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How To Get Motivated When You Are Stuck In The Muck

Everyone makes resolutions in hopes of transforming their business and lives. Oh, the goals we have!

With the best of intentions, you embark on new projects when the year is young, but it’s not long before you get sidetracked. Soon your focus turns from conquering lofty goals to throwing ourselves at the feet of a nagging to-do list.

You start to feel drained, and exhaustion sets in. Interest in new projects wanes, and they get pushed to the side as we struggle to cope. Feel familiar?

I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Goals like writing a book, cleaning the attic or designing a new workshop ARE doable. You just need to get your mojo back.

Here are some strategies my private clients and I use to stay on track:

1. Ask Yourself, “Why?”

You are more likely to meet your goals if they have deep personal significance to you. Bluntly, why does your work matter? What’s your real objective?

I am driven by the desire to help women create financial freedom through their businesses. I want to give them independence and the power to design the lives they want. That is the driving force behind what I do.

Now, I’m not saying earning money is of no interest, because we all know money is a necessity. In exchange for sharing my know-how, I get compensated. But for me, it can’t be just about the money!

I like to think in terms of what I can do with the money that comes in. Funding charities, starting new projects and going on vacation come to mind.

So what fuels you? Why are you working so hard? What excites you about your work? What sacrifices are you willing to make when the road becomes a little unpleasant? What’s the answer to your “Why?” If you know, that’s awesome! If you don’t, carve out time to figure out what really drives you. Write it in your business journal. Post it over your desk, where you can read it daily. The reminder will keep you focused. If you find that deeper meaning you will discover clarity and all the motivation you need to reach your goals.

2. Take Care of YOU

‘You can get into a pattern of thinking that down time is bad. You get that constant “need-to-get-stuff-done” feeling. In the end, this derails real progress. By putting everything and everyone else first all the time, you’ll begin to feel stressed, drained and unmotivated, so set some healthy boundaries.

I encourage you to say “No” more often, even if it feels selfish. It’s OK to put yourself first sometimes. Schedule a massage or go to the movies. Build some alone time into your calendar. Small moments of respite will recharge your batteries. In the end, you’ll be a better wife, mom, friend and entrepreneur.

Make time this week to pamper YOU!

3. I Know I Can

Did you ever read “The Little Engine That Could?” It’s a classic book about the power of persistence, belief and positive thinking. Your drive is based on what you believe your abilities are, not just your natural talent. When you believe you can do something, you are more likely to accomplish it. This self-belief can drown out negative thoughts.

I must confess I’ve only recently discovered positive thinking’s untapped potential. It works for me. So the next time you hear those self-limiting thoughts, say “I know I can. I know I can.”

Always surround yourself with people who believe in you. Hire a mentor, join a mastermind group and/or read for 15 minutes from a self-empowerment book each day.

4. Work on Your Goals Daily

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Small daily steps will help you maintain your interest level and help you move steadily toward your goals. Break big projects into chunks. Then you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment every day as you hit your marks.

When you undergo your next project, identify your primary objective. Break the whole thing into mini-goals and block out time to work on these more manageable tasks. You’ll be amazed at how motivating this can be. Don’t forget to celebrate victories along the way. (High-achievers tend to overlook this step!) Thanks to one my mentors, Sandy Grason, I’ve incorporated this advice into my own life with amazing results!

5. When You Make a Plan, Expect a Bumpy Ride

Before you embark on a new goal, acknowledge potential pitfalls that could sabotage you. Backup plans will help you work around these roadblocks. Of course the unexpected can happen, but those who realize that roads get bumpy tend to fare much better and accomplish what they started.

Think about your current projects. Do you have a “work-around” should something or someone get in your way? Brainstorm and assess risks and obstacles. Make a Plan B. Backup plans foster motivation and progress when the ride gets rough.

There you have it five mantras I use to get my mojo back and accomplish my biggest and most wildest ambitions. Don’t wait until “motivation” kicks in – just take action.

Make a promise to yourself to implement at least one of these strategies into your life in the next 30 days. Then watch those business goals become reality before you know it!

Taking Action leads to Momentum, Accomplishment and Greater Profits!

Now it’s your turn, I want to hear from you. What do you do when you get stuck in the muck? What specific steps do you take to pull yourself out of it?


