By Sunny Simon

Ever lose steam trying to accomplish your goals? I can relate. In fact, at times individuals I coach come to sessions complaining of failure due to a lack of enthusiasm. It’s not unusual to experience waning motivation. Getting back on track requires some introspection and perhaps some inspiration.

Recently I received a lesson in motivation from a 12 year old. Ever watch a youth prepare for sport tryouts? I observed my pre-teen niece in competition for the volleyball team.  Aisalynn is a self-motivated student who sets the bar high without any coaching from her parents. My niece was partially motivated by setting her own goal. No one suggested she become part of the volleyball team.

In order to accomplish any goal, the proper tools are required. Aisalynn solved this challenge by using funds from her savings to purchase a volleyball and knee pads.


Two learning curves were involved. My niece was new to the tryout process and had never really played the sport. I watched as she took every step in stride. Each night during a week of learning how to play at school, she spent as much time as possible practicing her skills. She dedicated herself to a simple pattern of doing the daily work.

Following Aisalynn’s example, the first question you might consider is ownership. Is this something you truly want to accomplish, or are you doing what someone else feels is in your best interest? If you are not totally committed and excited about the goal, you are wasting your time. My advice, scratch it from your list.

Another test of commitment is investment. Perhaps you are pining for a promotion but need to upgrade your skills to be a true contender. If you are not willing to plunk down your hard earned cash for self development, your chances of success are nil.

Beyond being invested in your goal mentally and financially, you can renew your motivation by creating a solid plan. In the words of Tom Landry, “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” Aisalynn was committed to a daily plan and her plan worked. She made the team.

Take another look at your action plan. Does it include milestones anchored with specific dates for completion? If not, make some tweaks to get back on track.

A final suggestion, utilize the tryout mentality for motivation. Invest in yourself, do the work, follow the plan and you will never have to worry about making the team. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog