Motivation is a force that you can summon at will if you use a few important keys. Here are seven ways to motivate yourself to hit your goals.

1- Keep Your Focus- Focus on what you want and not on what you don't want. It is easy to get distracted by challenges and circumstances that you are faced with on the way to realizing your dreams. You must not let those challenges deter you from moving forward. The best way to do that is to maintain focus on your desired destination. Keep your attention on what you want. Do not voice displeasure about the setbacks that you experience. Let all of the negative things that happen to you roll off of your back. These are only temporary situations if you continue to press forward with a clear visualization of your goals.

2- Read Success Stories-Being aware of people who have actually succeeded against difficult opposition will inspire you to persist in your efforts to overcome whatever obstacles that you face. Read as many self-help and personal development books as you can. These books will not only provide you with inspiration but they will also give you valuable skills for succeeding.

3- Gain Support- A good mentor or a good friend who will act as a sounding board can boost your confidence and help you stay clear regarding your progress. Sometimes we are so emotionally involved with what we are doing that we lose sight of the big picture. When we have someone whom we can confide in it helps us to step back and see our situation more realistically. A good friend or mentor will give you support and dispassionate feedback.

4- Track Your Progress- Keep a journal. Write your successes and failures down each night. This gives you a different perspective. You will be able to read your records of events over a long period of time. That way you will unveil a pattern of growth that you never would have noticed without your journal.

5- Reward Yourself-Celebrate when you hit the little milestones along the way. Go see a movie. Have an extra dessert. Give yourself a reward after you have done something productive that moves you closer to hitting your goals. This reinforces an achievement mindset. You quickly develop a habit of succeeding. Remember: Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated.

6- Learn From Failure- Rather that getting upset with yourself for failing to meet your objectives, instead take a look at what happened to cause the failure. Re-adjust the approach that you are taking and proceed towards hitting your goal again. You will do so with the added experience of knowing another method that does not work. When you have identified the mistakes that you don't want to make anymore you are better able to move more confidently as you strive to achieve your objectives.

7- Lighten Up- Make it fun. You may not see immediate results from your actions. Don't let this get you down. You should enjoy the journey. Success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or objective. As long as you are progressing then you are succeeding so lighten up and enjoy the your journey. If you look at what you are doing as fun then you will do more of it. Just know that you are experiencing growth with every step that you take towards accomplishing your goal. Although it is sometimes painful, the person that you are becoming on the way to having what you want is worth the price that you are paying. It is a good trade-off that you are exchanging in order to get the thing that you desire.

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From Anthony D. Carter - a leading expert on motivation.