Achieving Your Dreams: A Practical Guide to Staying Motivated

Kickstarting Your Journey to Success

No matter what task we set ourselves, we start with an aspiration—a desired future state, a place we want to get to. 

This is going to be more important if you want to make the shift to self employment.

Call it the dream, but you will need to set some precise goals with a commitment to maintaining your motivation to achieve them. 

Last year I set a few goals, one to write two articles a week on LinkedIn and to then use those on this website, but with more editing. I also decided to publish a podcast episode every Friday. These were big ambitions and I've managed to achieve them, but I have to be honest, it has been a lot of work. The writing and podcasting would easily take me a good 10–15 hours a week. And it requires me to be very disciplined and so much better organised than I have ever been.

I'll admit, that I have come late to the idea of aspiration and goal setting. I have been a lot more creative in my business meanderings, but lately I seem to have settled into some routines, based on my goals for writing more and developing the Wisepreneurs Podcast.

Using To-Do Lists for Clear Goals and Motivation

Organized goal planning calendar

I've tried many planning systems, read books, watched videos, and bought various tools to find one I like. Despite this, I resist sticking to one method. Yet, focusing on my goals and actively pursuing them has led to real progress, like with my podcast and writing articles weekly.

Starting with To-Do Lists

I make a list for shopping to remember everything. Sometimes I forget the list at home or in the car. But a good list does more than remind us what to buy. It's a tool for clarity, especially for freelancers juggling client work and business tasks.

Ayelet Fishbach shows that to-do lists should be flexible guides to our goals, helping us focus on what moves us forward. It's about choosing tasks that motivate us, even if there are some we'd rather avoid. The list helps keep us on track.

Fishbach's Strategy: A Four-Step Guide to Goal Success

Adopting Fishbach's four-ingredient formula for practical goal setting helps transform the process into an actionable plan. By selecting intrinsically motivating goals, monitoring progress, balancing various objectives, and seeking social support, you can pave a robust path toward achieving your dreams.

Fishbach's Four-Ingredient Practical Goal Setting Guide

  • Set Intrinsically Motivating Goals: Opt for inspiring goals. Replace "don't oversleep" with "attend a morning Pilates class," and see the difference.

  • Monitor Progress: Track what you've accomplished and what remains. It's as much about the journey as the destination.
  • Balance Goals: Your goals should harmonise, not clash. This balance is vital to success.
  • Seek Social Support: Great achievements are rarely solo endeavours. Lean on those who support your journey.Overcoming Mid-Goal Challenges

Navigating Mid-Goal Motivational Slumps

When working towards a goal, it's common for motivation to dip, especially at the halfway point.

I've experienced this during tough workouts, wondering if I can complete another set.

When tasks become difficult, it feels like being stuck.

The trick is to set smaller, short-term goals to maintain momentum.

For example, in strength training, I switch from counting by tens to fives, making it feel quicker and more manageable.

Adjusting your focus during these tough times helps you push through and stay on track with your goals.

Effective Task Prioritization for Peak Productivity

Grouping tasks by importance boosts focus and productivity.

Trello, a tool for organizing projects like my writing or podcasting, helps keep priorities clear.

I recommend trying Trello and exploring a course on LinkedIn Learning called "Trello Essential Training." Even though LinkedIn Learning costs $40 per month, I think it's worth it alone for this course. 

Using it in conjunction with my email and calendar has made me so much more productive.

Pro Tips for Goal Monitoring & Overcoming Obstacles

Person achieving milestones climbing success mountain

Facing obstacles and distractions is common in goal pursuit. Even later in life, simple things like social media can sidetrack us for hours. Learning to plan flexibly and remain resilient against these challenges will be crucial for your success.

Making Goals Happen

Team celebrating goal achievement

Photo by kraken images on Unsplash

Setting the right goals and managing how to achieve them is key. I recommend exploring some insightful books to better understand effective goal setting. They can guide you in choosing achievable goals and managing them well.

I'm here if you need to talk about setting and reaching your goals—just hit the button below


  • Ayelet Fishbach, Get It Done
  • Leidy Klotz, Subtract, The Untapped Science of Less

Other popular books

  • James Clear, Atomic Habits
  • BJ Fogg, Tiny Habits

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