In order to get improved results in any endeavor, you need to change what you’re doing. All the best strategies and tools will yield nothing if they’re not applied. And application happens in the realm of action – that is, in the realm of behavior – not in rumination or wishful thinking

Yet, as we all know, changing behavior is often extremely difficult. We’ve lived within life-long patterns, and we’re predisposed to avoid the dissonance that comes with letting go of the familiar and embracing the unfamiliar (even if we know the shift would be good for us).

The secret of course, is to be sufficiently motivated to choose different behaviors. It’s just not enough to think something’s a good idea (e.g., to delegate more, to organize your office, or to set up-front expectations more clearly). You have to feel what it will be like to achieve your goal (e.g., to be able to leave the office an hour earlier than you usually do — and feel good about–, or to just be less frazzled during the day).

But what does it mean to feel sufficiently motivated? It means that you’ve imbued your goal with enough emotional energy to drive you forward, even in the face of internal resistance.

And this begs the question: can you consciously boost your motivation to change? Fortunately, the answer is yes.

First, visualize, in detail, what achieving your goal would look like and feel like. What are the good things that would come, for example, from your being able to spend more high-quality time with your family in the evening? Let yourself sit for even just a minute – right now – reflecting on that, and let yourself feel the blessings you (and they) would experience.

Next, focus on what you can do today to begin moving toward your goal. Start with one small, incremental step. Is there a task you could delegate that you’d otherwise do yourself that would allow you to leave earlier and still know that it will get taken care of to an acceptable level? Could you try to capture your time throughout the day instead of needing to spend time at the end of the day going through your emails and paperwork and in order to generate your bills?

Whatever your goal, first imagine the fruit of your success – and let yourself experience the feelings, the emotions, that success will bring. Then, target one specific instance of that success and focus on what you can do to realize it. Then do it again and again, one day at a time.

Author's Bio: 

Bill Jawitz began helping professional service providers to improve their business outcomes in 2001. With its dual emphasis on marketing and time management, Bill began attracting more and more attorneys throughout 2002-2003. Based on the success enjoyed by what had become his attorney-only client base, Bill developed a comprehensive program to coach law firm owners, managing partners, and department heads on how to run their operations as effective businesses – and how to enjoy themselves in the process.