How do you stay motivated when you've got a long term goal?

Let's say you want to lose weight. That is a long term goal, right?  (well it should be! You didn't get out of shape overnight - so you can't fix it overnight.  But that's a lecture for another day)  Maybe you use a pic of your formerly-hot-self as your profile pic as a reminder that you can be fit.  Or maybe you put a pic of your not-so-hot self on the fridge as a reminder to make smart food choices.  (Our fridge just has a list of the foods buried deep in side - don't want to let that chocolate and beer go to waste)

If your goal is to learn another language, say Spanish because it will be used in a lot of the places you want to travel, maybe you buy ridiculously expensive language software.  And games.  And books. And then stare at them all on your bookshelf to remind you how little you've actually used said software...  And maybe then you dust them off and get back to work.

But how the heck do you stay motivated when your goal is set up as a 5 Year Plan, and results in life altering/lifestyle modifying/habit changing circumstances?

Here's what we've done so far:

Shopping for and buying the boat easily ate up the first year or so of our plan.  Then we got used to driving/sailing the beast.  (Maybe we are still working on the sailing part)  Then we spent longer and longer amounts of time staying on her, until we finally moved onboard full-time.  Being so actively involved in the process, and getting pretty much immediate gratification was our motivation.  It was easy to keep plugging along in this phase.

We eventually started the process of selling our land home.  (YAY that's done!) This time-period was a challenge.  We had YEARS of crap to get rid of.  It was tedious and overwhelming and enlightening all at the same time.  Motivation came and went - ebbed and flowed.  But we hung in there and are glad that part is over and done with.

Now we have begun the process of selling off our rental properties to the highest bidders. Honestly, the money is the motivation here.  Not gonna lie.  Padding our Adventure Fund/safety net is first and foremost in my brain every time I have to go clean up/repair/evict a tenant/collect back rent/find a realtor.

Of course, you have all of the boat projects we have done along the way.  We spent the first year deciding what we actually wanted to modify/add.  And then the next year and a half doing those projects.  I would like to say that we had instant gratification on these as well, but if you've ever done a boat project, you know it is rarely instant.  And each project often leads to 3 more.  But ticking each item of the list, regardless of how large the list became, was definitely motivating.  (Sometimes I even make a list of things I've done just so I can mark the stuff off!) And our gorgeous, reliable boat is the end result - so the work is worth it.

That all brings us to today.  What do we have left - and how the heck do we just keep chugging along on a path that is not exactly easy?  Because let's be clear - completely turning your life upside down and un-learning all of the materialistic tendencies that you've learned pretty much since birth is not an easy path.

We still have a couple of major projects we've purposely left for the end.  We will have our rigging and sails inspected/ repaired/ replaced as necessary.  We are still researching a water maker, and will get that installed.  And we are working on replacing some hatches and ports.  But it's winter here in Savannah. So they are the final items to tick off of our lists as it warms up around here.

So back to my question.  How the heck do we stay motivated to reach an invisible goal when it's too cold to do our projects and the exact date of departure is not yet planned?  VIDEOS!

Yep.  We are officially addicted to sailing videos.  And because no one likes to be an addict alone, I'm going to share some of our favorite YouTube channels with you.  I am so thankful for all of these people making their videos and keeping us motivated and working toward our goals - even on the days when it's 40 degrees outside and I'm on the dock sewing in 15 knot "breezes."

Our winter onboard is infinitely more entertaining with these people putting in the hours to provide our current motivation.  There are SO many more, but these are our present favorites:

MondayNever - My new favorite, probably because they are just setting out and I feel like I can watch in almost Real Time.

La Vagabond - The allure here initially was that they too are on a Beneteau.  But the videos are great and keep us hooked.

Delos - Most people who watch YouTube sailing videos know these guys.  Always entertaining, as the crew rotates out and there are always new stories to watch.

Wicked Salty - Can't wait for these two to get their new boat and get back out there!

Chase the Story - I've followed along off and on with TurftoSurf's blog - and am thrilled that they are now making fun videos!

Sailing Uma - A young couple bought a boat and are gutting it/rebuilding it as "green" as possible.

White Spot Pirates - the newest addition to my list of stackable Youtube channels.  Check her out as she (mostly) single-hands Karl and is refreshingly honest about what cruising is really like.

Not only are all these people keeping us motivated to move forward in our cruising plans, but they are encouraging me to learn video editing so that as soon as we get Out There we can start producing videos of our own.

Are you watching any sailing videos?  I'd love to get some more recommendations!  And how do you feel about bloggers turning vlogger?  Is that something you want to see?  If so, what sort of stuff do you want to see filmed?  And let's not forget the all important How in the world do you stay motivated for long term goals?!

Thanks for following along!


  1. Well, the way I stay motivated is a little different, although I like good sailing videos. I stay motivated by noticing my dear husband getting up at 5:00 in the blessed AM every morning and commuting for an hour to get to his job, then seeing how tired he is at the end of the day. We have two choices at this point in our lives: continue to live this way and see him get older and older from stress, or move our asses out of this kind of lifestyle. To stay in our house, he must keep working. I love my house, but I love my husband more and I want decades more with him in this life. So there it is. Everytime I begin to lose faith, or get too comfy on my big couch, I think of how hard he is working an what kind of toll that is taking on him. I work, too, but my work is flexible and local. Sometimes the videos help, too.

    1. I hear ya! I am counting down until Mark doesn't have to get up at 4:45am every stinking work day! I can certainly relate. I am so thankful he has a great job, but am ready for us to spend a good long time just enjoying traveling. I'm am 100% certain there will be stressors in our lives after we leave - but from what we have seen so far, the benefits of cruising definitely balance out the challenging times. :) Thanks for chiming in!

  2. I carried a picture of our boat in my planner (yes, I'm old school and like to use paper). When the day got tough, I would take a short time out and look at the picture. I would imagine being on a boat anchored in clear waters off a sandy beach. It made the day better and I would go back to work knowing why I was working.

    Now, we are here! We are living it every day and loving it. Do we miss the jobs that put us here. Heck no!

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

    1. Great to hear from you guys!

      Visual motivation is the key for me (thus the videos!) We have a dry-erase board with a count down to our estimated departure date. I just started it a month ago - and it is turning out to be a HUGE motivator! Watching those numbers tick down sure is keeping me on task for all the projects we have going.

      Maybe I need a picture of a full bank account to focus on next...! :)

  3. This is encouraging. Having recently rejiggered our plans, we're back to the "dreaming" phase for a bit while we work on filling our cruising kitty. Have you checked out White Spot Pirates? (https://www.youtube.com/user/WhiteSpotPirates) Very cool. :-)

    1. Hey Monica! I have watched 1 or 2 of her videos. I need to go back and watch more. Thanks for the reminder!
      Is the Cruising Kitty ever really full? I'm beginning to wonder...?!?

    2. Yeah, so it took me ENTIRELY too long to realize it was YOU that posted this comment. Geez. I am officially addicted to her channel now and am adding her to the list. :) Thank you!


We ♥ hearing your thoughts! ⚓️

Popular Posts