How to Get Motivated and Set Goals for Your Life

Alright, so you’re sitting there right now, looking for a way to get yourself motivated, get yourself out of a slump, or find the motivation to start something. Maybe you are trying to muster up the drive to go for a workout, or maybe you’re procrastinating starting a project, but the feeling is the same. You feel stuck, low-energy, maybe a bit bored or depressed, and you just can’t seem to WANT it bad enough to just DO it. So you’ve decided to turn to an outside source (me, currently) to try to pull some motivation from wherever you can get it. That’s a great idea, actually! Sometimes, all you need is one motivational quote that really hits home, one line from a super motivated person, one little push in the direction of being productive to ramp up your drive, cultivate a bit of passion, and get you going on your task! Hopefully, you can find something that kickstarts your motivation here! Let’s find out.

How to Get Yourself Motivated

Alright, so you’re sitting there right now, looking for a way to get yourself motivated, get yourself out of a slump, or find the motivation to start something. Maybe you are trying to muster up the drive to go for a workout, or maybe you’re procrastinating starting a project, but the feeling is the same. You feel stuck, low-energy, maybe a bit bored or depressed, and you just can’t seem to WANT it bad enough to just DO it. So you’ve decided to turn to an outside source (me, currently) to try to pull some motivation from wherever you can get it. That’s a great idea, actually! Sometimes, all you need is one motivational quote that really hits home, one line from a super motivated person, one little push in the direction of being productive to ramp up your drive, cultivate a bit of passion, and get you going on your task! Hopefully, you can find something that kickstarts your motivation here! Let’s find out.

First, let’s take a look at what’s happening that has you in this predicament.

Why Am I Not Motivated

Why can’t you seem to get the motivation you need to do the thing? First, let’s look at your reasons why you have your goal in the first place. Of course, everyone’s situation and therefore reasoning will be completely different, so we will just have to go with some examples and principles. We need to get to the bottom of why you are struggling with motivation in the first place. To start, ask yourself these basic questions:

1. What is my goal?

2. Why do I want to achieve my goal?

3. What is my first (or very next) step to achieving my goal?

4. What is my time frame for achieving my goal?

Okay, now we have our list of goal-defining questions. Let’s unpack that for a minute. Some of those questions will have obvious answers. If you are struggling with motivation to complete a project for work, the answers would look something like: 

1. To finish Project A.

2. Because I have to.

3. Open the document.

4. Friday, or I’m fired.

If your answers look something like this, I’d encourage you to dig a little deeper! Maybe your immediate goal that you’re struggling to find motivation for is completing Project A, but your reason for why you want to achieve it is to feel the satisfaction of turning in a project you are proud of, and because you do have passion for your job in some way, even if it’s to make enough money to provide for your family, or go on the trip you’ve been wishing to plan! If you can connect boring tasks to big dreams, or even better, emotions, you will begin to find yourself feeling more motivated.

Let’s look at a completely different example!

Fitness Motivation

I happen to be extremely passionate about fitness, so that means I am always 100% motivated to work out and eat all the health food every single day!! Right?? WRONG. No waaaay! I struggle so often with finding motivation to actually get up, change into activewear, figure out what workout I’m going to do, and actually make it happen! Over the years, I have found the things that help me defeat the unmotivated blob that lives inside me, and continue to defeat it every day! Of course this is just another example, and these motivational strategies can be applied to anything. Fitness goals are some of the easiest to burn out on, so you want to be smart when you’re starting out or starting over, so let’s dive into some practical tips for getting and staying motivated!

You’ve probably heard lot’s of great tips before, like lay your workout clothes out at night so they’re ready for you in the morning, map out your workout the day before so you know what you’ll be doing in the gym, find a buddy to go running with or to take a yoga class with you for extra accountability, blah blah blah. Those are all awesome tips and techniques you can use to stay motivated with your workouts! I personally use tricks like this to help me stay the course, and I recommend you do the same! All that said, however, I want to address the internal problems first, so that every day is not a battle inside your head.

What I want to talk about is your MINDSET. 

Let’s look at those questions again, in the context of working out. I want you to ask yourself to find your own answers, but we’ll go through an example together to get you going.

  1. What is my goal?

Instead of answering “to work out,” look at your overall desired outcome. It’s best if you can also go past external goals, like looking a certain way. Find something that inspires you. Look at athletes who can do something that you just think is amazing! Find that thing that makes you think, man, I wish I could do that. 

Now, what’s stopping you? Why can’t you do that thing? No, seriously, what could be in your way to achieving that goal? Someone else is doing it, which means that you can, too. You are the only person not allowing you to make that happen.

Let’s look at the next one.

2. Why do I want to achieve my goal?

Maybe you already know this one. Now that you’re letting yourself think outside the box you may have had yourself squished into, you know what your ultimate dream is. You want to complete an ironman. You want to be able to do a backflip. You want to be the person who wakes up and goes for a run to clear your head and energize your mind. You want to be a dancer, even though you didn’t start when you were three. You want to reach new levels with yoga, or rock climbing, or cycling. You may even want to be a professional soccer player, or play volleyball in college, or get back into weightlifting after 20 years. You get the picture! Only you know the truest desire inside you, if you let yourself dream with no restrictions. Take a minute, find that thing, and latch onto it. You’ll need to know it for the next step.

