that you can easily accomplish within days.

Don’t just vaguely think to yourself ‘I will be successful one day that’s not how you achieve big, substantial goals in life. Rather, think about those actionable steps which if you take will move you closer to your goals. Remember to keep your goals realistic so that you are not disheartened even if you don’t reach them.

Create a clear vision and have a plan set at your disposal. Keep in mind every little detail while making a plan, that way your chances of being successful will increase manifolds. If your goal is to finish reading a book within a week. Divide its pages over the time frame you have in mind.

Start reading every day and by the end of the week, you’ll be done with the book. If your goal is to shed 20 pounds, take a realistic approach to it instead of starving yourself to death one day and binge eating the other day.

I often wondered, ‘How can I regain motivation in life?’ until I stumbled upon this strategy of reminding myself of my goals. So, remind yourself of your goals to stay motivated and positive in life.

5- Keep a track of progress

Keeping a track of progress helps one in staying motivated. For instance, A person aspires to lose weight within the month by doing exercise, maintaining a healthy life, and eating healthy food. If he doesn’t keep measuring track of his progress after 2-3 days, how does he know where he is standing? and how much more work he needs to do. Keeping a track of his progress will motivate him to achieve more.

On the other hand, if he keeps on working and working he will soon drain out his energy without knowing how far he has come. Furthermore, a constant check on your progress every time clicks the motivation factor in you by letting you know that slowly and gradually you are coming closer to your goal as you stay motivated.

6- Unburden your mind with relieving activities

Our body and mind are designed in a way that constant work exhausts both. The exhaustive mind starts looking for distractions. Furthermore, working 24/7 makes you prone to certain mental and health issues. Thinking about one thing and working constantly can arouse anxiety and makes one prone to diseases.

Not giving the mind time for leisure can make it automatically look for distractions. Distractions lose focus and working without focus demotivates you easily. Including some outdoor activities such as playing badminton, and having a mild walk at night in the lawn for 30 minutes can relieve your body and mind, refreshes them, and makes them ready to work the next day. Here are some other tips on how to stay calm in stressful situations. Also, try spending time with those two who love you.

7- Make even the leisure time productive

As mentioned before it is imperative to relieve your mind but amazingly even leisure can help you in several ways. Plan your leisure time that even this doesn’t go without giving you motivation. Watch any motivational movie on Sundays to keep the level of motivation up.

You can also flood your Facebook/ Twitter news feed by following motivational speakers and pages on social media. Don’t miss any opportunity that can bring you nearer to your goal. This planned leisure will cement your aim with motivation and that too with amusing and entertaining you. Amazing, isn’t it?

Here are some other amazing tips on being productive.

8- How to stay motivated- Be extremely positive

This is one of my favorite tips to stay motivated in life. But the disclaimer here is, it’s easier said than done! Positivity and optimism are a choices that you have to choose every day. No matter how successful you are or how hard you try to materialize your goals you will face setbacks and challenges in life.

Sometimes your little effort might bring out your desired results. On other days even putting in 100% effort will not bear fruit. So, will you mock yourself over and over again for that? Or, will you have a positive approach towards learning from your failures? The choice is up to you! You are the boss of your life and you should make sure that you got your own back first.

Having a positive mindset will make your life happier, healthier, and more successful. When I am asked, ‘How do you stay positive?’ I remind people to count their blessings and look at the brighter and bigger picture of life.

So, choose optimism by finding the positives in every situation. Learn from your failures. Challenge negative thoughts and nip them in the bud the next time they tend to fog your head and blur your vision. As Helen Keller said,

‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us’

If you are feeling low on positivity, read on 10 ways to stay positive during tough times to boost your optimism.

9- Seek positive energy to keep yourself motivated

To stay motivated in life you need to be positive and optimistic about yourself. But, what if you don’t feel the positivity within? One surefire way to inculcate positivity is to seek positive energy around. Surround yourself with like-minded people. People who have a positive outlook on life can influence you to be a better version of yourself too. Seeking the company of energetic people will push you to your ultimate potential.

To stay motivated and focused you need to firmly believe in yourself and your goals. Eliminate the negativity and toxicity around, de-clutter your mind, and see how you progress by leaps and bounds.

