Illustration by Monika Aichele

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Reality-Check Your Goal
Write down the goal you created with your friend in Step 2.

Now, in light of your primary motivation style(s), reconsider this goal. How well does it correspond to the type of rewards and incentives you need?

You may find that your goal doesn't match your inner drive: You'd love to row across the Atlantic solo, say, but you're driven by Connection. Maybe in choosing, you were unconsciously influenced by other people's opinions, or by your own sense of what constitutes a "worthwhile" way to spend your time. Whatever the reason, if your goal simply doesn't match your heart's desires, now is the time to choose again. Go back and look at the second and third passions you identified in Step 1, and revisit your strengths in Step 2. Aligning your ambitions with your true personality is an important part of staying healthy, resilient, and enthusiastic.

Of course, there are also goals that seem an unlikely fit for a given motivation style but can be tweaked to give you more of the incentive you need. For example, if your goal is running a marathon but your motivation preference is Enlightenment, you could turn your training into "running meditation." If you're an Accomplishment junkie and you want to help victims of domestic violence, you could propose a specific goal-oriented project at a local shelter, or have two teams of volunteers compete to collect the most donations.

Even if your goal is well aligned with your motivation style, you can probably amp it up. For example, if you value Connection and your goal involves saving oily seabirds from tanker accidents, can you bring your loved ones together to bond with you on a mercy mission? If you thrive on Influence and your goal involves working for civil rights, can you initiate a social-media outreach plan as part of the project?

If you're a Connection lover, ask yourself: How could I add more social interaction to my goal?

If you're a Security lover, ask yourself: How could I add more financial rewards to my goal?

If you're an Influence lover, ask yourself: How could I add more leadership to my goal?

If you're an Accomplishment lover, ask yourself: How could I add more competition to my goal?

If you're an Enlightenment lover, ask yourself: How could I add more freedom to my goal?

Restate your goal here, modifying it to increase the reward that motivates you most.

Next: Get ready to move forward!