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How Can I Motivate Myself to Work Harder Than Ever Before?



motivate yourself to work harder

What do you want to accomplish in your life?


Is it to have more money? Fame? A vacation with your family?
Finding your passion, the “thing” that you want to do or to have more than anything else, is key in figuring out what will motivate you to work harder toward reaching it.


If the goal you set is not one that you really feel is important, or if it is a goal that is set by someone else (like a coach, a boss, a well-intentioned loved one), then the motivation to reach that goal will be limited.

How Can I Motivate Myself to Work Harder?

Specifically, the goal has to be something that YOU want for yourself, not something that will only benefit another person. For example, if you are trying to get motivated to stop smoking because your spouse has asked you to, but it’s a habit you really enjoy, then ask yourself who is the beneficiary of this goal?


If you are not personally invested in the task, the likelihood of success is greatly decreased.

By following the three steps below, you have a guide to become more motivated to reach the goals you set for yourself. You can also use these steps to reach goals that you need to reach at work or in other areas of your life. Setting specific goals, being accountable for those goals, and rewarding yourself when you reach them will help you stay motivated toward any goal that you wish to reach.


Read on for explanations of each of these steps.


#1 – Be SMART


Define you goal, and be SMART about it. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time limited.


They should be framed in such a way that if you ask “did I accomplish my goal?” the answer should be simply “yes” or “no.” Having a goal that meets these criteria helps you know exactly what you need to do in order to say “I did it.”


A specific goal is one that answers the“W” questions: who, what, when, where, why.

For example: “I want to finish the Racing Rabbit 5K on October 5th in Nantucket in under 30 minutes so I can get my first racing t-shirt.” This is a goal that can be answered easily with “yes” or “no.” Write it down.


Make it measurable.

What steps are you going to take to reach this goal? How many times per week are you going to run? Where? How will you keep up with your distance and speed to measure your progress? When you measure your progress, you are able to stay motivated toward your goal, celebrating milestones along the way to your goal.


Is it attainable?

When you review the steps you have to take to reach you goal within the specified time frame, does it motivate you to succeed, or does it seem like too much for the time frame?


Is it reasonable?

Look at your abilities. For example, if you have health conditions that prevent you from being able to run a 5K, is this a realistic goal for you? Having high goals can be motivating, more than low goals. Working to reach a goal that seems a bit too hard can motivate you to work harder.


Set a time frame that works.

When you review the steps to reaching your goal, does it look as though you can reach you goal by the date you set? Having a time limit on your goal keeps you motivated toward the end result. Setting milestones along the way helps avoid procrastination as there are small rewards along the way to reaching your final goal.


#2 – Be Accountable


Having someone that is aware of what you are working to accomplish can help you stay motivated toward your goal.


Find a partner to keep you motivated.

Just the knowledge that you may have to tell someone what you have and have not accomplished toward your goal can be enough motivation to keep you going, if you choose the right accountability partner.


Is your partner motivated to help?

Make sure that they understand the importance of completing your goal and any small steps that you must take along the way to get to the goal in time. Have them set up some way to text you as a reminder or ask for updates as needed. They can also simply send you encouragements if they have no interest in what you are doing in your goals.


Not ready to let your friends and family in on your goals?

That’s okay! There are also many groups online to seek out for accountability, depending on your goals. Find like-minded people that have your same interests through internet searches, if you feel that having anonymity is more in line with your particular goal.


The key is to have someone on your side so that you are not going into this alone. Having a motivational partner or a group of people to keep you going will push you to succeed, and you may inspire others at the same time.


#3 – Be Rewarded


Everyone likes to get something for their accomplishments, right? So why not reward yourself when you reach your goal! Go ahead and decide what that reward will be so that you can know what you are working toward beyond the goal. Having that knowledge will further motivate you toward the goal and help keep you on track.


Remind yourself of your reward.

As you progress through the steps toward your goal, remind yourself how much closer you are to your reward. Print out a picture of your reward and post it somewhere you will see it as a consistent reminder of your motivation toward completing the goal.


Your reward should be in line with your goal.

It wouldn’t be beneficial if you rewarded yourself with a heavy meal out if your goal was to lose weight, so plan accordingly. Perhaps an outfit that compliments your new shape would be more appropriate.


A motivational reward doesn’t have to cost money, either.

Perhaps you will reward yourself with a day in which your spouse takes the kids out to the park or to visit friends and you spend time doing whatever feeds your soul. Maybe your reward is spending the day with your kids; that could be exactly what you need!


