Helen Oakes Modedevie Entrepreneur Decision Maker Connector Podcaster EducatorWhy is it sometimes so hard to get started?

Why does it seem that we need to move mountains just to get things achieved when we are un-motivated? Some days I struggle with staying motivated and others I am right onto it.

How do we maintain motivation to keep us focused and aiming towards our goals or dreams? You know what you want but you have to figure out a way to get there. I think a good place to start is to look ahead and realise what the end goal is. Know that you want to get there and set plans or strategies in place to make that goal.


I am in favour of making lists as it gives me bite-sized chunks to tick off. Bullet points work as they aren’t too overwhelming but they keep you on track. A large list that you stick on your fridge or on a wall can help too. This way you get to see it daily and you are reminded of what you need to get done. Plus you can’t walk past your fridge without seeing it.

Research has proven that writing down your goals, no matter how insignificant or unrealistic they are, you’ll have a greater chance of achieving them.


Assign times to get things done. If you have Google Calendar this can be a handy tool to make your schedule in. Block out sections of time to get things done. Use timers or reminders to keep you on track.

Be accountable

Tell someone about your intentions. I find this one of the best tools as being accountable holds you to your plan or goal. I remember telling people I was going to run 10k in the Christchurch Marathon so I had to follow this through. How bad would it have looked if I’d told people and I’d pulled out?! Becoming accountable stops you procrastinating and keeps you on track.

Have a buddy

Find a friend or work colleague you can work with when you want to get motivated. Having a supporter and confidant will help you work towards your goals. It is like having a coach who will make sure you keep on the ball and follow through with your goals.

Often friends will be in the same boat as you and they can’t motivate themselves either. You can help a friend out and support them to achieve their goals and they can pay you back by helping you do the same. If you both help each other out it will be a win-win situation.

Gift yourself

You might be feeling like you just can’t get the motivation to finish or start something so how about you treat yourself after you have achieved your goal. Something simple like a coffee or going to see a movie might be what you need to get your motivation going.

Bite-sized goals

Make sure you don’t have massive goals to achieve as this is sure to stop your motivation. Taking on too much at once will stop you in your tracks fast. Break things down into small achievable goals that you know you can get done. This way you know they are achievable and you will be able to stay motivated for these mini or micro-tasks.

In conclusion

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve what you want to and your lack of motivation stops you. If you beat yourself up about not being motivated enough you will fall further into that un-motivated black hole.

Just give yourself time and get the help of others to keep you motivated. Having friends and others keep you accountable will really keep you on track. If you really struggle one day, just put it behind you and move onto your tasks a day later. Sometimes a break can refresh you and make you look at your goals and re-analyse them.

Remember not to be hard on yourself if you can’t complete something. Make up for your downtime by doing extra the next day and get your buddy to help you for extra support. Pat yourself on the back for what you have achieved to date and not what you haven’t achieved.

Give yourself treats and rewards and tick off your achievements. You can do this, you just have to remind yourself what the end goal is and that it’s achievable if you stay motivated.