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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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« Startling, Excellent Secret to Jumpstart Your Motivation | Are You Suffering From Continuous Partial Attention? »

Do You Nurture or Sabotage Your Motivation?

Motivation is a funny thing. Sometimes it's just there with enough force and energy to help us easily activate and accomplish "x." When that happens, the doing almost seems effortless because we aren't fighting or negotiating with ourselves. The flip side is when we seem devoid of motivation. Making a decision, let alone actually doing something, seems out of reach and maybe even impossible. What have you noticed lately? Are you poised and ready or are you stuck and overwhelmed? Perhaps the specific type of action, project or task influences your motivation level.

We are different and behave differently according to the circumstance. There are certain conditions that can nurture or sabotage our motivation. Are you familiar with these?


Sabotages Motivation

Distracted Mind

Distractions are part of human existence. Yet in today's world of being constantly connected and interrupted by our digital devices, those distractions have intensified. It's hard to complete a thought or task without interruptions. This can negatively affect motivation because it makes it that much harder to focus and complete what we're doing. We're only partially present. Taking some intentional digital blackout breaks, doing some deep breathing, or taking a walk in nature can shift the cycle and allow your mind and body to reconnect and release all the distractions.



Is your calendar so full that every waking minute is scheduled? Do you find yourself overcommitting and under-delivering? There's nothing wrong with having a full plate. Yet if you are finding that you're missing deadlines, not getting enough sleep, or are procrastinating, all of these things can sabotage your motivation. Take a step back. What can you release from the "yes" pile? Test it out and observe what happens with motivation.


Lacking Sleep

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Exhaustion is a motivation killer. When we're operating from an exhausted state, everything takes longer, we make poor decisions, and our motivation is sluggish or even non-existent. Take a look at your sleep habits. Figure out how much sleep you need to best function. Experiment with some new sleep routines and find what works for you. As your mind and body gets more sleep, notice the positive affect on your motivation.


Nurtures Motivation

Lightening Load

When we find that right personal balance of commitments, we have the energy and motivation to handle them. When we focus on saying, "yes" to the projects, people, and causes that are most meaningful motivation just flows.


Creating White Space

Free time doesn't just happen. To create that white space in our days, we need to intentionally carve it out. It can be used for doing or not doing. Having some uninterrupted, unscheduled time without any commitments other than to you is an essential motivation booster. How much white space you need or want in a given day will vary. My needs have shifted at different points in my life. These days I crave a daily dose that allows me the quiet and space to exercise, walk and practice mindfulness meditation. I wake early to begin my day with some calm and nurturing. Caring for myself gives me the energy and motivation to care for others.


Connecting With Loved Ones

Spending time with family and friends whether that's in small doses (like taking a walk) or for extended time (like vacationing) helps us to relax, play, and unwind. We share stories, challenges and successes. We talk about the small and big things in life. Those connections make us part of something so that we're not alone in this world. They ground, inspire and motivate us.


If you are motivationally challenged or know someone that is, do any of these concepts resonate with you?  Are you a motivation nurturer or sabotage? What else have you observed? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!






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Reader Comments (11)

I like to think that I nurture motivation. I'm usually pretty excited about most things, but my motivation lags when I don't have enough to do.

July 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I always have lots going on. I seem to thrive on that. However, I get really distracted from my multiple projects when a member of my family is on my mind. Then I find I have to work at motivation. I tell myself that if I do x minutes on the project of the day that I can then focus on the family member. Essentially, I make bargains with myself to create motivation when I'm stuck.

July 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

@Janet- Go Nurturer! That's so interesting that your motivation declines when you aren't busy enough. I appreciate you offering up this other perspective.

@Diane- Bargaining is an interesting motivation strategy. I do understand what you mean about balancing personal or work projects with family related things. I have often found myself with that push/pull and I can get through, but it can be exhausting and I have to work harder at motivating myself to get certain things done.

July 3, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I agree! Lack of sleep is a huge factor! I do find that when I am lacking sleep, I just can't function. So it is my priority to have more sleep 7 -8 hours work best for me. Having a night time routine helps me calm down and let go.

July 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

@Sabrina- Getting enough sleep is HUGE! Like you, when I get 7-8 hours of sleep I can function best. Establishing a good sleep routine is a great way to ensure a restful night. It's great that you have one that works for you.

July 3, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I like to create White Space as much as I can to nurture motivation. Overcommitting is an area I need to watch out for and that can sabotage motivation, so when I see it creeping in, I do try to pay attention to it! I was a huge overcommitter in the past and would now say I am reformed. And I like it that way! Great post. Thank you.

July 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Montanaro

@Lisa- Welcome to the reformed overcommitters club! That's inspiring that you've figured out how to better balance what you choose to have on your plate.

July 8, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Lack of sleep is something that really saps all of my motivation. As I age, I find I just struggle when I don't sleep well. I acknowledge that there isn't always anything I can do about it, but at least I can acknowledge that sometimes a lack of motivation has a physical cause over which I have no control. When this happens, I can show myself grace and try to find a time in the future where I can catch up on something that is needed.

July 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Seana- It's wonderful that you know yourself so well... recognizing that getting enough sleep is essential to sustaining your personal motivation. But in addition to that, the fact that you can show yourself some compassion and "grace" is so lovely.

July 11, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I think I don't allow myself enough time to complete the projects that I want to do. I usually have so much to do that when I do get some "white space," I use it to relax. Then I get upset that I "wasted a day" not working towards my goals/projects. It's a vicious cycle.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterThe Blogging Senorita

@Ms. Blogging Senorita (great name!)- You have an awareness of the issue, which is a great first step. Now that you know that your projects take longer than you anticipate, you can experiment with building in a bigger cushion. As far as using your "white space" to relax, I commend you. If though it may not be moving your projects or goals along as quickly as you'd like by relaxing instead of working, it's essential that you DO take time to relax. That recharges us to have the energy and motivation to strive for goals. If we're only just working, working, working, we'll burn out very quickly.

August 13, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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