Tuesday, January 20, 2015


It's a long way up, but you just need to step on!
The ideas are in my head, the words will flow. Just step on!

 Getting motivated

Recently I've been thinking a lot about motivation. What motivates us? Where do we get our drive from? What pushes someone to take a risk, take a chance, do something new? Can motivation live in a vacuum, or does it rely on external forces.

And, the most compelling question for me right now: Why am I not motivated? And, How can I change that?

New year, new you, and all that. Except I'm not feeling that rush of energy and can-do spirit that is so prevalent in January. What gives? What do I want to do, and what is preventing me from taking that step?

I want to write every day. I want to get a project out the door and off my plate. I want to move from being a passive participant in the world of ideas - merely reading and thinking - to an active participant.

Instead I . . . read articles online. I read other people's blogs. I nap. I read a book. I watch TV. I wile away hours on airbnb looking for that perfect vacation. I go through ebbs and flows. I spend months where I get into a routine and sit down and write every single day while the girls nap. I'm productive and I feel like my brain is working and I'm living outside of cooking, cleaning, and childcare. But then I stop. For a day, or two, or a week. It's so much easier to stop than it is to start again. I can justify my lack of action in 101 different ways. (I'm busy, I'm tired, why stay-at-home if I'm stuck on a schedule, I should enjoy myself, etc. etc.)

Lack of motivation to prevent cognitive dissonance?

Is my lack of motivation simply me trying to reduce the cognitive dissonance in my life? If cognitive dissonance is defined as the personal stress caused by someone's own differing beliefs and views, maybe my writing is disrupting my own easy status quo. My lack of motivation, therefore, is a form of self-defense.

Probably not. While my writing does make me think critically about my own life, it certainly isn't profound enough to make me question my fundamental values and viewpoints.

Writer's block.

Writer's block. That's an easy answer. I'm stuck and need to reboot my creative energy. Possibly. But if I simply sit down and start typing, I have 101 different things to write about. Throughout the day, while I'm pushing a kid on a swing or riding my bike, in my head I'm also composing a blog entry or an article for an online magazine.

Ok, so I'm just not motivated.

It's not writer's block and I don't need to worry about cognitive dissonance. It really is just a lack of motivation (possibly combined with awesome weather that keeps me outside as much as possible). I'm simply not feeling motivated to break out of my daily functions. And that's okay. It's really, really, nice to nap on the couch in the sun every afternoon. But I also know what it feels like when I write every day. I feel energized. I feel like I'm contributing to something bigger. I feel like my life is moving forward, and more than just chronologically.

Finding inspiration and putting pen to paper

So how do I get motivated? Where does my own personal motivation come from? How do other people get motivated to kick the internet and create something?

For me, it's two-fold. 1) Writing a to-do list hold me accountable to my goals; and 2) Sticking to a schedule carves out the time to work toward those goals.

To go beyond the basic 1-2 punch of getting something done, I need peer collaboration to encourage me, critique me, and inspire me. I'm an extrovert and I rely on other people to get the job done.

Simply writing this post is revitalizing me to get back to work. Stick with me, more posts will follow!

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