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How do you sustain self-motivation when you suffer a setback toward your goals?

How do you sustain self-motivation when you suffer a setback toward your goals?

“He who has no goals will not reach them.” – Sun Tzu

“A well-defined goal is halfway through.” – Abraham Lincoln

Today we will talk about how to stay motivated despite having setbacks on the way to reaching your goals, and especially how to reach them. Whether your goal is to start on a diet, get a promotion at work, or embark on a personal project, it’s not easy to always stay motivated. Unless you follow our 10 tips to keep your motivation foolproof!


  1. Follow the 2 minutes method

Also called the method of the first 5 minutes, the idea is to start for 2 (or 5mins!). We start small, saying for example “I’m going to read the first page”, or “I’m just going to write the introduction to this report”. And finally, little by little, the sequence often comes without effort, because when you start to take care of something without thinking that it will take you a long time, it is easier to continue to do it. And if you don’t succeed from the first attempt, then try again later!

  1. Focus on your goal

To stay motivated despite the obstacles, set clear, measurable and positive goals. Especially if the task at hand is very difficult. If you want to build muscles, do not just give yourself the goal of “having huge muscles”, but start by giving yourself the goal of going to the gym 3 times a week, for example. Many people try to do too much and set themselves unachievable goals, or too many goals at the same time or goals too far away. You must choose a goal, which you can measure quickly, and focus on it completely.

  1. Check your progress

To stay motivated, we need to know if we are getting closer to the goal, reaching checkpoints and milestones. If your ultimate goal is to lose weight and that’s why you set yourself the goal of running 20 minutes every morning, you’ll quickly realize if it works for you or not.

By checking your progress, you will be able to readjust and reframe yourself: maybe running every morning was a little too ambitious, or you just don’t have the time to do it anymore / or you do not like it or on the contrary, you can run for 30 minutes instead!

  1. Congratulate yourself

Children like being congratulated when they have done something good; adults do too! You are no longer a child, but you can congratulate yourself and reward yourself! Give yourself a gift, a pleasure, a moment of relaxation after each step accomplished or simply when you feel proud of your progress. The reward technique reprograms the mind over the pleasure of the reward rather than the difficulty of the task.

  1. Find support

Staying motivated alone is sometimes difficult. Try to find people who have similar goals to yours to try to move forward together. If not, tell your family about your project and do not be afraid to tell them that you would like their support to motivate you in this task.

  1. Do not be too hard on yourself

Motivation is not a constant thing! It’s the same for everyone: sometimes it is there, sometimes not. A drop in motivation may occur because you are exhausted, which means it may be time to take some rest! It can also happen because you are concerned about something else, something is bothering you or that it is time to solve a problem. Or, you simply lose your motivation because of the project itself. Ask yourself why? Have you set too ambitious goals? Have you faced a refusal? Think about it to regain control of the situation.

  1. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

To keep motivation intact, skip negative thoughts such as “I’ll never get there”, “It’s too hard” We must not underestimate the power of the mind! When you realize that you think negatively, replace those thoughts with positive thoughts so that you do not train your mind to fail. Praise yourself, believe it, encourage yourself, have a positive attitude towards yourself.

  1. Add positivity to the tasks that you do not like

In every project we undertake, there are tasks that we do not like at all, that’s normal. But we can often make them more positive. It’s your boss who’s bothering you by giving you endless tasks? Why not stay positive by listening to your favorite music or favorite podcast show? Do you want to prepare good food to relearn how to eat better and lose weight? Start eating the things you like (healthy) and make this moment a happy moment by giving your spouse a compliment or plating with your kids in the backyard.

  1. Start good habits

The way you start your day, the way you start a task, a project, will greatly influence the future. When you get in the habit of doing one thing every day at the same time, it becomes a habit and we do it without even thinking about it.

For example, do you remember to brush your teeth or drink your coffee on awakening? Not just because you need it, but because it has become a habit. Schedule a fixed time per week for those work tasks that discourage you and always go to the gym at the same time in the morning, and so on. Make it a reflex.

  1. Get some rest

The best way to keep motivation, in the long run, is to put your brain in “off” mode from time to time. You have to take breaks and rest so that you do not get overwhelmed.

When you play sports, you need recovery time, when you work, you need days off, when you do something that requires great intellectual effort, you need a good night’s sleep, etc.



Staying motivated despite the setbacks can seem a little overwhelming at first, but once you get used to thinking positively you will no longer suffer the lack of motivation down the road.

Just remember to take care of yourself from time to time and pamper yourself because you do deserve it.

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