Entrepreneurs need motivation by the bucketful, but some days it’s easier to stir up than others. It’s fantastic to have big, long-term goals, but don’t underestimate the power of little, daily ones. These easier to attain goals keep you going even with a nightmare client, a nearing deadline, or when you lose all your data in a computer crash.

When motivators become habits, that’s what can make the difference between small business success and failure.

Only you know your own best ways to stay motivated—but it’s still worthwhile to shake things up and try brand new approaches. When you were only dreaming of your small business, you probably had zero issues with motivation. The dream of working for yourself, having unlimited income and making your own schedule was enough to keep you going.

The reality? Sometimes entrepreneurship can be just as dull, taxing and boring as working for corporate America. Here’s how to stay driven:

 1. Track Your Daily Income

 If within your grasp to define how much you make (as in how many projects you complete per day, etc.) then this can be a serious way to stay committed. First, calculate how much you’d realistically like to make per year, then break it down per week, per day, and finally per hour. Once you know how much you “need” to make each day, track it with each task/project completed. When you see you’re just $40 short of the day’s goals, that can be enough to give you an energy boost.

My friend John Rampton suggests “you have to know your numbers, each and every day.  Instead of buying that fancy car, save the money towards something that will make you money instead of take it away. Tracking your income on a daily basis will help you to stay more on top of your bills and pay off credit cards before they can accrue interest.”

2. Surround Yourself with Affirmations

Affirmations might seem cheesy and right up there with vision boards, but there is a reason they are so popular – they work! However, humans are quick to adapt and zone out what’s normal. Shake up where your affirmations are posted and even what they are. Whether it’s the monologue from “Rocky Balboa” or a favorite quit from Mark Cuban, these small affirmations can keep you on track when your eyes or mind wander away from the task at hand.

3. Remember the Corporate Grind

When you’re feeling fed up with your entrepreneurial track, think back to what it used to be like. Working in an office, the daily commute, the uncomfortable work clothes, the boss breathing down your neck—suddenly that bump in small business ownership doesn’t seem that bad. If you need a serious reminder, let your lunch break include a quick viewing of “The Office” to serve as motivation.

4. Work Out

Don’t spend all your breaks staring at a screen. When you are frustrated or feeling overwhelmed, a little cardio or lifting session can work wonders. Nothing compares to endorphins – they will help clear your head, relieve minor aches and pains, and give you the bolstering necessary to power through the afternoon.

5. Get 30% of your work done within three hours of waking up

Numerous studies have shown people are most productive in the first few hours after waking. Taking advantage of this, and get straight down to business. Swap the morning coffee for warm lemon water (you can have coffee 30 minutes later) and get down to work within 40 minutes of waking. You’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish all before that 10 am mini-break. This is what some of the top startups do each day to make them more successful.

Motivation is a necessity for small business ownership—as crucial as planning, proper hiring, and goal setting. Without it, both you and your dream will flounder.

 

This article was written by Drew Hendricks from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.