8 Ways To Get Motivated And Reach Your Goals

Finding motivation can be a hard task for anyone. Motivation is important because it can help you keep your eye on the goal even when you want to quit. Motivation will help you continue to work hard towards your goal, even when it seems impossible. Motivation is what keeps you going so that you do…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Find out how to get motivated and reach your goals with this helpful list!Finding motivation can be a hard task for anyone.

Motivation is important because it can help you keep your eye on the goal even when you want to quit.

Motivation will help you continue to work hard towards your goal, even when it seems impossible.

Motivation is what keeps you going so that you do not quit.

Without motivation, most people would give up on a goal very easily. This is why it’s so important to learn how to stay motivated.

Whether your goal is finance-related, career-related, family-related, lifestyle-related, or something else, there are many ways to help you stay motivated so that you can reach it.

Below are eight ways to get motivated so that you can reach your goals and become successful.

Related: How To Set And Reach Goals In The New Year


1. Write down your goal.

Writing out your goal is a very important part of the process. I know it helps keep me motivated whenever I do this, and I believe this is a big reason for why we are doing better with our food budget.

Writing down your goal helps keep it in your mind. Whenever I don’t write something down or have it in front of me on a regular basis, I usually forget about it.

If you can’t remember your goal, it would be very hard to reach it. I suggest creating a blog, creating a vision board, and so on.


2. Remember the reasons for why you want to reach your goal.

A big factor in staying motivated is to remember why you are wanting to reach your goal. If there is no reason, then it would be very hard to stay motivated.

You should envision what your life will be like once you reach your goal, why you are trying so hard to reach it, and so on. A little daydreaming can go a long way every now and then.

If your goal is debt payoff, then your reason is probably so that you can stop living a stressful paycheck to paycheck life. Just keep dreaming about what a debt free life would be like!


3. Create a plan to reach your goal.

If you want to learn how to stay motivated with your goals, then one of the first things you do after you create your goal is to create a plan. Without a plan, it would be difficult to reach a goal as you would just be all over the place.

You should create a plan that details the steps you need in order to reach your goal, what will happen as you reach each step, when and how you will track your progress, and more. Being detailed with your plan will help you reach your goal and become successful.

Related:Setting Goals – How To Set Personal Goals



4. Set smaller goals in between so that you can become successful.

When you’re creating your plan, you might want to think about setting smaller goals in between. This can help you learn how to stay motivated because it will help you keep your eye on your goal and fresh in your mind.

One way to do this is by setting smaller goals that directly relate to your overall goal.

So, if your overall goal is to pay off $24,000 in debt in two years, then you might want to aim for $1,000 in debt payoff each month. This seems much more attainable than the $24,000 number, and this can help you stay motivated.


5. Keep track of your progress.

To stay motivated with your goals and become successful with them, you should review your progress every now and then. You might want to check in daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what type of goal you have and what personally works for you.

Keeping track of your progress is a good idea because it can tell you what you need to do in order to each your goal, if you are behind, or if you need to make a change.

I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital (a free service) if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better as it allows you to gain control of your investment and retirement accounts, whereas Mint.com does not. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation, your cash flow, detailed graphs, and more.


6. Make changes when needed.

After you check in on your progress, you might find that you need to make changes in order to reach your goal. You might decide to change your timeline, your goal entirely, or you might set different smaller goals in between your time frame.

You should always make sure your goal is what you want and that it is realistic, so doing this step is important.


7. Be nice to yourself when learning how to stay motivated.

Every now and then, you might fall off track or come short of your goal. If this happens, do not be too mean to yourself. This is a very important step when learning how to stay motivated with your goals, as many people drag themselves down when they are not on track with their goals.

Things happen, but instead of being negative you should analyze what happened and see what needs to be changed so that it doesn’t happen again.


8. Reward yourself when you do become successful.

Whenever you reach one of your smaller goals, you might want to try rewarding yourself so that you can stay motivated.

