Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Finding Motivation

Do you ever struggle with motivation? I do. There are times when nothing can stop me from reaching a goal; then there are times when I grit my teeth and force myself to keep moving forward. Why is it so hard to pursue our dreams?

It's easy to let ourselves down. It's much harder to let other people down. That's one reason why celebrities hire personal trainers, personal chefs, hairstylists, publicists, and personal assistants. They need to present a beautiful picture to the world, and they need to present it often. If they have a bad day, their team forces them to buck up and perform.

But I'm a writer. A not-yet-published writer. One without deadlines except those personally imposed. How can I stay motivated without a team of professionals pushing me?

Goals are important. A pre-determined schedule is important. Belief in success is important.

But when you're at your wits end, you need more than goals, a schedule or belief in your abilities.

You need to bribe yourself.

Yeah. Bribe. Yourself.

As in "I'm buying the new Norah Jones cd as soon as I finish this chapter," or "I'm diving into the Dove chocolate bar as soon as I write one page."

Also, gather some happy supplies--you know the guilty pleasures we all indulge in. If your tea is the highlight of your day, break out the gorgeous china and drink it in that. Maybe you have a feel-good outfit? Go put it on. Blast your favorite music, look through old photo albums, write in a pretty journal--whatever makes you feel great. Sometimes we lack motivation because we don't feel very good about life in general.

What makes you happy when you're feeling blah?

Inspiration: The Seven Rules to Staying Motivated. It's a handy list to pin on your bulletin board.

31 comments:

  1. Great post! Starting laughing when I got to the bribe, and you are just so right. I'm there with you, and I totally understand. I need to think of a really good bribe that doesn't involve a lot of calories.

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  2. Good morning!

    Georgiana: Last night I put on some great jazz music and read a classic. Such a welcome break from my normal busy, busy routine. You'll find a non-caloric treat!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  3. yes! so, so true. And, there is a little help/solution for anyone who needs motivation on my blog today. It's not from me .. it's a link to a "write for the month of March and win cool prizes" thing. That's helping me so far (of course, it's only been a couple days. ha!)

    anything that moves us along is a good thing.

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  4. I am all for bribes. It got both my kids potty trained and is definitely beneficial when needed. Good post! :O)

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  5. All of the above works for me! If you like Norah Jones, you might like Melody Gardot too. She has a new cd out and is similar to Jones in that subtle, jazzy way. Enjoy your indulgences!

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  6. Funny, I did just that. I get to buy a new messenger bag for the conference I'm going to in April once I get to a place where I can officially hand my MS off to critique partners.

    I want to live in that picture.

    ~ Wendy

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  7. Coffee.
    It can all be accomplished through the black liquid gold called "coffee".

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  8. Yes! Goals, I think, sometimes make the difference between finishing and not finishing. Bribery definitely works too! For me, that feeling of having accomplished what I set out to do is what keeps me going. :)

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  9. From now on I'm bribing myself! Thanks Jill- I just needed a little motivation. Ha!

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  10. Goals and bribes, what a great pairing of ideas! I'll take one of each:-)

    And, that cloud photo is cool!

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  11. One of my motivators is when I go to Caribou Coffee. I feel compelled to get a good amount of work done, since I'm indulging myself in Earl Grey tea and an orange cranberry scone and getting out of the house. :)

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  12. I love this idea of bribing yourself! I so need to look into this more. Motivation is one of the hardest things, especially when you're the only one you have to answer to. I feel ya.

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  13. Ah, my bribes work in a different way. Sit down at the computer and write. You can eat a hunk of chocolate while you're writing.

    One thing that motivates me is reading blogs. Seeing all of you work so hard gives me a healthy kick.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  14. Great posting! God's word helps me in the HUGE ways.

    Little ways? Getting to read a blog after "X" pages of edits.
    Chocolate...after Lent.
    Tea. Coffee. Friend's calls!!

    Blessings, dear one.
    Patti

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  15. Tess: Link to prizes? Yeah! I'm in! Thanks!

    Diane: That was my secret for potty-training too!

    Joanne: Melody Gardot. I'm on it!

    Wendy: Well, I'm sure your cp's can't wait to read it (hint, hint!!)!

    Jaime: Ahh...liquid gold. Yes!

    Danyelle: It's a good feeling, isn't it. True!

    Tamika: We all do!

    Paul: One of each, coming right up!

    Erica: Just heading over to Caribbou coffee is an excellent bribe. I love coffee shops!

    Elana: Yep. It's not always easy!

    Susan J: Oh, definitely! Reading blogs is a great reward!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  16. Patti: A phone call to a friend is a wonderful reward! Blessing to you too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  17. Writing? Come on, Jill, bribing myself is how I get through life in general, haha.

    Great post.

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  18. One of my rewards for writing is being able to email my progress update to my CP, who has become a treasured friend. She's so faithful to rejoice in my successes.

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  19. Icy Roses: Me too! :)

    Keli: Sharing the progress is a great motivator!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  20. I like this! And I'm not above bribery!

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  21. More than motivation I struggle with TIME! Need more and quick. It didn't help to discover that earthquake in CHili (God help them) shortened our days either. What exactly is the Lord telling us? Perhaps time is indeed running out?

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  22. Hello. And Bye.

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  23. Hi, Jill! I struggled today with staying motivated to do the things I needed to do first before I could dig into the things I really wanted to do. I agree with T. Anne. I need more time!

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  24. Sunshine and being in my yard, which is probably why my motivation stinks at the moment. I've had enough of winter and snow. It really starts hitting me in Feb. I can live with it through Nov, Dec and Jan, but then, enough is enough and it is all I can do to write 100 words.

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  25. Jill: I love this post, because it's where I live much of the time.

    Yes, bribes are great, and they work. Sometimes I cannot think of bribes other than fattening ones, so your teacups-music-outfit ideas helped me.

    I use blogging as a reward, too!

    Love
    Jen

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  26. i LOVE bribing myself! haha. Writing during early summer mornings is one of my favorite TIMES to write, but IF I had to choose a motivation I could find daily - it would be music and well, of course, coffee. Candles are perfect too. But summer, ah, nothing like summer.

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  27. Kristen T: I'm not above it either!

    T.Anne: I struggle with time too. So many wonderful things in my life vying for time...

    Heather: I go through periods like that too. Sometimes it helps just to give yourself a week of doing the unimportant stuff!

    Amy: Same here! I can't tell you how much sunshine and warmth help. March can be really rough!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  28. Jen: Blogs are a great reward!

    Amber J: How could I forget candles? They smell divine!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  29. I love the bribe yourself idea! Motivation has been a huge issue for me for the last few weeks. That's why I haven't been reading or commenting as frequently because I'm just so overwhelmed. It is getting better though.

    Great tip Jill!

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  30. Jill, never a day goes by where I don't bribe myself. It's the only way I get anything done.

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  31. I work with Dove Chocolate and I know sometimes you need to bribe yourself with chocolate :)
    Have you tried the Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter Promises? Treat yourself! They are silky smooth and available at any mass food or drugstore.

    For the latest & greatest from the brand visit www.dovechocolate.com. Follow DOVE on Twitter @ dove_chocolate and become a fan on Facebook!

    Thanks,
    Jessica
    The DOVE Chocolate Team

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