If I knew where the switch was to flip on a person’s motivation (not to mention inspiration) I’d be rich! But there are a few tried and true practices one can do to increase the chances of getting things started, and finished.

First off, tell others about your goal. If you keep it to yourself, no one will ask you how you’re doing, or encourage you along your way. Telling everyone what you’re planning to accomplish makes you just a tiny bit more “accountable.” And not wanting to let others down is often a strong impetus to get to work.

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” said the Little Engine that Could in that classic children’s story. Using positive self-talk to remind yourself that you’ve conquered other big goals is also an effective tool. I have a simple “mock up” of the cover of my first novel posted on the wall beside my computer. Every day it reminds me that my dreams are close at hand.

Rewards worked for us when we were in elementary school, and there’s strong evidence that the right reward will continue to keep us motivated. You probably won’t exercise 30 minutes a day all week for a scratch-and-sniff sticker, but wouldn’t an inexpensive pair of earrings, or a movie with a friend, be a good incentive?

There you have it, in three easy steps: Talk it up, tell yourself you can do it, and bring on the rewards! In no time at all you’ll be crossing another personal goal off your list and feeling the satisfying joy of accomplishment!

Way to go! You did it!