The Key to Staying Motivated to Achieve Your Dreams is Knowing How Far You’ve Come

motivational imageThe world has no shortage of dreamers. Unfortunately, far rarer are those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work on making their goals and dreams a reality.

In even shorter supply are those willing to stick to their plan when the going gets tough. And make no mistake there will always be challenging times to overcome along our journey. That’s just part of the deal. Don’t let it intimidate you into giving up short of your desired outcome.

Why is it that so many people give up short of seeing things through?

There are any number of reasons, but I’ll touch on just a few that I believe deserve extra attention and even more important I will give you some strategies you can implement to stay motivated and inspired to see your dreams through.

* Some people are programmed at a young age to quit or give up when the going gets tough.

It is sad to say, but not everyone has the necessary stick-to-it-ness to see a plan or goal through to completion. The next time you let your child quit on a commitment they’ve made, no matter how inconsequential it might seem, consider for a moment how doing so might be making it that much easier to quit the next time. This isn’t just for parents.

If this sounds familiar in your own life, then course correct. I’m not advocating staying in activities that aren’t enjoyable indefinitely, but I do believe in many cases you’ll be giving your kids a leg up if you’ll at least require them to honor their current commitment. For example, if you sign up for a class, stick to it until it is done.

If you start a sport, see it through to the end of the season and reevaluate at the end of the season. Don’t quit halfway through. Trust me, the ability to stick to things and see them through becomes incredibly valuable as we get older. The future generations can either learn it with their parents help or through life’s challenges, but make no mistake they are going to learn it one way or another.

* Be intentional about tracking the results of your pursuits and endeavors.

You have to know what is working and what’s not so you can take corrective action as needed. Often people will say, “practice makes perfect.” That’s not completely totally true. Rather, it is perfect practice that’s necessary. Make no mistake, no matter how much time you spend doing the wrong thing, or taking the wrong actions you will never get the good results you long for. Therefore you have to make sure you are taking “right actions.”

The way to ensure you are taking correct actions — those that will get you the results you’re after requires carefully tracking the steps you are taking each and every day. Writing down what is working, and understanding what isn’t. Then, recording your results and adjusting your daily plan based on what you learn.

* Your accomplishments build upon themselves.

I like to say it this way, “success begets success.” If you want to develop motivation, for any task, the trick isn’t to simply try to pump yourself up for it. Instead, get started on it, no matter how challenging at first, and you will quickly find that your reluctance fades and turns to motivation for the task at hand.

Here are a few ideas to make this work for you…

1. Keep a to do list.

Make sure you put your most important task first. By most important think in terms of what gives you the biggest return on investment of time for completion. I guarantee that as you knock out that first item you will see your motivation level take off. Reevaluate your list daily and write it out for the next day so that you’re all set to get started when you wake up.

2. Have a system in place to track your progress.

I touched on this above, but it is imperative that you know you’re actually making progress, not hoping you’re making progress, but actually being able to see that you are. There’s something incredibly motivating about being able to measure your results and see just how much progress you’re making on your goals and dreams.

Here is a simple way to track your income goals for the month. This is just one example you can use. It can either be used as a spreadsheet that you keep on your computer or digital device or simply print it out on paper each month. Take the time to track your progress and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what a difference it makes in keeping you motivated and on track each day.

Example income tracking template:

Goal: _________________ Month: ________

Date / Description of work performed / Amount

Date. Fill in info here. $ amount

Date. Fill in info here. $ amount

Date. Fill in info here. $ amount

Total earned: ______________

While the example above is for tracking a monthly income goal you can easily adjust it to whatever you would like. If you’re searching for a job or new career adjust the template and track how many times you reach out and apply for that new position you’re seeking. Remember, a goal un-tracked is at best a wish.

Friend, if something is worth pursuing it is worth taking the time to track your progress. It will make all the difference in keeping you motivated and inspired to see your endeavors through completion. Make no mistake, there is something incredibly empowering about being able to see before your own eyes just how much progress you are making.

Track your results along the way and staying motivated to achieve your intended outcome will be far easier than you could imagine. Combine tracking your progress with a daily dose of encouraging audio programs and or books and you will have a combinations that’s sure to catapult you to where you want to go.

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG
Josh Hinds
Josh Hinds is the founder of where he inspires people to live intentional lives. He is also the author of It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG.