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Faith WoodIt’s no secret that life can be tough. And there are a lot of distractions lately that can feel like they’ll prevent you from going after big dreams and big goals. Some of you may not even have set new year’s resolutions.

It’s easy to get caught up in a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, but that won’t help you conquer the year ahead.

Motivation is the one variable that allows you to push yourself when those around you give up. It will allow you to seek out one challenge after another to conquer.

If you’re experiencing a dry spell in the way of motivation, or even if you’ve never thought of yourself as a driven individual but would like to become one, then these tips are for you.

Know your why

While it may seem obvious, knowing your reasoning and passion behind anything you pursue is critical.

When you first set out to accomplish a goal, your reason for doing so typically starts out pretty clear. However, somewhere in the grind of working towards this goal, this foundation can quickly become obscured.

Make no mistake, any time you’re tirelessly working toward something worthwhile, no matter how important, there will be days when you feel less motivated than other days. Remaining conscious of why you started on this path in this first place serves as your second (or third, or fourth) wind to get back up and keep pushing.

Know your direction

Extreme motivation has a tendency to cause you to put your head down and work like a maniac. While there are times that this mindset is beneficial, some sense of direction must be maintained. Big goals rarely consist of just going from point A to point B.

Instead, it’s important to have a general outline in mind of each step towards your destination.

So, yes, keeping your nose to the grindstone is a must. But looking up every now and then to adjust and begin the next phase of your blueprint is the only way to continue heading in the right direction.

Allow small victories

No matter how much (or little) motivation you have towards a goal, failing to enjoy small successes in pursuit of the finish line is a sure way to run out of gas before you get there.

While resting on your laurels and settling for less than what you want must be avoided, depriving yourself of fulfilment along the way is also detrimental.

In pursuit of your goals, take some time to reward yourself when you accomplish one of the (often many) small steps to get there.

You versus you, not you versus them

This is a step that almost all of us need to hear. Keep in mind that your goals are your goals. Letting other people’s pursuits dictate what you strive for is a slippery slope.

After all, you will never find the motivation required to achieve anything great without a personal conviction to do so. Whatever it is you want, the only comparison to be made is to the person you were the day before.

Controlled tunnel vision

Whatever big goal or achievement you’re after most likely involves only one facet of your life. Whether this goal is career, athletic or personally oriented, the rest of your life isn’t going to stop while you go after it.

It’s inevitable that much of your motivation and energy is going to be focused on the biggest victory you’re after.

However, I can assure you that your sense of fulfilment will be diminished upon reaching the finish line and realizing you’ve neglected every other facet of who you are to get there.

Balance is always key. Don’t let the rest of your life fall to the wayside while you chase one dream!

Troy Media columnist Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications. 

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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