5 Tips for Improving Your Motivation

neon orange stairwell

I often get asked “ How can I improve my motivation?”

It’s a strange thing, as if motivation is an actual thing that exists in its own right. I mean if it did, and I could sell it, then I would be super rich by now!

Heres the thing..

Motivation is not a thing that you can just get more of as if by magic.

Some scientists believe that motivation is similar to an emotion. So in the same way that you can be in an angry state, or a happy state, you can be in a motivated state.

When you understand motivation like this is can become easier to consider how to put yourself in that state.

Say for example that you want to feel joyful, you might choose to spend time with friends whose company has tended to make you feel joyful in the past.

In general we know what things cause us to experience different emotional states, both positive and negative and we choose to participate in, or avoid them accordingly.

Now considering motivation in a similar way, here are 5 tips to boost your motivational state:

  1. Who Do You Know Who Is Highly Motivated?
    We have already mentioned that spending time with happy friends will lift us into a similar state. If you have friends who seem to have high levels of motivation then arrange to spend some time with them. The more time that you spend with them then the more their motivated state will ‘rub off’ on you.
     
  2. Remember When You Did Feel Motivated.
    Think back to a time that you remember feeling really motivated to do something. What were the circumstances? Can you recreate them? I worked with a client who recalled that she had visited the gym every morning when she had made her packed lunch for work and packed her gym bag the evening before. If she didn’t do this she felt rushed and overwhelmed in the morning and would skip the gym as a result.
     
  3. Why Do You Want To Be More Motivated?
    What is it that you actually want to achieve? Or avoid? Be clear and specific with yourself. Some people want to get fit because they want to experience feeling super fit whereas others may want to avoid being unwell. Neither is right or wrong, they are just different. Use statements or images to remind you of what you are wanting to achieve, for example a picture on the fridge door that represents health.
     
  4. Set Small Targets.
    If your targets or goals are too big you can easily feel overwhelmed and become demotivated! You may want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at the end of the year but if you rarely move from the couch then this might seem a tad daunting. Break your big goal into smaller steps. So, If you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next year, break this down into 20 smaller steps along the way. Your first few weeks might just involve walking around the local park but you know that you are heading towards something bigger in an achievable way.
     
  5. Reward Yourself Along The Way.
    This is so important. We all love being rewarded and feeling acknowledged for our hard work and achievements. Well this works for the hard work we carry out for ourselves. Once you have set your smaller steps along the way, plan how you will reward yourself as you achieve each one. Imagine that towards the end of the week, you are tired and don’t feel like going to the gym BUT you have promised yourself that if you do go on all the planned days then you will reward yourself with a massage at the weekend, or a piece of your favourite cake, or an evening at the cinema… whatever works for you!

Introduce these five tips and you will notice a difference.

You are able to experience a motivated state when you need to, but learning to access it when you want to will make a huge difference to your ability to make positive changes in your life.

If you would like support to access your motivational state then contact me on  info@lesleygormanlifecoach.co.uk to book an appointment.

5 Top Tips to Identify and Challenge Limiting Beliefs

hands holding digital camera

We all have many beliefs about ourselves and others.

These beliefs can be be positive or negative, ie limiting.

So what do we mean by a belief ?

A belief is a statement that we have come to believe almost as if it is a truth.

So, say that your maths teacher told you that you were no good at maths and put you in the remedial group. As a child you probably accepted the adult’s statement as true. Every time you made a mistake in maths class you would have subconsciously added this to your collection of supporting evidence. You then grew up telling yourself and others that you were no good at maths without stopping to realise that this was simply a belief, not a truth.

We all like to be right and when we believe something it can be difficult to accept that our belief is not in fact true. Take for example, people’s different beliefs about politics or religion !

What we tend to do is constantly look for evidence to support and reinforce our belief systems, even if they are beliefs that no longer serve us.

From a personal development point of view, a negative belief that we hold about ourself or someone close to us can limit our opportunities for growth and happiness.

Below, are 5 simple tips to begin to eradicate the power of your limiting beliefs and to set you on the path to personal growth.

  1. Identify your limiting beliefs.
    Notice what kind of statements that you make about yourself and your abilities or about your loved ones. Some common examples might be ‘I am not very clever’ or ‘I’m too old to do X,Y or Z’ or about another person it might be ‘She is selfish’. Take your time to consider as many negative beliefs as you can and jot them down on a piece of paper.
     
