Hello,This is me!

Diana Vilic

Blogger Visual Marketing Student Photographer Coffee Addict

Friday, June 26, 2015

How to stay motivated

  • 3:48:00 PM
  • by
Prove them wrong.

My friends constantly ask me how to stay motivated. I wouldn't consider myself more motivated than the next person. But, I do get easily motivated. When I was in school, my teachers made sure it was a trait I left their classes with.

When exam week drags the energy of my friends, I make an extra pot of coffee. 

When my friends (and I) fail our papers, I spend my time trying to fix it. Not always for a new grade, but for my benefit. That being said, I also learn when to let things go.

When my work gets rejected, I just keep making more of it and take the criticism for what it is.

It may seem like I'm indifferent and I never care about anyone's opinion other than my own. But in reality, I'm the most sensitive out of everyone I know. I feel everything deeply, it's probably from being an artist for so long. I read body language and facial expressions well, and when things change for the worst, I feel guilty. I'm harder on myself than my friends are. I hate getting B's in classes, I dislike getting told I'm not good enough or qualified enough and I spend hours over analyzing every situation I'm in.  I also suffer from being a perfectionist and a procrastinator.

If I can constantly stay motivated, being a massive contradiction. I have the belief everyone can.

1) Define your goals

I change my goals all the time. I have goals for today, this week, this month, a six month period, by next year, and a 15 year plan. I call it my 104 steps to taking over the world.

My friends probably know it by heart.

This week:

  • Find a muffins recipe. (I eat way too many of these for my own good.)
  • Organize my closet and plan a closet organization video/blog (Clearly I'm still undecided).
  • Throw away all of last seasons fashion magazines, business magazines from the past 3-month period, and create an inspiration board from snippets.
This month:
  • Post at least 3 times a week on the blog.
  • Incorporate more veggies in my diet.
  • Finish WOM reviews.
  • Get a better understanding of SEO (even though it's on its way out).
In Six months:
  • Have a social media "how to" collection up.
  • Start a poetry/band series on Youtube showing off my talented friends.
  • Set up a more focused theme on the blog. (Honestly, this one may or may not happen.)
  • Set up photostories and display them.
End of 2016:
  • Get published (photography wise)
  • Set up a regular Youtube presence. (Regular videos)
  • Cutting out/reducing my intake of artificial sugar (I've been at this for the past few months and it's going to take a lot longer than the six months I thought it would.)
15 years from now:
  • Be featured in Forbes 30 under 30.
  • Working full time in business & photography (blending my two loves).
  • Having a photography studio.
Clearly, that isn't my whole list. My actual lists are about 5 pages each with notes in the margins and sketches on coffee stained notebook corners. Also notice, I won't reach everything on my list. It would be wrong of me to think I could. But, I'm ambitious and I aim bigger than I think I can reach at the time. I just expect, one day I will reach there.

So start your list. It can be for today, or a week from now or even 20 years from today. Just set your goals and make little steps to get there. Also notice at least one thing on every list, helps another item on a future list. Example, posting 3 times a week helps me develop a focused theme. Or publicly displaying my photostories might help me get the confidence to submit my work for publishing.

Everything you do has to be set up to help your future self.

2) Understand there's no such thing as failure.

A photo posted by Diana Vilić (@dv_pictures) on
One of my least favorite words is failure. And not because "we never fail". But because it's such a negative word. To fail means that you're learning. 

I understand that there are consequences to failure as you get older. You could lose everything, you could be unhappy or upset those you love. But when we actually take a look at it, are we scared of the failure or what we think happens when we fail?

Most times we're not scared of the actual act of failing. But, we're scared of losing our scholarships because we failed a class, or we're scared of foreclosing our home or we're scared of being rejected. But, we're rarely scared of actually making the mistake. And what we think happens from failure, are usually worst case scenarios. Yes, they happen, but they won't always happen.

I used to have a teacher (I mentioned this in a previous article), who said, "You know what happens if you don't put the work in, see what happens if you do."

