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The verb ‘will’ is defined as ‘to make something happen by wishing for it very strongly’. In Chinese medicine the word ‘Zhi’ is taken to mean inherent purpose or drive to achieve. Having a strong will leads to activity to move forward. Motivation, will, drive, push, mojo, ‘make things happen’.

For me my will left the building this spring. My circumstances were compounded by losing a parent and other illness in my family. I found it hard to pick myself up and start again with my business. For anyone struggling to move forward or rediscover their motivation for a goal, be big or small, where can you find the energy?

Well, you probably won’t discover it when you at the bottom of the hill! When the sun comes out a little and you walk a few steps forward, you may get a perspective on your own challenges and feel able to turn things around.

Whether your goal is to build a flat pack unit, run 5KM, submit your tax return, start a business or sell up and move country – read on. There are plenty of useful sources of advice on this including setting S.M.A.R.T. goals:

S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based
S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based | Credit.

Attach a purpose to your goal. Are you raising money for a cause close to your heart or to make your patent/child/partner proud?

Some daily habits that can help include getting up early (when it’s quiet and the morning holds possibilities) and spent a few minutes meditating on the day ahead. Set your goals. If you start working early it’s in the ‘bank’ for later.  You are more likely to get things done despite distractions that get in the way.

Have you built good foundations for yourself? We need to be in a good place with our health. Things seems much more difficult, if not impossible, when you are tired, low, or hungry. Studies show humans make harsher decisions if they are not refreshed. Having said that, if you are waiting for the perfect time to start your project it may never arrive…

The power of visualisation is very strong. Flip the negative, set the scene and imagining how you’ll feel when you’ve achieved your result. How do you feel? Many people use triggers to help here. Recalling memories, playing music, standing strong, proud and breathing deeply. Your senses can support you – what can you look, listen, feel and smell? Repeating these activities take daily practise and should turn into a more automatic habit after three weeks or so.

Prepare and plan

Walk the route you plan to run or cycle, visit the place you will be performing in ahead. Ignore your naughty shoulder imp that whispers negative or easier options in your ear. Plan interim rewards and remind yourself of the final result with a big goal board in your workspace. Could you ask someone to mentor you? I read this inspiring biography, Becoming Michelle Obama.

To focus on moving mountains you may need to compromise. When I and my colleagues were working, raising families and studying for our acupuncture degree, we’d fantasise about food shopping, cleaning the house, and quality time with our loved ones after it all.

When I was a holistic therapy teacher training students to learn practical skills, students would watch a demonstration first. They would take notes. I drew pictures on mine because I’m a visual learner. The task was broken down into chunks and they would watch, then repeat, numerous times. Funny how those who practised more, were flexible and challenged themselves got the hang of it! Driving, cooking, sport… We learn different skills and boring repetition works. Enjoy the journey!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Lao Tzu.

Further reading: “The Shed Method,” by Sarah Milne.