A few months ago you have made a New Year's resolution regarding fitness. You have made them before... and failed miserably. But it's different this time around. You decide this will be the year you get those abs. You renew your gym membership. You research healthy foods. You Google workout plans. You go grocery shopping, picking up everything fresh, frozen, low-fat, gluten-free, and full of kale. You dust off the good old MyFitnessPal app. For about a week, you consistently eat right and work out.

Then one, random morning, your alarm goes off at 5:00 A.M. You know you need to go work out, but you just aren't into it that morning. You decide to sleep in. You eat a healthy breakfast but upon arriving to work, you find that one of your project team members has brought two-dozen fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donuts (your favorite) for the whole project team. It's also your boss's birthday, and the team wants to treat her to lunch. And not just any lunch. They're going to the new Italian spot that serves all of the rich, cheesy foods that you love. Since you missed the gym that morning, and you're already on your fourth donut within the hour, you figure, "Why not?" You'll make it up in the gym, right?

Fast forward a week later, and you are right back where you started with all of your other resolutions: Failing miserably. How and why does this keep happening?

The answer lies in motivation.

Motivation is simply the energy that drives discipline. When someone sets a goal and determines to be successful in any endeavor, motivation is what drives them. Everyone can be excited at the beginning of the journey. However, the battle is won in those moments when you have setbacks, encounter obstacles, or really just, "don't feel like it." The dirty secret about staying motivated is that you won't always feel motivated. Sometimes, you will have to set out to do something even when you don't feel it. Those are the moments when you have to reach deep within and find that motivation--that energy--to practice discipline and accomplish the task paving the way to achieving your goal.

Despite those mundane moments in the trenches when you have to keep going despite a lack of motivation, there are tons of proven methods of How to motivate yourself. Below are a few ways to find your goal's muse.

1. Find The Source - What drives you? What keeps you going? What is the end game? Whether it's owning your own business, becoming financially free, or achieving a weight-loss goal, identify the reason why you set out do what you are even doing in the first place. With the end-game in mind, you can always work backwards.

2. Eliminate Failure Before It Happens - Sometimes you have to tell yourself what is not going to happen in order to accomplish what you want to happen. If your goal is to lose weight, and you normally eat fast food five times a week, reprogram your mind by saying, "I only eat fast food once a week as a reward to myself for eating healthy all week." Or, "I only watch one hour of television per night and spend that extra time working on my business." By eliminating the opportunity for failure, you include the possibility of success.

3. Accountability - Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable for the goals you have set to achieve. These accountability partners will be there to provide support, a listening ear, and motivation when you most need it. Sometimes, what they have to say is just what you needed to hear. And sometimes, what they have to say is what you don't want to hear, but desperately need to hear.

Whenever we make set a goal to accomplish, there is an initial motivation that drives us. However, the key to achieving goals is to stay motivated throughout the process. There may be times when you don't feel motivated and may have to persevere despite your feelings. But by identifying the end-game, eliminating opportunities for failure before they happen, and keeping positive people in your corner who will not only tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear, you will be well ahead of everyone else in staying motivated to achieve your goals.

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Published on: Mar 4, 2015