June 12th, 2024

All Psyched Up: Motivation

By Linda Hancock on May 18, 2024.

Why does it seem so easy to just sit around and think about things that you haven’t done yet? We can lull ourselves into a state of lethargy which unfortunately results in regrets and missed opportunities.

Now that the weather is improving it might seem like tasks are just work that take over the fun that we might otherwise be enjoying.

Here are a few tips for developing motivational habits:

1. Time: Don’t try to do everything at once. A few years ago, I encouraged a client to stop letting his garage become so disorganized that it would take a whole day to put things back in order. He was resistant to my suggestion that he limit himself to a half hour per day in the garage. By the end of the week, however, he had done enough time to have “righted” the place without losing a whole Saturday. Trying approaching tasks with a time limit. You will soon find that you work harder in that limited frame and get more done!

2. Priorities: Figure out what deadlines need to be met. If you find that your office space is cluttered, begin sorting things into categories with common topics. For example, gather up all the bills that need to be paid. You can enter them into your online banking portal with appropriate deadlines and then file all the paperwork. Remember to allow payment to occur a few days before the deadline in order to save unwanted interest and penalties. Putting things into categories and determining deadlines will divide big tasks into small chunks.

3. Downsizing: A few years ago, I read a blog by a woman who lived in a small house with her husband and twelve children. She stated that each child had three outfits for summer and three outfits for winter. This way, there was less laundry! What a great concept! Costco uses the same principle in its marketing. They know that people who have too many choices tend to not buy because it is too hard to make a decision. Simplify your life by simplifying your “stuff”.

4. Being your own best friend: Depending on other people can be demotivating. Often, they say they will do something but then cancel, arrive late or want to leave quickly. When you plan activities for yourself with yourself, you can feel a freedom that you can’t guarantee with other people. If you want to do something, just do it.

5. Grab life in small pieces: Last spring I decided to start a walking program. The first day I only went 500 steps but was determined to add at least one extra step each following day. Before I knew it, I was over 5000 steps. You don’t need to run a marathon, go on a starvation diet or buy out all the vitamins in the health food store! Just make a simple plan that includes achievable steps (no pun intended).

6. Just start: Years ago, I made an inspirational calendar with quotes. One page was a concept that I had created and clung to in order to get through four university degrees while working full-time. It said: “The hardest part of reading a book is opening it to the first page”. Rather than talking yourself out of doing something by recanting all the “good” excuses you have, just start. Once you begin anything, you can get lost in the process and before you know it, you will make progress, enjoy yourself, develop healthy pride or all of the above. Just start!

7. Think about the positive: Everyone can come up with multiple reasons to not do something. I’m too tired. There is a program that I would like to watch. The weather isn’t perfect. Etc. etc. etc. Instead, focus on the benefits. I will feel more organized when the kitchen cupboards are cleaned. Financial freedom will be possible one month at a time. My health is important so taking care of it means my body will take care of me for years. Think positive!

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com

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