How to motivate yourself with small successes

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Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That might be encouraging when you consider that for any daunting task you have to start somewhere but when you face a thousand mile trip one step just doesn’t seem like a lot. So where’s the motivation to keep going? Think of it this way, you are one step further than you were before you moved your foot and you don’t have to take that step again. Now use that simple history to motivate yourself to keep going.

1. When you pursue a goal or face a seemingly overwhelming task, record each action you take toward that goal in some type of journal. Be encouraged that you don’t have to take that step again.

2. When your motivation starts to run low, when you have a hard time seeing the end of the journey, look back at your recorded history and remind yourself that you have come this far and then take another step.

3. If the enormity of the task still seems impossible, break the tasks down even further and take a half step. Record that action as well. For example if you are trying to improve your overall physical fitness but are so out of shape that you don’t have the stamina to go to the gym or walk around the block, just get up from your chair during one commercial on TV and walk in place. The next day do the same thing during two commercials. Record your actions. Keep adding these small steps, refer back to your history and congratulate yourself that you are well on the way to the destination of your thousand-mile journey.

4. Keep your single-step journals in a place where you can review them frequently and you will find them to be a great confidence builder and a source of motivation.

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