The new year is a great time to talk about motivation. A lot of us are intrinsically motivated to turn over a new leaf, or make a fresh start with a new year. Do you feel like that? Or are you one of the people who dread trying anything new, or automatically think you will fail if you try?

One of my favorite quotes that helped me get through school is from Goethe, a German poet. He said, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”  

This quote suggests that if we just take the first step on a road to any kind of change, that automatically leads to doors opening to help us continue. I have found that to be true in my life. If I simply make the effort to think about what I want, write it down, and begin to try to figure out how to go about doing it, success comes right around the corner.

I try to break down my wishes, dreams, and goals into tiny doable steps. This is incredibly motivating as it can be quickly and easily accomplished. For example, when I decided to go to college, my goal was to simply spend some time in the library looking through college catalogs to find out what kinds of occupations they offered. That’s it.

It was enjoyable to look through the catalogs and see what types of programs the college offered, and then to imagine myself in those occupations. This led to my looking at more information, such as the prerequisites for those programs, talking with people who were in those occupations, and finally figuring out which one seemed best for me.

After that, it was simply a matter of filling out an application to begin the program. Each step successively led to another step, until I was in college, fulfilling classes, learning, growing, meeting new people, and experiencing the occupation. It was a wonderful, empowering experience. I wish that for everyone.

If there is something you would like to do, just take that first tiny step, and see where it leads!

Kathy Bruner, LCMHC
Clinical Director, Mt. Grove Counseling


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