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Motivation

12 Daily Hacks To Stay Motivated During Challenging Times

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staying motivated

Success never comes easy. No matter what your goal is, you can expect to face challenges as you pursue it.

It takes motivation to keep going when things get tough. This is why those who are the most motivated often become the most successful

Here are 12 steps you can do daily to help you stay motivated when things get tough:

1. Display your goals on your wall

Put your goals in writing, and put them on a wall where you will see them often. On a whiteboard in your home or office (or both) is ideal. Review your goals every morning and every night, and glance at them as often as you can throughout the day. If you’re a visual person, you may find it effective to use pictures. For example, a picture of your dream car or a vacation destination you want to go to on. Remember, if your goals don’t excite you and challenge you, they probably aren’t big enough. It may be time to create some new ones.

 

2. Write down your priorities for the day first thing in the morning

One of the first things you should do every morning is sit down and make a list of the important activities you need to complete for the day. List them in order of priority, and then get started on the most important one first (especially if it’s the most difficult one). A huge mistake most people make is not managing their time and prioritizing their activities for the day. Instead, they spend the day responding to everything that is thrown at them. Instead of being proactive about what they need to accomplish, they become reactive to the needs of everyone else.

 

3. Listen to inspiring audio content

Throughout the day there are plenty of opportunities to listen to something positive. You can listen to something when you’re cooking, cleaning the house, driving your car, exercising at the gym, or jogging around your neighborhood, just to name a few. Download the audio version of some of your favorite books, or subscribe to a few podcasts about your favorite subjects. Listening to 30-60 minutes per day of educational or inspiring audio content will have a tremendous impact on your life and productivity in the long run.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

4. Read before you go to sleep

A great way to unwind at the end of a long day is to read a few pages of something positive and educational before you go to sleep. Doing this also helps to take your mind off of any problems or challenges you encountered during the day. After you’ve read a few pages, take a few minutes to reflect on what you just learned, and think of at least one action step you can take immediately to better handle any issues or challenges you are currently dealing with.

 

5. Do not allow yourself to complain

At any given moment, you can have a positive attitude or a negative attitude. There isn’t much of a grey area in between the two. Refusing to allow yourself to complain will pretty much eliminate you ever having a negative attitude. This simple trick basically forces you to remain positive and optimistic. Whenever you catch yourself about to complain about something, stop yourself and think of something you’re grateful for instead.

 

6. Get an accountability partner

A daily or even a weekly call with a close friend or associate has proven to be an effective way to stay on track for many people. Keep it brief. The purpose of these calls is to check in and confirm that your partner is staying focused and is still on track to achieving whatever their goals are at the time. Whether it’s exercising regularly, prospecting for new business, working on a specific project, the purpose of the call is to hold them accountable to their commitments. You do it for them, and they do it for you. It works both ways.

 

7. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Want to know some of the secrets to happiness? Here they are: Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Don’t major in minor things. Choose your battles wisely. Don’t argue over small things. If something is truly important to you, give it your attention. If it’s not, let it go. Sometimes it’s more important to be happy than to be right.

 

 

8. Spend more time with positive people (and less time with negative ones)

Pay more attention to who you allow to be around you. Spend your time with people who are positive, and who encourage your success. Minimize the amount of time you spend with people who are constantly complaining or being negative. You can’t change negative people, but they will change you if you hang around them long enough.

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” – George S. Patton

9. Recite positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that you recite aloud.  Create a list of positive statements that reflect the values, ideals, and beliefs you want to develop and/or uphold. Whenever you’re feeling frustrated or lacking confidence, take a moment to recite your affirmations. It may seem corny, but it works. Think of it as conditioning your mind for success.

 

 

10. Reward yourself for making progress

Never forget to reward yourself for making progress. Break your large goals into smaller milestones, and each time you accomplish one of those milestones, celebrate. It doesn’t have to be a big celebration, just make sure you do something. Every success (yes, even a small one) is worth celebrating. It is often a series of small successes that pave the way for the big ones. If you only celebrate the big ones, you may go prolonged periods of time without celebrating anything, and this can have a negative impact on your motivation. Incremental progress is still progress. Give yourself the recognition you deserve.

 

11. Look for the opportunity in every problem

Practice being the person who can find the hidden advantage in every seemingly negative situation. While everyone else focuses on the problem, stay focused on finding a solution. As Napoleon Hill once said: “Every failure, every adversity, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Always look for the benefit.