  2. Identify the Origins of The Beliefs.
    Now, make 5 columns on your piece of paper with each limiting belief in the left hand column. In the second column, write down when you first remember having this belief and who it came from. Take your time with this, it can be a revelation to realise that this belief came from someone else’s remarks to us.
  3. Consider the Opposite Belief.
    Consider each belief in turn and in the third column, write down the exact opposite belief. So for example, ‘I am too old to…’ becomes ‘I am young enough to…’ or ‘I am not very clever’ becomes ‘I am clever’. You might find that your beliefs are so ingrained and powerful that you are reluctant to do this, after all, in your head your beliefs have become truths and who wants to argue with an absolute truth! Go ahead and do it anyway even if at this point it feels odd.
  4. Evidence to Support Your New Statement.
    The fourth column is where we start to undo the knot that is our view of our belief systems. For each positive alternative I want you to look for supporting evidence. So, using ‘I am young enough to…’ as an example, list all the things that people of your age have been able to do and achieve. For ‘I am clever’, list all the things that you have learnt in your lifetime, everything from tying your own shoelaces to using a mobile phone – this will be a long list!
  5. Turning the New Statements into Beliefs.
    Now in Column 5, write down one small thing that you can do in the coming weeks to prove your new positive belief statement. This column can form the basis of your ongoing action plan to challenge your limiting beliefs repeatedly until they fade away and your new beliefs become the ‘truths’.

It really is incredibly powerful and liberating to realise that the negative things we think about ourselves are just habitual thought patterns that have no basis in reality. Their only substance has come from our supporting evidence collection over the years. What we haven’t done is collected evidence for the opposite of our beliefs even though it was out there. After all, it goes counter to human nature to collect evidence for something that we don’t believe !

Now that you understand this though, you can continue to build your evidence collection for your new positive belief statement. This won’t happen over night, it can take time to turn this statement into an actual belief but just know that it will become firmer as you create more opportunities to evidence it.

If you find this exercise difficult to do on your own then why not enlist the services of a Life-Coach or a Counsellor to help you.

I can be contacted at info@lesleygormanlifecoach.co.uk to arrange either a face to face or a telephone coaching session.

10 tips to Spring Clean Your Life

spring blossom

It’s Spring!

I realise that it might not look like it today but it really is.

Are you a Spring Cleaner? Do you get that urge to start clearing out and cleaning up after your winter hibernation?

History of Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning has a place in different religions and cultures throughout history.

Did you know that The Persian New Year falls on the first day of spring and everything in the house would be completely cleaned to welcome it in?

Catholics would ensure that the whole house was cleaned ready for Easter, for Good Friday and Jewish people would spring clean in readiness for Passover.

Prior to the invention of the vacuum cleaner, most people chose to wait until the warmer weather to throw open their windows and allow the winter dust and cobwebs to be blown away.

Spring Cleaning Your Life

Spring cleaning gives you a great opportunity not just to clean your house but to audit your life and bring in some new healthy habits.

Most people find it quite hard to stick to their New Year Resolutions and a fair proportion will have withered away by now. I mean, the cold and dark of winter is not the best time to introduce healthy new habits when all we crave is comfort and warmth.

How about some Spring Resolutions?

Ten tips for bringing growth into your life this spring

1. Book some time into your diary each week to action your Spring Cleaning List.

2. Look through a local events calendar and book some activities for Spring and Summer. Find things that are new and outdoors and challenge yourself to learn something new.

3. Look in your fridge and your kitchen cupboards. Will the contents give you the good health and body that you want? If not then its time to empty them out and start afresh.

4. Write a list of foods that you want to eat and why then stick this onto the fridge door as a reminder.

5. Wash your winter clothes and pack them away or give them away.

6. Plan one morning to get up early enough to hear the dawn chorus – you won’t be disappointed and it will fill you with joy.

7. Check out the weather forecast and plan one morning to get up early and see the sunrise, its beautiful and will nourish your soul.

8. Have a “Power Day’ to get the house cleaned, play your favourite uplifting music loud, dance as you clean and enjoy making your home fresh.

9. Decide how much time you actually want to spend on social media and put it in your diary. Stick to it and open up space for new enriching activities.

10. Book a date to go through your piles of paperwork, do something with it or throw it out!

Spring Cleaning Your Life -Help

You will feel lighter and more energetic as you work through the list.
If you feel stuck then get a friend to do it with you, or enlist the services of a coach to encourage and motivate you.

If you want your house sorting but don’t want to do it yourself then why not enlist the services of a decluttering expert to do it with you?

So, put that spring in your step and get on with clearing and growing your healthy new habits 🙂