Sustaining motivation can be a struggle at the best of times. So how can you maintain your motivation when your to-do list is close to becoming a novel and you’re always putting negative pressure on yourself? When it is becoming impossible to juggle a full time job whilst working on your blogging career and you can’t find time in the day to breathe? 

It is no secret that the key to successfully achieving goal after goal is by staying motivated. However, unfortunately for us, motivation cannot be bought and it does not come in a bottle. But, it can be sustained by setting goals, rewarding yourself and changing your mind set to avoid automatic negative thoughts. 

The blogging space is competitive, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough room for everyone. I have read countless times that you should not start a blog or Instagram page unless you have a “niche”, but you are your niche! Your images, your writing style and your attitude is your niche. Whatever the subject. Do not be disheartened by this opinion!

1. Stop comparing 

First and foremost, stop comparing yourself with anyone and everyone you consider to be in a better position than you. Although the top bloggers are a few steps ahead of us and earning unimaginable opportunities, this is positive! It has opened up the blogging world and made it a recognised career. It has created the opportunity of being self-employed, widened the blogger community into the creative space it has become and means that absolutely anyone can have a go. My favourite bloggers are Lydia Millen, In The Frow and Chiara Ferrigni and I have been in that place where I am 282 Instagram posts deep, trying to find flaws in their photos. It isn’t healthy and it will not help your motivation. Instead, see their position as a personal goal and see their content as inspirational. 

Remember: People only ever show you the glossy version of their life on social media. You don’t know what struggles these individuals are facing or have faced and how much hard work they have put in to get to the position they are in now. Don’t compare your real life with an airbrushed life on Instagram. 

2. Set yourself manageable goals 

See it, feel it, hear it! Visualise your future goal down to the tiny details. But make sure these goals are motivational, make sure they are important to you and that there is value in achieving them. In our distracting world, it is very easy to get interrupted and thrown off course so that is why you need to ground yourself in your goal. You can always write a list of reasons you want to accomplish the goal, I always find it much more therapeutic to write this by hand. Typing is so automatic there is less of a connection with this process.

My goal was to set up a London-based fashion blog. I started by creating the domain A Styling Hand, designing my first site (it has changed twice since then), adapted my Instagram content and began reaching out to other bloggers. This is much further ahead than I was this time 6 months ago and I ticked each of these steps off of my blog list! 

3. Break your goal down and set targets (plus rewards) 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, your blogging goals will take time to achieve and require a lot of effort. The major source of stress in our lives comes from the feeling that we have an impossible number of things to do, if you try and tackle all of these at once you are going to feel overwhelmed and not be motivated to carry on. That’s why to-do lists are essential, whether it’s replying to an email, tidying your flat, planning that very overdue catch up with your friends, writing a blog post or designing your site. These are all important tasks that need time and attention. I know it feels hard if you work Monday to Friday like me, so don’t put unrealistic pressure on yourself. I would plan to go out and take photos once a week and if you can aim for writing 2 blog posts a week, you’re better than me! I have also read that each small success releases the feel-good chemical dopamine, your brain rewards you for every goal you achieve. So reward yourself, go and get that Krispy Kreme! This will motivate you to take another similar step. 

I plan to shoot 8 outfits twice a month with my photographer Beth Sandland. Between our shoots I try and snap some shots of anything I like the look of! People will want to see what you are up to and what genuinely interests you. I write blog posts when I can and try to interact on Instagram every day. But life does get busy and others appreciate that so make sure you take time out and also reward yourself for how hard you’re working. 

4. Ask for help!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you are feeling overwhelmed or you feel yourself becoming negative about your progress, make sure you reach out to your family, friends, or other bloggers/Instagrammers and give yourself some space. It is very hard to keep this up if you aren’t enjoying it. Take time to have a weekend with your favourite people and don’t even check Instagram. It is so important to tap back into normality and remember that your blog isn’t the be all and end all. You can give yourself a break and come back to it. Your happiness and motivation comes first! Alongside that, if you want to go out and take some photos but don’t have a photographer. Ask! If you aren’t sure whether to publish a post you have written. Ask! If you don’t know what goal to set yourself next. Ask! Don’t let yourself feel isolated or worried, all you need to do is ask. 

After moving to London on my own I felt very lonely at times and struggled with the concept of making a new life up here. But all I had to do was ask, once I started asking my mum to come and visit and I started asking work colleagues to come out for a drink, I felt so supported. I even met my photographer Beth by asking Twitter for recommendations! 

5. Know how to deal with flagging motivation

It is important to acknowledge that you can’t run on full steam 100% of the time, you will flag at certain points and feel demotivated – that is where all of the previous points come into play. If this lack of motivation has come from comparing your progress with others successes. Stop! This won’t help you and you don’t know the real situation behind their accomplishments. Set yourself manageable goals. If you have found your goals are draining you, make these goals smaller and give yourself longer time frames so you feel less pressurised. Reward yourself. If you need time away, take it! Don’t use Instagram for a week, don’t take a photo of your Starbucks for a week, take some time to recuperate and focus on the life you have outside of blogging. And arguably the most important point is, ask for help. If you feel yourself slowing down and not enjoying this as much as you used to, ask others how they overcame this. Ask your friends to do something fun. Ask someone to help you create some fresh content to get you more excited. All you need to do is ask.

I really hope you have found this post helpful. Please let me know if you have any other tactics for keeping your motivation up, leave a comment below!

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  1. August 28, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    Loved all of this! Your advice is great. My current goal is to reach 5K Instagram followers by the end of the year. I’m currently on 3.5K, so I think that’s reasonable. But then again, it is Instagram!

    xo Millie

    • Hannah Cooper
      August 29, 2017 / 11:14 am

      Thank you so much Millie! I’m really glad you found it helpful, I am sure you’ll manage to grow your following. Although, it’s better to have a smaller number of engaged followers then to have a large number of followers who aren’t interested in your work! Hannah (A Styling Hand) xo

  2. August 29, 2017 / 8:42 am

    As I’ve only just started my blog it’s so easy to get disheartened by other ‘bigger bloggers’ – this really helped me!
    Best wishes, Gee

    • Hannah Cooper
      August 29, 2017 / 11:15 am

      Your blog looks lovely Georgia! The biggest leap is actually setting it up and starting to work on your site, just focus on your work! I’m really happy that it helped you. Hannah (A Styling Hand) xo

  3. August 29, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    Loved this post!
    It’s so true not to compare yourself to those who’ve been in the game for a long time.
    My biggest struggle is being motivated at the worst time – like at work and then demotivated at the optimal blogging time – after work – when I’m too exhausted to blog 🙁

  4. September 5, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    This post was really helpful babe! Especially as I’ve not had my blog for too long and often experience a bit of intimidation in terms of how large the blogging community really is. Just followed you back on Instagram aswell! (@jadabaron) xx