Have you ever struggled to know how to motivate yourself every day? Or maybe you’re going through a season of transition or feeling tired or stuck? To help encourage you and get you moving forward, I’m sharing 7 tips on how to motivate yourself every day.
My Personal Struggle with Staying Motivated:
Everyone close to me knows that I used to be a chronic overachiever! For most of my life, I loved working hard, finishing projects, and staying busy. Staying motivated every day was a trait that came easy to me, and getting things accomplished would energize and encourage me.
That was all before I experienced a very dark season of depression that lasted almost four years. During this time, I felt tired, uninspired and disappointed in my work. I didn’t know how to find joy consistently, and I spent many days suffering from grief and sadness. Almost every day during this time, I struggled and did not know how to motivate myself every day.
During this time, I tried many things to motivate myself, and I will share more in-depth about my experience with depression and how I eventually overcame this dark season in a future post. Until then, I want to share some of the best practices that worked and helped me.
How to motivate yourself every day:
Maybe you haven’t personally walked through depression as I have, but if you have ever experienced days that you feel tired or need to get unstuck or change up your daily routine, I have put together a list of tips to help motivate yourself every day.
1. Pray for motivation and time management!
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering” (Romans 12:1, The Message).
I love what this Scripture tells us about giving everything to God. This includes our time and time management. He cares about it all! If you’re struggling to stay motivated and start a project, God can give you wisdom, direction, and even the motivation to get things done. He wants you to do all things for His glory!
2. Define your goals clearly.
If you want to get work done, you need to know what you’re doing. What are your goals for your day or your project?
The Bible tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, NIV). If you don’t define clear goals for your work or don’t know where you’re going, you’ll be aimless and unproductive.
I like to split my goals into four major areas: spiritual, family, physical, and personal. Once I’ve categorized my goals, it’s easier to figure out how important they are, how they’re related, and how to start tackling them!
3. Look for inspiration.
When I can’t find the energy to work, I look to others for that spark of inspiration! Seeing other people pursue their goals and share their progress helps me so much, and it can do the same for you.
Find others that can encourage you and make them a regular part of your day. Prioritize enjoying your favorite podcasts, videos, books, or short devotions as long as they help you get started on your own work!
Here are some of my personal favorites: my husband, Daron Farmer (always, haha!), Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Terri Sevelle Foy, Steven Furtick, and Lysa Terkurst. Share your favorites in the comments sections!
4. Celebrate little accomplishments!
Who doesn’t love an excuse to party? You shouldn’t wait until you’re completely done to celebrate your hard work! It’s okay to stop and celebrate the little milestones of each project or goal.
Did you write an article? Apply the first coat of paint to your new house? Stock your pantry for a week of cooking and meal prep? Throw a party, buy some confetti, or bake a cake when you make progress on your projects. Do whatever it takes to celebrate and reward yourself when you get things accomplished…even the little things!
5. Start somewhere and say “no” to perfectionism.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing, especially when learning how to motivate yourself every day. That’s my mantra when I’m not feeling motivated! It doesn’t matter if my work is perfect right now. It just needs to get done.
Start today. Moving forward toward your goals might require small steps at first: shooting two minutes of a video, writing the first draft of a blog post, setting a budget for your remodeling project, meal prep, or getting a rough outline down on paper.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing! Don’t let perfectionism stop you from taking that first step.
6. Break big “to-do” lists into smaller ones.
It would be best if you looked at the big picture of your goals. Then, it would be best if you break those goals into tiny pieces. You can’t expect to write a book, create a movie, or paint your house all in one day!
My son and I love to do puzzles, and getting started on a 1000-piece puzzle is always the hardest! We dump out all of the pieces and then ask each other, “What’s next?” It’s a little intimidating to look at the picture on the front of the box. Once we flip over the pieces and sort them into sections, though, the puzzle starts to come together. It’s the same way with our goals: once we break them down into bite-size chunks, they seem much more manageable.
7. Make a list and prioritize!
This is my favorite strategy and the number one way to motivate yourself every day! I love making a list and writing down everything I need to do. Sometimes I even include things I’ve already done–I always feel better when I can cross off a few things right off the bat.
When you’re creating a list, be realistic. Aim to accomplish 3-5 “important” things per day, and write your list around those. You know your schedule and your personality. How many tasks, and what types of tasks, are you most likely to accomplish? If you don’t finish everything on your list, don’t worry! Just remember to include the most important unfinished tasks on each day’s new list.
Let’s get started making our lists, praying over our goals, and getting our work done! Don’t forget to share your accomplishments in the comments section so we can all celebrate together as you learn how to motivate yourself every day! You’ve got this!