A reward doesn’t mean that you are cheating your goal progress or that you need to fall off the wagon. You can reward yourself in many ways – you just need to find what works for you while also staying on track.

What are your current goals? How do you stay motivated with your goals?


Filed under:

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Setting smaller goals helps me stay motivated, it makes my ultimate goal seem more achievable when I can cross off the steps along the way.

    1. Yes, same here! What are you currently working towards?

  2. Kasia

    Great tips Michelle ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have many goals and I generally break them up into smaller steps. I find though I’m not always confident enough to take action and so progress is very slow.

    1. Thanks! What’s your top goal right now?

      1. Kasia

        My top goal right now is to create a side income stream of at least $1500 pm through blogging and freelance writing.

        1. Awesome. Great goal. Good luck!

  3. I agree with you. Writing down our goal really helps us see more of it and realize how easy we can really reach our goal. It makes us start to see the “how” from the “what”. It’s much better written down than only in our mind.

  4. Absolutely agree with this post, I am working hard to achieve my goals into personal life and works…writing down goals and create a vision board helps to stay focused on them!!!

    1. Thanks! What are you currently working towards?

  5. Amy

    I completely agree with these steps. I’m trying to follow a similar plan to pay down our debt. I started my blog as a way of writing down my goals and keeping myself accountable.

  6. We’re using a visual reminder to keep track of our goal to pay off $30,000 in 2015. It’s literally like a big thermometer that we fill in each month once we figure out how much we paid off. Yes, it’s juvenile, but it makes it so easy to see how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go!

    1. I think that’s an awesome idea Gretchen!

  7. Having a strong “why” is super important for me:-) Great list; I need to apply it to a new weight loss goal ASAP;-)

    1. Yes, a strong reason to reach your goal is very important. That always helps to keep me motivated.

  8. I like it! I like celebrating mini-goals too. It’s easier to stay motivated that way.

  9. Rust

    Your goals list is realistic, and I think that is the key to achieving them. I especially like the ‘set small goals’ option, as that will pay off and provide motivation for the larger ones.

    1. Thanks Rust! What are your goals currently?

  10. Great tips Michelle! I like to set smaller goals within my larger goal to help me acknowledge the progress I’m making and while sometimes it’s hard I try to always stay focused on my ‘why’ to remind me of why I set my goal and what I plan to achieve.

  11. Melane @ Good Job Mom

    Helpful motivational post, especially for a cold, dreary Monday! One additional step that I take is to break my goals into quarters, 3 month sections. It can be hard for me to stay connected to a year long goal, unless I have little victories each month/quarter. Thanks for the encouragement.

  12. I feel you have to be somewhat obsessive in order to achieve goals. Always have them in mind, and every day do 1 action item towards completing each goal. Good Advice Michelle.

  13. nicole dziedzic

    I like to write down my goals and keep them up where I can see them, it helps me keep track of the progress I make and it keeps me motivated.

    1. Yes, this is an important thing to do. Good job!

  14. When I lose track of my goals, I write them down on an index card and tape them to my bathroom mirror, that way they are looking back at me everyday. I have been really focused on my goal of growing my business the last few months, though, that I don’t need the reminder, it’s become a passion of mine and when a goal shifts to a passion, it’s hard to lose motivation.

    1. Yes, when something shifts to becoming a passion, it is much easier. That is awesome that you have a passion! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Writing down my goals has been the ultimate step in getting things done and staying on track. I don’t care how smart you are – until you write something down, you’re always going to be at risk of forgetting it!

    1. Yes, exactly! I have a horrible memory too, so writing things down is a must for me.

  16. Sandy Klocinski

    Go to bed early….you will feel so much more motivated after a full night’s sleep

    1. Yes, that’s a great tip that I should have included ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. This is so nice to read Mike! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Barrie

    I really do need to write down my goals and make them into long term and short term and ways I’m going to reach them. The main goals are in my mind but that’s not holding me accountable.

