Tell me, when you look at yourself in the mirror do you see your advantages or your flaws first? 🤔
Don’t worry, we tend to listen to our inner critic and to focus on negativities, that’s normal because we inherited from our earliest evolutionary survival needs. But we can work on that and turn it into self-compassion! 🤗
Kristin Neff, PhD, the world’s leading researcher of self-compassion, identifies 3 elements of self-compassion:
➡️ 1. Mindful awareness 🧐
Noticing the inner critic is the first step so if are aware of it and you see it as something negative and unfavourable to you, you’re on the good path to eliminate it 😊! Go easy and always be kind to yourself so if you notice that negative voice now and that you’ve been bad to yourself – don’t freak out! 😉 Don’t get angry with yourself for being angry with yourself 😜, don’t judge and don’t blame yourself. Just go slow, close that chapter and work on that change.
➡️ 2. Practice kindness🙏
Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend (after all, you are your friend! ☺).
At The Center for Compassionate Leadership one of favorite practices to strengthen your self-kindness is called “Note to a Dear Friend” ✉ Whenever you face a problem practice this:
„Write a note as if you were comforting a loved one or a dear friend who was facing the same difficult situation you. Add two words to the top of the note: “Dear [your name].” Read the note out loud to yourself with loving kindness.”
Read more here: https://www.centerforcompassionateleadership.org/blog/compassionate-leadership-practice-series-note-to-a-dear-friend-a-self-compassion-exercise
➡️ 3. Recognize That You Aren’t Alone 😘
It is very important to remember that you’re not alone in all this! We all have inner critics we fight with! Everyone faces challenges and makes mistakes. Everyone has bad days 🤗
Self-compassion is a skill that gets better and better the more you practice it. So start small and keep moving forward!
They say procrastination is the thief of time—actually deadlines are 😬.
New research from the University of Otago has found that if it is best not to set a deadline at all 😮. But if you do set a deadline, make it short 😉 (here we’re talking about a deadline of a short/small project or a deadline of STARTING some big project).
Professor Stephen Knowles, from the Otago Business School tested the effect of deadline length on task completion 🧐.
Participants were invited to complete an online survey in which a donation goes to charity. They were given either one week, one month, or no deadline to respond.
The study found responses to the survey were lowest for the one-month deadline, and highest when no deadline was specified 🙃.
No deadline and the one-week deadline led to many early responses, while a long deadline appeared to give people permission to procrastinate, and then forget 🤷♀️.
Quite surprising, huh? Remember about that when planning some new project! 😉
It is also said that if something is said to take 5-10min of your time, do it straigh away. Don’t postpone it over and over again. For example, if you need to call your bank to ask for something or you need to buy something online – just go and do it! Procrastinating is the worst 🙄.
And that’s the end of our Monday Motivation series! 🤗 Whenever you feel like you lack motivation go back to those steps:
➡️Remind yourself what motivation exactly is (step 1)
➡️ Why you may lack it (step 2)
➡️ Read again how to set a goal (step 3)
➡️ Successful methods to boost your motivation:
🔸️ visualisations (step 7)
🔸️ training your willpower (step 8 & 9)
🔸️ deferring gratification (steps 11 & 12)
➡️ Remember what may weaken your motivation (steps 10, 14 & 15)
➡️ For practical tips to use in life (not only learning about motivation in theory) keep coming back to steps 18 and 19 – those are my ‘secret weapons’ how to get yourself to work! 😉
Happy planning your projects for this year and I wish you plenty of motivation and will to work!
➡️ 1. Plan 📋 what you need to do exactly (e.g. step by step) the day/night before and lay out everything you’re gonna need.
➡️ 2. Remember why you want to do it – envision the success if you do it and feel the regret if you don’t 😎.
Quick visualisation of yourself at the end of that path (whatever it is that you’re working on either being thin if you’re trying to lose weight or being rich and successful if you’re e.g. starting your own business) always boosts motivation and will make you wanna get to work!😀
➡️ 3. Stop thinking, just do it! 😉
Simple as that! Stop wondering „what if I can’t make it?” 🤔 or „maybe today isn’t the best day to do it?”🤔. Just do it! Remember, doing something is still better than doing nothing!
➡️ 4. Act as if you were motivated 🙃
You may be able to trick yourself into feeling motivated by changing your behavior. Instead of sitting on a couch in your pjs get dressed and start moving 🚶♀️! This always gets me going!
If it doesn’t work on you take it step further – put on a jacket/coat and go for a walk 🌳, use it to get creative, to get inspired and then when you get back home go straight to work, don’t sit down on a couch even for a second! 😉
➡️ 5. Always reward yourself for hard work! 🏆
It can be as simple as metaphorical (or literal if you want) patting yourself on a back, saying/thinking that you’re proud of yourself that you did the work (even if it was just a little bit) and do something fun afterwards – make yourself a tea ☕ and watch your favourite movie 🎬 or another episode of some TV show, go meet your friends etc 🤗
But remember to balance it well 😉– don’t reward yourself with a marathon of movies or 3 days off after working for 1-2h 🤭. Make sure that the „reward time” is proportional to the time you spent working.
