How To Stay Motivated – Tips And Advice
It is no secret that some days it is easier to find motivation than others. But both your professional and personal success depend on your ability to stay motivated through good days and bad days.
Regardless of what is causing you to lose a little drive, today we are breaking down the most common stressful situations and how you can stay motivated through them all.
In this article, I’ll share with you my best tips on how to stay motivated at work, when you are trying to lose weight, when times are stressful, and during other important moments in your life.
Tips for Staying Motivated At Work
If you are like most people, there are probably plenty of days when you show up to work feeling unmotivated and uninspired. It’s a natural aspect of human behavior to become bored with routine or lackluster about the less appealing parts of our work.
If you hope to excel in your career, though, it is important to muster as much motivation as possible each time you clock in. With that in mind, here are a few proven tips that you can use to help you stay more motivated at work.
1. Prioritize Your Tasks
As you make your to-do list for the day and week, identify those tasks that have the closest deadlines and make the most impact on your progress at work. These are the tasks you should tackle first.
Feeling lost or spread thin is not the recipe for being motivated and inspired to do your best work.
Rather than trying to tackle a dozen projects at once, focus your full effort and attention on one task at a time, starting with the most important task that you need to complete that day and working your way down the list.
If you approach your workday thinking of everything that needs to be done that day, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. If you focus only on what is truly important, though, and tackle one task at a time then you are sure to find it is a lot easier to feel motivated.
2. Read Motivation Articles
Fuel your positive energy with the success stories and positive experiences of others by reading inspirational articles, whether in print or online. Get ideas from others on how they stay motivated and learn strategies that will accelerate your success.
The best articles will give you actionable steps you can take to form better habits and reach your long-term goals.
Study articles about behavioral science to form a better understanding of how the mind works, the effect of habits on our progress, the challenges people struggle with, and how best to overcome them.
Read a motivational article to start your day or turn your lunch break into a more enriching experience.
Not only can a good article be a great motivator, but you can also listen to podcasts, watch videos, or read inspirational quotes when you need motivation, feel overwhelmed, or as a regular part of your routine.
3. Boost Your Mental State With Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are powerful tools that can be used to help you accomplish things like your life goals — including being more motivated and productive at work.
For example, simply repeating a positive affirmation such as “I am ready to tackle the day and do my best work” each morning before you leave your home can go a long way toward boosting your motivation.
The secret sauce behind positive affirmations such as this is the fact that the subconscious mind typically comes to believe the things that are repeatedly said by the conscious mind. In other words, if you tell yourself each morning that you are motivated and inspired, it won’t be long before you actually come to believe it.
To learn more about how you can use positive affirmations to help build a healthy, happy life, be sure to check out this helpful article.
4. Reward Yourself for Your Wins
When you check a task off of your to-do list — even if it is a very small task — it is a victory that pushes you one step closer to your goals and should be celebrated as such.
Far too often, it’s easy to have a negative attitude about work, and a negative attitude is like cancer to motivation. Rather than being down about the work that you have yet to complete, take the time to celebrate your accomplishments as you work.
This doesn’t mean you have to throw a party every time you complete a task; instead, simple “celebrations” such as taking a break or the time to stretch, smile, and reflect on your good work, for example, are all that it takes to boost your motivation in a meaningful way for accomplishing things.
5. Set Goals You Can Achieve
Goal-setting and motivation go hand-in-hand, and research has shown that when you have autonomy over your own goals, you are more likely to reach them. Of course, many employees have their goals determined for them and are not really in a position to set goals for themselves.
What you can do if you find yourself in this position, though, is to speak to your manager and request to be a part of the goal-setting process. Tell them that you would like to create specific goals for yourself to achieve as a means of motivation and they will likely be happy to oblige.
If you are given the green light to create your own goals, though, you will want to make sure that you are setting helpful, achievable goals that will actually push you to do your best work without pushing you beyond the limit of what’s possible.
