It’s no secret that, to achieve anything meaningful in life, it’s important to show up every day and put in a good deal of hard work.

Whether you want to be an artist, an entrepreneurial success story, a property magnate, or anything else, you’re going to need to develop the skill of knuckling down and grinding on, even – actually, especially – on those days when you really don’t feel like doing the work.

Of course, that’s easier said than done, and when you’re really demotivated and disheartened, it can be all too easy to give in to the temptation to slack off.

Here are a few things that you should rely on to keep you motivated when you really don’t feel like doing the work.

Your (well-defined) vision of your perfect outcome and life

You need a strong, compelling vision to drive you forward and keep you engaged, when your immediate impulse is to slack off, make excuses, and give up.

What this essentially means, is that you need to develop a well-defined vision of your perfect outcome, and your perfect life. You need to be able to see what success looks like, and get a clear sense of how tantalising it is.

This success will mean different things to different people. Maybe success, for you, involves the idea of owning a luxury series of Mark Saunders homes. For someone else, it might be having a bestseller non-fiction book in print.

Be clear on what it is you’re working for, in any case. And then, also visualise the cost of failing to live up to your potential. That should help to scare you into line.

The love of the work itself

Ideally, if you are dedicating a major proportion of your time to working on a particular endeavour, that endeavour should be the kind of thing that is uplifting and encouraging enough that you are able to motivate yourself to do the work simply through your love of the work itself.

Of course, life is a bit complicated, and we all have to work hard at times on things we don’t like or care about.

The message here, though, is that you should always be trying to reorient your life so that the work that you spend most of your time doing is work that you actually care about. Do whatever you can to rearrange things in that way, and everything is likely to fall into place much more effectively.

Good working habits

Quite often, the ability to grind on regardless of whether we feel like it or not, is a matter of habit as much as anything else.

You should do what you can to instil good working habits, so that you “go through the motions,” if nothing else, when you have to.

Among other things, working to a set and daily routine, tracking your projects and tasks with reliable manager system, avoiding distractions during the day and optimising “deep work” blocks, and even just getting enough sleep, will help.