Tips to Stay Motivated and Making Progress

23 Tips on How to Stay Motivated & Signs of Making Progress

Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Avia

Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get ahead? Maybe it’s because of a difficult situation or setback in your life. We all have our own unique challenges and roadblocks that come along with life, and learning how to stay motivated can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But don’t despair! It is possible to stay motivated, continue making progress, and turn things around – even after some seemingly insurmountable setbacks.

I’m writing about this topic because this article will be my 1000th post on this website.  Working on this site has been my highest honor, but it’s also been a real ball-buster at times.  I’ll spare you the details about my struggles to keep this site afloat.  Suffice to say, it ain’t been easy to stay motivated over the years.  That’s why I’m pretty passionate about this topic of making progress after setbacks.  If you can relate, please read further about some of my own techniques and tips on how to stay motivated, and signs of making progress after setbacks.

Why Setbacks Can Be So Devastating

Setbacks are so devastating because they can cause us to lose sight of our goals. We may become discouraged and give up altogether. Additionally, setbacks can create feelings of inadequacy and incompetence. We may feel like we are not good enough or that we will never achieve our goals.  Consequently, it’s crucial to move past setbacks. If not, we could get trapped in a morose bog of defeat, despair, or despondence.  

Why You Need to Make Progress After Setbacks (the dangers of not moving forward)

There are dangers of not moving forward after setbacks. If you don’t take action, you’ll stay stuck where you are and miss out on opportunities. Additionally, you may become discouraged and give up on your dreams altogether.

It’s important to stay motivated after setbacks so that you can continue making progress towards your goals. After all, if you don’t make progress after setbacks, you’ll never reach your goals. You need to keep moving forward, even when it’s difficult, in order to succeed.

23 Tips on How to Stay Motivated and Make Progress After Setbacks

Let’s face it. Life is full of ups and downs. We all have times when things don’t go our way, or we experience a setback that leaves us feeling frustrated and discouraged. But even in the midst of trying times, it is possible to find ways to push through and come out the other side stronger and more resilient than before. With this in mind, I wanted to share some of my personal tips for overcoming setbacks that can help you move forward with greater confidence. From understanding why it happened to taking small actions each day, read on to learn how you can handle life’s curveballs with grace and resilience.

Try to Keep a Positive Attitude

Tips to Stay Motivated and Making Progress

It is hard to stay motivated when you feel like you are constantly hitting roadblocks. Progress can be slow, and it can be easy to get discouraged. But it is important to try to maintain a positive attitude

Use positive self-talk. When you’re facing a setback, it’s important to stay positive and talk kindly to yourself. Negative self-talk will only make you feel worse and it can sabotage your efforts to overcome the setback.

It can also help to acknowledge your progress when trying to stay positive. Every little bit counts and helps you move closer to your goal. Don’t focus on how far you have left to go, but on how far you have come.  Remember to celebrate the successes you have experienced.  Big or small, take the time to celebrate each accomplishment along the way. This will help keep you motivated and focused on the positive.

Forgive (Yourself, Others, and the Circumstances)

When you’re trying to stay motivated, it’s important to remember that progress doesn’t always happen in a straight line. There will be setbacks along the way, but as long as you keep moving forward, you will eventually reach your goal.

One way to stay motivated is to forgive yourself for any past mistakes. Everyone makes them, and dwelling on them will only hold you back. Instead, focus on the present and the future, and use your mistakes as learning opportunities.

It’s also important to forgive others who may have wronged you in the past. Holding onto anger and resentment will only poison your own happiness. Let go of that negativity and focus on the positive people and things in your life.

Finally, don’t forget to forgive the circumstances that led to your current situation. It’s easy to dwell on what might have been, but it won’t change anything. Accepting the past for what it is will help you move on and focus on creating a better future for yourself.

Forgiveness is akin to acceptance.  And interestingly, acceptance is one of the most powerful steps to stay motivated while making progress after setbacks.

Stay Focused on Your Prime Objectives

One of the best pieces of advice for staying motivated is to keep your eye on the prize, or in other words, maintain focus on your prime objectives. This means that when you feel like you’re losing motivation or making little progress, you should remind yourself what your goals are and why they’re important to you. Additionally, it can be helpful to set smaller goals along the way to help you stay on track. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, break it down into smaller milestones such as losing 2 pounds per week. Finally, celebrate each accomplishment—no matter how small—to help fuel your motivation and keep you moving forward.

