#227: How to Stay Motivated to Reach Your Goals [+ FREE Goal Tracker]

Jan 5, 2022 | English Confidence and Fluency, Free Resource, Motivation to Practice

Does this sound familiar: 

You start January with a bang. New goals. New resolutions. New intentions. 

You’re studying English. Going to classes. Feeling excited about a new program or learning opportunity. And you think, “yeah! I’m finally doing it!” Progress feels good.

In February, work picks up. Your schedule fills. You feel tired. And you start to lose steam. 

Then March comes around, and you start to think, “What goal? What progress?” It’s long-forgotten.


It’s a common pattern you and I are both familiar with, right? 

So, is there a better way? A way to maintain momentum — the driving force the propels us forward — no matter what?

YES! There is a better way forward.

Whether you’ve set a new goal or you’re still working on goals you set a year ago… 

By the end of the lesson, you will be empowered with four steps to stay motivated, reclaim your momentum, AND learn a variety of expressions/vocabulary to accurately express your thoughts on effectively maintaining momentum, even after you’ve lost it. 

Plus, I’ve got a FREE download available for you to set your goals in motion right away so stick with me to the end. 📝

You can find the FREE Momentum Tracker just below the video lesson.

4 Strategies to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Goals 

Step 1: Evaluate & Refocus

In any journey, we’re bound to hit a snag or two and get thrown off.

To be thrown off is a phrasal verb that means to be diverted away from the pursuit of something. 

  • For example, after settling into the habit of running three times a week, an injury could suddenly throw you off your routine and stall your progress. 

However, let’s reframe this usually negative experience of being thrown off the hamster wheel, or stalling the pursuit of something in a directionless manner. This isn’t so bad if, rather than blindly pursue an end result, we take the opportunity to step back and refocus. 

Oftentimes, our goals can be too vague to create enough momentum. That’s why, when there is a hindrance, it’s easy to slack off or slow down.

So, for your first step, reevaluate and try using the following language to create a stronger goal:

I will [verb] for [duration/frequency] [when]. 

  • For instance, rather than “I will read one book this month”, shift the language slightly to clearly express “I will read a book for 15 minutes at 6 AM, before I have breakfast”.

This small shift will eventually help you build your momentum and once again set you on a course towards success. 

Step 2: Be A Minimalist

Once you refocus your goal, take a minimalist approach to your definition of success. 

If we categorize success as a huge one-time event, like climbing Mount Everest, then we’re bound to feel disappointed and stuck in a rut when things don’t go as planned.  

Instead, choose to celebrate small wins by taking a bare-minimum approach. 

The bare minimum refers to the least or smallest possible amount that is permissible. 

Let’s look back to our example in step one where we redefine success as every fifteen minutes that we consistently commit towards the end goal.

That approach doesn’t involve a high-effort commitment of setting aside hours for reading a book. By choosing to read for fifteen minutes, instead of scrolling through social media, you commit to doing the bare minimum. 

Not only do you cultivate a more consistent habit, but creating more of an opportunity to celebrate each day’s progress builds a stronger drive to pursue the feeling of success and satisfaction that comes from knowing your hard work was well worth the effort. This, in itself, makes reclaiming your momentum all the more possible.  

Step 3: Fall in Love With the Process

Once you’ve shifted your goals and redefined your process, the next step is to fall in love with your daily practice. 

Rather than focus on the endpoint, focus on your transformation. 

Transformation is the act or process of changing completely. Transformation comes with time and small, consistent acts, day in and day out.

In other words: routine.

At times, this might start to feel boring or monotonous but you can take steps to help you fall in love with the process of transformation…

It’s certainly easier said than done and, at surface level, it can seem rather monotonous.

Monotonous: Describes something that is unvarying and often results in disinterest/boredom

However, if you kick the habit of taking a result-oriented approach, it can be easy to fall in love with your daily practice. 

  • For instance, if you want to become a better writer, but feel uninspired by a monotonous routine of using the same resource, introducing new resources to an existing routine could pique your interest and help you kick the habit of being result-oriented.

The act of combining a boring habit with something that interests you, brings more positivity and focus to your commitment. 

In effect, finding small joys in your daily practice will help you to get the ball rolling again

Step 4: Remember Patience Is A Virtue

The most important part of any journey for self-improvement is to understand that patience is a virtue.

As much as success is not a single event, YOU are also not defined by a single event. 

Demonstrating through patience and consistent action that you aren’t reciting empty words is a powerful example of walking the walk, and a true sign of self-love.

Walk the walk means to back up your words through action and show that you do what you say. 

The ability to walk the walk — even when you feel bored, even when you’ve lost that initial motivation, even when you’re tired, even when you don’t see or feel or hear progress — THIS is the most critical step toward reaching your ultimate goal or outcome.

Everyone experiences highs and lows on the path toward achieving their goals — whether it’s a career goal, health/fitness goal, or language goal.

Those that recognize this reality and can stay true to that daily effort are the ones who will be successful.

  • For example, if you find yourself slowly overcoming frustration but procrastinating on recommitting to the goal of mastering watercolors, it’s probably a good time to walk the walk by finally blocking off time in your routine.

Staying true to your words is a form of self-love; it is the key to patiently building and reclaiming your momentum.

Strategy #4: Prioritize Mental Health

To avoid overwhelm, burnout, low morale, or even anxiety, leave work at work. 

If possible, take a few personal days when necessary, and always remember to create a strong boundary between your work life and your private life. 

Sometimes, a sense of foreboding or the sense that something bad will happen may arise as you get close to burnout or an anxiety attack. During these times, restrict yourself to working only during work hours. Reserve your evenings and weekends for yourself, family, and friends.

During your free time, destress by indulging in your favorite activities, practicing mindfulness, or spending time with family and friends. Relaxation is an effective moderator for negative thoughts.

Additionally, introduce more positivity to your life by choosing to listen to uplifting music, reading literature that inspires positive thinking, surrounding yourself with positive quotes, or even by choosing to watch mood-boosting movies. You’ll find your mind shifting to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.

Now that you’re ready to reclaim momentum and successfully stay motivated to reach your goals, let’s finish with a couple of questions.

You can share your answers with me in the comment section below.

  1. This lesson was full of idioms, phrases, and phrasal verbs on the topic of how to keep motivation for your goals and build momentum. What was your favorite new vocabulary? Share it in an example sentence below.
  2. What personal strategies help you to maintain momentum, even when disinterest or boredom creep in? 

I look forward to hearing your responses. 

~ Annemarie


P.S. Are you looking for a community to provide support, help you stay motivated, and guarantee that you grow? Check out our Confident Women Community.

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