Find your motivation and get to it!

When you’re setting out to accomplish a goal what is the best way to get there? What drives you and keeps you from abandoning your goal?

Sometimes it’s helpful to set several small steps along the way to reaching your big goal. This way you will have a sense of accomplishment and this will keep you motivated.

When you set the goal, keep in mind your motivations for reaching this goal. If the only reason that you can think of is because someone else wants you to and/or you want to please someone else you are more likely to fail.

I’m sure this has happened to most of us. So, when writing down your goal, list your motivations for why you want to meet this goal so that you can stay motivated. You may list other’s desires, but yours should come first. Identifying your own motivations will help you to become your own cheerleader or support person.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • If you can find other support people this is helpful, but not necessary. Next put down what your reward or rewards will be. I say rewards because you can reward yourself for reaching steps along the way.
  • Next, it’s helpful to have and use positive statements. These can be written on sticky notes, paper or electronic, or put on 4×6 cards. You can find lots of good ones on the internet if you can’t think of any.
  • Post them where you will see and read them a lot. One good example I give people is, “I control my thoughts.” Or, if I’m trying to eat healthy and I am tempted I will ask myself, “Is this worth the calories?” Usually, it isn’t.
  • I have gotten so accustomed to saying this that it is automatic now. Just like when I’m shopping, I will ask myself, “Do you really need this?” It stops me, most of the time.
  • We are a society that focuses on food at our social events, so if you don’t eat it can be insulting to some people. Taking a small portion is usually acceptable.

Have your positive statements refer to you motivations. For example, if you were working out so that you’ll look good on the beach on vacation this summer, imagine how you will look and take those extra five or ten reps to help you get there.


Cynthia Logan, PhD is a psychologist and a nationally certified counselor. Learn more at


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