How to motivate yourself & live your best life in 2021

Saloni Chamberlain
6 min readJan 4, 2021

It’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.

I love this quote, especially that final sentence. Although, did you know it’s often mis-attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald, it’s actually from the film adaptation of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

But I’m getting side-tracked before I’ve even got started! Kicking off a new year is exciting, there’s so many possibilities but there’s also SO MUCH that you could do, that sometimes it can all begin to flood in and starts to feel a bit like overwhelm. Whether you’re hoping to smash some new goals or just looking to level up in the new year, motivation can come in dribs and drabs. Especially with the whole global pandemic continuing to thrash around us.

Did you know that about 80% of people don’t achieve their New Year Resolutions and give up by February? So, if you’re anything like me and the openness and possibilities of 2021 feels exhilarating but also a bit paralysing, here’s some of my top tips for motivating yourself and freeing yourself up to live your best life in 2021.

What do you want to achieve in 2021?

I actually don’t usually set New Year’s Resolutions, I tend to set myself goals on my birthday in October instead. And they’re less goals, but more small ways to make myself happier and open myself up to new soul joy. Like when I turned 27, I decided that I was going to be more ‘fuck it’. And when I turned 29, I wanted to be braver and say yes to more things.

But after sitting with my feelings from 2020, I decided that I wanted to come out of 2021 as my best self, both mentally and professionally. Rather than goals for 2021, I set an intention for the year to: show up, be present and do the work. It’s all a process, I don’t think at the end of this year, I’m going to be fully developed and ready to be printed out and framed, but I want to be closer to who I want to be and where I want to be in my work.

So, sit with your past selves and have a think about the ways you want to grow.

Why do you want to achieve this goal?

The why is so important. The why is what will keep you going when your motivation begins to flag and as you ride the results rollercoaster. Goals will only work when the why matters to you, is this something you want to do or something you think you should do? As you move through the year, keep the why in your head and it’ll help you stay motivated.

Choose realistic and achievable goals

Hands up if you’ve been guilty of deciding that you’re going to completely revolutionise your life and turn over ALL the new leaves in a new year, just to quickly feel overwhelmed and giving up? Yeah. Me too.

It’s about being realistic, and mentally, we love to tick off smaller goals and achieve results quicker. By breaking a bigger goal into smaller ones, you’re more likely to stay on track. So, if you’re wanting to be healthier in 2021, break it down into working out 2–3 times a week, hit your 5-a-day, aim for 6 glasses of water. Rather than just leaving it in your head that you MUST diet and lose 10 stone by February. It’s just not realistic, achievable — or very healthy.

Track your progress

Whether you’re a visual person or like an app to keep you on track, keeping an eye on all of the progress you’ve made towards your goal will keep you going. Set up milestones or dates in your calendar to check in with yourself, as well as daily or weekly tasks that will help you hit your mini-milestones.

Find some accountability

We all need a sounding board and a person that’s gonna give us a bit of tough love to keep us on track. But even if you don’t have one person that’s going to buddy up with you, tell everyone you can about your goals, from friends to colleagues, because after all accountability and the shame of public failure keeps us going, right?

After I chose my intention for this year, I shared it on my Instagram with a cute little Happy New Year animation, I then shared that post to my Facebook page for a little bit of accountability.

Celebrate yourself

It’s SO hard to do the work and improve ourselves, especially when things are fine and comfortable. So, if you’re absolutely smashing through your goals and flying through 2021, make sure you reward yourself and take some time to sit and celebrate how absolutely amazing you are.

A combination of just who I am as a person and a year of work being knocked over by COVID-19 has left me with a lot of imposter syndrome and in December I made the decision to confront these feelings and do the work to tackle this mindset over Christmas and in January. Working on ourselves is hard and it’s uncomfortable and it leaves us all open and vulnerable, wondering where these feelings and bits of ouch came from. So, every bit of progress you make is valid and worth, so celebrate it. I celebrated my work and progress today by buying myself a super soft pink jumper. Celebrate yourself, especially when you’re tackling hard bits.

Switch on your internal cheerleader

If you tend to be a Negative Nancy or you’re flooded with imposter syndrome like me, it’s not enough to just think ‘I can do this’, you need to surround yourself with positivity and uplifting energy. Whether books, YouTube or podcasts are your jam, seek out content that boosts your good energy and surround yourself with positivity.

A lot of people talk about toxic positivity, and I’m not talking about sitting in a burning house and pretending everything is fine. But I know myself, that I need to try to seek out the positivity and inspiration to keep me going, otherwise I fall into overwhelm, what’s the point and I’m a fraud anyway. Which is probably a bit more toxic.

Stay consistent

Every glass of water, every time you remember to take a tote bag to the supermarket and every scary pitch you send out with ‘the worst they can say is no’ mentality is progress. It’s taking you closer to your goals and these small and sweet tasks help you to stay consistent and keep on track.

If it doesn’t work, adjust, adapt or just throw it in the trash

If something just isn’t working for you, stop. Sure, you’ve told everyone that you want to do x,y,z by a certain time but if it just isn’t bringing you happiness or helping you to grow or develop in the way that you want, you don’t have to do it anymore.

How freeing is that? This is your life, if you’ve given it your best shot but something isn’t bringing you happiness and it’s just not working? Stop doing it. Throw it in the trash.

Whatever you hope to achieve in 2021, I hope it brings you a huge amount of soul joy and helps you to get where it is you want to be going, and not just where you think you should be going.

And hey, if you’re looking to level up your business in 2021 and are looking for a storyteller who can turn words into stories packed full of feeling to help you connect with your audience, why not drop me a message and see if we could work together this year?

Originally published at on January 4, 2021.



Saloni Chamberlain

Turning words into stories with packed full of feeling. Find me on instagram @salonichamberlain