Author: Emma Chapman,Author: Laura Gummerman,Goal Setting,Happiness,Tips,

Great tips for using motivational lists to reach goals (click through for more)  Hey guys, it's Laura. You may have noticed that we are very goal motivated here at ABM. We love to challenge ourselves to new ideas or ventures and encourage you guys as well to achieve your own “reach for the stars” ideas. While the first step to reaching new goals is deciding on what you want to accomplish (new business idea, read more books, create new art, eat healthier, etc.), the next part is figuring out a pathway to making that dream a reality. Sometimes the steps to that goal are clear, sometimes it’s a learn as you go approach, but either way there is one giant thing that you need to know in order to reach your ultimate goal—what motivates you? By that question I don’t mean, “What gets you out of bed in the morning and drives you to succeed?” but more so the question of, “Now that I know where I want to end up, how do I keep myself moving from point A until I get to point B?” I’ve talked about this question a lot with different people as we’ve shared different strategies (and struggles) to stay motivated, and I’ve learned that there is certainly not one motivational trick that works for everyone. That being the case, I thought I’d ask a few others on our ABM staff to share the ways that they personally keep on track when working towards a goal, and hopefully, if you’re struggling to stay on track you’ll find that one of these ways will work for you too. Emma is up first to share what works best for her! Take it away, Emma!

Great tips for using motivational lists to reach goals (click through for more)I'd like to say that staying motivated is only tough in the middle of a super hard task. But the truth is way worse. Staying motivated is ALWAYS tough. Whenever I'm dreaming up my next big thing, I'm usually daydreaming about the end result. We all long for that moment when you cross the finish line, when you launch that new website, when you publish that book, when you land that promotion at work, etc. The end of the story is so exciting; it's what you are striving for! But all the rest, which is basically 99% of the task, is sometimes really tough to get through. 

You want to know my secret to staying motivated? It's simple, and it doesn't have to cost you a penny. It's this: to-do lists! That's right. Make a list and watch your dreams become reality. Really! It is amazing how much you can get done when you employ the simple act of writing down everything you need to do. Why does this work (other than being plain ol' black magic!)? Here are my three theories on the magic of list-making:
1. Making a list keeps you from getting distracted. 
I am convinced that most dreams in life don't get discarded because of failure or lack of drive; I think they fall by the wayside most often simply because we get distracted. I mean, I can't speak for you, but I often feel like I'm being pulled in a million directions every day. Having a to-do list (whether it's for your day or a list of your big goals for the next five years) can bring focus to your life. It can help you to know when you need to say no to a good (but not great) opportunity. It can help you to cut the time-wasting activities out of your life, unless watching a million hours of TV this year IS one of your goals. Especially if I'm feeling overwhelmed, like I have way too much to do, if I take a moment to list everything out and see what's most important and pressing, this will save me so much time. And I have a greater chance of completing my most-important-to-me tasks. 
2. Making a list keeps you going.
Have you ever been guilty of what I like to call the half-finish? See, if you are half done with something, then you actually aren't "finished." Right? Yet for some reason I'll get halfway done with a task or goal and feel either accomplished or overwhelmed and think, "Well, look how much I already got done," and then promptly pat myself on the back.
Half-finishing is not finishing. And that's the sad truth. And a solid to-do list can help remind us of this. If I have ten things written down on my to-do list for the day, and I only have five marked off by 3 pm, then I know I better not spend ten minutes congratulating myself, because I'm actually behind! Move it, Emma! You've got five more things to get done today! 
A good to-do list can, gently, remind you to keep going. A clear finish line lets you know when the race has been run.
3. A fully crossed-off list is one of the best feelings in the world. AND it's addictive.

I love that feeling of accomplishment. I know I keep sort of throwing in running analogies here, but it just seems to fit. And here comes another, although this is more of a personal story. Did you know that last year I ran my first half marathon? I am NOT a runner. I am pretty un-athletic all around. But Elsie and I wanted to run a half marathon, so we trained for months and months, and then we did it. My time was nothing to brag about, at all. But I remember crossing the finish line with a few tears streaming down my cheeks because I felt SO proud. I know I was so glad I had sunglasses on at the time because I was really embarrassed of those tears. But there were moments in the race when I didn't know if I could do it. There were so many times during training when I thought, "What am I doing? I can't run this far!" But I did it. And crossing that finish line was such a great feeling. 

And marking off a final item on a big to-do list is really very similar. It's a moment to be proud of. And believe me when I say, it's totally addictive! You'll want to do it again and again once you feel that first rush of success. 
Great tips for using motivational lists to reach goals (click through for more)Go forth and achieve great things, you guys. You totally can! I'm rooting for you. xo. Emma.
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman and Laura Gummerman.  Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Lillian from the Lightroom collection of  A Beautiful Mess actions.


Thanks for commenting! Comments are moderated (everything constructive is approved), so they may take a bit to appear. We reply to comments daily, so please check back!


Check out our new product line,
Photoshop Actions and E-Courses!

Back to Top