If you need help setting beneficial goals, the SMART Goals Template can help. This template makes it easy to start writing goals that are challenging yet achievable, allowing you to create goals that will actually help motivate you to do your best work.
6. Consider The “Why”
There are probably plenty of times when you find yourself struggling to complete what may seem like a mundane and unimportant task. In these times, it’s important to consider the “why” and focus for a moment on the big picture. Chances are what may seem like a mundane, pointless task is really an important part of a big picture plan in the long run.
By taking the time to consider this end goal plan and how your work is helping make it possible, you can refocus yourself and muster the motivation to accomplish what you need to.
In most cases, there really is no such thing as a task that is senseless and unimportant. We all have a “why” behind the work we do, and it can be very helpful to stay focused on this.
While these six tips are great for any industry, I know from experience that sales jobs take constant self-motivation in order to excel. So now, let’s take a deeper look at some specific motivation tips for sales positions.
How to Stay Motivated When Working in Sales
Some people can sell anything. If you are not one of those people, you may find yourself feeling tired, overwhelmed, and maybe even a bit scared at the prospect of reaching out to new customers. So what’s the answer? Luckily for you, there are plenty of strategies to get motivated to sell!
1. Know The Customer You’re Targeting
You could have the most winning personality and the best product in the industry, but if you are not reaching the right customers, your sales are going to falter.
Successful sales professionals know the importance of understanding who their buyer is so that they can tailor their efforts to each individual customer from the beginning.
The key to being able to influence people for successful sales is being able to connect with your customers on an emotional basis. When you are able to generate an emotional response from the buyer, the odds are good you can succeed in making the sale.
2. Offer Demonstrations
No matter what the product you are trying to sell, potential customers need to see how it works. Use plenty of demonstrations so the customer can get a feel for the product and realize how it can change their life.
Simply telling someone they cannot live without your product isn’t enough – most people have to see how it can make their daily life easier.
3. Listen To Your Customer
Approach every customer with an open mind from the beginning. Your goal from the early stages on isn’t to try and sell them something they don’t need — it is to pair them with the product they need the most in their life.
This requires listening to needs and answering all of their questions and concerns as thoroughly as you can as you talk. Be sure you are focused on listening for their pain points and challenges so you don’t fail to recognize their needs.
Strike up a conversation and use clues from your talks with them to design a sales strategy that can achieve more sales in the long run.
4. Ask Questions
The best way to determine your customer’s real need is to ask lots of questions. One of the biggest mistakes that lead to failure to make a sale is making assumptions before asking enough questions.
Be thorough in your approach; ask open-ended questions as you talk to potential customers. This will help you learn what’s needed to streamline your sales approach.
Use my 100 calls method article and tips to get motivated. Don’t let the fear of rejection get in the way of what you want to achieve in sales. Instead of dreading picking up the phone to make another cold call, turn the entire exercise into a game.
Here is how my advice works: Make a commitment to contact 100 prospective customers as quickly as you can. If you contact 10 a day, you will complete the assignment in about two weeks.
Take away the need for a sale and watch as your sales actually grow. The less pressure you put on yourself, the freer you are to develop your own unique sales strategy, and that will result in more contacts and more sales.
Tips to Stay Motivated When Hunting for A New Job
Searching for a new job is like a full-time job. The time between search and success can drain both your physical and mental health.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression, so here is my advice for staying motivated through the stress of the job hunt.
1. Identify What Makes You Feel Inspired
First, you must clarify your values and get a sense of the values and culture of your potential new organization. In order for you to sustain motivation when you do find a new job, your values should match up with the position you are seeking.
Very few people make an effort to clarify their life values. The process, among other things, requires focus and an honest self-appraisal. Honesty always comes through as prospective employers evaluate you.
If you clarify your values, you will save time and energy in your search and find employment you will be happy with.
2. Focus on Your Marketable Skills and Areas Of Excellence
One of the ways to stay motivated when you are between jobs or seeking a more challenging career is knowing the value you bring to the organization.
