Skip to main content

5 ways to stay motivated for long-term goals

Motivation is essential- not only to initiate a behavior but also to maintain it. It’s very common to find a person getting highly motivated to do a task and after some time losing the motivation to do what he set out to do.

In the post about the most common reasons behind a lack of motivation, I discussed the factors that could demotivate a person even if he was initially motivated.

In this post, I'm going to explore the things that can be done to restore lost motivation or to stay motivated.

motivated person

1) Measuring progress

When it comes to short-term goals, lack of motivation is not a problem and we almost always find ourselves motivated enough to pursue them. It’s the long-term goals that bother us and demand that we keep our motivation levels up (Why humans are predisposed to be lazy).

By breaking a long-term goal into small manageable chunks, we convert it into a series of short-term goals which allows us to measure our progress. If you can find a way to keep track of your progress, you’ll find no problems staying motivated. Our mind always motivates us to repeat a reward-generating behavior and to discontinue a fruitless behavior.

2) Keeping the goals in sight

The more you remind yourself of your goals, the more likely it is that you'll stay motivated. Many times, it happens that we forget about our goals and get involved in other irrelevant activities. The only thing that can bring us back on track in such a scenario is reminding ourselves of our goals.

Anything that you can do in order to remind yourself of your goals regularly will prevent you from drifting away. We tend to work on things that are immediate and urgent for us and by keeping our goals in front of us we ensure that they are considered immediate and urgent by the mind and that allows us to align our activities with our goals.


3) Programming your mind

This is the most important tool that you can use to stay motivated. We, humans, copy the behaviors of those around us. We get programmed by everything that we see, hear and imagine. Whatever media you expose yourself to can program you and affect your beliefs. So if you frequently expose yourself to media that motivates you, your motivation level will be high.

Motivational music, literature, movies, video clips, visualization and hanging out with people who inspire you will help you stay motivated. Similarly, negative and depressing media can affect you in a negative way. It can even infect your mind with negative beliefs. Make sure you have that you have some degree of control over what kind of media you expose yourself to if you want to stay motivated.

4) Needs matter

If you want a consistent motivation, then the most important thing that you can do is to ensure that you are motivating yourself for the right reasons. Are the goals that you are after really your own or has someone else imposed them onto you?


If your goals are your own then it's very likely that they are targeting your needs and that’s good news because the only way to experience happiness is to understand your own unique needs and go in the direction of fulfilling them. When you are going after something that you really, really want then staying motivated won’t be a problem at all.

5) Protecting beliefs

The number one reason why people lose motivation after motivating themselves to start a project is believing that they can’t make it (provided they still consider the goal important). Without faith, there is no motivation. If you lose faith you will lose your motivation along with it because it makes no sense to keep on doing things that you know aren't going to work.

If you believe that your efforts will definitely yield results then you'll automatically stay motivated. So if you want to stay motivated do one thing even if you do nothing else. Find a way to believe in what you are doing. If you can’t then find a reason to keep doing what you are doing.

Love can be such a reason. If you love doing what you're doing, that’s the only thing that can keep you going even if you think your efforts won't yield any results.


Popular posts


Body language: Gestures of the head and neck

The head nod
Nodding the head almost everywhere in the world means ‘Yes’ and shaking the head from side to side means ‘No’. A slight head nod is used as a greeting gesture, especially when two people greet each other from a distance. It sends the message, ‘Yes, I acknowledge you’.

Body language: The truth of the pointing foot

When we communicate with others, our attention is focused mainly on the words they speak and the facial expressions they make. We pay little, if any, attention to gestures of the body and when it comes to the feet, we almost never look at them.

Body language: Clenching and clasping of the hands

Clenching hands in front of the body
This gesture has three main positions: hands clenched in front of the face, hands clenched resting on the desk or lap and, while standing, hands clenched over the lower abdomen.

Body language: Hands touching the head

Scratching the hair
When we scratch our hair using one or more fingers anywhere on top, back or side of the head, it signals the emotional state of confusion. Watch any student trying to solve a difficult problem and you are likely to observe this gesture. There isn't a better place to observe this gesture than an exam hall, where students often have no idea what the question paper is trying to say!

Body language: Crossing the arms

Crossing the arms across the chest is a classic gesture of defensiveness. This defensiveness usually manifests as uneasiness, shynessor insecurity.

What makes a person stubborn

Stubbornness is a personality trait in which a person refuses to change his opinion about a situation or refuses to change his mind about the action that he has decided to take.

Body language: Hands touching the neck

Rubbing the back of the neck
Ever seen two furry animals, like dogs, in a fight? If you have then you might have noticed that when they are about to attack each other, the fur over their neck stands on its end and makes the animals appear bigger. The bigger the animals appear the more they are able to intimidate each other.

How our past experiences shape our behavior and personality

Our beliefs and needs are the strongest factors that govern our behavior. Ultimately, it all comes down to beliefs because a need is also a belief- a belief that we lack something.

Body language: The crotch displays of men

When it comes to attraction, males and females use different signals to display their attractive qualities. 

Body language: Crossing the legs

Crossing the legs, like crossing the arms, indicates a defensive attitude. While arm-crossing is a subconscious attempt by a person to protect his vital organs- the heart and the lungs, crossing the legs is an attempt to protect the genitals.