Motivation and coaching myself

I have a fascination with what motivates people to ‘get stuff done’ and recently read an article that I enjoyed, on the blog Pointless Overthinking. You can read it here:

It prompted me to write this post (a couple of weeks ago), but I never finished it as I got motivated to go and do some art journaling. Below is what I wrote at the end of June.

Lately I have been struggling to find the motivation to get out the door and exercise. Today is fine, so the weather can not be an excuse. I just bought new running shoes (post lockdown), so can not say my feet are hurting because my footwear is tired. Both Mitch and Holly have gone to school today, and I have no appointments. I don’t start work until 5 pm tonight. Why then, am I not heading out into the fresh air and a sunny winter’s day and making the most of the school hours?

If you are looking for the answers here, I I have no magic motivation formula. I honestly struggle with this. I have read so many books about habit formation, motivation and personal development. I love reading about how to get fit, lose weight, eat healthy, be organised, find your passion and live a meaningful life. I am always trying to get better and be better. Why, don’t I do this?

First off, my body is always tired. My knees were sore as I climbed the stairs to Mitchell’s classroom today. When I go to the GP and tell him I’m tired all the time, he sends me for blood tests. These always show that I have inflammation in my body. I blame the food I put in my body and the affects of chronic stress. My mind is racing around thinking about what I should do in the house before I go to work – meal prep, making my bed, washing the floor and cleaning the bathroom. I have unfinished paperwork weighing on my mind, a pile of niggles that I have not put to bed. There are annoying piles of stuff that I started sorting in lockdown, that I have not found a home for. Plus I don’t actually feel like doing any of it and I know if I don’t do it, it will be there tomorrow, and the day after, the week after and in some cases a month or 6 months after.

I make a coffee, mmmmm. I decide to write this blog post. I stall and ponder life. Writing this, makes me wonder if I am wasting time writing my blog, but I know this is not true. I start thinking about one space or two spaces after a full stop, and remember that even though it was two, when I learnt to type, it is now one. I make two full spaces after every sentence anyway. I am a rebel. Writing helps me to focus and find motivation to do what I need to get done. I can go for that walk soon. It’s okay to pause, write, think and enjoy my coffee. I look outside, the forecast in my head is okay. We had heavy rain yesterday, but today is going to be all right. Time to play some happy music. And that, brings me back to the dilemma of what is it that motivates ME to do something?

In the past, I have had success. Yes, I have started and finished some things and it makes me feel accomplished and happy and worthwhile. Success is actually like a happy pill, a drug, a natural high, it brings a smile to your face. In my case, I’m not talking about financial success (haven’t quite mastered that one), but achievement of a goal that you wanted to reach. Accomplishing something that made you feel good. So, I decided to ask myself some questions.

  1. When have I felt the most successful in my life?

2. What do I think of as my best achievements to date? Why?

3. How and why did I succeed. What did I do differently to what I am doing now?

4. What is it that I want to achieve?

4. What are the barriers or obstacles to me achieving what I want today?

Time now to make a cup of fruit tea. I need a clear and healthy brain. See, I can do this. I am going to go and do this work in my journal and come back to this post.


10 July 2020

This is what I started on that day, and since then I have been doing a lot more writing and creating in my journals.

When have I felt most successful in my life? What do I think of as my best achievements to date? Why?

On that day, I really only answered the first two questions, and the three things I am most proud of are finishing my degree, running a marathon and giving up drinking. But it made me realise that I have kind of been hanging about in limbo since I gave up drinking. It has taken up most of my headspace but it’s time to find a new goal. At the beginning of the year I felt motivated to get fit and lose weight so that I could enjoy our overseas trip, and then covid-19 happened and all my motivation went bye bye. In the past when I trained for a running event, or studied, I was always working towards something that I really wanted. Therefore, the answer to motivation for me is to find that next thing that I really want. What, I really, really want. Then I can find a way to take the steps to get there. I do still want to do a trip with Holly to Europe, but it’s hard to feel positive about just when that might be able to happen, so I have to find a plan b to keep me motivated.

In the meantime, I have been doing a bit of playing in my journals, so I thought I would share them here.

And I’m off to think more about how to motivate myself to get fit and healthy.

Cherie đŸ™‚

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