Illustration by Monika Aichele

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Forging Ahead
As you move toward your goal, make sure to fill every possible step with the rewards that motivate you best.

If you crave Connection, look for mentors who can guide you, a group that can support you, and ways to get your family involved in your activities. Say your goal is learning to knit: Find out if there's a knitting circle at your local yarn store; join, a social network for needlework aficionados; try to get your mother or daughter to learn alongside you.

If Security is what drives you, avoid risks and embrace structure so you can relax and enjoy what you're doing, feeling safe and worry-free. If your goal is doing yoga but the cost of classes stresses you out, offer to assist the teacher before class in exchange for free lessons. If you long to travel, start with all-inclusive packages that take care of the details for you.

If you're motivated by a need for Accomplishment, try to make everything a game in which you can shoot for a clear goal and compete, even if you're only competing with yourself. If your goal is writing poetry, start taking part in poetry slams. If your goal is becoming fluent in Chinese, enlist a like-minded buddy and see who can get through language-learning software with the highest score.

If you're an Influence lover, don't hesitate to set group goals and galvanize others to help you achieve them. Why just volunteer to help famine victims in Somalia when you can organize a fund-raiser yourself? Why just master a new skill—whether it's composting or woodcarving—when you can launch a blog that tells others how they can do it, too? Waiting for other people to set the agenda will only frustrate you. Leadership will fulfill you.

If you're most engaged by the quest for Enlightenment, don't put yourself in situations that compromise your sense of freedom: getting in shape by joining a fierce "boot camp" class at your gym, plowing through a book you don't like because everyone else in your club is reading it. Instead, devote yourself to meaningful pursuits—taking self-guided nature hikes, perhaps, or cooking mindfully with plants you've grown yourself. Everything you do can fuel your sense of inner awakening, and when it does, you'll be up and running.

Next: You're ready. You're set. It's time to...