Writing out your marketable skills is only the first part. Enhance this list by matching up your accomplishments with those skills. Write about how you have used those skills and contributed to a successful project or met some important goals in your past.
Areas of excellence, on the other hand, are subjective qualities beyond skills. They are the sum of your talents that add flavor and evidence that you are worth hiring.
3. Continue Working on Areas of Improvement
The value of self-knowledge is in your ability to evaluate your weaknesses. To the extent that you are honest in that evaluation, you will reap benefits in staying motivated.
Be honest. Can you list at least three weaknesses, and what you should do to improve on them?
Here is my advice: Do not include “I tend to be impatient,” or “I am somewhat of a perfectionist.” Those are the fluffy answers we hear during job interviews.
What you need to list is what you know is hurting your development in your personal life and professional life. They are the starting point of self-improvement.
For example, if you’re a slow starter when it comes to projects and deadlines, strive to develop a new habit and learn to divide your projects into smaller chunks with realistic milestone dates.
Regardless of what your weakness may be, there is always a way that you can improve.
4. Choose Something You Love
You will spend more time working than doing anything else, other than sleeping. So my best advice for ensuring your motivation is to choose something you love.
The most fortunate people are those who love their jobs and are amazed that someone would reward them by actually paying them to do what is not work, but their life’s purpose.
You can stay motivated while looking for a job if you clarify your values, capitalize on your strengths, and work on your weaknesses.
If you focus your employment search on finding the work you love, you are on the path to personal and professional success.
How to Stay Motivated When Trying to Lose Weight
According to the Boston Medical Center, 45 million Americans diet each year. However, going on a diet and staying on a diet are often two very different things, and motivation is a key element in making any weight-loss plan successful.
If you are determined to lose weight and improve your health, here is my advice to stay motivated throughout your weight-loss journey.
1. Chart Your Progress
Nothing is more motivating than the positive feedback you get from seeing results. While working out and dieting may not provide instant results, it does indeed eventually reward you with some very satisfying results.
Once a week, one of your weight-loss tasks should be to step on the scales and write down your weight.
Keep up with your weekly progress by doing this each week and keep a chart of your results.
If you stick to your diet and workout routine, you should see your weight steadily decrease each week, and seeing those decreasing numbers on paper can be incredibly motivating.
2. Stay Motivated With a Friend
Losing weight doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. If you find friends to join you on your weight-loss journey, you will likely find it much easier to stay motivated.
Find a workout partner who is willing to try and lose weight alongside you, or join a class full of people attempting to improve their health like you.
Seeing others work hard toward your same goals can often motivate you to work even harder yourself, and you’ll be much less likely to stop working out or abandon your diet if friends or other people are holding you accountable.
3. Change Up Your Routine
Monotony is the enemy of motivation. For example, if you spend too much time with the exact same workout routine, you may find that it becomes monotonous and boring, making it tempting to fail to keep up with your commitments.
It’s much easier to stick with your goals when you’re enjoying the steps it takes to reach them at least a little.
To keep your workout routine fresh and exciting, mix it up from time to time. Throw in some new exercises and take a break from some old ones. So long as you are burning calories, any good workout routine will help you accomplish what you want to.
It is beneficial for your overall physical and mental health to switch your routine up from time to time.
4. Workout In The Morning
For most people, the morning hours are when motivation is at its highest, so it may be easier to work out at that point in the day.
After a long day of work, your energy and motivation may be diminished, and it will be much more difficult to have the motivation to drag yourself into the gym. So getting your body moving in the morning may be easier for you to start building a habit around as your brain is more primed for it.
Getting moving in the morning will also get your blood flowing and give you a little boost of endorphins to get you through the day.
5. Kick Bad Health Habits
Bad eating habits can ruin all of your hard work in the gym. There’s a reason they say abs are made in the kitchen.
Sustaining your motivation to eat well can be difficult if you start by eliminating food groups and creating “no” lists. Making foods off-limits will only lead to binge eating down the line.
