My Favorite No-Cost Motivation Tool: A Goal Cocoon

I’m not gonna lie; working on your goals can be kind of boring.

There’s only so much you can take of scrolling through job openings, counting calories, tapping on a keyboard, or doing other tedious tasks before your mind starts to wander and your energy takes a nose dive.

I believe you when you say you really, really, really want to reach your goal. But how are you supposed to keep up your motivation?

My favorite motivation tool doesn’t cost a thing, but it serves as a constant reminder of why I’m working so hard. Want to know what it is? It’s a goal cocoon.

A what?

Allow me to paint you a picture. When a caterpillar is preparing to go through a change, it will wrap itself up in a cocoon. The cocoon is a safe space for it to focus on the big task ahead of it and not get distracted with whatever is happening in the outside world.

And when all the toil is over and the goal is reach, the caterpillar will—spoiler alert!—emerge from the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly.

You’re a lot like that caterpillar. No, I don’t mean short and fuzzy. You’re inching along through life making gradual progress on your goals. You have bigger dreams for yourself, but you’re not always focused on what you need to be doing to get there.

Before you can spread your wings and fly, you gotta get down to business. And a goal cocoon is a fabulous way to keep up your motivation. Here’s how to set up your very own.

Find Your Why

You’ll lose your motivation in the blink of an eye if you can’t remember why you want to reach your goal in the first place. Aligning with your intention and the “why” behind your actions will keep you chugging along.

Get out a sheet of paper and make a list of 10 reasons (or 100) why your goal is important to you. What will you have? How will you feel when you reach it? How will this make a difference in your life?

Build Your Cocoon

Next, gather images that support the reasons you just wrote. Having a few dozen magazine subscriptions helps. Your vision board counts too. Print some photos of yourself with your loved ones, or look for inspiration on Pinterest.

Hang your images wherever you will be when you go through your transformation. This may be your office, your studio, your living room, locker room, etc. Try to place something on every wall so you’re completely surrounded by photos of your goals.

Here are a few of pictures I put in my goal cocoon (my office).

A wall of playbills that remind me of happy times with my husband. I know the world is my stage and the role I choose to play will determine whether my life is a comedy or tragedy.

A postcard from my friend and fellow coach Nneka. I’m determined to be a jet-setter like her and travel the world.

A fun fall banner to remind me to enjoy the season and spend time with my loved ones.

Do Your Transformative Work

Now that you’re bundled up in your personal goal cocoon, it’s time to get to work. Just like a caterpillar who is only thinking about changing into a butterfly, when you are in your cocoon, you will be reminded to be laser focused on doing the tasks that bring you closer to your goals.

After a while, you’ll train your brain to get right to work on whatever you need to be doing when you’re in your goal cocoon. And when you get distracted and look up, you’ll be greeted by an image to remind you of your why.

This week, be like a determined caterpillar and make your cocoon. A big transformation is headed your way—I can feel it!

What will you include in your goal cocoon?

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  1. Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista on October 23, 2013 at 5:55 am

    You are so right about intentions! So often I feel like I want things for selfish reasons but if I can align my goals with real true intentions, I am able to focus and achieve my goals. Great post! And love all your play bills!

  2. Rachel G on October 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I think that’s a cool idea, to have those visual reminders of how your goals are good things!

    • Sage Grayson on October 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! What would you hang up to remind you of your goals?

  3. BlessedMama on October 22, 2013 at 8:54 am

    That’s a great idea. I’ve set up rewards for one of my goals (weight loss), but I don’t think I’ve ever written down a list of why’s. That will be a good thing for me to do.

    • Sage Grayson on October 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I like to read over my whys when I’m having trouble sticking to my good habits. They help refocus me.

  4. Sarah @ Long Island Nerd on October 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I LOVE this post Sage!! I love the idea of wrapping yourself up in a goal cocoon and having it in your face all the time. Definitely the perfect motivation 🙂 Lately I’ve really just been trying to reconnect to things that have made me happy in the past that I just don’t do anymore. I’m going to dig out my guitars from the basement and bring them up to my room so I can see them all the time and teach myself how to play again (it’s been 10 years!!!). There are other things but that’s the one that I’ve had in mind lately 🙂

    • Sage Grayson on October 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Oh my gosh, I didn’t know you play the guitar, Sarah! That’s so badass! 🙂 Share some pics on your blog.

      I could have called this a goal fort too. I loved making my own sacred space as a kid with all my toys and drawings surrounding me. My goal cocoon has several vision boards, praise from clients, my favorite art, and family photos. And Skyla sleeps in my office too, so she’s part of the cocoon. 🙂

      • Sarah @ Long Island Nerd on October 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

        Haha playing is being kind… I haven’t picked up a guitar in 10 years! Funny enough I actually want to try and learn violin because I’ve always loved the instrument. My goals with it are very different though. I am a huge fan of guitar driven music and when I hear guitar riffs I often think that they would sound amazing on violin but of course I don’t know how to play. I’ve heard it is by far the hardest instrument to learn though which is so intimidating!