How to Motivate Yourself to Chase Your Dreams: 10 Tips
In my experience with this blog, one of the most common things people ask for help with is Motivation.
Many people (myself included) struggle with getting and staying motivated.
It can be difficult to maintain your enthusiasm, especially when you have big dreams that require sustained effort to achieve or when you're struggling with anxiety and/or depression.
But, I’ve found that there are ways to keep yourself motivated even when you’re feeling sad, scared or just plain lazy.
So, here are 10 tried and true tips that help me stay motivated to chase my dreams. I hope they work for you too!
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First of all,
Why is it so hard to stay motivated?
Aside from the fact that we’re all human and therefore inevitably falter from time to time, there are reasons why it is so hard to stay motivated to chase your dreams.
Here are some reasons why you might be struggling with motivation:
Do any of these reasons resonate with you?
Lack of motivation is not synonymous with laziness or apathy – there is usually an underlying reason why you are having such a hard time staying motivated.
Once you pinpoint what that reason is, you can go about fixing the issue so you can get back on track.
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10 Tried and True Tips to Motivate Yourself to Chase Your Dreams
1. Remember your “why”
Why do you want to achieve that particular goal?
Remembering why you are chasing your dream is often just the push you need to keep going.
If you’re having trouble staying committed, it might be worth examining if you should even be chasing that dream in the first place.
Is it for your own personal growth or is it really for someone else?
Is the journey itself intrinsically valuable or is it all about getting to the reward at the end?
The answers to these questions will help you to see whether you have set an intrinsic goal (internally driven, inherently satisfying to pursue) or an extrinsic goal (extrinsically driven, pursued to gain the approval of others or other external signs of self-worth).
Maybe you’ve been holding onto a definition of success that doesn’t really align with your core values.
Re-examine that definition, along with your goal, and decide what you truly want to do with your “one wild and precious life”.
When you have a solid “why”, it will be much easier to stay motivated to achieve your goal.
2. Examine your thoughts (and actions)
"Failure is success in progress." -Albert Einstein
I’ve had more than my fair share of failures and hardships in life.
And because of that, it’s easy for me to slip into negative thought patterns like “That’s just how things are” or “I’ll never be successful at XYZ”.
So, if you’re feeling unmotivated, examine your thoughts – after all, they influence your actions.
Are you harboring any limiting beliefs? Do you have confidence in yourself? Are you engaging in any self-sabotaging behavior?
Sometimes, it’s not actually a lack of motivation but a lack of self-belief that holds us back.
If you have low self-efficacy (confidence in your ability to accomplish your goals), that may be why you aren’t making as much progress as you’d like.
Remember that adversity is an opportunity for growth.
Don’t be discouraged - through your struggles, you are becoming more resilient and gaining all the wisdom you need to succeed.
Motivate Yourself to Chase Your Dreams
3. Treat yourself right
If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s no wonder you’re struggling with motivation!
When you are so focused on working towards your goal that you neglect your physical and/or mental health, trust me you will eventually burn out and (ironically) not achieve your goal.
Self-care must come first, especially when you are working towards long-term goals.
How do you expect your body and mind to serve you if you aren’t giving them what they need to function optimally?
Remember how special your existence truly is and what a blessing it is to be alive – take care of your health no matter what else is going on in your life.
4.Trick yourself into action
If you’re having trouble getting started or you’re feeling stuck, you might just have to trick yourself into action.
By doing one small thing.
Do one push up. Clean one drawer. Make one phone call. Eliminate one unhealthy food from your diet. Write one sentence. Read one page.
The accomplishment of that one little thing can give you just the burst of motivation you need to keep going.
And hey, even if you don’t, at least you’re ahead of where you were before!
By doing just one little thing that moves you closer to your goal, you’re showing yourself that what seemed overwhelming is actually do-able!
So, determine what it will take to achieve your big goal and then chunk it down into smaller and smaller steps until you have something tiny that you can do right now - and do it.
5. Find inspiration
Sometimes, all it takes is a little inspiration to re-light the fire in your soul.
