With so much going on in the world, it becomes easy to let negativity creep into your daily routine. Whether you're sitting in a classroom taking notes or planning your next career move, feelings of malaise and negativity can be challenging regardless of what phase of life you're currently in. When motivation seems fleeting, getting started is the hardest part. You'll surprise yourself with how easy things can be once you take a single step, and we're here to give you a few tips. Be realistic when setting goals. Looking at a goal that is too far in the future or seemingly too large can do more harm than good to maintaining a healthy mindset. SMART goal setting is a common tool that mental health care professionals use to combat challenges to motivation, as it provides a strong framework to achieve goals during times when things might seem difficult, or even impossible. The most important part of goal setting is to make sure you remain realistic with what you can achieve and how much time it will take. Keep these things in mind and you'll be golden! If you want to master this skill and want a few tips to get started, read our article about how to set SMART goals, the right way. Create milestones and recognize potential blockers. If you start a task and realize there are a few things stopping you from executing, it might be a sign that your current task is too big. Split them up into multiple steps and accomplish them one-by-one. You'll be surprised how simple things end up being once you break them up into smaller parts. There are other occasions where you might realize that you're missing a critical resource or skill. Don't let that stop you - start looking into how to acquire that skill or resource, and adjust the plan accordingly. This leads perfectly into our next tip. Don't be afraid to ask for help! It's okay to realize you bit off more than you could chew. Sometimes it turns out that the things we start end up being deceptively complex, or take more time than you thought it would. Getting help is the quickest way to overcome some challenges. Get assistance from someone who has done this before, or simply ask for advice from friends and family. The people around you want to see you succeed, and would be happy to lend a hand in the projects you're working on! Everyone has struggled doing something for the first time, so remember that there's no shame in being uncertain about what to do next. Be kind to yourself. Your biggest critic is often you, and that's okay. Setbacks and failures often teach you far more than any number of successes, so take these learnings in stride and remember to move forward. Learning from your various mistakes is often a bigger achievement than getting everything right the first time - it's a good thing! Celebrate your achievements. Be sure to take the time to reflect on your accomplishments, big or small. Treat yourself, take a break, and don't be afraid to feel pride and satisfaction when the result is good - you deserve it! These victories should be cherished, because they are the fuel for all your future endeavours as you move on to more challenging feats. Now I know the title suggested there would only be 5 tips, but there is an extra one I thought up for good measure. This one is my personal favourite. Just get started!!! Simple as that. You will never know how things will go until you take the first step. Don't let fear of the unknown stop you and take that first step before you talk yourself out of it. There is no obstacle that can stop you from achieving your dreams - other than you. So make sure to get out of your own way when things get particularly difficult, so you can move forward. Good luck, and share your experiences with us on Twitter @hi_speakbox if this was helpful to you!