Those are all the steps that work on me and that get me going! 😃
Do you like them? Will you try them out to get to work when you don’t feel like it?
Let me know if it works on you! 😊👇
We’ve already went through theoretical part of our Motivational Monday series 📝. We’ve learned what exactly motivation is, what may be a reason of lack of it, how motivation works with different emotions, how to set a precise plan of action etc. Now it’s time to learn useful practical tricks that you may use when you don’t feel like working and you want to boost your motivation (and it’s so needed for our new year’s resolutions, right? 🤩)
3 quick tricks you may do to boost your motivation 💪:
➡️ 1. Argue the Opposite 🔛
Often when we don’t feel like working we come up with plenty excuses 🙄. So to any excuse your mind will give you like „I won’t succeed anyway” quickly think „But what if I do? Plenty people succeed so can I!” 😃; instead of „It’s too dificult, I won’t make it” think „It may be difficult at first but I’ll learn how to do it and it will get easier with time!”. 😎
Arguing the opposite can help you see both ends of the spectrum. It can also remind you that an overly pessimistic outcome isn’t completely accurate.
➡️ 2. Use the 10-Minute Rule ⏰ – this is what works best for me 😄
Give yourself permission to quit a task after 10 minutes. When you reach the 10-minute mark, ask yourself if you want to keep going or quit 🤔. You’ll likely find that you have enough motivation to keep going. So in the end you don’t have to push yourself to work for 6-8h or how long but you just need to push yourself for those 10min and the rest will go with the flow 😉.
➡️ 3. Pair a Dreaded Task With Something You Enjoy 🎶
Boost your mood by adding a little fun to something you’re not motivated to do 😃
Here are some examples:
🔸️ Listen to music while you run.
🔸️ Call a friend, and talk while you’re cleaning the house.
🔸️ Light a scented candle while you’re working on your computer.
Which one do you think would work best on you? 🤔
Those are just a few. Come back next Monday for more! 🤩
Have you noticed that when you’re angry 🤬, sad or feeling any other strong emotion you tend to react totally differently than how you’ve planned? 🤷♀️
I, for example, tend to be very motivated when I’m rested, when I’m planning upcoming days e.g. on Sunday evening. I am full of positive and motivated thought and I plan so many things for the week but then when the next day comes and when I have to do the things I’ve planned I don’t feel like it, I can’t get to work etc 😪.
How to get passed it? 🤔 First of all, keep your mind open when you’re planning. When, like me, you’re planning your week on Sunday evening keep in mind that you won’t be that fresh and rested on Monday evening like you are on Sunday 😅 (that is if you’re planning some extra project that you’re doing after your full-time job like me).
Second of all, remember to rest ⚠️. If you keep working and pushing and pushing without resting you’re gonna lose your motivation at some point 🤷♀️.
So go on now and have some proper rest during Christmas time, then we’re gonna come back next week on last Monday of the year to sum up everything and prepare for actual motivational excercises in January to walk into 2022 big, strong and motivated 💪. That’s the last step of our theorotical steps and in January we’ll be using motivational excercises in practice 😎
We’ve talked about different reasons why we may lack motivation: lack of „I desire” power (or it’s too weak 😔), being too stressed or too tired😴, mind traps etc… Today we’re gonna focus on sabotaging thoughts that often come to our mind and ruin our plans or desire to work 😬
They often appear on a subconcious level so we might not notice them and that’s why we tend to think that they’re „stronger” than us 🤷♀️
Try observing them while you’re fighting with some temptation or you feel like resigning from some important activity (e.g. workout). What do you notice? What happens then? 🤔
Mine are usually: „I don’t feel like it”, „I’m too tired” or „I don’t know exactly how to do it”.
Don’t judge them but also don’t ignore them – take them seriously. Even if they seem silly, weird or without any sense to you carefully look into them 🧐.
Sabotaging thoughts can:
➡️ Bring down your self-confidence 📉
➡️ Let you reject knowledge, good advices or hints from others 🚫
➡️ Increase general stress level (and that weakens your strong will! Remember!!)
Keep observing your sabotaging thoughts (and when you notice them, write them down! 📝) while remembering to be good to yourself! 😉. Then for each sabotaging thought create a supporting thouht or helpful recreation 🤗. Now you’ll be able to not only notice a sabotaging thought but to stop and choose how you wanna react❗.