Even if as a student you are thinking, about how to stay motivated to study? My advice to you would be to make a few forward-looking and enthusiastic friends. Avoid those who come for fun and would do everything other than studying. Once you avoid people who have nothing productive to do in life than gossiping and letting others down, you’ll feel more positive energy within yourself. As the famous saying goes, you are the reflection of the people you spend time with.

So, leave the negativity aside, cut ties with negative influences in your life and preach positivity around. Once you make sure you are receiving as much positive energy as you give, you’ll never feel demotivated as you’ll be surrounded by optimistic people around you.

‘Never waste time with toxic people as they will drain your energy and leave you feeling as if you did something wrong to them.’ – Germany Kent

10- How to stay motivated- Pat yourself on the back for small accomplishments

When you divide your big life goals into smaller tasks, you’ll remain more focused and motivated towards ticking them off your to-do list. But even the most motivated and enthusiastic people might get overwhelmed sometimes.

Overdoing, stressing, and exhausting yourself might be just what you need to get rid of. Instead of mentally and physically exhausting yourself for weeks and months establish a personal reward system once you achieve a task. Be it a Saturday evening movie night with your partner. Or, a spa day on Sunday. Maybe a huge bar of your favorite chocolate can do the trick.  Whatever the reward may be, treat yourself often.

You cannot accomplish everything in one go. So, if you want to stay energetic and passionate about your goals you need to take breaks often. 

If you are wondering what keeps a person motivated? This is exactly what you need to stay motivated. Once you set a reward system for yourself for completing dreaded tasks you’ll start being more focused and tackle procrastination head-on.

See what Zig Ziglar, the world’s best motivator, has to say about motivation in his best-selling book developing the qualities of success and pushing yourself to the next level.

11- Seek positive and inspirational information to stay motivated in life

How do you keep yourself motivated? Seeking positive and inspirational information can be a source of boosting your motivation level. When you look at the stories of successful people who stayed motivated even through thick and thin you are more likely to follow in their footsteps.

It gives you an immediate boost to stay on course even when hit by setbacks and failures. Failures and setbacks are part of life. They are inevitable. You cannot control them but you surely can limit the loss after you face a setback in life. Having a positive outlook on life just like some successful and inspirational people will make your tough times a bit easier to bear.

There are plenty of examples existing around us we just need to search for them and learn something from their inspirational journey. Be it J.k Rowling of Harry Potter or Jack Ma of Ali Baba. Every successful person has a history replete with failures and setbacks.

If you listen to their life stories you’ll be filled with motivation and energy again. So, seek positive and inspirational information around. Read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts, and learn from the journey of other people. Success does not come easy, but the right approach will make the long journey towards success a bit more bearable.

12- How to stay motivated- Visualize your dream future

Sometimes it is good to stay in the present and not think about the past or future at all. Other times the present sucks. When you completely feel uninspired by your present situation think about your best future self. Visualizing your future might just be what you need to change your game.

You have the power within that can change your life for the better. Only if you tap into harnessing the resource you possess you’d have the power to completely change your situation. Visualizing your goals serves as a stimulator for increasing your motivation.

It encourages your mind to look for resources and devise strategies to transform your dreams into reality. It stimulates your positive thinking and optimism. Visualizing your future makes you realize the potential you hold within and encourages you to never settle for anything less than what you deserve.

So, lay down in your bed at night or sit by a quiet corner at your office and start visualizing your goals. Practicing this art of visualization just for five minutes daily would suffice initially.

Once you get a hold of it you can devote a bit more time to this practice. This is one of my favorite strategies to stay motivated in life and has been immensely fruitful. Start practicing and let me know how it helped you to stay motivated in the comments down below.

‘All your dreams can come true if you dare to pursue them.’ – Walt Disney

13- Organize and mark your to-do list

How staying motivated every day becomes challenging if you lack organization. Several times we set timetables, make to-do lists, keep them with us for a day or two, observe them, put them in the side drawer of our bed, and forget. Oh! happens every time right? while every time making a to-do list or time table motivation level rises and disposing of it takes the motivation away.

