Learn how to motivate yourself

As you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to motivate myself. I don’t think this is entirely a bad thing. Sure, it isn’t nice to be unmotivated, especially when you’re someone like me who likes constant movement towards, well, anything. The positive thing is that I’m learning about myself. Through trial and error I’m learning how to get myself from where I am to where I want to be. Since I started University, I’ve been using different techniques to motivate myself to do tasks I don’t like. I would never have graduated without doing this.

I know that just because I don’t want to do something doesn’t mean it has stopped being worth doing. It just loses its excitement, not worth. In reading and learning about leadership, I’ve heard people say that leading yourself is one of the hardest things you’ll learn to do. I can’t remember where I heard that and I’m not totally convinced it’s true. But I do know it can be hard.

This week I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (on Netflix). It was fascinating. One thing that I noticed that was alarming was how many people the guy was interviewing who said something along the lines, “I know I’m going to die because I’m overweight and unhealthy. It’s no one’s fault but my own. I’m the only one who can fix this. But, I just can’t. I love food.”

“BUT YOU CAN!” We  want to yell at them, right? And yet, we can probably relate in some way or another with serious demotivation. We can relate to an obstacle that seems so insurmountable, we give up before we start. Right?

This is where become resourceful is key. We need to have a tool belt of ways to get our butt in gear. In my experience, one thing may work like a charm in one area of my life, but not another.

In getting ready to write this post I searched the internet for resources to quote, but no one really said much that I didn’t already know. This was half encouraging (I’m on the right track!) and also disappointing (what if these ideas aren’t working!).

Ways to motivate yourself

If you’ve read my ebook some of these things wont be new. But they’re still true. Sometimes you need to be creative in how to activate each of these things.

  1. Vision. Remind yourself of how it could be if you achieve your goal. What was that original vision that capture your heart and mind? If you want to know more about this you can read my ebook.
  2. Inspiration. Hang out with inspiring people, read inspiring blogs, or biographies. Find out what inspires you to be better (spouse? child? sibling who tells you you can’t accomplish your goal?) and use that as fuel.
  3. Rewards. Humans often need rewards in order to be motivated. Whether or not you are ok with that or not is out of the question. You might think you’re better than that, but you probably aren’t. You’d be surprised what you’ll do for a square of dark chocolate, a chance to play a video game, dinner at Joe Beef. Develop a rewards system for yourself and try that out. Maybe going for a winning streak on Lift is reward enough.
  4. Play games/add healthy competition. Find a friend (or enemy?) you can have some healthy competition with. See who can lose the most weight, or swear the least while making a pie crust. Try something like Lift
  5. Act on the facts. The facts are, you’ll die younger than necessary if you’re obese. How do you act on that fact?

Now the question I’d be wondering if I were you: are any of these working for you? Sigh. Not in this case. BUT, that doesn’t mean I’ve given up. I’m still on the search for a successful motivational tool. Sadly, the increasing numbers on my bathroom scale are not yet working.

The day I decided to take writing seriously

A few summers ago I was working from home full-time for the first time since I had moved to Montreal eight months before. It was enjoyed walking around Atwater Market at lunch and working from coffee shops in Little Burgundy in Montreal where I lived. The summer prior I had written my second novel (neither novels were any good) and the ten months after that I was plagued by the desire I had to keep writing and the longing I felt to become good at it. I wanted to be published and I wanted it badly.

I remember sighing to myself on day and thinking, I sure hope Providence has this in mind for me.

Then I stopped myself. This was something I wanted, didn’t I? Yes. So why would I not take it seriously and work at it?

I wish I could paint a picture of where I was and what I was doing when I decided that, but I can’t. I just remember that being a defining moment for me where I moved from letting life happen to me to deciding to living intentionally towards my dreams.

I know I haven’t done a perfect job of it the last two years, but I’m happy with making that progress from laissez-faire to conscious effort.

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