Sometimes it may feel as though there is a mystery to success, but the truth is that it often comes down to putting in the hours, and offering up your blood, sweat, and tears. If we’re honest with ourselves, though, we know there’s a gap between what is required of us and making ourselves do it.

How can we motivate ourselves to do anything we want to put our mind to? We’ve found the 5 most effective ways and are happy to share them with you below.

1 – Be Clear with Your Goal

What is it that you are trying to achieve exactly? Because being really clear, on what you’re aiming for, can be a great way to motivate yourself to attain it. When you face periods of exhaustion and low points, goals are going to keep you moving far better than any technique.

The key to working hard to reach your goal is by not considering it work. After all, what you are actually doing is turning yourself into who you want to be, and what you want to achieve. When you have made the choice to do something, think about how good it will feel to achieve it- that is what keeps you motivated.

2 – Take Care of Your Physical Health

The problem with motivation isn’t always mental- it can be physical. You may have the greatest willpower of anyone, but if you lack the energy to get things done, it’s still going to be difficult to keep yourself motivated.

If you struggle with sleep, or find yourself tired a lot, if you are in constant pain, or experience a range of other ailments, they it may be time for a check-up. You should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Take time to listen to your body, because it might be trying to tell you something. It’s difficult to keep yourself motivated if you aren’t feeling great.

3 – Bribes Aren’t Off Limits

There’s nothing to stop you from rewarding, or punishing, yourself. If you have something to accomplish then set a deadline. If you achieve it then it means you get a reward (perhaps a movie, a new outfit, your favorite meal, or going out for a cocktail).

Negative incentives have also proven effective. You could arrange a bet with close friends that will help drive you to accomplish your goal.

4 – Make Habits

It’s difficult, and exhausting, to force yourself to do something repeatedly using just utter force of will. It’s much easier to do something once it is a habit. Willpower, quite simply, is a limited resource. Once you have built a habit, there is no need for willpower. You can start by creating small habits that will increase your productivity.

Consider introducing a 15-minute walk every day, or perhaps work in short bursts and take a 5-minute break before you begin the next short burst. If you don’t like the idea of building habits, think about it in terms of scheduling. No matter what term you use, either method is effective in creating a routine that is driven by habit, rather than willpower.

5 – Discomfort Isn’t Negative

The US Marine Corps used the tagline pain is only weakness leaving the body to recruit, while bodybuilders use the motto of no pain, no gain. It all means the same thing- you can’t build your abilities, or expand your capabilities, without stepping outside your comfort zone. So, you shouldn’t allow a bit of discomfort to steal your motivation. Struggling is a good sign, because anything worth having is worth working for.