  1. Geez Yvette, I could probably do with reading this every week. We’re getting on to mid-year, and I am feeling like I am not making the progress I had hoped to–does anyone ever feel like they are AHEAD of the curve??? Thanks for the grounding reminder to focus and engage in self care.

  2. Great advice Yvette!

    Given that July just began, I find myself hitting a lull in reaching my yearly goals during this time of year. I set sails at high concentrated speeds January thru March, then slowly hit rough waters during Spring and Summer months. I’m sure the sunshine and amazing SoCal weather have a little to do with it;) Reading your helpful pointers is a great way to keep the wind against my back strong + continuous.

  3. Great pointers, Yvette, in fact, I would alter the “I think I can” to “I know I can” and surround yourself with positive people who have accomplished what you are looking to accomplish yourself. I only take advice from others who have done what I am looking to do, not the nay-sayers in this world who pooh-pooh other’s dreams and aspirations. Thank you for your inspiring words!

    • You’re welcome Sheila!

  4. This is such good advice. I particularly like the surround yourself with positive people – Caroline Myss tells us that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. I surround myself with great people by attending great courses, reading powerful and uplifting writing and only being around those who will support me. It makes it so much harder if we are carrying passengers who aren’t rowing the boat with us – they only make the boat heavier for us to row. S

  5. I was SO feeling stuck last week!! This is such great advice. I love the advice to work on small goals daily. I think for me, as a working mom, it is easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you have to put off big projects until you have “more time”…which never comes! So breaking down goals as small as possible, makes them more manageable for sure! Thanks…I’m bookmarking this post!

    • You’re welcome Megan! I can totally relate, being a mom of two small boys myself things can get a little out of control. So, breaking down my projects into small digestible chunks works like a charm 😉

  6. Love this…I like the working on your goals daily. I have recently started a daily check-in with an accountability partner where we list our top 3 goals for the day – with trying to make all of them business builders in some way. It has been a great process and practice to into for both of us!

    Thanks for a great article and for being such an inspiration…I like ALL the points you discuss!

    xo, Tina

    • Thank you, Tina. And I love what you and your accountability partner are up to. Please keep me posted, I bet you & her will get a ton done in the upcoming months 😉

  7. Oh the almighty “why”! It is our fuel indeed!!
    So many people lost their why, which results in immediate lack of motivation, which we can especially witness in the corporate world. 
    Agree with all your points (especially the underestimated and misunderstood positive thinking) – except the plan B 😉  I find i’m more focused and motivated if I don’t have a plan B. To me it means plan A has to work out. Of course a little last-minute workaround is always handy 🙂

  8. Yes Yes Yes!

    This comes in at the perfect time as I am just unmucking myself after a bad case of self doubt and questioning myself + biz 🙂

    Love everything on this list — the big one that helped me was going back to my WHY – why am I doing what I’m doing…

    This one really grabbed me –> When You Make a Plan, Expect a Bumpy Ride. As I enter a year into my biz, Im getting bumps and also having that rough reminder that most start ups fail in the first year. Getting back in touch with my WHY + my mission HUGE. I am not gonna quit I’m in this for the long haul. Just graciously letting the bumbs and the ebs and flows of entrepreneurship hit me and keep going.

    x’s and o’s

  9. Such great advice! I think sometimes we all take on so much that it can be hard to get as far as we want to as fast as we want! I love “When you make a plan expect a bumpy ride” There are always unexpected things that come up, so its great to be prepared! Thanks

  10. Such goodness in this post… I particularly like “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” I constantly have to remind myself of this fact.


  11. Fantastic post Yvette! Baby steps right?

    • Yup, thanks Ashley!

  12. Love those 5 steps, Yvette! I’m a big fan of baby steps and “slow and steady” is my mantra now. Love your point about selfcare too – such a great reminder to not just have “work” stuff in my baby steps, but also rest and radical selfcare.

  13. I read the “Take Care of You” line and instantly thought of the movie Pretty Woman. Part of taking care of ourselves is also surrounding ourselves with ‘sisters’ who have our backs.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  14. Work on your goals daily. How did I forget that one? Because, looking back over the last little while it appears that I did just that — forget about that most important point. Thanks for the reminder!

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