According to Merriam-Webster, motivation is a force or influence that causes someone to do something. The question is, what motivates you? If you work for someone else, is it pressure from a boss? If you're in business for yourself, is it pressure from a customer? Or are you one of those fortunate individuals who is self motivated? Whatever the answer, it's important to recognize that we are all motivated by something. If we weren't, nothing would ever get accomplished. With that in mind, wouldn't it be better to be self-motivated?

But how? How do you motivate yourself, and stay motivated long enough to achieve success?

To motivate yourself on a daily basis, you must set goals and monitor them on a daily basis. A good tool for doing that is the goals quadrant. Here's how it works.

Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a large square on it. Then divide the square into four quadrants. In the upper left quadrant write your ultimate goal (ie. annual gross sales). In the upper right quadrant write an interim benchmark (ie. monthly gross sales). In the lower left quadrant write another interim benchmark (ie. how many presentations you'll need to make each week to meet the monthly benchmark). Finally, in the lower right quadrant list the tasks you will need to complete today to meet your weekly benchmark. Here's an example of what a goals quadrant might look like:

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Of course, your goals quadrant will differ from the example given. You may have a longer term ultimate goal. Your interim benchmarks may have different time frames, and the specifics of those benchmarks will certainly differ. But the overall concept is the same.

By breaking your ultimate goals down using the goals quadrant, you can actively monitor your goals on a daily basis. That daily monitoring will not only keep you on track toward achieving your goals, it will help keep you motivated every day.

Zig Ziglar said:

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing--that's why we recommend it daily."

As you monitor your goals, you will undoubtedly need to make adjustments in some of your daily tasks in order to keep you on track toward meeting your your interim benchmarks and, in turn, your ultimate goal. That's to be expected.

The best time to review your goals and make necessary adjustments is first thing every morning. That may seem like a lot, but daily review is essential to staying on track and staying motivated. To make the adjustment process easier, and less time consuming, I recommend creating your goals quadrant in electronic format so that changes can be made without having to rewrite the entire document.

Whether you adopt the goals quadrant method or choose some other methodology, monitoring your goals daily is a great way to get and keep yourself motivated.

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