Meditate or Pray About It

When you’re feeling down or discouraged, it can be helpful to take a step back and reflect on what you’re doing. This can help you to better understand your goals and how to achieve them. It can also give you a sense of perspective.

One way to do this is to meditate or pray about it. This allows you to focus your thoughts and clear your mind. It can also help you to connect with a higher power or source of guidance.

If you’re not sure how to meditate or pray, there are many resources available online or from your local library. There are also classes offered in many communities.

Take a Break

After experiencing a setback, it is important to take a break before getting back to work. This will help you clear your head and refocus on your goals. 

Now, I realize this is easier said than done.  Speaking for myself, I don’t take breaks well. I get obsessed, and it’s hard to tear myself away from doing whatever possible to make progress after a setback.  I’m learning that breaks are crucial to gain perspective, become renewed, and find better solutions.  

Simplify Your Life

Too often, we miss opportunities to overcome setbacks because we’re too distracted.  This might be being emotionally constipated because we keep berating ourselves over past mistakes. I say that shit needs to be kicked to the curb. Simplify your emotional life by accepting, forgiving, surrendering – or whatever you need to do to release emotions that are clogging your ability to move forward.

Simplifying your surroundings is also a great tip to stay motivated as well as help you with making progress.  To explain, the less clutter, junk, and stuff you have around you – the more clarified your mind and focus will be.  When you’re clear, you can think.  When you can think, you can start moving forward.  Simplifying your life can work wonders on getting you back on track.

Defer to Your Mentors or Heroes

When you’re feeling lost or stuck, it can be helpful to look up to someone who has already achieved what you’re striving for. See what they did to get where they are and follow their lead. If you don’t have anyone in your personal life that you can look to, find someone whose story inspires you and emulate their success.

This doesn’t mean that you should copy everything they do – just take inspiration from their journey and use it to inform your own path. When you have a role model or mentor, you have someone to look up to when things get tough and someone whose example can keep you motivated even when progress is slow.

Connect With Like-Minded People

Tips to Stay Motivated and Making Progress

In order to stay motivated, it’s important to connect with like-minded people. By talking to others who are going through similar experiences, you can gain valuable insight and perspective. Additionally, shared experiences can help create a sense of camaraderie and support.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online communities dedicated to helping people stay motivated and focused on their goals. In addition to providing moral support, these groups can also offer helpful tips and resources.

Another great way to stay motivated is by attending events or workshops related to your goals. This can help you network with other like-minded individuals and learn new strategies for achieving your objectives. Additionally, hearing success stories from others can be a powerful motivator.

Eliminate or Reduce Negative Influences in Your Life

If you want to stay motivated, it’s important to get rid of anything in your life that’s dragging you down. This might mean ending a toxic relationship, quitting a dead-end job, or distancing yourself from negative friends or family members. It can be tough to do, but getting rid of these negative influences will make it easier for you to focus on your goals and stay motivated.

It took me a long time to implement this tip.  I got stuck in a lot of social situations that were sucking my will to live – all because I didn’t want to “hurt anyone’s feelings.” Truth is, if you’re really serious about making progress and living your best life – you’ve got to put your needs first.  That sounds selfish, but it’s true.  Also remember that nobody around you is going to be happy if you aren’t happy.  All this to say, the more I said “no” to people who didn’t support me – the more I was able to stay motivated.

Be Flexible and Willing to Change or Adjust

If you’re not flexible and willing to change or adjust, then you’re likely to face more setbacks that could sidetrack you or leave you more deflated than the last setback. That’s because the world is constantly changing and evolving, and what worked yesterday might not work today.

So, if you want to stay motivated, be flexible and willing to change or adjust. Be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. And don’t be afraid to experiment. Granted, the idea of taking risks might be daunting if your confidence is shaken after a setback.  But, when you take chances and start seeing rewards from responding differently – you’ll regain that confidence on the double.

Keep Track of Your Progress by Journaling

In order to stay motivated, it is important to keep track of your progress. One way to do this is by journaling. By keeping a record of your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, you can better monitor your progress and see how far you have come.