Whatever it is, it needs to be so important to you, that it motivates you to reach it, regardless of how difficult the road to your goal.


Motivation is Personal


Determining what will motivate you will be personal. In the end, it really depends on how much you want the outcome to happen. You can feel motivated if you WANT to feel motivated, and that goes back to defining a goal that YOU want, rather than a goal that someone else wants FOR you.


Have a business starting up and want to have it self-sustaining and profitable by the end of the first year?

Set those milestones along the way to motivate you to stay on track. This not only helps with motivation but helps stave off procrastination. Waiting until the last moment to start on a project often leads to a lackluster performance and poor results. This can results in a decrease in motivation to try again later or to attempt another goal.


Define your goal, Set the steps to reaching it, and come up with an awesome reward for completing it.

These steps should help motivate you to complete the tasks that face you and plan for your own success in a variety of areas in your life.


Each person will find their motivation in different areas of their life, in different activities, in different accomplishments. Determining what motivates you is key to creating an actionable plan for success that will allow you to reach your goals and keep you motivated to continue working on additional goals.

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Can You Receive A Compliment Without It Getting To Your Head?



a compliment (1)

Receiving compliments gracefully isn’t as easy as it should be for some people. How about you: are YOU ready for someone to give you a pat on the back? To be pushed to doing more? To have someone give you a supporting hand? To be picked up when you fall down?

Sure, we may think that’s what we want. But is it what we need to develop, to grow, and to get better?

If someone complimented you on every little improvement you made while learning a new skill, would you not start to feel a bit marginalized? That perhaps they didn’t really think you could do it? What about when you do something that seems pretty easy and everyone made it into a big deal?


Receiving Compliments When You Are Not Ready For It

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

Developing new skills is never free of trouble. We all know the level of foundation that must be built to get from being a novice, before reaching greatness. In the learning process, we all know when we are in that frustrating stage of not being quite as good – but we know what we have to do to get there.

It’s in these moments that receiving compliments on your every action could minimize your efforts. That’s because if they truly knew you, people would be holding out for when you make that big, defining leap. 

As we overcome hurdles in our learning and development, friends, family members, and colleagues will know when the time is right to provide encouragement. They know that when that moment comes, those words will have the right amount of impact on you.

Think back to when you were growing up, playing some elaborate game. Perhaps you spent hours creating this game: building a fort, putting together things that the rest of your characters in the play could use. You pushed through despite the trials and problems.

It would have served absolutely no purpose for someone to congratulate you on every step (and misstep) along the way.  You would have lost your flow as you worked through the problem, constantly being interrupted – all while you were still trying to figure it out and understand where you needed to go.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments


When Receiving Compliments Makes You Content with Present Achievements

You might never have finished if someone patted you on the back early in that moment, content in the knowledge that you “thought up” the idea and that was enough. If everyone was saying you did great simply for thinking up something new, would it have compelled you to stop?

Maybe. Perhaps you would have stopped with that compliment.

As a parent, you learn when to encourage your children. Usually, it’s not when they show up, and not when they do what kids around them are able to do as well. It’s when they push themselves to do more. When they pick themselves up and still lose, when they try something new for the first time, fall over and fail, not sure if they should do it again.

Those are the moments when kids should be receiving compliments – NOT when they have done the same thing over and over again, or when they didn’t try their best but won anyways.

Kids know this. They can feel it when people give false compliments or encouragement because they did something they’ve always done. But when it is something meaningful, something they have worked hard for, they know the encouragement will be there to help them.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

The reason you might not be receiving compliments or encouragement when you want to is because you haven’t earned them or don’t deserve them yet.

Maybe your coaches, leaders, parents, or other people who support you know you are not ready for it. Perhaps they need to see you making that next big leap in your growth and development.

Those compliments might not come today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But look at those around you – the great people you have chosen to surround yourself with – and you’ll see that they are waiting to give you that push. They are waiting for you to make it happen.

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3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart




when your dreams are falling apart (1)

I truly believe that dreams must extend beyond wishes of self-improvement; that its goal should be to contribute to the world around you.

The heart is a fickle thing. Imagine how many amazing things wouldn’t have been accomplished if great minds simply stopped when they “didn’t feel like it”.

It’s human nature. I’m sure that during the course of over 300 bank rejections, Walt Disney had days when he felt like giving up. But he didn’t. He kept going. Why? It was because his dream went far beyond himself.

