Instead of seeing goals as chores to accomplish, make them motivating by framing them as beneficial and enjoyable, writes Eric Barker. It’s important to set a quantifiable target to accomplish, monitor your progress and work to navigate “the long middle” that may kill motivation.



remember a time when someone, possibly me, had a lot of trouble getting motivated. This was not fun.Three years ago, I starred in a suspense film titled Oh Good God I Have To Write My Second Book. Some might be thinking:

“That must have been easy, you’ve done it before.” Oh No No No No — that’s not how it works. First time out you have no idea what’s going on. It’s stressful but you can naively jump into the maelstrom. However, after you’ve been to war, you now know just how hard it’s all going to be. Once bitten, twice shy.

From proposal to writing to release and marketing it takes years. This is not a marathon where you run 26 miles; it’s a marathon where you run until you die. And I had to emotionally prepare myself for the relentless everything that lie ahead.

I felt like I received a “motivation overdraft” notice from my bank. Sorry, not enough here to cover the bill you’re trying to pay.I thought a mature adult perspective would just passively wash over me, and I’d suddenly want to do what needed to be done. NOPE.

What I wanted was a juice box and a nap. (Heck, that’s all I want right now.) I tried being practical: “Eric, you need to write this so you can pay the rent, buy food, and save money for retirement so you can die someplace warm.” That didn’t work either. Yeesh…

These are the moments when you learn a lot about yourself — including things, uh, you don’t really want to know. There are more than one of you: one who wants to accomplish big goals and another who wants to sleep until dinner. And these two yous are mortal enemies.