• Erica

So You've Set a Goal, Now What?: Know What's Motivating You

Updated: May 22, 2020

You've decided to go for it and do something life-changing. Adrenaline is pumping as enthusiasm and an energetic light emanates from your being. You've decided to do that thing you've always wanted to do. You're stoked! You're pumped! You're rearing to go! Let's do this! All these great plans and thoughts for your future are all running through your head, a million miles a minute. So now the work begins. The hard work. The work that requires perseverance, persistence, and grit. That work can knock the enthusiasm with which you began your journey right out of you. Ka-PUT! That work wears you down. Wears you out and makes you question whether you can make it to the light at the end of the tunnel. This is where it is critical to know why you decided to go for it anyway. This is where knowing why you started can save your journey. As you begin the journey of achieving a goal you've set for yourself, know exactly why you're doing.

Motivation is everything. It is the gas that fills your tank when it's empty. It keeps you going when the journey gets tough. The journey will get tough. There will be times where doubt and fear are nails in the road. Your motivation is your spare tire. Fill your tank. Change your tire. Know your motivation. In 2007, when I started medical school, I had an eight month old and this ambitious goal of becoming a doctor. Before getting started, people would ask how I planned on attending medical school with a baby. My answer was attend medical school with a baby. Did I think it was going to be easy? No. However, I was highly motivated. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be successful for my son. I wanted to show I could do it. When times became tough, and there were definitely tough times, I relied on my faith and fell back onto my motivation. My motivation pushed me to rely on my faith and the support I had from my family and boyfriend, now husband. I had to remember why I was doing what I was doing. Know why.

If you're doing grueling, back breaking work, having a motivating reason you're doing it gives you the energy and the push you need to see it through. Let's say you're digging a ten mile ditch. It's one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and all you have is a garden shovel. It's hot you're miserable and facing what seems to be an impossible task. However, at the moment you're ready to throw that shovel down, you remember why you're out there in the first place. You're doing it as part of an effort to bring fresh water to a small village with no fresh water supply. If that's motivating you, it keeps you going. You clearly have a long road ahead, but you're feeding off a cause you find worthy of your strenuous efforts. It pushes you to continue on when faced with the temptation of quitting. A more practical and likely example would be you decided to lose the weight your doctor has been urging you to lose, so that you can gain better control of your health. Perhaps in an effort to improve your high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes or heart disease. One day, you realize you want to live the healthiest life that you can so that you can enjoy and play with the addition coming to your family, a child. As you embark on that journey, you keep that baby in mind. You see yourself playing and chasing with the new extension of your family coming soon. You want to spend as many precious moments as possible with this kid. That baby is the fuel in your tank. Your map is the journey to your goal. You get in the car and motivation fills your tank.

When beginning a journey towards attaining a goal, think about what is motivating you to do such. Really think about it. It is critical to have a strong grasp as to what is driving you. Perhaps write it down. If you have several, you could write those down and decide if there's one that moves you more than the others. When we decided to change our eating habits by eating whole food and less processed food, we started for the health of a family member. The fact we were doing something difficult and trying for her made it easier to continue to pursue success when the going got tough. The key is that you know, really know, what's going to keep you going or get you back on track when your journey gets rough. Without knowing your motivation, it is much easier to get lost and forget what you're doing and why you're even doing it. Your motivation is your clarity. Be clear and focused about your goals. Know your motivation.

Always striving to help,


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