How to Motivate Yourself to Work Hard

30 under 30 books“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- Thomas Edison

I remember as a little kid I use to watch my mother work to the bone to ensure that my sisters and I had clothes on our back, food in our stomachs and a roof over our heads (and a rather beautiful one at that).

She was a momentum for me to do well with my life. To strive to be a better person because she was a woman with such talent, finesse and style – always ready to tackle the next challenge.

Like her, I wanted to possess all these favorable qualities and intertwine them with my work career.

But the journey was anything but easy … the journey is anything but easy.

The Start of the Journey

Believe it or not, I wasn’t always a motivated and ambitious person. I barely got by in grade school and high school was even a struggle. But something happened in college for me. It just clicked. I found a technique and a mindset that motivated me to work harder than I ever thought possible! Below you can read a few of the ways I was able to work a part-time job, have 18 credits, participate as an officer of 3 clubs, volunteer, be an honor’s student, and graduate in four years with 3 degrees!

The Motivation to Work Hard

1. Do it for someone you love. This is where the journey began for me and is where many women start. The disappointment, pity and sorrow in my mother’s eyes were harsh on me – and after that day, I told myself that if ever I lost focus again, I would work hard for her.

While my mother was my “someone,” yours could be someone entirely different. Your children, parents, spouse or friends could be that “someone.” Perhaps it’s your faith that motivates you.

Whomever you choose, just remember that they are your starting point and your fallback point to motivate you to work harder and be better. As you begin to gain momentum at work, school or whatever setting you are currently in – you will need to find other motivators.

2. Reward yourself after a good day’s work (or week’s work). Motivation to work hard can come from simple satisfaction after the job.

For example, let us say that you have an important presentation to present at work and you will need to spend the next several days working all-nighters to ensure it is not only done, but is perfect. Pulling through without procrastinating might seem like a tedious task, but you will need to plan a treat for yourself.

Such susceptible rewards might be a girl’s night out the upcoming weekend, shopping in your favorite stores or going on a much needed road trip in your Mustang by yourself. Knowing there is a reward ahead will ensure that the work is completed in a timely fashion.

I enjoy heading to the spa at least once a month (sometimes twice a month if I have accomplished a lot of my work). After my high school graduation, I began starting new writing business ventures that would wear me out. Heading to the spa rejuvenated my motivation and passion. The spa was one of my main motivators to work hard and, at times, is still my number one motivator.

Find what works for you.

3. Further your training or education. If your work is too difficult to accomplish and you dread having to do assignments, it might be time for you to get better training. Education and training your skills will only enhance the job experience and motivate you to get the job done quicker.

If classroom time can’t fit with your schedule, you have other options. Webinars (online seminars) are widely available to many. This will be advisable for those who work full-time hours and/or have a family to raise while having a job.

There are never any excuses not to be able to attain the education necessary to make the job easier. And most times, your work will pay or reward you for taking that extra mile.

4. Surround yourself with those at the top of your field. Certain people at your job will perform better than others – not everyone will be equally as successful. Use this to your advantage.

Surrounding yourself with top-performers will motivate you even further to do better. Not only will they be your source of motivation, they will also be your template to learn and adapt from in your line of work. In college, I would have never thought to join the Honor’s Program if many of my close friends weren’t already in it. Iron sharpens iron, and the ones you spend time with will dictate your motivation and success.

5. Take a break. Do yoga, read a book or write a story. Whatever you decide to do – ensure it is away from your work place.

Working every single day is not advisable and can cause you to lose motivation. Do not allow your work to dim your light. A personal day will only better assist you in progressing in your profession.

My Parting Words

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
- Jim Ryun

While finding motivation is difficult, once you have it – let it fuel you. Form a good work ethic with your motivation and create lifelong habits.

What you do today will affect you tomorrow. After a few years, your motivation, or lack thereof, will edict your future. Mold your future with opportunities and success.

No challenge is placed in front of us if we are unable to handle it. So continue to place one foot in front of the other until it becomes second nature.

Be your own motivator – drive yourself to success.


  1. Ethos Adventures

    Love this! Thanks so much for reminding us all!!

    1. Alicia Lawrence (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed the article!

  2. Dana

    Great! I gain a lot of information on this article, Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading this.

  3. Parent Tips

    “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Thanks for reminding these golden words.

    We have shared this motivating article at . Thanks!


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