There are many sources of inspiration, for example:
Don’t wait to be inspired – seek out inspiration.
No one can stay 100% motivated all the time; we all need a little boost every now and then.
So, see what works for you and use it to your advantage whenever your motivation starts to wane.
Motivate Yourself to Chase Your Dreams
6. Plan a celebration
It can help to have something to look forward to other than the accomplishment of the goal itself.
Especially if it’s a long-term life goal.
Recognizing and celebrating all your accomplishments along the way can help keep you motivated to pursue your dreams.
Your brain registers them as “wins” and celebrating them helps to reinforce a success mindset.
Each time you accomplish something, you prove to yourself that you are capable and effective.
So, plan a celebration for whenever you achieve a minor milestone -it doesn’t have to be anything big or even technically a “celebration”. As long as it’s an expression of acknowledgement and appreciation for your efforts, you’re on the right track.
Some ways to celebrate your small wins include: crossing it off your list (oh so satisfying!), taking a break to do something you enjoy, eating a special meal or treat, buying yourself something you’ve been wanting, expressing gratitude, going out with friends, etc.
7. Imagine your life with and without the accomplishment of your goal
If you want to motivate yourself to chase your dreams and reach your goals, remind yourself of what’s at stake.
Imagine what your life would be like if you reached your goal. What would change? How would things improve for you?
Think of all the specific benefits you would enjoy.
Also, imagine what your life would be like if you did not pursue your passion/reach your goal.
Could you live with it or would you have regrets? How will your actions (or inaction) affect others?
Think of the consequences of procrastinating, making excuses, losing focus, or not staying committed to your goal – you’ll probably end up being right where you are.
If you don’t take action, you can’t expect results.
8. Educate yourself
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” – David Campbell
How much do you really know about your dream? Have you learned everything you can about it? Do you have a clear vision of your goal?
If you don’t have enough information, you can’t set your sights on your goal with enough precision.
Your vision is the foundation upon which all your thoughts regarding - and actions towards - your goal are built.
Lack of focus and direction can derail you from your path and cause you to lose motivation since you're not getting any closer to making your dream a reality (even though you've been working so hard) .
So, learn everything you can about your goal, what it will take to achieve it, it's benefits, the ways in which it will change your life, etc.
Motivate Yourself to Chase Your Dreams
9. Organize and decorate your environment
Your physical environment is so important when it comes to motivation.
It can either energize or drain you. Spark creativity or distract you from your work. Enhance your mood or bring you down.
So, examine your surroundings – are there things that are sabotaging your success?
Like if you’re trying to lose weight, are there cookies, chips, etc. in an easily accessible location? Try not bringing unhealthy foods into the house –you will for sure eat less of them because you will not want to go to the store every time you have a craving!
If you’re trying to write a novel, do you have Facebook or Instagram open on your computer?
Also, are there any distractions? Clutter, mess, or just too many objects in your visual field can contribute to stress and procrastination.
How’s the temperature? Lighting? Are there any unpleasant odors?
Solve these issues so that you can put your full attention back where it belongs.
*You may also need to organize all the thoughts in your brain as well by doing a brain dump – there are some worksheets included in the post to help you.*
10. Remember that we are all going to die
Sometimes, we don’t chase our dreams because we’re scared to put ourselves out there and get judged, or we’re afraid to fail, or we’re afraid that we’ll make a fool of ourselves, or whatever.
It may seem weird, but whenever I know that fear is getting in the way of my dreams, it helps to ponder my own mortality.
Because I (like all of us) will eventually die. And even best case scenario, “eventually” is not that far away ... humans are currently only living to at most 115-120 years old.
That’s pretty short in the scheme of things! Seeing as how our tiny lifespan is such an insignificant blip in time, shouldn’t we be doing everything we can while we're alive to achieve happiness and fulfillment?
And since we’ll all be gone anyway, it doesn’t really matter if you embarrassed yourself or you failed - all that truly matters is that you lived.
I hope these tips help you motivate yourself to keep chasing your dreams.
Also, I’d love to know - what inspires you to keep going? Tell me in the comments!
Share this & help someone else!