Here’s how YOU can keep going – even if it feels like your dreams are falling apart.


3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

1.) Remember The “Why”

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

Often times, I find that dreams extend far beyond the simple purpose of making one happy. For example, being a songwriter in and of itself does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Imagine if my life’s work was to write songs that no one would ever hear. That doesn’t elicit any feelings of happiness or fulfillment (at least to me).

Seeing and hearing the healing effects that come from the songs I create for others to hear? Now you’re talking. Healing and helping others is the part of my dream that keeps it alive. It gives me purpose in this world that goes far beyond myself and my skills.

I’m reminded of the character Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge’s goal in life was to have money – and lots of it. He set aside love and relationships for that dream. The result of this life goal was a lonely, cold, bitter old man.

I won’t ruin the whole story for the very few of you that may not have heard it. In the end, Scrooge discovered that what brought him fulfillment and happiness were community and generosity.

So what is the “why” to your dream? How is your dream going to affect those around you? Get beyond yourself. As many have said, YOU are your biggest obstacle to success.


2.) Take Off The Rose-Colored Glasses

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

You know what I’m talking about. The “I’m going to make it big” and “I’m going to famous/rich/etc.” I hate to take a pointy realistic needle to your big ideas, but I’m doing it out of love. Here it is:

Your dream isn’t going to look exactly how you pictured it.

Take a minute to take that one in. Still here? Yes. Alive? Yes. Not Bleeding? No? Hurt a bit?

It’s OK. I know. I’ve been there. Dreams are vulnerable. We spend countless hours imagining what it would be like and how we will get there. But the truth is, in my experience, they have never turned out exactly how I have imagined. Why? We live in a world of people and circumstances that we can’t control.

Here is where the “why” comes in. The beautiful thing is that your works are a direct result of your heart’s intention…and what you put out into the world never comes back void. Here’s an example:

As a singer-songwriter, the common idea of making it big for my line of work is to have a hit song or perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden (I’m more inclined towards Red Rock Amphitheatre, but you get the picture).

Let’s say that I work and strive tirelessly to do everything I need to do to reach that goal. I release a song, I tour around the US, develop a large following, get on the radio, etc. Along the way, I hear stories of how this song has impacted the people who have heard it. Stories describing how it brought healing, encouragement, and hope.

To go further, what if I never even make it that far? What if circumstances happen and I can’t tour? What if everything “falls apart”? What if I end up playing at open mics for the rest of my life? What if it doesn’t happen in the next year? Two years?

Does that change the fact that my song helped heal and open the heart of a broken and depressed Vietnam Vet? Or how it helped encourage an author to keep going and writing? Or how my song started a conversation on how to look past the labels overshadowing soldiers and their families?

It’s all about your perspective of success, my friend. To me, because my “why” and my heart’s intention are to help people, those stories above are my version of success. It’s what keeps me going. If I get to Madison Square Garden (or Red Rocks), well that’s just icing on top of the cake.

Keep going on your dream. Make a plan, and in the words of .38 Special, “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go.” Roll with the punches and understand that even greater things can come when things don’t go according to your plan.


3.) Make Your Dream Your Job

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

No, I don’t mean quit your job and have no income while you work on your dream. That’s an entirely different article (and completely up to you). I’m talking about treating your dream like it is your job.

For example, if you completely failed at a presentation at work, would you just quit and not go the next day? No! You have a livelihood and an expectation to show up. So why quit on your dream at the first sign of failure?

Treat your dream like your job. Make a plan, show up every day, and understand that it may take a while to see any results. I know many songwriters who wrote hundreds of songs before they wrote a hit. However, they never would have reached it if they didn’t take that first step, made a commitment, and wrote 100 songs first.

Dreams don’t just happen. They take work. So go get started!

My best advice under this theme is check out the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It is by far the best resource I have discovered in my journey of living out my dream.

Here’s the deal. With every goal that I have set and achieved, I never sat at the end and thought to myself, “man, look at what I did”. Believe it or not, I was more overwhelmed with the thoughts of the journey that I had to take to get there – the good and the bad.

I would admire and laugh at the unexpected things that came. I would smile and enjoy the character it built, the person that I became in the process. In the end, the best thing about dreams and goals isn’t their achievement, but the journey that you take to get there.

Never forget that the dream in your heart was put there for a reason. You were made to make an impact on this world.

Enjoy the journey and never, ever give up. Keep going.

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