3) Fake it til you make it. Make it til you make it.

I know I always say, fake it til you make it. But that makes a lot of people think they can just hope for something to come true. So I like to reword it as make it til you make it.

Pretty much, put the work in until you're there. My parents taught me to work like I already held my dream job and to keep working until I get it. So, put the work in, until you're where you wanna be (then keep doing the work).

4) Show your passion and be passionate.

A photo posted by Diana Vilić (@dv_pictures) on
You're going to need peoples help to reach your goals. You have to show them that you're committed and that you can work for it. 

At the same time, you need to be passionate. A large part of always staying motivated is to stay hungry and stay passionate. You always need to remember why you started and you need to keep faith that you're doing what's right for your future.

5) Stay hungry

Constantly learn, look to learn, teach and be on the look out to spread your knowledge. Get so busy working and learning that you don't even care how long it takes for your goals to come true. 

6) Life isn't fair.

I wish it was. I really do, but it's not.  More times than none, the person who isn't as experienced as you will get the job you want. The people you considered your number one fans will quit on you. And you will be frustrated because you're putting in long hours into your goals and someone else is getting handed them.

Tough luck. But, life isn't fair. You're not going to be handed everything or even anything in life. Sometimes, you gotta work three times harder than anyone else to get half of what they're just handed. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Know that this is normal. And please do not quit because of this. The world needs what you're going to put into it.

7) Time exists, but not how you think.

Growing up as a kid, I heard "Rome wasn't built in a day", more times than I wanted to. To which I replied, "No, but it took a day to crumble down." (Lesson on modesty right there.)

It's going to take you years to reach your goals. Overnight successes are forgotten easily. They're this generations one hit wonder. Everything is a 10+ year success. And those people who succeed, worked everyday for their goal. It didn't matter if they had a full time job, or school or a family, they took care of what they needed to and what was expected, and they stayed up all night writing scripts, printing photos, writing novels, practicing singing, and running a business out of their basement.

If you want a 6-month success story, best luck to you. I hope you reach it, I really do. But don't get discouraged if your goals take longer to build. Unlike Rome, your goals will withstand time. (They'll take at least 3x longer than Rome to build.)

8)Do better

I used to have a teacher who would hand me a project with an A+ stamped on it. And look me in the eyes and say, "Do better next time." He was my favorite teacher, and to this day, probably will be. Even long after I was in his class, he still asked me what projects I was working on, showed me something one of his students did that year, and would say "top this".

In order to stay motivated you're going to need someone to push you and say do better. do more, be more...ect. Sometimes, that person is going to be you. Other times, it'll be a friend, a teacher, a parent, or someone you don't even know.

Don't take offense to this. Do better. Always keep doing better.

9)Cancel out stress

I live on stress. But, unlike most students, I don't get stressed out during finals that often. The way I see it, if I push myself all semester, I can treat finals like any other test. I don't treat my finals like end alls. Instead, I go to tutors, I ask questions, I do my work ahead of time, and I maintain my grades during a bulk of the year. 

The best way I know to stay motivated, is to cancel out any stress you can. It's easier to want to study and work on personal projects, when all of your other affairs are being handled.

10)Treat yourself!

I buy myself books about PR to treat myself for constant hustle. And I get my hair done to reward my grades. I'm not sure what that says about me. But treat yourself for trying.

After large projects, I buy my team doughnuts or coffee, just my little way of saying I appreciate the hard work. Just like you would treat a team for doing well, treat yourself. You work hard, and if you're anything like me, you're hard on yourself. Buy yourself coffee from your favorite coffee shop one day because you went a week without making excuses. Or go out with your friends because you finished all of your homework a week early. 

To motivate yourself, create your own motivation. And reward trying, even if you don't reach the goal, if you gave it your all, celebrate it. (You're only human,)

11) Manage your time

I'm just going to say this now. I'm horrible at this when it comes to personal things. I can manage my time for work and homework and any venture I make a comitment to. But for photoshoots and blogging, I need to force myself to write and shoot work. But, I'm working on it.

