At last, you summoned up the motivation to achieve your goals, but somewhere along the line your inspiration began to drift. Do you have any accountability for those aims? Hmmm. Did you give yourself a timeframe? Do you record or write them down anywhere or just ponder it in your pretty little head? Believe it or not, writing resolutions down actually makes them tangible and sets you up to accomplish them. Print it out. Post it somewhere – anywhere. I would write it down to help me remember; but there’s a good chance I’ll forget where I wrote it.

Do you know what I’m thinking? Because I forgot… But seriously, whip out your notepad or Excel file so you can check on yourself regularly. Just make sure you have a spreadsheet to check your hundreds of other spreadsheets. You know the feeling when you get an Excel function right on the first try? Me neither.

Wearing all black today to mourn the loss of your motivation? Sometimes your train of thought derails and there are no survivors. I get it. But tell me something: Why do you want to accomplish that goal? Do you have a higher purpose? In order to take action, you need a determining force. More money? Perhaps it is to be able to send your son to a school of your choice. That, my friends, is the real meaning.

Your ideals may be excellent and exceptional, but see to it that you have an encouraging, enthusiastic, supportive network of family or friends. You know, teamwork means never having to take all the blame yourself. Ever try to get shade from a single leaf? Try whistling that symphony without the whole orchestra. You catch my drift: Working together actually works.

How do you talk to yourself? Negative thoughts? Just let them pass. And they will. People don’t seem to “get you”? Chase dreams; not people. At times, other people’s perception of you can be more enlightening than your own sense of yourself. Sometimes, feedback offers us an opportunity to improve. Of course, when you’re a giraffe and receive criticism from turtles, just remember that they are commenting on the view from the level they are on.

Build a habit and do it religiously – till it becomes automatic. You used to grab a muffin and a coffee first thing every morning. This morning, I drank water because it’s healthy...warmed up…and poured over coffee grounds in a mug. COFFEE, okay… I drank coffee. Ah, mornings. If we were meant to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters. But try putting on your sneaks and doing a quick run or walk. Yes, I said “run,” not “rum.” Hey, you know you’re a runner when the most expensive shoes you own – are sneakers. I know. Exercise may not solve your life’s problems, but neither does the office or housework.

Program your brain by anticipating stumbling blocks instead of making believe they won’t exist. Devise a strategy. Instead of giving up, plan to call the one friend who won’t let you quit on yourself. Don’t get caught up with end results. Instead, try to stay in the moment. Think of your aim as oxygen, because it is what gives your life meaning, after all. Be bound and determined if nothing else.

Yes, there will be obstacles, hindrances, and hurdles – small and large. No stopping at each roadblock, please. Valid reasons are not the same as excuses, sweet friends. Anticipate challenge in the way of other people. He’s criticizing you again? Consider the source, please, and make sure she had enough knowledge before she made that snarky comment. If you truly believe this is a desirable action for you to take, then keep focusing on your destination. And enjoy the journey while you’re at it. Not everyone needs to “get it.”

Always pursue good and try to be better. If you are driven by social pressure or seeking approval from others, it may not be a goal you can truly stand behind. If you are serious about making the change, ask yourself: How, when, and where am I going to do what needs to be done? Don’t worry about getting to the mountaintop. Simply take the very first step. Start small. Make your first goal ridiculously easy. There’s nothing wrong with mini-goals. No half-marathons for you just yet. I know. You do marathons – on Netflix. You go running when you have to; like when the ice cream truck is doing 60.

But truly, make sure your intentions actually fit within your life. Find the right conditions and unleash the impetus and inspiration that has been within you all along. You got stuck? That’s okay. Find that trusted friend and share your frustrations and fizzle. They can help you reset and fill up your tank.

When you pursue things that matter, you have a happier life. It’s as simple and complicated as that. Positive motivation always works better. Is this something you really want to do? Too many aims at one time will sap your energy. Don’t have the energy today? Just start. Trust me, sweet friends: It’s never as hard as you thought it would be.

Don’t forget to celebrate your milestones. I have two milestones at work: 1) Lunch, and 2) Leaving. Just kidding. Visualize. Close your eyes and tell me: What will your result feel, look, smell, or taste like? Get that mental picture of yourself succeeding as clear as you possibly can. And don’t forget what they say: It’s always too soon to quit.


Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.

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