Setting realistic goals is one way to get & stay motivated. The trick is to learn how to break down long-term goals into smaller chunks so as to experience frequent bursts of achievement which will keep pushing us forward with the promise of reward. Of course breaking your goals into manageable chunks is harder than it sounds, but here’s an example to get you going. (I would love it if you would share one of your big goals and how you think it can be broken down to be achievable.)

Big Hairy Audacious Goal: Write a book
1. Pick a topic (reward: guilt-free Little Debbie Snack Cake!)
2. Figure out your audience (take a half day and go watch a movie at a movie theater)
3. Research other books in the market (big, juicy 12 OZ steak at your fave steak place)
4. Come up with a catchy title (go to Target and pick up a Star Wars Lego toy)
5. Write an outline (put together the above Lego toy and run around the house making Darth Vader sounds)
6. Write a page a day (treat yourself to a Starbucks  Carmel Soy Latte when each chapter is complete)
7. First edit (instead of giving into despair at how bad you suck at writing, go buy a book about a favorite hobby, artist or musician and take a few days off from writing)
8. Get others to read it and make edits/suggestions (You’re so close you can taste it, take yourself off for a full day of fishing)
9. Edit again (if fishing is your thing, go fish again!)
10. Edit again (that expensive pair of jeans you’ve been eye-balling, yeah, go on, buy it. You’ve earned it!)
11. Edit one more time (it might be time for a good therapeutic neck massage – do it!)
12, Voila!! You’ve just written a book! Pull out all stops! Mega-party! There’s no stopping you now! You’ve done it! And the feeling of accomplishment is sweeter than all the things that you’ve rewarded yourself up to this point.