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Staying Motivated and Achieving Your Goals

By: Ken Austin

One definition of motivation is, why people do what they do. Wwhen you do not make yourself stick to your goals, Long-term motivation can be difficult. While it is true that most people make goals, those who are successful have the drive and discipline to achieve their goals and dreams.

People find different things to motivate them. While some individyuals are driven by internal or intrinsic motivation, others need extrinsic motivation, or outside forces, to help them stay on track. One of the easiest wats to help you achieve your goals is to make a contract with yourself and work hard to stick to it. Sign it, date it and keep track of it.

Creating an outline is the first step in making a contract with yourself to stay motivated. When making an outline in your contract, you will list long-term goals, short-term goals, payoffs and benefits, rewards and a detailed action plan. By having everything you need to know about achieving your goals, you will stay motivated.

Prior to making your outline, take some time and think about what exactly you want to accomplish. Do you want to reorganize your home, or do you want to try out a new fitness plan? Do you want to go back to school and finish a degree?  Whatever it is, you will need to do some research and understand each step you will need to accomplish.

When listing your long-term goals, make a list of the things you want to achieve within one to three years. Try as much as possible to be very specific so you will know exactly what you are working towards.

If you want to lose twenty pounds, your long-term goals will be to lose the weight through exercise and diet. Your long-term goals will be your end result that you are working towards. This works for almost any goal and will help you in staying focused and motivated to reach your goals.

Short-term goals will be things that you want to accomplish within weeks or months. If you are working on going back to school, your short-term goals may be to request school applications and catalogs or to talk to a financial aid office about your payment options.

Your short-term goals should be specific and should be something that you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Short-term goals are also important because once you finish one goal; you will feel motivated by knowing you are one step closer in reaching that long-term goal.

Your next step in making a contract with yourself is to list payoffs and benefits of your goals and achievements. While losing weight is a benefit, you will want to list the reason why you want to lose weight.

Maybe the payoff is fitting into a certain size jeans again or looking great for an upcoming reunion. Maybe it is because you want to better your health by losing weight. Again, you should be specific when you set these benefits in your contract because it will help you stay motivated.

Now you can think about rewards. Rewards are important when you are setting goals for yourself. When you think about rewards, think about the fun things that you will accomplish by reaching your goals. Lose that weight and buy a new dress. Reorganize you house and get a new couch. Whatever you think it the best part about reaching your goals, use that as a reward to help stay motivated.

The final part in setting a contract with yourself is to have a specific action plan. An action plan will tell you what steps you need to take to reach your final goal. It is here that you will list what you need to change, do, or accomplish in a day, a week, a month or a year. This action plan will help keep you motivated to reach your end goal. List your action plan and keep it in mind everyday you are working towards your goal.

When you take the time to make an official contract with yourself, you will stay motivated and ready to reach your goals. It will be easier when you can see your long and short-term goals in writing and know what rewards and benefits are waiting for you along the way. Your action plan will help you stay on track when you are working hard to accomplish your goals and dreams.

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About the Author:

Ken Austin is the webmaster at, your resource for motivational tips.

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