    1. What are your goals? ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Great tips! Setting a goal and creating smaller goals to achieve that bigger goal helps me. Writing down the goal is also great advice. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Sarah

    These are some great things to keep in mind. I got the flu the entire last week of January and completely fell off the wagon with all of my goals. I’m only just now getting back into the swing of things, my motivation has completely disappeared.

    1. Glad you are feeling better! Being sick definitely derails goal progress.

  21. One of my current goals is to eliminate one of my bills within the next month. I stay motivated because I realize that once I pay it off it will be one less bill I will have to worry about.

    1. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    I think your point #2 is my favourite. When I know WHY I’m doing something, I’m much more likely to follow through.

  23. Pamela Gurganus

    These are some wonderful ways to keep motivated! I especially like #4! My goal always seems to be to lose weight and I often find that I set such an unrealistic goal, I fail. So instead of saying my goal is to lose 30 pounds, I set my goal at 5 pounds and when I reach that goal, set another goal for another 5 pounds. Sometimes I just set my goal to successfully stay on a healthy eating plan day by day!

    1. Thanks Pamela! That is a great way to stay motivated ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Yes, stopping is usually the way I end up loosing motivation. Just gotta keep going!

  25. Great tips Michelle! I find that creating a plan to tackle my goals is definitely the best way for me to be successful. Otherwise I tend to be willy nilly all over the place and don’t accomplish much.

  26. Stephanie

    This is great advice! I also find it really helpful to have a short mantra or phrase to repeat to myself when I’m feeling discouraged to remind myself of the goal and keep me on track.

  27. Gary @ SuperSavingTips

    I am naturally an “idea person” more than a “follow through person”, so writing down small, measurable goals and tracking them is an absolute necessity. I’m working on a number of different goals right now, and they include increasing my exercise routine and accelerating the principal payments on my mortgage.

    1. Good luck with your goals Gary. I’m sure you will do well!

  28. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. What a great post, with some simple but great ways to keep on track! I saw a post on Lauren Conrad’s site a little over a year ago (I’m obsessed), and use a trick that she suggested for new years resolutions: I write them down (like you suggest) and then put them in a pretty frame in my bedroom. It reminds me of my goals, and it’s nice to look at (seems silly, but it makes me happy to see them this way).
    Right now my biggest goal is growing my TFSA and saving for a downpayment (I’d also really like to lose a few lb’s before my wedding haha)

    1. Good luck with your goals! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. It took me a long time to figure out my goals in life, as opposed to just blindly following along on the traditional path. After finally identifying my true goals, I have so much more motivation for everything. You should really take your time with step # 1, because once your goals are well-defined, the other steps are much easier.

    1. This is great to hear ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. My current goals are to get into the respiratory program at my local community college and work on growing my blog. I love this article! Thanks!

    1. Good luck! I’m sure you will do well Eva ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I make small goals all of the time. They help to keep me motivated along the way.

    I also make sure to accept failure. That doesn’t mean I give up on a goal if and when I fail, but I know that it is part of the process. I take the time to understand why I failed and then do my best to correct that issue so that going forward, I don’t fall victim to it again.

    1. Yes, that is a great thing to make sure to do.

  33. Christy Peeples DuBois

    As I get older I’m finding it harder and harder to stay motivated. I believe your steps need to be followed and I usually get tripped up with #7 and beat myself up them forget the entire goal but since I’ve become aware of this I’ve done some better. Thanks for these steps. It helps to remind me of my strengths and weaknesses.

    1. Thanks Christy ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Mia

    I’ve always thought about and set goals, but never broke them down into smaller manageable goals and I always end up feeling frustrated and give up. I’m going to take this advice and run with it!! Thank you!

  35. Raza

    Great advice! When I was looking for my first job I filled out my application as neatly as possible (my mom would tell me to make copies of the application and practice on the copy first! That way if I made a mistake it was on the copy, then I would transfer it all over without any mistakes!). Definitely should have done some research on the company because when they would ask, I would say โ€œnoโ€. But I still got the job!