Staying motivated

Yesterday I wrote about working on your dreams even if you don’t feel like it.

Well, that’s me this morning. I don’t feel very motivated today, and after I got up, I spent a little too long on the couch watching HGTV and TLC (on a side note, “Baby Story” freaks me out in ways I can’t explain. I think the only reason people give birth is because by that point, they kind of have no choice. Because if you really thought about the fact that a baby that big was going to come out of thereand you had a say in the matter – you’d probably just go: “You know, the baby seems to like it in there, think I’ll go home now. I can deal with it. It’ll be like being a kangaroo. Kangaroos are cool.”).

I digress.

So how am I motivating myself today?

I’m a list girl. I love check boxes. If I can see the progress I’ve made on a piece of paper, I’m happy. Another important caveat of list making is that you have to include stupid little items that take five seconds to complete, especially if checking off those tasks then energizes you to complete the rest of the list.

For example:

To Do

1. Make phone call to [blah blah]. [x]

2. Workout. [ ]

See, if I make that 5 second phone call to confirm a dentist appointment or whatever, then my brain goes: “WOOO! You did something! Let’s go work out!”

It takes my brain awhile into the workout to realize that it’s been had.

I also make sure I schedule breaks into activities. For example, I have a few useful things I need to get done today, but I’ve also scheduled a walk to the store to buy wrapping paper. It might not seem that exciting to most of you, but I love wrapping presents (something my family takes full advantage of around Christmas. No joke, one year I actually wrapped something for myself from my parents. They handed it to me in a plain brown box so I wouldn’t know what it was.). For me, taking a present wrapping break is like a coffee break.

Your homework assignment for today: analyze your work patterns and figure out what motivates you. What helps you to stay on task? Try not to focus too much on environment, because that might be out of your control. Instead, think about what keeps you moving. It might be picturing the end result of your endeavors – it might be keeping a log of your progress.

And then, keep going.

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