Motivation is a hot topic when it comes to both business acumen and self-help. No matter if you’re a stay-at-home parent or a Fortune 500 businessperson, you look for ways to be motivated and make your life easier.

One of the easiest ways to find motivation strategies is to simply look around online – you’re sure to find hundreds of clickbait articles titled “The 100 Lifehacks for a Motivation Makeover” or “The 5 Motivation Strategies That Work Overnight!” These titles promise you quick methods of motivation…but do they actually work?

Some might, but many are guaranteed to fail. If you’ve recently looked for motivational resources and come across these four strategies, consider the following information – then find strategies that DO work.

Write Your Way to Success

Many self-help gurus have advocated that you’re what’s standing in the way of your own success, and this is true in many cases. However, these same people will give you a very pseudo-scientific method for getting out of your own way that involves writing down or thinking about your goals and eventually they’ll magically happen!

This is definitely an oversimplification. While writing down your goals and organizing them can help you achieve them, you still have to put the work in. If success was as simple as writing an essay, we’d all achieve everything we ever wanted.

Doing Your Best is (Not) Okay!

When we tell someone to do their best, they’re usually a child who has self-esteem and a self-image that needs to be shielded. We cannot expect excellence or doing more than what they’re currently capable of from a toddler. We can, however, expect adult human beings to try and do more than they’re capable of.

Many motivation resources say to not be hard on yourself and accept your best, but this doesn’t actually motivate anyone to do better – it allows you to make up an excuse when your supposed best isn’t good enough.

Treat Yourself

Is it bad to reward yourself from doing well? No – but motivation shouldn’t rely on unhealthy habits. For instance, imagine that you promise yourself a cupcake every time you complete an important task. You check off your four item to-do list, and thus you owe yourself four cupcakes. Does this sound healthy?

Another popular reward method is shopping, or other ways of spending money. The more you complete tasks, the more money you spend on yourself. These kinds of reward methods can actually do more harm than good.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Is thinking positively a bad thing? No, not at all. However, motivation that focuses only on positivity and not changing bad habits or creating good routines is essentially useless.

The major difference in positivity being used correctly and incorrectly is how easily success is supposed to come. For instance, unrealistic optimists may believe success is inevitable as long as they remain optimistic. Meanwhile realistic optimists understand that success isn’t guaranteed, but keeping positive and working hard can make success all the more possible.