Intrinsic Motivation: Three Steps to Reaching Your Goals

I remember like it was yesterday, September 1999, I hit the road around 7 pm in a

U-Haul truck. Where was I going? Off to college in Kentucky, nervous as all out, and limited funds to my name. I recall telling myself along the way, "Tamara, you can do this, girl! You're smart; you've been planning for this for a long time. You can make it! Everything I ever wanted to be was about to start with this drive. The odd thing is, my dreams, my plans, never included a child. Well, there I went on my way to start a new journey, a new life, with a three-month-old son in tow. I had to build something magnificent; my child was counting on that.


When the plan changes, we have to dig deep and go back to what initially motivated us. Why do you do the things that you do? Why is it important to excel and blow off that glass ceiling? We have to remember the why for the why. So if you find yourself in a place where you are questioning everything around you and looking for that ounce of fuel to move forward, apply these tips to motivate yourself.

1) Go Back to the Drawing Board: Recall the goal and initial motivation. Your path to getting to a particular place in life may change, but the end goal does not have to.A GPS can provide many options to get to a destination, despite the terrain, roadblocks, toll roads, etc. You may have to take a seat and remember where you're going, but spend more time mapping out an alternative route.

2) Ask for Help: Rome was not built in one day, nor was it made by one person. It is ok to ask for assistance to reach those goals. We all need a village to remind us, to push us, to encourage us that the impossible is possible.

3) Turn That "No" into "Know": Newsflash...you are going to be told no, and more than once in your life. So what? Let that no be apart of your foundation for a yes. Know that you are capable, know that you have the strength and perseverance to do ANYTHING that you set your mind to. Know that life will hit you hard sometimes, but that hard life does not have to be forever.

So, my journey did not turn out so bad. I made it Kentucky the next morning at 2 am. I worked hard, and I graduated (early in fact). My journey was made possible by several factors, but an important one was that intrinsic motivation to stay the course.


Meet the Author


Tamara Houston is a Clinical Social Worker, licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, and New Jersey. She is the CEO of Renewal Life Counseling, LLC and has other business ventures that includes a Coaching and Consulting service primarily serves other clinicians with their start-ups, speaking engagements for organizational leadership and mental health awareness events and a monthly Facebook Series entitled "Decoding the Lyrics" where she and her partner use contemporary music to discuss mental health issues.  Tamara has a particular interest in working with clients dealing with trauma, grief and bereavement, and anxiety.  She has a special passion for working with military personnel and women in leadership.


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