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April's Self-Improvement Challenge: Motivation

Each month for 2024 I will post a different challenge, to help you implement some strategies to make your life easier. Self-improvement and management of mental health symptoms takes deliberate, intentional and repeated practice. These challenges will provide you with some goals and hopefully, some motivation to improve your life in simple ways.

April's Self-Improvement Challenge

motivation is hard

April’s self-improvement challenge focuses on exploring what motivates you and de-motivates you to get things done. If you complete this challenge, the information you learn about yourself will help you in future self-improvement challenges, as we are going to use this information to implement strategies for making tasks easier, more efficient and enjoyable to complete.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, has two phases:

Phase 1: The information gathering phase

Week 1 & 2: What motivates & de-motivates you?

Everyone is motivated by something and experiences blocks to their motivation. A question I love to explore in session to help people figure out what motivates them best goes something along the lines of

“If I was going to bribe you to help be scrub 1000 dirty toilets, what would be the best way and the worst way to convince you to do it?”

During week one and two, your challenge is to gather information and document what motivates you to get things done, and what reduces your motivation or de-motivates you.  Reflect upon the above question and some of these prompts to help you explore your motivators:

·        What tasks are you great at motivating yourself to do? What is harder?

·        How do you talk yourself into doing things?

·        How do you talk yourself out of doing things?

·        Do you experience any sensory issues that get in the way of you doing tasks? For example: if a room is not the correct temperature you may not want to go in there to do the task, or if you have to touch something slimy and don’t have gloves would you be less likely to do it?

·        Are there any environmental changes that need to take place to make motivating yourself to do the task easier? For example if you are trying to eat more fruit, and your fruit is in the fridge it is harder to remember to do the task, so an environmental change such as moving the fruit to a more visual location could help you eat more fruit.

Phase 2: The Implementation Phase

Week 3 & 4: Make a change!

In the second half of April your challenge is to use the information you gathered in week 1 and 2 to reduce your procrastination. Now that you know a little more about what motivates you and what gets in your way of doing things, try to come up with some strategies for completing one or two of those tasks that you have trouble motivating yourself to do.

First ask yourself: Why you are procrastinating on that particular task? Then, using some of the reflection questions above and the data you gathered, try to come up with ways to motivate yourself to get some of those tasks done.  Are there changes you can make to your process to make it easier? Changes in your environment that could help motivate you to do the task? Can you use one of your motivators as a reward system?

For more ideas on how to use this information, see this related blog post on motivation, and keep an eye on this space as future self-improvement challenges will build on the information gathered this month.

Throughout the month feel free to comment on this post as to what you find out and the strategies you have implemented!


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