Tell us your specific recipe. Some recipes will trace very quickly without the use of a stick blender at all, while others will take hours of hand-stirring with a spoon or a stick to thicken at all. So recipe is important if you want us to give specific advice.
Generally, though, some things that can speed up trace when only hand-stirring:
Heat - warm you oils. Hot process will bring it to trace sooner. Do some research on how to hot process, if you want to try that route.
Use more hard oils in your recipe. Again, knowing your recipe would certainly give us something to go on.
Use additives that create heat to speed up trace. Sugary or alcohol containing liquids will heat up the batter as it interacts with the lye, thus speeding up trace. Again, do some research about working with things like beer in soap or honey in soap, etc. It may be too late for that with this particular recipe, however, because you would only be diluting an already dilute solution and you probably would not gain much from that.
Use a Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil that heats up the batter and therefore speeds up trace. If you have any & have done the research and base the decision on reviews of said FO or EO that indicate it speeds trace.
Ensure the recipe is accurate and reasonable by running it through a lye calculator (try the one here or any other online soap calculator that you choose.) This is especially important because even in books, online, here at our Soapmaking Forum, and even from friends, typos happen and the only way to make sure is to verify via proper calculations. Lye calculators help with that. Or you could learn the calculations and do them all by hand, but with lye calculators, it's a lot easier and less opportunity for mistakes.
Make sure the lye you are using is good (fresh, not old and clumpy from too much exposure to the moisture in the air) and the correct type for the recipe (using KOH instead of NaOH is a common enough error it has to be mentioned.)
So, in summary, please share your current recipe, specifics, all ingredients, all amounts, temperatures if you took them, or at least indicate a general temperature of lye solution and oils (like room temperature or warm to the touch, or cold from the fridge, or something to give us a general idea of temperature). Also if you did use a lye calculator, which one and what were the settings? (Superfat percentage, Lye: Water ratio or Lye Concentration or Water as % of Oils - different calculators have slightly different defaults for some of these settings, so it's important to know when telling us your process.)
@TheGecko@Krysam Cheryl. I'm so glad to hear you say that. For the soaping that I did 2 and 3/4 years ago, I was always trying to reach trace before pouring into my soap bar molds. More recently, it took me until after about half of the batches that I made was, once the batter emulsified, get to pouring it, get it in the molds and get the mixing bowl rinsed out with hot water. It turns out that waiting until trace, in my opinion is for the people making layered, artsy types of soap. I'm just making soap bars for the homestead.