7 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Achieve Your Goals

Last edited on 23 Dec 2016

7 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Achieve Your Goals

The journey of achieving your goals requires a regular supply of motivation.


Image Source: I Trust My Journey

Everyone pursues goals. Some chase professional goals, like wanting to becoming an air force pilot. Others have goals that are more personal, like marrying a smart and attractive person. Pursuing such goals gives our lives meaning and purpose.

While the setting of goals and taking the initial steps constitute an exciting time, the energy starts to fizzle out as we begin to question our motives. It's the classic pitfall of losing sight of the possibilities that once existed. This makes the journey towards achieving one's goals long and tumultuous. And that's why many people eventually quit.

What's required is a regular supply of motivation. Reminding yourself of the true intention and purpose of your chase can help you stay the course and reach the finish line in spite of the hurdles.

Here, we look at ten ways in which you can motivate yourself to stay on your path and cross the finish line.

1. Balance your enthusiasm for your goals.

Initially, you're all excited about your passion project. You do much more than you need to — a classic case of biting off more than you can chew — and feel excited about it. But then, you eventually exhaust yourself. After a point, you no longer have the energy to even do what you're supposed to. This slows down the journey considerably, and sometimes even brings things to a total halt.

You should balance out your energy instead. No matter how strong the urge to run at breakneck speed, hold yourself back. Take small steps and use only as much energy as is necessary. This will help you conserve your energy for a later time, when things are tougher to take forward. This will ensure that you can sustain your chase.

2. Make your goals clearly visible.

Goals exist within our minds, where they jostle with a million other thoughts. We try to focus on our goals when we need to, but get trapped in a maze by all the other thoughts running through our mind. Rather than struggle to reach into your brain to bring your goals to the fore, make them tangible. Writing your goals down on sheet of paper and sticking them up on the wall is an effective way, for instance. Or do a collage of all the ideas relating to your goal. Such means will help you visualize your goals better and see them more clearly every day, rather than having to struggle to organize your thoughts.

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Image Source: SCSU Campus Rec

3. Break your goals down into mini-goals.

A regular entry on a to-do list often reads something like, “get a driving license” or “plan for the trip to Malaysia.” While it's reasonable to mark these things as goals, it's also harder to make such things happen if they're noted in this form. Writing it in this way compels us to think through all the intermediate steps needed to achieve the goal. Frankly, you'd make your life a whole lot easier if you broke down a simple goal like “get a driving license” into mini-goals. Here's an example:

a) Download the application form at 11 am, Thursday
b) Fill up the form Friday evening
c) Submit the form at 12 noon, Saturday
d) Take the driving test on the assigned day, and so on.

This is a simplistic representation of the process, but you can already see how you've created a road map for achieving your goal. This can be a highly effective process, and you should try it in every area of your life.

4. Make the process of pursuing your goals pleasurable.

If the whole process of going after your goals seems like hard work, you're never going to enjoy the journey. And no matter how euphoric the feeling of achieving your goals, at the end of the day, it's the journey that you'll cherish forever. You should therefore try to make the process of achieving your goals pleasurable. You'll then look forward to working on it rather than putting it off or giving up on it altogether.

How do you make it pleasurable? Think of all the things you like doing. For example, you could listen a playlist comprising your favorite songs while working on it. Or you can work towards your goals by working at a place that you love and makes you feel inspired.

5. Reward yourself for small wins.

Reward yourself in a way that you see fit every time you achieve a milestone. Don't wait for big things to happen before you do that. Celebrate every small win along the way. And do it in a way that you enjoy, be it with a nice bottle of whiskey or by sleeping in for half a day and spending the evening at the local library. (Or it could even be something as small as a scoop of ice cream.) Rewards help you gain appreciation for the work that you're putting in. Rewarding yourself, instead of waiting for others to do it for you, frees you up from reliance on others.

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Image Source: AMT

6. Actively seek out inspiration every day.

There will be tough days on this journey, days when you'll not feel like doing anything towards achieving your goals. In these times, you'll be desperately searching for some fuel for your actions. This is when you need to look for inspiration. It could be in the form of books, films, TV shows, and the like. Seek out your heroes. If they are people who live in the same area as you, you should meet them from time to time and speak to them about what you're doing and ask for their advice. Sponge off them (not financially) — learn everything you can from them. This will keep you inspired on your journey and pumped up to tackle any challenges that come your way.

7. Write a journal every day during this journey.

Writing is a process of introspection and self-examination. Putting all your thoughts on paper may look like an ordinary act from the outside, but is a deeply personal act of self-exploration. While you're on this journey, you should write a journal regularly, if not every day, pouring out all your thoughts on to paper and learning valuable lessons along the way. At a time when self-help is all the rage, journal writing is a pure form of self-help. It can help you guide yourself on this journey, course-correcting yourself whenever necessary. Writing a journal is crucial for your overall development, and you should definitely try to do it regularly.

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