Top 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself and Reach Your Goals

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
—Thomas Jefferson

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.—Vince Lombardi

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with an old friend and he mentioned that he has been trying to motivate himself to accomplish a goal, but was feeling lazy and unmotivated. After he told me what his goal was, we discussed what he could do to light a fire under his behind, and feel motivated again. Within a few minutes, we had listed off a bunch of ideas that we felt could help motivate him and get him back on the road to accomplishing his goal.

We all have been there at one time or another, so here are the top 10 ways to motivate yourself that we came up with:

  1. Set a specific goal
    “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~ Larry Elder
    The first thing we realized was that his goal was vague, making it seem too abstract and out of reach. It makes it very difficult to reach your goals if they are vague. By being very specific it makes your goal more attainable.
  2. Give it a deadline
    When I asked my friend if he had a deadline he said “not really, I would like to have it done before next year.”  I could tell that he had an attitude of “I will get to it later.” Setting an exact deadline gives you a time frame for accomplishing your goal. I would also suggest setting it sooner rather than later (but be realistic). Simply having a deadline should help motivate you and get you on the road.
  3. Write it down and hang it up on the wall
    By writing it down and hanging it on the wall, in plain sight, it becomes a constant reminder and part of your everyday life. My friend works from home, on his computer most of the time, so we decided it would be best for him to hang it up over his computer screen so that every time he looks up he is reminded of his goal.
  4.  Surround yourself with motivation
    Put up motivational quotes or signs all over your workspace and living space. For example, I have some of my favorite motivational quotes, pictures and sayings over my desk, in the bedroom and in the living room. Everywhere I look I see constant reminders that pump me up. Over my desk I have a copy of  the businessman and the fisherman story as a reminder of my biggest life goal. As well a sign that says “YES!” and another that says “HUSTLE”. For whatever reason these words pump me up and keep me going.
  5. Break it down into small bite-size pieces
    “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier
    One thing getting in my friend’s way was that he felt overwhelmed by his goal. He saw it as this enormous thing he had to accomplish. I suggested he break his goal down into small manageable pieces and set daily goals to accomplish a few of these mini tasks. Small victories will encourage you to do more, get you into the groove and help you maintain your momentum.
  6. Exercise
    Another thing we realized was that he was stagnant, both mentally and physically. He literally sat almost every waking hour of the day, whether in front of the computer, TV or in the car. What he needed to do was get the blood flowing through his body and to his brain. We are all familiar with feeling sluggish or tired or “just don’t feel like it”. In order to get your blood and creative juices flowing again try running in place, jumping jacks, push-ups or just dance! What is important is to get up out of your chair at least once an hour and move. Recent studies have found that sitting all day increases your chance of heart disease (most of us spend 8-10 hours a day in front of our computers, TV’s and in our cars).
  7. Pump yourself up
     “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
    This one is probably my favorite and works really well for me. Even if you are not feeling motivated or excited, just act like it. Pump yourself up, get excited. Do some fist pumps, flex those muscles, jump up and down, be your own “cheerleader.” I know it sounds silly but you will be surprised, after a few minutes it actually works. When I suggested this to my friend he thought I was a little crazy. Now that he has tried it, he is a big fan too!
  8. Don’t fear failure, just do it! 
    “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” ~ Babe Ruth
    My friend told me that one of his biggest obstacles was his fear of failure. He said that throughout his life he has set other goals that he abandoned, and he had already gotten into his own head about this goal too. “What if I fail like I have failed before?” I explained to him that the fear of doing something can only be cured by doing it. And doing something that you are afraid of is a huge motivator and confidence booster. Test it out and see how you feel afterwards. And if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying until you do. Never give up!
  9.  Reward yourself
    Set mini goals and reward yourself when you accomplish them. Rewarding yourself  gives you something to look forward to. Rewarding yourself along the way will help you stay excited and motivated until the end.
  10.  Be present and have fun
    “As long as I’m having fun, I’m not quitting..” ~ Sue Johanson
    Be in the present moment and enjoy what you are doing. You can always find ways to make your daily tasks fun. And if you make it fun you are more likely to be excited about doing it.

After our initial conversation and creation of this list my friend has set a 30 day challenge to follow our 10 ways to motivate yourself list. It has been a week, and although it was challenging the first few days, he is definitely starting to feel the momentum is on his side. Lets face it, motivation gives us the power to accomplish our goals and succeed, but sometimes we just need that extra little reminder or push to get us going.

What do you do to motivate yourself?


  1. vuyelwa said:

    i love reading and watchin things that are motivational and i get so exercited about them but wen its time to put what i learned in action my mind just go blank. i know i can do better please help me…

  2. WSI Admin said:

    Start with one thing at a time. Once you feel like that one thing is working for you, pick another one. Also, write it down on a piece of paper and hang it up somewhere as a constant reminder. Good luck, let us know how it goes!