Journaling can also help you identify patterns in your behavior or thinking that may be sabotaging your progress. For example, if you find yourself consistently engaging in negative self-talk, you can work on addressing that issue head-on.

Moreover, journaling can simply be a way to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may be. Seeing evidence of your progress, even in the form of written words, can be a powerful motivator to keep going.

So if you’re feeling stuck or like you’re not making any progress, pick up a notebook and start writing. It could just be the boost you need to stay on track.

Remember All the Times you DID Succeed

When things go to hell in a handbasket, it’s easy to take a “woe is me” attitude – especially if the hits just keep coming without sight of relief any time soon.  I know I’m guilty of gathering up all my failures and negative stuff and just mull over it when I’m bemoaning my setbacks.  This is a bad idea.  Instead, cite all your accomplishments and successes.  

Remember the stuff you did achieve is a reminder that this setback is only temporary & you really DO have the chutzpah to succeed.  If you have to, take an inventory of all the things you’ve tackled that resulted in a positive or wanted outcome.  Proof of past success is proof that you have the true grit to get back up, start over, stay motivated, and succeed once again.

Brush Up on Others’ Success Stories

When it comes to finding motivation, it can be helpful to read about the successes of others. This can remind you that it is possible to achieve your goals, no matter how difficult they may seem. There are also many lessons to be learned from the successes of others, which can help you stay motivated and make progress even after setbacks.

Some great tips on how to stay motivated come from people who have already achieved success in their field. For example, author and podcaster Tim Ferriss advises taking time each day to reflect on what went well. This can help you identify your own personal victories and keep them top of mind, so you can maintain a positive attitude even when things get tough.

In addition to learning from the successes of others, it is also important to recognize your own progress. Even small wins can be a great source of motivation, so don’t discount your accomplishments just because they seem insignificant. Keep track of your milestones, both big and small, so you can look back and see just how far you’ve come – even on days when it feels like you’re not making any progress at all.

Take Baby Steps Towards Making Progress

It is easy to get discouraged when we face setbacks, but it is important to remember that setbacks are a normal part of any journey. The key is to not let them stop you from making progress. Here are some tips on how to stay motivated and signs of making progress after setbacks:

  • Set small goals: When you have a big goal, it can be overwhelming and discouraging if you don’t see immediate results. That’s why it’s important to set small goals along the way. These mini-goals will help keep you motivated and focused on the larger goal.
  • Take things one day at a time: Don’t get too caught up in the future or the past, just focus on today. If you can accomplish something small each day, eventually those accomplishments will add up to something big.
  • Celebrate your victories: It’s important to celebrate even the small wins. This will help you stay positive and motivated. Zheng He didn’t discover America, but he did sail around the world-and that was a pretty big accomplishment!
  • Learn from your mistakes: We all make mistakes, but it’s important to learn from them so we don’t keep repeating them. Mistakes are part of the learning process and can actually help us move closer to our goals if we use them as an opportunity for growth.
  • Stay positive: This may seem like common sense, but it’s worth repeating because it’s so important

Be Grateful

Wait, what? Am I suggesting that in the midst of ennui, dissatisfaction, or angst – you get grateful? Yes. I know it sounds tough – and sometimes it is. However, an attitude of gratitude works magic on our attitude and perspective. And if you think your setback is so awful that there is nothing to be grateful for – think again. There is always something to be thankful for. From running water to a roof over our heads – good food, or fine soap – the little things add up to make a whole heapin’ helping of gratitude. All that gratitude magnifies, which can get you out of a setback-slump very quickly.

Remember to Laugh

It’s easy to forget to laugh when you’re feeling down about a setback. But laughter is one of the most important weapons in your arsenal against discouragement. Studies have shown that laughter can boost your mood, increase your resilience in the face of adversity, and even improve your physical health. So next time you’re feeling low, take a moment to watch a funny video, read a joke, or spend time with friends who make you laugh. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel afterwards.

In addition to laughter, there are other signs that you’re making progress even after setbacks. For example, if you’re able to maintain positive relationships with friends and family, continue working towards your goals, and take care of yourself physically and emotionally, then you’re on the right track. So don’t get discouraged if you have a setback – just keep moving forward and remember to laugh along the way!

