Writer, H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I want to feel like Julie Andrews feels about discipline:
"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly."
The Bible has things to say on this too...
"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11
I lose motivation so easily.
So I went in search of advice... I think sometimes sticking to the routine and simply not thinking about whether or not there is a choice is key for me. "Just pull up your big girl pants and do it." often works for me to do something I don't feel like doing.
Ah, there is the problem.. "something I don't feel like doing." I need to embrace the concept of 'Do it whether I feel like it or not!' I'm thankful for FlyLady's concept of 'You can do anything for 15 minutes." 15 minutes of washing dishes, 15 minutes of clearing a corner of my desk, 15 minutes folding and putting away laundry, 15 minutes of walking...
And finally, a great quote by Seth Godin:
"Discipline is obeying the rule you set when you were in a different mood than you are now."
Here's what I came across on a quick google search of 'how to stay motivated.'
Seven Steps to Staying Motivated
1. Set a goal and visualize it down to the most minute detail. See it, feel it, hear the sounds that accompany the end result (wind rushing through your hair, applause). Elite athletes visualize their performance ahead of time — right down to the smell of the sweat dripping down their face as they cross the finish line.
2. Make a list of the reasons you want to accomplish the goal. In our busy, distracting world, it’s easy to get blown off course. This is why you need to ground yourself in your goal. For extra “success insurance,” write your list with a pen. Studies show that when we write by hand and connect the letters manually, we engage the brain more actively in the process. Because typing is an automatic function that involves merely selecting letters, there’s less of a mental connection.
3. Break the goal down into smaller pieces and set intermediary targets — and rewards. I’ve called this “chunking” long before there was a Wikipedia to explain that there are eight variations of the concept. To me it’s the best non-pharmaceutical antidote to ADHD. Tony Robbins, arguably the foremost motivational speaker and personal development coach, says: “A major source of stress in our lives comes from the feeling that we have an impossible number of things to do. If you take on a project and try to do the whole thing all at once, you’re going to be overwhelmed.”
Enter chunking. My system involves chipping away at a project. Break it down into the smallest realistic steps and only do one at a time. Neuroscience tells us that each small success triggers the brain’s reward center, releasing feel-good chemical dopamine. This helps focus our concentration and inspires us to take another similar step. Try this with your bête noire, whether organizing your papers and bills or setting out to find a new job.
4. Have a strategy, but be prepared to change course. Let Thomas Edison inspire you in this department: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” “The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
5. Get the help you need. It doesn’t necessarily take a village, but even if you could theoretically accomplish your objective alone, there’s inherent value in sharing your plan. It’s why people get married in front of witnesses. Announcing your intentions sends a strong message to the world and, more important, to your unconscious mind, which can sometimes sabotage our best efforts. Also, we often overestimate our abilities. The flip side is being highly selective about whom you tell and ask for help. It’s akin to the builder’s rule to always get “the right tool for the right job.”
6. Pre-determine how you will deal with flagging motivation. This is not defeatist thinking. On the contrary! It’s (almost) inevitable that at some point along the way, whether because of temporary setbacks or sheer exhaustion, you will need a little boost. When that happens, I think of what others have endured to reach their targets and to quash even the beginning of a pity party, I invoke the most hard-core endurance models I can think of: friends fighting serious diseases and Holocaust survivors.
Winston Churchill is particularly inspirational on this front. After London endured 57 consecutive bombings by the Germans during World War II (the Blitzkrieg), he was invited to address a group of students. In that speech, he uttered his immortal line “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.
7. Continually check in with your reasons for carrying on. Despite his all-too-human flaws, Steve Jobs embodied this brilliantly. He once told an interviewer: “I think most people that are able to make a sustained contribution over time — rather than just a peak — are very internally driven. You have to be. Because, in the ebb and tide of people’s opinions and of fads, there are going to be times when you are criticized, and criticism’s very difficult. And so when you’re criticized, you learn to pull back a little and listen to your own drummer. And to some extent, that isolates you from the praise, if you eventually get it, too. The praise becomes a little less important to you and the criticism becomes a little less important to you, in the same measure. And you become more internally driven.”
See the Big Picture
There’s also a more meta, “Why are we here?” way to think about motivation. The great Jewish Rabbi Hillel (alive around the time of Jesus), famously said, “If not you, then who? If not now, when?” If you truly let those words sink in, it’s hard to be slacker.
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** Don't let your goals run wild... When your sights are too ambitious, they can backfire, burn you out, and actually become demotivating, says Lisa Ordóñez, a professor of management and organizations at the Eller College of Management, at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. Instead of aiming unrealistically high (such as trying to save enough money for a down payment on a home in six months), set goals that are a stretch but not an overreach (come up with a doable savings plan for your budget).
...But work on them everyday. According to Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us ($27, amazon.com), taking small steps every day will not only help hold your interest in what you’re trying to achieve but will also ensure that you move slowly, but surely, toward your goal. So, for example, set up a down-payment-fund jar and dump your change into it every night. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment each day, to boot.
** Go public with it. Instead of keeping your intentions to yourself, make them known to many. “Other people can help reinforce your behavior,” says James Fowler, a political scientist who studies social networks at the University of California, San Diego. After all, it’s harder to abandon a dream when you know that people are tracking your progress. Take Stefanie Samarripa of Dallas, 25, who wanted to lose 20 pounds. She created a blog and told all her friends to read it. “I wanted something to hold me accountable,” she says. Samarripa weighs herself weekly and announces the result on Desperately Seeking Skinny (skinnystefsam.blogspot.com). During her first three weeks, she lost six pounds. “People read my updates and make comments, which helps me keep going,” she says.
** Make yourself a priority. Put your needs first, even when it feels utterly selfish. You will derail your progress if you sacrifice yourself for others in order to please them (such as eating a cupcake that a coworker baked even though you’re on a diet).
From Real Simple online article
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Here are 5 steps to gain more clarity about why you want to change, and what you want in life:
Pull out a piece of paper and a pen.
Ask yourself the question, “What’s one area of my life that I’d like to change?” Write this answer on the top of the page.
Look at your answer. Now ask yourself, “But why is this important?” Write this new answer below your previous answer.
Repeat step 3 until you uncover the real reasons motivating you to
change. Keep going deeper. You’ll know when you’ve gotten to the root
cause of your pain.
Based on what you uncover, develop a clear vision of what you want in
your life. Use this new awareness and motivation to help you remain
committed to this new path.
Remember: Saying “I’m unhappy at work” or “I feel unfulfilled in my relationship” isn’t deep enough. Keep going!
We all face obstacles in our lives, but if we’re willing to do the tough work of asking ourselves “why?” these obstacles can truly become the gateways that lead to greater clarity and new beginnings. We can use this clarity to gain a deeper understanding of what we really want in life, and to motivate us to make lasting changes.
From Tiny Buddha
"Our character is basically a composite of habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character." ~ Steven R. Covey