STYLE Savvy: Finding that Elusive Motivation

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"STYLE Savvy: finding that elusive motivation" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2011), CC0 Public Domain

Last week, I focused on three habits that chip away at our motivation, making it harder than it needs to be to get things done.

This week, I’d like to focus on the positives. I usually start here, but the truth is, sometimes we need to eliminate the negatives before we can focus on the positives.

Need a motivation boost? Here are three things to try.

Remember your why. Whether your goal is to get organized or do something else entirely, ask yourself why it matters to you. Then, when you catch yourself dragging your feet, go back to this purpose. This can help us connect mundane tasks — the kind we avoid — to important outcomes and help us to do that thing we’re avoiding.

Set an alarm. I’m not a morning person so I definitely need a nudge to get started. Even once I’m up, if I can get away with it, I start the day slowly. When I’m setting my own schedule, I need to do what I’d do if I had an actual deadline: figure out my desired start time, and work backwards from there, maybe even factoring in that slow start so that my actual start time allows me to tackle my to-do list (or that looming project) in a relaxed manner. I don’t have to set the alarm for sunrise (which is a good thing because I’d just turn it off and go back to sleep), but I need to set it for a time that lets me honor the start time that works for me.

Pace yourself. Rest is good — motivating, even. Sometimes, it’s that very lack of rest or downtime that interferes with our motivation in the first place. Creating a balance between charging ahead and taking things slowly helps us to keep up a pace that is productive without being debilitating. For me, this also means keeping a balance between days where the schedule is full and days where the schedule is open.

Ironically, today is one of those slow start days for me. It’s been a nose-to-the-grindstone kind of week, and today I’m feeling it. I know it makes sense to honor my need to slow the pace a bit, but it’s hard to do that and I haven’t yet figured out how to do it without at least a little guilt.

But I’m getting there.

Today, I at least recognize why I’ve slowed down and I’m fortunate enough to have the freedom to flex my schedule accordingly. While I can’t abandon the things on my to-do list, I can decide where in the day to place them.

Motivation can be an elusive entity, but if we respect the fact that it ebbs and flows instead of trying to guilt ourselves into action, we can make the most of it when it’s working in our favor.


Copyright 2019 Lisa Hess

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About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at Catholicmom.com. She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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