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4 Better Ways to Motivate Yourself and Others

Better Ways to Motivate Yourself and Others by Jenn DeWall Confidence and Leadership Coach & Keynote Speaker & Trainer.

Do you ever find it hard to motivate yourself and others? Most people on the planet have experienced that feeling of a goal slipping further and further away until you just stop trying to achieve it. The New Year’s resolution that gets forgotten before it’s even February. The diet that ended in a pile of takeout boxes. The to-do list that never gets done. We’ve all been there! Whether you are trying to reach a health goal or inspiring a team to finish an important project— there are better ways to get and stay motivated! 

Here are four things I do to motivate myself and others: 

1. Create a Clear Vision of What Success Looks Like.

Murky goals and invisible finish lines are not great ways to motivate yourself and others. People need to have a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve. That vision should be meaningful or exciting enough to inspire the hard work it will take to stay on track and complete it! When you set a goal, think about how you will know you achieved it, how you will feel when you reach it, and the benefits of achieving it. When you want to motivate others, bring them into the vision! What is their role in success? How will it help them? How will you celebrate success? Make sure they can see that vision as clearly as you do!

2. Break Big Goals Into Micro-Goals.

Once you have your clear vision of your goal, the best way to stay motivated is to break up larger goals into smaller ones! Figure out the logical steps along the way, and plan out micro-goals along the way. If you are trying to motivate yourself to reorganize your entire house, you could set smaller goals for each room of the house. As you start to tackle the larger goal a little at a time, you will build confidence and get more excited to move on to the next micro-goal. 

3. Just Say No to All-or-Nothing Thinking!

Whether you are trying to eat healthily or working with a team to implement new policies and procedures, your mindset will predict your success. One of the best things you can do to motivate yourself and others is to accept that there will be bumps in the road. So go ahead and plan for them ahead of time! For example, if you are trying to eat healthier, but one day you are busy or tired and just order that large pizza and a side of wings—don’t just get frustrated and stop trying! Too often, when we set big goals, we slip into all-or-nothing thinking and forget that we will make mistakes along the way and that it’s OK! If you are working on a team project, plan for delays, errors, and staff absences. Nothing goes perfectly, so why do we build project plans as if no issues will occur. Be optimistic, but also be realistic! 

4. Celebrate Wins—Big or Small.

Most people are better at pointing out what goes wrong or why things won’t work out. If you are trying to motivate yourself and others, you need to focus more on the wins than the losses! Remember those micro-goals? Reward yourself for checking them off the list! Point out what is going well as often as you point out what isn’t! During team check-ins, ask everyone to say one thing that went well that week before diving into issues or challenges. It takes practice to acknowledge little wins, but it will definitely help motivate you when things get tough.


Jenn DeWall is a leadership and career coach, leadership keynote speaker, facilitator, trainer, and podcast host. Jenn is a Millennial leadership expert based in Denver, CO. 

Are you looking for an engaging keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, or trainer? Book Jenn for your leadership needs today!

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