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8 Tips to Stay Motivated During Tough Times

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Whether you’re nurturing a start-up, leading a long-established business, building an ambitious non-profit, or organising a challenging event, when times get tough your motivation can take a battering.

If you feel you’re facing insurmountable challenges or taking part in a never-ending marathon it’s normal for your energy and enthusiasm to ebb.

However, losing your mojo needn’t mean losing everything you’ve worked for. Here are 8 tips to help you cope with complications, boost your motivation and reaffirm your commitment to the cause.

1. Remember your mission

Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. What were your goals when you started? What have you achieved so far? Who would you be letting down if you gave up?

It can be helpful to write down your ambitions, successes and key motivating factors to remind yourself daily what you’re working towards. This way you’ll be able to get through small tasks by focusing on how they help advance your overall mission.

2. Visualise a successful outcome

Visualisation is a technique used by professional athletes and performers. By picturing themselves succeeding before performing they are able to greatly increase their chances of actually experiencing success.

This technique can be applied to any aspect of life. Whatever it is you want to achieve, simply imagine it happening. The more detailed the visualisation the better – from the conversations you have and the words you speak, right down to the clothes you’re wearing and the weather!

When you think of a big goal it can be all too easy to focus on the obstacles in your way. This is actually negative visualisation and only acts to stand between you and your dreams. If you want to be victorious, think victorious!

Related: What’s holding you back? The top 6 motivation myths

3. Take a break and treat yourself

You’ve heard the old saying ‘a change is as good as a rest’? Well, it’s also true that a rest can be as good as a change! Sometimes we just need a bit of space and a change of scenery to get our groove back.

If you can, take a holiday. Enjoy some R&R on a beach, trek the Inca Trail or get inspired on a European city break. A week out of your usual environment can work wonders for boosting flagging motivation and reigniting your creativity.

If you can’t get away for a week, make your weekends work for you by seeking a little tranquility and indulgence. A short spa break or country escape can be equally restorative.

4. Break down big and scary challenges

You can make big challenges less intimating by breaking them down into smaller, component parts. By setting small, more easily achievable goals you will have the satisfaction of regularly realising them.

This feeling of success is a wonderful motivator. And if you keep accomplishing small goals, before you know it you’ll be half way to fulfilling a big one!

Related: 31 Inspiring quotes for a Brite 2015

5. Celebrate each small victory

When you’re working towards a big goal, it can be easy to lose sight of the little successes. But just because you’re focused on signing up 10 new clients, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate each one you secure.

It’s not necessary to throw a party, but do recognise the achievement, even if it’s just treating yourself to a glass of champagne.

6. Share your challenges and ask for support

A problem shared is a problem halved. If you feel out of your depth don’t be afraid to turn to others for help.

Perhaps you have an old boss or other business mentor who has been through similar challenges and can share their experiences and knowledge.

Alternatively, try the power of collective problem solving, by discussing the challenges with your team. Just because you’re the boss, doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.

Related: 5 Tips to improve your productivity

7. Get inspired with your favourite movie / book / songs

Who can watch a movie like Shawshank Redemption, read a book like To Kill A Mockingbird or listen to a song like Firework and not feel inspired?

We spoke earlier about the importance of taking a break once in a while and refocusing yourself. Getting lost in a great movie or book is a really effective way to do this.

If you need a quick fix, simply stick on your favourite song. If you’ve watched The Interview you’ll see the motivational effect a bit of Katy Perry can have!

8. Promise yourself a big reward once you reach your goal

All big companies understand the power of incentives. Promising their executives a fantastic overseas trip or money-can’t-buy experience in recognition of great work is a tired and trusted motivational technique.

What would motivate you? Devise and plan your perfect reward and display a reminder on your desk. Don’t forget to visualise yourself enjoying it and you’re bound to make it happen!


No matter what the day brings, don’t forget that each new morning brings a new opportunity to get it right.

Try your best to work towards your goals each and every day, celebrate the small successes and big achievements will surely follow.

How do you stay motivated through tough times? Let us know below!

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