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How to Motivate Yourself

The best habits that will lead to success in sales and life

I’ve said it over and over that sales in particular is a roller coaster ride, and your success lies in staying consistent during the ups and downs. But when you’re at the bottom and you see a long climb up the next hill, it’s easy to feel discouraged. How do you motivate yourself to get back up there during those down times?

Make a list

It’s not only good for organization, but lists keep you focused on the tasks at hand for the day. Start simple so you aren’t doomed to failure by creating an impossibly long litany that you can’t finish, and when you complete something cross it off. There is a psychological boost in swiping over a task with a broad swoosh of your pen to make you feel accomplished, and encouraged to tackle the next task.

Lists also don’t allow you to procrastinate. If you are working every day to complete it, you don’t have a choice but to get it done. Over time, you create a positive habit to reach

Set rewards for your progress

Perhaps it’s a break away from your desk to take a walk, which helps to clear your mind and also is energizing, but find something that will serve as a small reward when you accomplish a goal, like getting halfway through your list. Rewards are things you earn through working hard, and knowing you’ve earned something is a positive mental boost.

Start each day grateful

Gratitude is a practice. We get so busy that we forget to be thankful for all of the little things that we have or experience that really are blessings. So, before you even put your feet on the floor in the morning, think of at least three things you are grateful for....a roof over your head, food, transportation, love of family and friends. Whatever it is, focus on that for a short time. Gratitude begets positivity, and when you practice it as a daily habit, it will help you realize true, motivated work.

When you don an attitude of gratitude, it also sets you up to handle setbacks better. The perspective of grateful people is that there are always far more successes than defeats in their lives, and they stay focused on the steps to finding the next success rather than dwelling on the failure. That’s true motivation.

Mentor or motivate others

It may seem counter to your thinking, but when you’re down, try lifting someone else up. The reward received is usually in your favor. Most people who volunteer say that they are the ones who receive the greatest benefit, mainly because giving of our time and talents to others is a validation of our own value. What more positive thing is there than to know you have positively impacted another person’s life? And generally, you receive encouragement and motivation back.

Now, I’m not telling you to run off and join the Peace Corps, but perhaps it’s as simple as helping a client out on something that isn’t sales related, knowing you won’t get a commission for it. The goodwill you create will not only make you feel good, it generally has a way of coming back to you in a positive way, like a referral.


Physical exercise is a natural way to get a boost. Find an activity that is strenuous enough for you, but not over the top. Maybe a brisk walk, lifting weights, swimming - whatever. It’s another opportunity to set a challenge before you that will make you feel accomplished when you’ve completed it. I think the most difficult part of exercising is showing up to the gym, or lacing up your shoes.

If you’re in a particular slump, it’s time well spent, because it also can help clear your mind. I do some of my best thinking on the treadmill, and you know what? It makes the workout go that much quicker. When I’m done, I feel like I achieved something, my mind is clearer and of course my body is better off, too.

Find a partner

When you set your goals in anything, find someone who will encourage you and keep you accountable. Maybe that’s part of your reward, too. Envision sharing your success with your partner to make your achievement that much sweeter. And when you’re feeling discouraged or not likely to hit a goal, that partner is there to help support you and keep you on track.

Motivation is so crucial to everything we do, and really sales is not the most crucial thing we do. When you develop ways to stay motivated, inevitably it makes an impact everywhere in your life, and in all aspects you see improvement. Your attitude then becomes a positive “snowball effect” as you build on success after success, even with the temporary setbacks that everyone experiences. Where others may get stuck at the bottom of the hill, your motivation is the force that keeps you moving upward.

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