An important factor in motivation is finding your why. If you don’t know why you are doing a particular activity, it can be quite difficult to find the energy and motivation to even bother. Your reason can be as small as, “I need to have a bath so I’m not smelly and can stay healthy with proper hygiene,” to “I help teach people how to write through emotional blocks so they can heal and realize their voice matters and that they can impact people with their words and experiences.”
One of my big whys is my dog. He has been trained as my emotional support dog, and he gives me so much, so I want to make sure I can give us a good life and provide for him.
I’ve found a good way to help my own motivation as well, is to reframe how I think about things. Instead of “I have to do the dishes,” it becomes, “I get to do the dishes, because I’ve cooked a healthy meal and am blessed with food to eat.” The perspective shift of “get to” versus “have to” can really make a lot of difference when it comes to motivation.
But that goes back to gratitude as well. When you come from a place of gratitude it makes many things easier. I find if I’m feeling down, discouraged or angry, instead of writing one page in my gratitude journal, as is my standard, I write two. It is usually much tougher, especially when I’m in that state, but that’s when I need it the most. I get down to basics at those times – I’m grateful for a safe warm home, a car that gets me safely where I need to go, healthy food to eat in my fridge, electricity and heat, a clock to keep me on schedule, clean clothes to wear and warm socks, doggy cuddles.
I was working through this course recently that is meant to shift perspective around many fear-based ideas and behaviors. The shift is to release fear, and turn to love. I was going along in the exercises and came to the gratitude day. I had made a list earlier in the week of my fears and the exercise for this particular day suggested I make a gratitude list for my fears. This was probably my toughest assignment yet, but also the most rewarding. Boy, was it a perspective shift!! I am grateful for persevering through challenges like this one, as the lessons are so deeply profound.
I realized one of my big motivating factors is when I have a list of things to do, and one thing on the list I really don’t want to do, but there’s a timeline for it, I will do everything else on the list before the dreaded task. If I have to go out to buy groceries, I will sweep the house, wash the dishes and check email, waiting until the last possible moment for me to leave to the store, or go to the meeting or whatever it is I’m avoiding.
One of the ways I get myself motivated to do big daunting tasks is I just start. I give myself 15 mins and then tell myself I can take a break. Shoveling snow is a great example of this. I said, “I don’t have to do the whole driveway, just the steps, just get started.” Over an hour later, the whole driveway was done, including the steps and I barely noticed, because once I got started, I had momentum…