Most people use either a “Toward” or “Away from” direction to motivate themselves.
You can hear it in the language they use on a daily basis. They state either what they want or they may state what they are trying to avoid or give up.
Unfortunately naïve parents or teachers in school start using/teaching the away from strategy by telling kids ” don’t spill that glass of water”, ” don’t make mistakes” etc, etc , rather than stating what they do want.
If someone says,” don’t think of a red elephant or a blue rat”, you have to think about those things otherwise you would not understand the phrase. It forces the listener to make a mental representation / picture of the image they were told not to think about, and can be held at an unconscious level .
If you state what you want and it is positively phrased as you move toward it the motivation becomes stronger, whereas if you state what you do not want, the motivation becomes weaker as you move away from it.
For example loosing weight, if someone was say 15 stone / 95 kilos and wanted to loose weight, by the time they reach 13 stone / 82.5 kilos the motivation will have decreased significantly. This is exactly what happens with yo yo dieting and why so many find it difficult to loose weight. Whereas if those same people set a target weight for example 12 stone / 76 kilos their motivation would become stronger as they get nearer to their goal. Stated as ”My goal is to be 12 stone / 76 kilos.” Everyone has heard the rags to riches story where someone makes their fortune then ends up loosing it all, then sometimes doing it all again, this is another example of someone moving away from poverty, but inadvertently holding a representation of poverty at an unconscious level, which in the end became a self fulfilling prophecy , they get their motivation back again when they are again in poverty.
This is not to say that either strategy is better than the other, because nothing will mobilise people more quickly from procrastination than an away from strategy in an emergency situation. But stating exactly what you want and phrasing it positively will enable you to keep positive and focused as you move toward your goal, and adjust your course as you go if necessary. You will find it more comfortable and much easier to gauge exactly where you are as you proceed. This works for every type of goal including relationships, and anything you aspire to. I wish you the best of luck on your journey.