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino

12. Know what you’re fighting for

The last hack for staying motivated through challenging times is to always know what you’re fighting for. Whenever you are faced with a challenge, your mind will demand a reason for your suffering. You better have a crystal clear response, because if you don’t, your mind will convince you to quit. We all have 2 voices in our head. One voice says “This is too hard. This is uncomfortable. I should quit.” The other says “Yes this is challenging, but it will be worth it. Keep going.”  You need to give that second voice a reason to speak up. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Make a list of your reasons and never forget them.

Which hack keeps you motivated? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Stan Vandiver

    Dec 8, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Great article. Currently implementing some of the suggestions but I will definitely include all items in my routine.

  2. Chris Targett

    Jul 9, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for a great article, my favourite points would have to be:

    5. Do not allow yourself to complain- I love to be positive, to the point where people at work know you as the one that’s always positive and sometimes referred to as “unrealistic” that’s when you know you’re doing it properly

    6. Get an accountability partner- Best thing I ever did, catch up every week with our goal spreadsheet, what we’ve learnt from last week and what we’re going to change next week.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  3. Thea Dunlap

    Apr 18, 2016 at 2:04 am

    These are some good tips! I did some of them mostly out of habit but it is good to know these tips. Thanks!

    • Mark Reynolds

      Apr 19, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Good checklist. As a coach it is important young people to practice being a positive influence to others. Be that person that people want to be around.

  4. Toño

    Jan 27, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Massive article, Tyler. Some very well said points about our daily motivation. First thing, I love this one: ‘Instead of being proactive about what they need to accomplish, they become reactive to the needs of everyone else.’ Wow just wow. How often we wake up and think about the great we are about to dive in and then… just react to everything that happen without single thought and that beautiful day just pass by like the average one. It’s a pro-tip that can help you rule your day. Thanks!

    Listening to something positive is also crucial as our brain can absorb the information even when we are sleeping so it’s a good training session. Oh, and I love that Zig Ziglar quote you mentioned, one of my favourites by the great man 🙂

    I am also on a lerning curve to eliminate all the complaints out of my life, even though it’s quite tough task at times. But really, just to be able to controll yourself and your emotions can easily improves your state of mind.

    Another thing and so huge as well. ‘You can’t change negative people, but they will change you if you hang around them long enough.’ You know, when I’ve read this first time my life just stopped for a minute, and I was at my job and sit there in silience for quite a while. Simple yet signifacant words. Be very selective who you spend your time with. Love that!

    And of course, know why you do what you do! It is all about journey not the destnation, but without an end goal it will be just endless wandering.

    Thank you so much Tyler, appreciate your time and desire, enjoyed the article and some really good pro tips! Stay well.

    • Tyler Basu

      Jan 31, 2016 at 3:01 am

      Hey Toño thanks for leaving the detailed comment! I am glad to hear that many of the points in this article have made a strong impression on you. I wish you all the best with your endeavors!

  5. Paul

    Jan 24, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    #11 is a good one but so hard to do. It takes some discipline to pull yourself out of the deep and turn it into a positive. The hallmark of successful people for sure.

    #12 also important. In fact, if you know your why then everything else falls into place. It could have been a list of 1.

  6. Tyler Basu

    Jan 24, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    You’re welcome, thanks for commenting!

  7. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Jan 24, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Number 8 is a great take away. Being around negativity can be draining( emotionally ). Some might try and discourage you because of their own insecurities. Positive people hang around other positive people. Its better to be alone then with bad company.

    Great read.

    • Tyler Basu

      Jan 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks for commenting, and yes I definitely agree! It’s better to be alone than be around negative people.

  8. Jeremy Negus

    Jan 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Great post! I resonated with so many of the 12 but the biggest one I think for me making your goals visible. Thanks again for the great suggestions.

    • Tyler Basu

      Jan 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      You’re welcome Jeremy! Glad you enjoyed this one.

  9. Homa Mistry

    Jan 24, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I really liked your 12 point article on motivation mainly because it is simple

  10. Arvind

    Jan 24, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Recite your affirmations.

  11. Erik Christian Johnson

    Jan 23, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Awesome post, Tyler! You listed some key points for keeping going. It’s a hard fight, man, becoming a home-based Entrepreneur and having an accountability partner is key. Fortunately, my girlfriend works from home as well and we pump each other up every time things get us down. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Tyler Basu

      Jan 24, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks Eric! Working from home definitely has its own unique challenges. That’s great your girlfriend helps hold you accountable!

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

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