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Ask the Expert: Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. »
Tuesday
Jul292014

Linda's Top 10 Motivators

What motivates you to act? What gets you from point A to point B? I’ve got my list. You’ve got yours. I’ll share mine. Come and share yours.


Linda’s Top 10 Motivators

1. Crossing It Off

Oh, yes! Give me a piece of paper and a red pen. Just knowing that I get to steer the pen through the “to do,” can be motivation in itself to get it done.

 

2. Anticipating Treat

Knowing that a “sweet treat” break (like ice cream or chocolate) is on the other side can motivate me to finish.

 

3. Upcoming Deadline

Using a timer, a calendar, or an appointment that imposes a fixed timeframe for completion can work motivational wonders.

 

4. Promising Others

Following through on my commitments and staying true to my word motivates me to action.

 

5. Promising Self

Accountability works when I’m accountable not just to others, but also to myself. Setting goals motivates me to move forward.

 

6. Conjuring Up Fun

When fun is involved in the doing, it draws me in and motivates me to action.

 

7. Reducing Pain

If not doing is causing me stress or pain, it motivates me to move forward.

 

8. Harnessing Nice Days

I wake-up more motivated and productive on clear, sun-filled days. I like to take advantage of that when possible.

 

9. Calling It Quits

There’s point of no return when productivity declines. It’s like pushing a wet noodle. I’m too tired, too stressed, and too too. It’s time to stop and relax, so that I can become motivation-ready once again.

 

10. Cheering You On

I can experience a motivation surge when I’m close but not quite done with a project or task. The “You can do it!” cheer plays over and over in my head until I reach the finish line.

 

Do any of these motivators work for you? Do you have a different list? Come join the conversation. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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Reader Comments (10)

Crossing it off is huge for me. Also, seeing tangible improvement. Sometimes I don't clean out my own closet because it isn't messy enough to see a big difference- LOL! Also, the sun motivates me as well, and the crisp fall air. Preparing to welcome others is also a huge motivator for me for things like cooking, cleaning, etc. Professionally, I am motivated by watching others and thinking "If they can do it, so can I!"

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Seana- Wonderful to hear your additions to the "motivators" list. Love your perspective about waiting to organize in order to see "tangible" changes. That's a useful concept that I can use with my clients, especially when they're getting down on themselves for not taking action sooner. We can consider the "visible progress being worth the wait" concept to frame the negative thoughts into a more positive outlook.

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

My list
Satisfaction of completing things and see results
Achieving results so I can have time to relax
Being relaxed so I can think in how wonderful my life is
Being grateful for my partner, family, pets, friends and rainy days
Then start over

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

Working with a partner is a great motivator. I love collaboration and the exchange of ideas. My partner offers other tools too, often new tech tools that I have not used before. What a great list!

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

My motivators are mostly the same as yours. When there's something I really don't want to do, reminding myself that the sooner it's done, the sooner I can get it out of my head can be a big motivator too!

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I have to agree with Ellen. Partnership and accountability through partnership are hugely motivating for me. I'm in the process of creating three different presentations, each to be delivered this fall. It's no surprise to me that the one I'm scheduled to deliver in November is much more complete at this stage than the other two that will be delivered in September and October. The reason: I'm collaborating on the November presentation and my partner and I push each other a little further each week. Accountability and partnership are awesome motivators.

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Sharb

Linda, you and I share many of the same motivators! I have a red pen near my to-do list and just love crossing off those things which are done. I also agree that having an accountability partner is a huge motivator for me. I like reporting the progress of a project to my partner and then hearing her say 'good job - keep going' really helps me stay on track to getting the project done well and on time!

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

I always use #1, #3,#4,and #5. I like to see an end to my tasks, that motivates me in of itself.

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Number 10! Having a cheerleader - especially when it comes to something physical - like Pilates! My Pilates instructor *really* knows how to be very encouraging and push each student in the class just a little bit each day. It's very motivating to hear her encourage me to breathe more deeply or stand taller or hang in there for 6 more reps . . . it's amazing how much she "stretches" us (literally!)

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGeralin Thomas

It's a party going on! So great to "see" all of you here. It's a motivation-fest!

@Nacho- Love the part that gratitude plays in your motivation list. Beautiful.

@Ellen- Ah. Collaboration as a motivator and idea generator. Wonderful.

@Janet- Relief as a motivator can be very effective…as in "the sooner it's done…"

@Andrea- A power packed combo, right? Partnership and accountability as motivation activators.

@Diane- Looks like you, me and Janet have similar motivators. Nothing quite like the "red pen!"

@Jill- Yes on visualizing the "end" of the tasks as the motivator!

@Geralin- We all need a cheerleader in life. They show up in different ways (like your Pilates instructor) and play important roles for stretching, encouraging, and motivating us forward.

July 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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