But do you ever think about why it happens? It happens because we forget to mark our to-do list. The first thing you need to do is to break the weekly timetable into a daily to-do list. Wrote the things you need to do in a diary, keep a pencil with you to mark the things done and the things left.

Your phone’s notepad can also serve the purpose. Do essential tasks on a priority basis and leaves the least important task at the end and plan time accordingly. Firstly, important tasks being done first can save you from anxiety and hustle of essentials-left-at-the-end and you can give equal attention to the least important tasks as well.

14- Surround yourself with a motivating peer group

You look at situations not how they look but how your experience and thinking have molded them. To get the best out of hardships and to overcome them easily one needs to view them as mere hardships, not as a permanent hurdle that is going to take everything away. For this, we need to view them from a positive angle.

Positive thinking doesn’t develop overnight, but it is the outcome of our daily experiences, our daily gossip at brunch, and the behavior of friends, colleagues, and family with us. Everything we experience shapes the way we think.

While choosing your peer group first decide what you deserve and then choose accordingly. Move on instantly if someone is injecting negativity and demotivation into you.

A positive and motivating peer group will have so many beneficial effects on you. Your thinking angle will shift, and upon asking for help they’ll present you with the best ideas and will motivate you when needed.

15- Give yourself a margin of being human

They say ‘Divine is to perfect, human, is to err’ and that is very much right no matter how much we try we’ll still be faced with criticism, negativity, hurdles, etc. Personal stress management can lessen them to a larger extent but the probability of them happening with anyone anytime is never zero.

Even the best of the people history knows such as Graham Bell, and Einstein was told they are not capable enough or they are lesser beings but did it stop them from achieving the heights they have achieved?

No! Because a mere hurdle is not to decide someone’s fate. When people who are the best known to the world for their exceptionally remarkable endeavors are faced with hurdles then why can’t we?

The fact is we all are equal, we all are humans and we all err; that is normal. While facing setbacks during your journey don’t let it barricade your path. Tell yourself that mistaking is a part of human life because no one is designed perfectly. So, stay calm, relax a bit, and start the journey again.

16- Prepare multiple plans to reach a goal

The same work can be done in multiple ways. While forging a plan to achieve your goal keep in mind that it might not work the way you are thinking.

Army commanders design the pathway for troops to pass any jungle they always keep in mind that it might not work and they have to switch to another path, so they design multiple plans so that it executes the work timely without letting the change affect the efficacy of their work.

You should have kept the same thing in mind. So, instead of hustling and panicking at the moment, it is better to have a ready-made plan to switch to it swiftly. This saves you from anxiety and a prepared plan beforehand helps to reach your goal without delay in case of any emergency impediment.

17- End and start your day with a daily reminder of why you started

Relieving your mind before sleep is extremely important to make one ready for work the next day and so is feeling afresh after sleep. For that purpose relieve the stress at the end of the day by reminding yourself why you started. It can be done in many ways; On a lighter note, you don’t need to set a daily reminder on a phone for it.

It is said that people who have flooded the walls of their room with the visual representation of their dreams are many times more motivated than those who haven’t. Plus they are more likely to achieve it earlier because their mind is constantly devising ways to be there. You might have seen that kids who are fond of playing football have flooded their copies with stickers of their favorite players.

Because it gives them pleasure to see them. Similarly, if you flood your room with charts picturizing your dream, and setting different quotations as wallpaper on your laptop screen then the motive you are working for will subconsciously dwell in the central place of your mind and will keep you motivated.


Motivation is the one most important quality that alone can move you closer to your goals. It inspires you to change your life for the better and achieve everything that you wish for. Only if you figure out how to stay motivated in life and work on some tips devised by researchers you’d be able to get in the gear. So whether you are looking to start a new side hustle, shed 20 pounds this year, or finish writing that book you always wanted to write work on these tips and transform your life.

These were the tips that can help you in staying motivated and you can reach your goal easily at a steady pace by following them. Keeping up with work is extremely important to avoid anxiety, depression, and hustle to achieve your dream. Dream big but take care of your pace as well. So stay calm, focus on your dream, start practicing the tips mentioned above to keep the motivation level up to the mark and good luck

About the Author

Sara Khan

Sara Khan is a writer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She aims to inspire and motivate people to live, love, and laugh wholeheartedly.

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