So, set up a system. It doesn't need to be perfect. It just has to be something you can follow 90% of the time.

12) Surround yourself with motivation

Surround yourself with motivating people and motivating images. I used to have a wall of cutouts from Inc magazine and Forbes, pictures of my friends and family, letters they gave me, thank you notes clients gave me, images I loved in Vogue and mementos of various awards and honors I received. I wanted something to look at every morning and remember why I worked so hard.

My best friends leave me voicemails when I do a good job on a project or I keep up my goals. I still keep them on my phone.

I have every letter of recommendation I ever received, saved on a hard drive. I still look at them when I feel like a failure.

I look at my old work from school, the ones my teachers used to show off, when I feel like I ran out of ideas. 

I still talk to my older teachers and the people I used to be in classes with. They always remind me of my potential.

And remember,

"Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful – you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself." - Daniell Koepke

13) Start over

The worst thing is when you reach a significant goal and you realize you don't want it anymore. It sucks. What do you do when that happens?

You start over.

You're allowed to change your ideas and goals midway through the process. You're allowed to change your major and your career and our take on politics and pretty much everything you could even think of. You're allowed to keep growing as a person.

Find out what your next thing is. And start over.

14) Quit.

This isn't reverse psychology. If you want to quit, quit. But, you have to be okay with quitting. It's okay to quit because you didn't want that goal anymore, or because it never was your goal or because you can't invest the time in it, or because you're scared or because *insert excuse here*.

Seriously, you're allowed to walk away and quit.

But, you need to quit and be okay with why you quit. If you can look in the mirror okay with quitting, then by all means, there's the door. I wish you the best. If you can't look at yourself still proud, figure out why, and go from there.

Don't let societies quitter mentality tell you that quitting is for the weak. No, it's not. Quitting in some situations may be the hardest thing you'll ever do. And you're strong for walking away. At the end of the day, you have to face yourself. As long as you can do that. Go ahead and quit and find something else. You, despite popular belief, are not bad because you quit a goal/dream/passion/fill in blank here.


Have fun, get your feet wet, and learn new things. Motivation is in the mind. The key to being motivated is making sure you stay motivated. Motivate yourself daily with your actions, dreams and the people you surround yourself with.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish. (Keep reaching for the stars.)

Marketing student with a focus in visual marketing with a addiction to coffee.


  1. THANK YOU! I needed this. ALL of these are so important. Love it. XO


    1. Awe thank you Helen. I'm glad you found use for the tips!

  2. Great post and advice. I always try to remain positive as well... nothing lasts forever so it always gets better.

    xx Falasha
    Bite My Fashion ll Instagram ll Bloglovin'

    1. I completly agree Falasha! Nothing lasts forever. I always say it's a hard way to the top but it's easy to fall down.

  3. Hi Diana! I'm reading your post with the help of Google Translate. I hope to understand everything !!! You've written some really nice words! Have a nice day, kisses,

    Eniwhere Fashion
    Eniwhere Fashion Facebook

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for reading my post.
      I hope you have a wonderful day.

  4. I loved your Motivation post! I know what you mean, you feel things intensely and people may think you don't, but it's clear that you do. I liked your goals, like more veggies, being a good Youtube presence, Forbes 30 under 30! And it's true, we need to stay hungry to learn. This is a great post and I really think we can learn from it! I will write goals down now!

    1. Thank you Denise! I try really hard to be open and honest n all my posts.

  5. This is such a great motivational post! I really like your tips and steps. You are right; you have to stay hungry for more but be grateful for where you are as well. Awesome post!

    1. Thank you Monique! I hope my post offered some help.

  6. great post! like your tips! kiss


  7. I loved reading this post! Very inspiring and motivational <3 Thanks for sharing.


  8. Wow thank you for this helpful post. It can be hard to stay motivated but it always helps to remind ourselves of our goals!
    Brooke | brookewrote

  9. You are extremely inspiring. Such a great post to live by.



powered by Typeform