We all have dreams lying dormant inside us. We’re often too busy dealing with daily life to pursue them, until something happens to remind us of what we really want out of life.

There are many events in life that motivate us to pursue our dreams – a high school reunion full of successful ex-classmates; your ex-boyfriend marrying a television weather girl; your assistant being promoted above you. It’s moments like this that shake us up and remind us what we really want from life. But often we don’t get much further than that. We lose the motivation and end up stuck in the same spot.

When you realise that there are major things in your life you’d like to change, it’s time to act. If you don’t, another year will roll by and before you know it, nothing has changed but your age. If lack of willpower is holding you back, there are plenty of other ways to get motivated, from the bargain basement to the deluxe. Here are just a few:

Some Friendly Advice

Your best buddies are usually your first port of call when your life is looking less than rosy. Unfortunately they may have just one intention – to pick you up off the floor by convincing you that your life is fine the way it is. Sure you’ll feel better, but you’ll lose your incentive to improve anything. And there’s a few other possibilities to be wary of. Talking about your imperfect life may force them to contemplate their own lives, something they may not appreciate! And you don’t want to gain a reputation as a whinger, or you may find your friends are always too busy to catch up. Nonetheless, it’s a cheap option, costing approximately one bottle of winefeel  per session and a sympathetic ear in return.

Wise Words

Wander through the self-help section of any bookshop and you’ll be amazed at the range. The best thing about using a book for motivation is that you can work through it as slowly as you like, and choose which advice to follow and which to discard. But does it work? Well yes, and no. It depends how much motivation you have to begin with. The book may be full of great advice, but it only works if you actually take action. Lose the book behind the washing machine before you’ve finished chapter one, and nothing in your life is going to change. A fairly cheap option, and you’ll always have the book to refer to.

Visit a Professional

When you hook up with a life coach, you’re employing someone to keep you on track over a series of sessions. It’s personalised, so the help they give is tailored specifically towards achieving the things in life that matter to you. “And the aim of any successful coaching series,” as Results Life Coach Christina Grant says, “is to winkle out those underlying habits that are holding you back in life – and replace them with new habits to keep you on track towards the new you.” It’s especially effective if you were one of those kids that always did their homework. Not so effective if you’re the master of excuses. The best part is that you can talk solidly about your own future for one hour a week, without boring your friends stupid. It can be an expensive option, but it’s worth it for the personal attention.

See a Motivational Guru

Depending on just how famous the guru is, attending a motivational seminar can be the most expensive course of action. But if an immediate wake up call is what you’re looking for, this could be it. You’re not just paying for their words of wisdom, you could read that in their latest book. The value is in the atmosphere and excitement the speaker can generate. If the excitement doesn’t kill you you’ll be filled to bursting with motivation. Just be aware that these kind of events often include lots of participation, and some are not for the faint hearted! This can be an excellent way to make major change in your life, but only if you manage to take some positive action before the excitement wears off. Otherwise you’re just left with the t-shirt and some catchy one-liners.

Taking action to improve your life can leave you feeling empowered and excited about your new future. Just remember, no matter what tools you rely upon, you’ll still have to do the hard work on your own.

By Louise Pattie