Try to think why you lack motivation 🤔 Maybe you’re too tired and need rest? Or maybe you don’t have a precise plan? 🧐 Or maybe you’re trapped in one of the mind traps : „everything or nothing” thinking, excessive pessimism or exaggeration 🤯
If you are, create a list of counter-arguments that will help you look at reality without falling into those mind traps 🤗
Come back to the source of your „I want” power, visualise your goal, try to find your motivation 🤩
Sit down and answer those questions:
➡️ What encouraged you to set this goal?
➡️ What will happen when you reach it?
➡️ What will you gain?
If you want, find something that reminds you of important reasons why you started . It can be notes, picture of someone who succeeded and inspired you , some symbol of your motivation 💪. I always get most motivated by other people’s success 🤗.
Last week we’ve talked about deferring gratification – does it apply to you? 🤔 Does your brain demand a reward here and now? 😬 Do you forget about your goal when you see something you want (e.g. a cake while being on a diet) and you easily succumb to temptation? 🧐
Don’t worry! The art of deferring gratification can be learned, same as you can train your willpower 💪.
Try this exercise from Kelly McGonigqal’s book „The Willpower Instinct”: It appears that 10 minutes is not a long time to wait for something we want. Neurologists however discovered that it has great impact on how your brain processes the vision of reward 🏆. If instant gratification is supposed to come after 10 minutes then our brain sees it as future benefit 🔜. Hence the system that processes the promise of a reward calms down and strong biological impulse to instant consummation weakens ⬇️.
In order for your brain 🧠 to think straight try waiting 10 minutes before you succumb to temptation. If after 10 minutes you still want it, take it/do it 😄. Before the time passes though try to think of long-term benefits you’ll get for resisting temptation. If it’s possible, try also creating some physical or visual distance ↔️.
If you need to do something you don’t feel like doing you can also use „10 minutes rule” to help you resist the temptation of delaying necessary actions and to force yourself a bit to do them😉. Try making it „do it for 10 minutes, then you can stop”. Let yourself stop working after 10 minutes – it might turn out that as you already had started you will want to continue 😉. For me, it’s always the most difficult to start working and when I do I usually want to finish so this trick works on me quie well 👍
Try doing that excercise and write down your results. „10 miutes rule” might work great when you don’t feel like working! ☺
What ability do you need to learn/practice in order to empower your strong will and be able to stand up, take that first step and go work on your dreams/projects when you don’t feel like it? 🤔
Please read and let me know if it sounds familiar 🧐. Your friend brings cake to work and you can’t resist. You feel lilke dropping everything and taking an evening off to watch TV instead of work (and you keep doing that everyday)…
Your brain 🧠 demands a reward here and now! You forget about your goal and all the reasons why you wanted to achieve it. You succumb to temptation…🤭😜
Or maybe…? With your last remains of strongwill you leave that cake from friend somewhere out of sight, you turn TV off and and work on your dreams thinking thay each hour spent working gets you closer to your goal 💪.
The ability to postpone pleasures or rewards is called ➡️ ‘deferring gratification’ ⬅️ in psychology. It is crucial to realize long-distance goals because it helps you not to succumb to temptation each time 😉.
Why is it so hard to defer gratification? Because seeing temptation or reward instantly launches more primitive and oldest part of our brain demanding gratification right away 😬. Luckily we also have prefrontal cortex (part of our brain 🧠) that can cool that instant rush because it is responsible for controlling our impulses .
Task for today 📝: think how deferring gratification looks in your case? In what situations is it easier or more difficult to you? What helps you defer gratification?
3 mind traps that can weaken your willpower 😳
➡️ 1.Thinking „everything or nothing” 😬
Have you ever thought „I need to do everything from my ‘to do’ list or drop everything”? 🤔
If yes, then you got into „everything or nothing” trap which can have huge impact on your actions and effects (or lack of them 🙄). Thinking like that you don’t see your failures as small errors that you can learn from, you see it as total failure and you might start withdrawing generalized conclusions about yourself like „I’ll never succeed”, „I’m a failure” etc. STOP! ⛔
➡️ 2. Excessive pessimism or optimism „If I haven’t succeeded in 1 year I’ll never succeed” – that’s excessive pessimism when you have only negative thoughts about your future 1👎. Excessive optimism is when you ignore your past attempts and previous experience and keep thinking that „this time will be different, it will be perfect” 👍. For example, you wanted to workout regularly, you’ve had couple attempts at it and failed each time but now you think that you’ll have the willpower and you’ll workout 6 times a week for 3 months 😬. If you know what I’m talking about write all of such examples down. Now try to make each one of them more realistic e.g. „I’ll try to workout more regularly. I probably won’t be able to workout 6 times a week right away so I’ll workout 2 times this week, 3 times next week and keep improving”.
➡️ 3. Exaggeration – You exaggerate all difficulties and make everything sound impossible 🙄. „I won’t make it”, „I never do anything right”.
If you do that write all of those thoughts down and write a counterargument to each one 👍