3. What is my first (or very next) step to achieving my goal?

We are talking about the very next step, like the immediate thing you need to do in order to get on the path for your goal. If you haven’t written it down yet, that could be it! Got a pen? Great. You’re done. Now move onto the next tiny step. Maybe that is finding a YouTube channel that you can learn from, or maybe it’s as simple as lacing up your running shoes. Whatever it is that you can do right now, DO IT. Don’t think about it any longer. That brings us to our last question:

4. What is my time frame for achieving my goal?

For goal number one that we were just discussing, the time frame is 5 minutes. Yep, that’s all you’ve got. If you don’t get up now and make one tiny movement toward your overall goal in the next 5 minutes, why would you ever?  

Now that we have that situated, and you’re about to get started on your first tiny step (yay, go you!) let’s quickly go over the next phase! I promise I’ll make it happen in under 5 minutes so you can make your goal!

How to Set Goals

I know you’ve probably heard of SMART goals before, but I’m including them in here, because having attainable goals is absolutely crucial in staying motivated!

SMART stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-Bound

What Are Smart Goals?

We’ve already looked at a lot of these pieces, but now I’m giving you one last assignment before sending you off to achieve your goal!

After you filled out your questions, found the goal that inspires and excites you (even if it seems crazy, stupid, or out of reach… honestly, bonus points if they are!), and decided on what tiny step you can make toward your goal in the next 5 minutes, let’s quickly outline your goal over time. Having an outline and a clear path toward your goal will definitely increase your ongoing motivation!

Write down that goal that ignites passion within you, and make sure that it fits the SMART guidelines.

One last example: here is how to take a generic goal and make it SMART!

Example goal: I want to be stronger in the future.

SMART goal: I want to be able to do three consecutive pull-ups by May 15th of this year.

The SMART goal gives you a goal that you can actually check off of your list, by a specific time. It’s fully achievable, and isn’t wishy-washy in any way. Wishy-washy goals lead to loss of motivation!

LAST POINT!

Self-Motivation

Whenever I am so lacking in motivation that I feel depressed and a little hopeless, I look for things that I know are true! Finding motivation within sometimes means looking externally first. This verse always gets me motivated and excited to work toward my goals:

Isaiah 40:31

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

That’s pretty dang motivating to me! And lastly, my very favorite verse for getting and staying motivated:

Philippians 4:13

“I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives me strength.”

It’s just pretty awesome to me to know that I don’t have to do it alone— I don’t have to scrape up the motivation by myself, when I feel totally blah and unable to muster up the strength to work toward my goal. I can ask God to give me strength, and he will! Check out the video below if you want to see how you can use this in your own life!

Get Motivated

Okay, we’ve gone over all the fancy tools and strategies for getting motivated, and it’s been fun! I have one final way to find motivation and get on track to achieve your goals to talk about, and it’s probably not the most fun or exciting concept… but in my experience, it is the most effective one!

Ready? Don’t get mad, okay?

DICIPLINE.

That’s it. If you can control yourself, you can do anything. Don’t wait for motivation to strike before you start on your task. Don’t blame lack of motivation for your goals getting derailed. Motivation and inspiration are fickle, because our emotions are fickle. I tell myself this same thing all the time, and in no way am I the perfect example of motivation! That’s why I want to advise you to find someone whose discipline and constant work ethic in your field of interest who you can look to for inspiration! It’s likely that the person you choose to look up to does not wait for the feeling of motivation to strike before they go after their goals everyday! Here’s how to use discipline to achieve your goals:

  1. Set the goal (you’re ahead of the game— we already did this!)
  2. Outline the path to achieving the goal (example: at 7:15am on Monday-Friday I will go on a 2 mile run)
  3. Be DISCIPLINED until it becomes a HABIT! 

Some people say shoot for 7 days a week, hit 5. I day, shoot for 5, hit 5. Never let yourself skip your routine that is getting you closer to your goal! I literally mean NEVER! If you decide to go for a run every morning, but on the third day you’re super tired because you stayed up too late, and you decide to let yourself sleep in, you are building the habit to run when you feel like it. You want to build running every morning into you DNA for goodness sake. Running every morning is part of who you are! You ALWAYS run in the morning! Tell yourself these things every day, and soon, you won’t even consider if you feel motivated to run, or if you should go for a run. Running in the morning will just be what you do. Once it’s a habit, you never really have to think about it anymore! And pretty soon, you’ll have to set all new goals, because you will have crushed yours already!

I hope that wasn’t too harsh, and it wasn’t to say that you can never let your body take a break. I’m just saying don’t let it take a break until you have developed the habit. 

Whatever it is for you, writing a novel, getting your splits, starting a company, getting a promotion, work on it with all you’ve got ever single day, regardless of your emotions!

I am so excited to see what you will go on to achieve through your hard work! If you can find the motivation to set your goal, you can continue to exercise that motivation and discipline every single day to smash that goal. You are absolutely capable of anything you want to achieve! Ask yourself those questions, take that next step, forgive yourself if you slip, watch the video below, and get going on your dreams. I believe in you!

Good luck,

EJ

how to get motivated and set goals for your best life

FREE GIFT

Watch this video!

If this video connected with you in some way, and you’d like to find out more about having a relationship with God and how His forgiveness and grace applies to you, a great place to start is praying the prayer below. The words themselves aren’t magic, but if you earnestly pray them and mean them, God will hear you! He’ll help you in ways you don’t understand, and we’ll help you find support and next steps.

The Prayer

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray,

Amen.

Did you pray this prayer?

So Now What?

If you really meant that prayer, the next step is to get you connected with other Christ-followers near you so you can grow, learn and become stronger in your faith.

Click the GET CONNECTED button below to find a local group of believers who can help you establish that relationship with God that you’ve only just begun.

God loves you – specifically you! And because He does, you have a bright future! Trust Him to help you find it.

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