Tanya Younce, M.Ed., LPCC


Motivation Education

It’s that time of year again when people are starting to look at the new year and decide what goals they want to achieve.  Last year, my big goal was to start my private practice, New Leaf Counseling, and I’m very proud that I was able to accomplish that one.  The goals for losing 15 lbs, buying a new car, and going on a trip to Chile with Tim did NOT come to fruition — but there’s always next year! 🙂

So what’s the most effective way to accomplish goals?  Numerous books, blogs, and articles have been written about this, but ultimately I think it has something in common with finding one’s Love Language, or teacher’s figuring out what their student’s best learning style is.  I’m not going to tell you there’s one sure-fire way to get goals accomplished.  You have to reflect upon your past successes and determine what the common denominators were in accomplishing them.   

What were you motivated by?  What helped you muscle through, when you didn’t feel like doing the work required?  Were there certain PEOPLE you needed to be around?  Was there a specific STRATEGY you used?  Did you need structure, or were you someone who did better with having a looser agenda?  Take this quiz to get you started thinking:

A.   I definitely need structure and plan of action to accomplish my goals.
B.   I do better if I can “go with the flow” and see what mood and energy level is for the day.

A.   I like to treat myself to something whenever I accomplish mini goals along the way.
B.   I don’t really need rewards along the way – the end result is reward enough.

A.   Being with another person, or group of people, is helpful because it holds me more accountable.
B.   I’d much rather go it alone and not join any groups or have any partners.

A.   I’m someone who needs to write things down, like creating a mealplan or chart to stay focused on what I’m doing.
B.   Writing things down and creating charts seems like too much work to me.

A.   I do best if I have a coach, mentor, or other type of teacher to lead me from Point A to Point B.
B.   I’d rather be self-motivated and learn things by doing my own research.

A.   I tend to get discouraged and lose motivation if I don’t see immediate results.
B.   I’m realistic and patient enough to know I may have to delay gratification and wait for results.

A.   I get easily bored with doing the same routine.  I need variety and creativity to keep me interested.
B.   I do better with the same routine because it means I don’t have to think too much.  I like consistency.

A.   I find myself soaking up other people’s energy – whether it’s positive or negative – like a social chameleon.
B.   I’m like Popeye – “I y’am what I y’am” – and other people’s energy doesn’t really affect me.

A.   Sometimes I wonder if I have Attention Deficit Disorder – “Squirrel!” – because I get so easily distracted.
B.   If I have a goal and am sufficiently motivated, I can ignore minor distractions.

A.   Watching reality shows like “The Biggest Loser” or “American Idol,” or a movie like “Rocky” motivate and inspire me.
B.   Reading biographies or talking to others about their achievements are what motivate and inspire me. 

 If you answered mostly A:  You are someone who needs structure, a support group, creativity, periodic rewards, and visual inspirations to keep you motivated and on course.  You know yourself well enough that distractions and any delay in gratification can contribute to extinguishing your internal “fire,” so you’ll need extra help to stay focused and keep your eye on the ball.  It’s also helpful to have someone else lead you sometimes, so you’re not the only one behind the wheel.
If you answered mostly B:  You find the thought of pre-set plans too limiting and need to just focus on one day at a time.  You feel capable enough to do your own research and motivate yourself, rather than needing a coach or support group to teach or cheer you on.  You’re patient and don’t need to reward yourself or see immediate results very often.  Consistent habits are easier for you than coming up with a variety of strategies.  You tend to be more practically minded, independent, and introverted.

Whether you’re an A or a B, there are a myriad of resources you can use to fit your Inspiration Type.  Here are some WEBSITES that you can customize to fit your needs.  Browse through them to see what might be a good fit for you:

This is a free site where you can create a cool profile (upload ‘before’ pictures or other pictures that inspire you), set your weight and other goals, track your food intake and exercise, and read articles on fitness, motivation, lifestyle choices, and nutrition.  You can even earn points toward rewards.

If you’ve always dreamed of completing a marathon, this site helps you with finding local races, where to run, workouts to improve your stamina and strength, nutrition, and more.

This is a very inspirational site that helps you create a 100-day challenge for any goal(s) you want to achieve.  It’s a great place to become part of a community of like-minded people.  You can post video or written blogs, join online support groups, and post pictures of your progress.  It also encourages daily practices like looking at your Vision Board, meditation, and doing affirmations.

This site helps you with goals you may already have, but also give you ideas for what to put on your life’s bucket list.  You can make your goals public or private, but if you make the public, it’s cool to see how many other people share the same goal(s)!  It links up with Facebook and Pinterest so you can access tons of articles and blogs on a variety of goal topics.

If you’re the kind of person who really needs more motivation, this site gives you an option to put money on the line.  If you don’t achieve it, stickK will send your money to a friend, charity, or an organization you don’t like! (LOL – talk about incentive to make sure you achieve your goal).  The site says that your chances of success when you put actual money on the line increases up to 3 times!

This is a website to search for special interest groups in your area – everything from dancing to education to languages and lifestyles.  And if you can’t find a group in your area, you can start one of your own!  Meetup also has an app for your iPhone or Android that you can download, to keep in touch with members of your group.

If you’re more of a MOVIES person (like I am), here are some that I routinely recommend to my clients that make you think and inspire you to do great things:

Rocky (any of them)                         The Shawshank Redemption
The Horse Whisperer                        The Pursuit of Happyness
The Blind Side                                  The Secret
Good Will Hunting                            Pay it Forward
Shirley Valentine                              Rudy

Goal-setting is an integral part of living a LIMITLESS LIFE.  YOU were given YOUR unique life to see how much you can make of it.  So let’s see: 

How far can you stretch yourself?   
How many amazing experiences can you have in your lifetime?
What gifts are you meant to cultivate and give to the world?
What barriers are you going to be able to overcome?

The possibilities are endless, and knowing HOW you are motivated is the first step toward climbing whatever summits you’d like to reach.  So latch on to whatever motivates you and get ready to s….t….r…e…t…c….h your life!

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