Hey, Andy, that's a great question! I'll only give you my opinion, so it's up to you whether you find it useful or not.
What I do to get started with a life or large goal, is to fire up some inspirational music, and follow the instructions in books like "Leading An Inspired Life" by Jim Rohn or "Awaken the Giant Within" by Tony Robbins. Some important things to remember is to be specific, and have a definite date for achievement.
Then, to keep myself motivated, I read the goal(s) every morning and night before I go to bed enthusiastically, and then visualize that the goal is already complete. This maintains my desire to achieve it, since I am constantly reminding myself of what's important to me. Remember, though, to have certain action steps that you do EVERY day or week to move towards your goal. Goal visualization without clear action steps is just daydreaming
Respecting my goal. Treating it like it was the most important thing in my life. When there are tasks connected to my goal, I don't look at them as a part of the everyday workflow. Instead, I finish them first thing in the morning, and only then move to other business. If I can't work on them right in the morning, I make sure they will be finished during the day no matter what. They can't be postponed, edited or removed, only completed.
What Five Big Ideas says is very much what I go by as well. I'll just add that, revisiting your goals enthusiastically every morning and every night, plus the action steps and definite timeframe, stimulates the brain to become more creative as to how to achieve the goal in question. Your brain will start finding more and more ways for achieving your final goal, as well as more and faster solutions to the obstacles that will come your way as you go about your goal. Remember to always keep the big picture of your dream in mind, as that's what keeps you on your course and prevents you from getting sidetracked by various distractions along the way.
I usually get motivated when I set a goal related to something I'm passionate about. When I write the goal down it gets my creativity juices flowing and I begin to think of ways to achieve that goal. Staying motivated is the biggest challenge. It requires daily advancement towards that goal. I've found that once you get a few days under your belt, momentum starts to build. This momentum will propel you to achieve the goal and subsequent goals you have set for yourself. Hope this helps.
To be honest, I don't really see "motivation" as a driving factor anymore. I have accomplished much more recently when I started to JUST DO things. I think the thought of motivation is used as a crutch quite often. My discipline now has helped me achieve much more, because I start to believe in myself more, which in turn motivates me. Not to say I'm not motivated at all, I get sparks every once and a while
I was going to say something like that to. I read a ebook on developing habits and hooking them on to other already developed habits. Like, brushing my teeth is a habit or making the bed. I then tack on a 5 minute plan like learning spanish. I can do almost anything for 5 minutes. In a year I figure I'll know a lot more Spanish than I would have plus it'll be a habit.
I can hold my breath for at least two and a half minutes so it's really easy when you think about it.