Play a Game of “What If?”

When it comes to staying motivated, one of the best things you can do is to play a game of “what if?” What if you achieve your goal? What will that feel like? What if you don’t achieve your goal? How will that make you feel?

By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be able to better visualize the outcome of your actions and whether or not they’re worth taking. If the answer to either question is negative, then it’s probably not worth pursuing. However, if both answers are positive, then it’s definitely worth giving it your all!

In addition to playing “what if,” another great way to stay motivated is by looking for signs of progress, no matter how small. These could be things like finally understanding a concept you’ve been struggling with or making a new personal best in your workout routine.

Learn Some Stuff

Tips to Stay Motivated and Making Progress

When I feel as though all my efforts are going straight down the toilet, I try to learn something.  Sometimes I do research on whatever it was that caused the setback to begin with.  This of course, makes sense, because learning about where I missed is one step closer to starting anew with better information.  

However, sometimes I learn something different.  When I was having a particularly tremendous emotional crisis, I started getting serious about mastering calligraphy.  Like magic, that one step in a learning direction really helped me recharge.  By learning and doing something new, I proved to myself that I can learn, succeed, and accomplish (even if my setback made me feel different).

Remember That Setbacks are a Part of Progress

I know. It’s easy to say that setbacks are a part of life; without them we can’t grow and develop to our full potential. I think I just vomited in my mouth just writing that. While it sounds trite, and nobody really wants to hear that when they’re in the midst of a crisis – it’s still true, nonetheless. We’ve got to wrap our heads around the fact that without challenges, struggles, and setbacks – we stagnate and whither without creative compulsion. In fact, setbacks often hold hands with motivation when we recognize they are a part of life. For some people, setbacks are a sign that we must stay motivated while making progress in our lives.

Accept the Things You Can, Change What You Can’t, and Have the Wisdom to Know the Difference

When I’m trying to make positive changes in my life, I always remember the serenity prayer.  It’s important to be able to accept the things you can’t change, and have the wisdom to know the difference between what you can and can’t control. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it’s an important one if you want to stay motivated and see progress after setbacks.

There will always be things in life that we can’t control, no matter how hard we try. The key is to focus on the things we CAN control, and not waste time and energy on the things we can’t. This doesn’t mean we should ignore the things we can’t change altogether – acknowledging them is important – but it does mean that we shouldn’t dwell on them or let them take over our lives.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Stay Motivated

If you’re feeling unmotivated, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of progress so you can stay on track. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Are you taking steps each day toward your goal?
  • Have you made any changes in your behavior or routine that are helping you move closer to your goal?
  • Are you learning from your mistakes and taking action to avoid making them again?
  • Are you surrounded by people who support and encourage your efforts?
  • Can you feel yourself making progress, even if it’s slow?

Believe in Yourself. Believe in Your Dream. Rinse. Repeat.

It is natural to feel down after experiencing a setback. You may doubt yourself and your ability to achieve your dream. But it is important to remember that setbacks are a normal part of life and should not discourage you from pursuing your goals.

Here are some tips on how to stay motivated after experiencing a setback:

1. Believe in yourself – Remember that you are capable of achieving your dreams, no matter how difficult they may seem. Do not let setbacks deter you from pursuing your goals.

2. Stay positive – It is important to maintain a positive attitude despite setbacks. Focus on the progress you have made and believe that you will eventually achieve your goal.

3. Take action – Don’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself after experiencing a setback. Get up and take action! Taking positive steps will help you stay motivated and increase the likelihood of achieving your goal.

4. Persevere – Never give up on your dreams! Even when the going gets tough, remember that perseverance leads to success.

Inspirational Quotes to Help You Stay Motivated

  • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs
  • “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” -Steve Jobs
  • “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Rob Siltanen
  • “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” -Oscar Wilde
  • “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” – Nikos Kazantzakis
  • “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean
  • “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt


Staying motivated during difficult times can be a challenge, but it is possible. By setting realistic goals, staying positive and focusing on the end goal, you can stay motivated even when faced with setbacks. Additionally, by using techniques such as tracking progress and celebrating small wins, you can make sure that your efforts are not in vain. Making progress after setbacks is possible if you take the necessary steps to stay focused and determined towards success.

Mighty brightly,

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