Instead, finding balance with healthy eating is key to success. Improve your willpower by removing one unhealthy food from your diet per week, and in the same way, introducing a healthier food to replace it.
Losing weight can be very difficult at first, but after you implement the above you’ll be more motivated to keep going and reach your goals. Your reward for sticking to it will not only be the body you have been hoping for but also increased self-esteem.
If you want to learn how to set SMART weight loss goals for added motivation, download my free guide.
Tips for Staying Motivated When You’re Stressed
For many people, stress is a familiar foe. Whether or not we talk about it, we deal with some form of stress every day, and at some point or another, almost all of us get stressed out.
When stress builds, it can become a real problem, not only killing our motivation but also leading to some real health consequences. To combat stress and stay motivated, consider the following tips.
1. Take Deep Breaths
The phrase “take a deep breath” isn’t just an expression, it’s legitimate advice. Deep breathing exercises are a proven way to help reduce stress and can sometimes serve as a sort of reset button whenever you are becoming too worked up over something.
If you feel your stress starting to spiral out of control, pause, close your eyes, and breathe in and out deeply a few times. What should happen is a welcome wave of calm relaxation will follow.
2. Write Down Your Worries
If your stress is due to specific circumstances in your life — as stress most often is — write down those circumstances one at a time on a piece of paper and address them one by one, crossing them off as you do.
Sometimes you may be able to fix what is worrying you, such as completing a project that has been stressing you out. Other times, addressing what is worrying you may entail simply coming to grips with it and realizing there is no benefit to stressing out over it.
Either way, writing down your worries and addressing them however you can is a great way to cut straight to the root of what is stressing you out and minimize it.
3. Take a Break
It seems these days fewer and fewer people are truly taking the weekends off. In our busy, hectic lives, using Saturday and Sunday as days to get even more work done can be tempting.
However, being overworked is one of the main causes of stress. If you get burned out by being overworked, what can happen is you are less productive regardless of how much you try.
When at all possible, you should take the weekends off. Do an activity you enjoy, have a meaningful talk with a friend, or connect with friends and family.
Days spent doing these things or related topics are a great way to ease stress and boost your motivation when Monday rolls around.
4. Do Something That Brings You Joy
Joy is the antidote to stress.
When you can take even a few minutes to do something that brings you joy, you will find that it is an excellent stress reliever.
Activities that bring joy differ from person to person, so take the time to identify yours. Then, pause and enjoy them whenever you get the chance.
As with taking the weekends off, even if it feels like you can’t afford to take the time to do something you enjoy, the benefits outweigh the time taken.
5. Go for a Walk or Run
A little bit of light exercise is a great stress reliever since it triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are commonly referred to as the “happy hormone” for the way they give you a little boost of happiness.
In addition to releasing these happiness-inducing hormones, going for a walk or a run is a great way to get your blood flowing and release a little of the nervous energy that stress sometimes builds up.
As an added bonus, walking and running are healthy exercises in their own right that are great for you regardless of whether or not you are stressed out.
6. Wake Up A Little Earlier
Waking up an hour early may not seem like much, but if you use those minutes wisely then they can be incredibly beneficial. This is especially true since the morning hours set the tone for the rest of your day.
If you start the day relaxed and at ease, chances are you will go through the rest of the day that way as well.
Before you leave for work, take the time to de-stress. One excellent way to do this is with meditation or exercise. But you may also wish to spend your extra time doing some light reading, having a talk with your spouse over breakfast, spending time with your family, or reading a motivational article.
Stress is never an easy thing to face, but hopefully, these tips will keep you motivated.
Stay Motivated in Any Situation
Now that we’ve broken down different stressful situations, I hope these tips, tricks, and scenarios will help you stay motivated in any situation. Remember to add exercise, a motivational article, inspirational quotes, and things that bring joy to your routine. And to help you truly stay motivated in any situation, I invite you to download my 14-step goal-setting guide for the fundamental keys to succeed in any goal you want to achieve.
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.