The 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Staying Motivated

The 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Staying Motivated

Goals, resolutions, aspirations, objectives, initiatives — whatever you call it, we’re always on a journey towards achieving. And on that journey, there's one particular thing that drives us forward: motivation. 

Especially for goals that take weeks, months, or even years to achieve, the only way forward to consistently create progress is to stay motivated. But we're only human, and our motivation levels can vary depending on our mood, energy levels, and lifestyle. 

If you're finding it difficult to stay motivated, don't despair just yet. You can form healthy habits for success with these seven dos and don’ts:

DO: Write your goals down.


It's easy to forget, overthink, or make excessive changes to goals when they live in your head. Writing down your goals will help you stay focused and prompt you to think more productively about how you'll achieve them. 

But don't just take our word for it — you can take a look at the studies linking written goals to success. In a Harvard Business study, students who wrote down their goals became more financially successful than their peers who didn’t. Additionally, other studies connect writing on paper to increased brain activity and improved memory; benefits such as these can help you focus on your goals. 

DON’T: Limit your focus to the outcomes. 

Many of us pursue goals expecting a specific outcome, but that shouldn't be your only focus. Reflecting on the "why" can be one of your strongest motivators in the journey towards achieving your goals! 

For example, let's say your goal is to eat at least three vegetables daily. Limiting your focus on the outcomes may make you feel underaccomplished if you can't perceive a physical result from it. On the other hand, thinking about the "why" can expand your perception of your goal. If your "why" is to ensure nourishing your body to feel healthier, you'll have a better chance of focusing on how you feel rather than what you see.

DO: Find ways to allocate time to your plan.

After deciding on a goal, the next step is to create healthy habits that support your journey. You can do this by dedicating regular time within your schedule to your goals. Take control of your time by:

  • Blocking off times in a digital or physical calendar
  • Downloading an app that will track the time spent on your goals
  • Setting a reminder to alert yourself to switch to your goal-building time

After some time, spending time on your goals will become natural; you'll eventually need less motivation to work on something you're so used to doing. 

DON’T: Wait to celebrate your wins.


If you consider your goal as one big goliath of a task, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. But remember: every goal has smaller components, and you should celebrate each small win.

In fact, 80% of people who indulge in celebrating small wins believe one win can make a bad day good. So if you're dealing with a particularly rough day with little motivation to go forward, think of what you've recently accomplished towards your goal. This small effort can go a long way, helping to brighten your mindset and mitigate any doubts or discouragement you may experience.

DO: Stay active.

Thanks to Newton’s First Law of Motion, we now know that a body in motion stays in motion. While this phrase can feel cliche, it's key to achieving your goals and staying motivated. You’re likely to have an easier time switching from one activity to another when you keep your body moving rather than starting from a resting state. 

This phenomenon is especially true when we think about the everyday tasks and routines (also called keystone habits) that have a quiet yet strong positive effect on us. For example, you may wash your dishes without much persuasion and feel peaceful and calm afterward. 

Whatever the task is, simple tasks that you do without much thought can boost your feelings of accomplishment and confidence. So keep your body moving, and you may find yourself with higher levels of motivation for your goals! 

DON’T: Forget to rest when you need it.

It sounds too good to be true — sleep to achieve your goals? One night of sleep won’t supercharge your motivation levels, but consistent and quality rest can play a big part in helping you stay alert and energized. On the flip side, sleep deprivation can lead to loss of focus and information retention, blocking your ability to stay motivated. 

For the best possible rest, create a routine that optimizes your energy during the day and allows you to rest peacefully at night. That may look like incorporating daily moderate exercise, keeping consistent bedtimes, and cutting down on caffeine. 

If you need some additional support in helping you unlock quality rest, try NatureWise Ashwagandha for Stress to promote stress regulation in your body, helping you calm your body before you sleep.

DO: Nourish your body.

kale salad

Above all, you need to take care of your well-being to remain motivated; one way you can do this is by nourishing your body. Food, in particular, majorly affects your energy and focus. Unhealthy or incomplete diets have been associated with mood swings and even more severe mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

For the best nourishment, try superfoods connected to increased brain power, like fish, berries, walnuts, and kale. You can also stock up on energy-boosting foods, like almonds, bananas, and pistachios. Take your pick! Energy + Focus = Motivation

As you embark on this journey, remember that it's okay to stay flexible and adjust your goals if needed — progress isn't linear. So long as you stay focused and feel energized, you'll have no trouble staying motivated. Best of luck to you as you work on your goals!

Reading next