I want you to keep in mind that your performance is determined not only by your ability but also most importantly by your motivation. Isn't that somewhat relieving and empowering!
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Over the years, I've developed a few strategies that have worked for me as well as for friends, business associates, coworkers, employees, and management that I have supported in terms of achieving goals. Previously, I've created and lead sessions of the interactive workshop on "How to Motivate Yourself to Succeed!" So to have more people, like yourself, benefit from this knowledge, I'm going to share some of my secrets with you.

Before we move into discussing the motivational strategies, I want you to keep in mind that your performance is determined not only by your ability but also most importantly by your motivation.

Isn't that somewhat relieving and empowering! Because realizing this concept of motivation allows you to see how you have a huge degree of influence on the outcome by the decisions and actions you take to achieve that aspiration.

If we learn to change our approach when we are struggling to achieve something, then giving up doesn't have to be an option. Who said you have to be the best in everything you do? Not being athletic enough or smart enough or artistic enough or talented enough, doesn't mean you can't play a sport or make the honor roll or take amazing/artistic photos or sing/dance. And if you believe you can't do something because you aren't good enough, well then you believe in nonsense, which is holding you back!

Let me share a confession with you. I wasn't by any means an athletic person in middle school or high school. In fact, I tried out for several sports and the kickline/danceline team, and didn't make any of them. I only made the badminton team because they didn't cut anyone who came down for tryouts and practice. However, today, I'm proud to say I'm a runner who trains to finish races at a better personal time then my previous race. Then after being a runner for three years, that's when I finished my first half marathon, in September 2011 at the Hamptons Half-Marathon in East Hampton, N.Y. It wasn't until I decided that I was going to become a runner and learn to love something I hated that's when everything changed.

Another key concept with success is commitment. Commitment is absolutely necessary in order to achieve goals. You can say you will do something, but until you actually make a decision to commit to it and follow through with the relevant steps, you will most likely not see progress and achievement towards that desired outcome.

So here are some Strategies to Motivate Yourself to Succeed!

1- Visualize the short-term and long-term benefits of achieving that goal/dream

- What does it look like? How are you feeling and experiencing that moment? Bring those feelings into the visualization.
- Who is there celebrating with you and enjoying your experience?
- What are the benefits/rewards to achieving this goal?

Sometimes rather than visualization, it's just an intuitive feeling and thought that comes to you that moves you closer to your goal or dream. Trust this intuition and believe you will achieve this goal. Then follow through with action steps to get you there.

This is seriously a very effective approach that literally has created amazing opportunities and results for me! Time and time again, while I'm on practice runs, I visualize myself crossing the finish line in a race and who is there cheering me on. It's such a confidence booster and allows you to move pass your doubts and fears.

2- Create "healthy" competition with yourself!

One of my favorite approaches! If someone doesn't believe you can do it, then prove that person wrong. How? By showing them that you can achieve that goal, and even exceed that goal. Go after exceeding your expectations and the expectations of those who don't support you. Show yourself and them otherwise!

Tell yourself this when you or someone doesn't believe you can do it. Repeat in your mind this self mantra: "I'm going to step up and prove everyone wrong. I am or I will be ______ (fill in the blank of what or who you want to become - can be a trait, occupation, and the outcome desired)."

Ex: "I'm going to step up and prove everyone wrong. I am going to college and I will achieve my bachelor's degree."

3- Build in rewards for yourself along the way.

- You want to provide yourself with rewards/recognition for each step of the goal achieved.
- Celebrate the big accomplishment/goal in a bigger way, if you can.
- Reward should match goal type -- accomplishing small steps compared to achieving the entire goal.
- We may need to create these recognition opportunities for ourselves.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to have this already built into the goal we are working towards like receiving a medal just for crossing the finish line at a half marathon regardless of your time. That's right -- you don't have to be the fastest runner to receive a medal. You better believe I wanted something to show for that journey of all that hard training and finishing the race itself! I plan to run a few more half marathons and have a collection of medals.

4- Have a theme song or a collection of theme songs to get you psyched about the opportunity and the process towards the goal.

- Any song(s) that gets you feeling positive and energized.
- Enhance your visualization of the goal outcome by playing theme songs while visualizing.
- It really takes you to that moment of success and makes you feel that it has already happened. It's an amazing and powerful technique!

Right now, I'm really feeling "The Good Life" by One Republic, "Raise Your Glass" by Pink, "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida, "We Found a Love" by Rihanna as my theme songs. With adventures, travel, making an impact with the teens/college students, celebrations, and love all in sight for me!

Again, it's not enough to make the decision, commitment, visualize the outcome with theme songs, and repeat the mantra over and over again, as you will need to follow through with the necessary actions to achieve your goal. To further support you with achieving your goals, I'm including in this blog a goal-setting worksheet based on the concept of SMART goals that you can start using today.

Over the next few weeks, we'll review a few more motivation strategies to move you closer to the desired outcome you seek. So check back and see you then! In the mean time, tell me what strategies you have implemented to motivate you to succeed, whether these or other ones.

Originally posted January 2012 on Courageous & Remarkable Self blog

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