TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Self motivation, how do you do it?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Self motivation, how do you do it?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok folks, how to you get yourself to focus on something that you really just don't feel like doing?
I am terrible at self motivation unless it's something I want to do and even then I don't always get around to it when I say I will.
I'm trying to relearn Algebra so I can go to college to become a vet tech. I got a bunch of medical/veterinary technician text books and would love to start pouring over them but Im trying to focus on algebra only, so I can actually get into college otherwise the other stuff won't matter! But I have no interest in algebra. I don't care a bit about quadratic equations or how to simplify an equation that's 4 inches long or what xyz is supposed to mean. Or graphing, ugg. And of course there are other things I'd like to motivate myself to do (like running)
Tips, suggestion, similar troubles? Lets hear!
post #2 of 22
I just do it! I live alone and have always been self reliant even as a child. So I've learned that if I don't do it, it just doesn't get done. So I suck it up and just do it to get it out of the way and then go onto other things.

Rewarding yourself with a small reward afterwards helps too. That's what I do for when I go to the gym. My reward for going is a relaxing soak in the hot tub. My reward for going grocery shopping which I absolutely detest, is a Starbuck's coffee and a steak for dinner that night.

Here is a link to many links on self motivation

.
.
.
.
post #3 of 22
I think having a reward afterwards is a good idea, the thought of it would be enough to get me going! And I'd rush the task a bit just to have it too
post #4 of 22
Put it on a calendar -
like: 8-10am study algebra; 10-11am break; 11-12am something else... etc. etc.
this way you concentrate only on the task aqt hand, and they don't look overwhelming.
It also gives you a great sense of accomplishment in the end of the day! Put everything, even running down. You can do your calendar early in the morning, or on the day before.
Good luck, and I hope this helps a little
post #5 of 22
writing to do lists and writing things on my calendar works really well for me...I am very busy though I'm taking 16 hours of classes this semester so I have 5 classes. And they are all so demanding ..
When I am not as busy it's harder for me to focus ..strange but true. If I have only one thing to do i will never get around to it.
I changed my major from biology to history and sociology and that helped me soo much in focusing. I hated biology so I never studied for it no matter how much I wanted to go to vet school or med school. It was just hell for me. Now that I am actually interested in the subject I am studying I am doing so much better. I never miss due dates for papers and I've never had below 80 on a test...So sometimes there are just limits to how much you can motivate yourself in something that you hate... Well I guess it was my fault I could have sucked it up and studied anyway- but I'm not sorry for it even one bit.
post #6 of 22
What is this thing you call motivation? I'm more familiar with procrastination.

Just start it, that's the only thing I can think of. And hope you don't become distracted. Set a routine, once that's established it should be easier to make time for it. Most importantly, make sure you have good learning materials or even look online for extra material. Maybe learn some history and theory for fun.

That said, math doesn't agree with me. Something that has always deeply bothered me as I'm strongly drawn to things requiring it and can even accept/see the beauty in it.. I'd think I have dyscalculia if it wasn't for the fact that I can do some math easily.
post #7 of 22
I'm very familiar with doing little things to help. I'm diagnosed Adult ADD, w/o meds.

I've also managed to write four novel length manuscripts, each within a 30 day stretch (NaNoWriMo, in November)... yes, the bizarre glory of finishing is awesome, but when you're down a huge number of words and little time left, you find other things to help.

I use a timer, set it for one hour (sometimes only a half hour), and when it goes off, I go do other things, clear my head, then come back for more...

I also use chocolate. Seriously. On a paper next to my laptop, I list page numbers. As I finish the corresponding page, I tick off a number on the list. After some have accrued, I do a second hash across the first one when I 'redeem' that pages' reward. I use the Cherry Cordial Cream Hershey Kisses... the smell of them next to me is torture... but it helps me.

I know lots of ADD NaNoWriMo folks who never finish, year after year, because they can't focus. I've done it four years in a row... dunno... maybe there is something to my system.

Something like that may help. Or make larger rewards... a day to the beach or something... whatever gets you excited.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubSluts'Mommy View Post
I've also managed to write four novel length manuscripts, each within a 30 day stretch (NaNoWriMo, in November)... yes, the bizarre glory of finishing is awesome, but when you're down a huge number of words and little time left, you find other things to help.
As you enjoy writing so much (going for other threads and comments too) I hope to hear that you get several of your works published someday. Though that may be more of a battle than getting it all on paper to begin with. Don't be tempted to give up, though.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
As you enjoy writing so much (going for other threads and comments too) I hope to hear that you get several of your works published someday. Though that may be more of a battle than getting it all on paper to begin with. Don't be tempted to give up, though.
*hijacking the thread for a moment*

Thank you. I have a short story I've been working on for years now that I want to send out... I'd love to post it in Paws & Reflect (yes, there are cats), but I'm afraid it'll jeopardize getting it accepted officially. For me, it's finding the time right now to edit. When I have the time, I need to clean and do other things that may help make money. I may be going back to school in prep for my MA/MFA in Creative Writing... so I know i need to really get focused on it... Granted, I think the short story might be good right now what with the other thread about Hope passing... it's a serious story. I have some of my poetry published, but nothing big yet.

*hijack over*

Motivation is all about what you desire. You set a goal of taking a day off to go hiking (or eat a bag of Easter candy, whatever motivates you), and tell yourself that in order to have that day, you have to get through the icky stuff. It's tough, but you can do it. You just have to find the right reward.

I know Algebra is tough... but take a step back and breathe... if you can only handle ten minutes of it before getting frustrated, then stop at ten minutes and go step outside and take some deep breaths for a moment. If you keep pushing at it, you work yourself into a frenzy of frustration and never get it done....

Good luck.

Amanda
post #10 of 22
If you can't get motivated because you have too many things going on in your life and it overwhelms you, stop for a moment and figure out what your priorities really are. Write everything down and cross off the non essentials.

If you can't get motivated because you don't know where to start, stop and write down a list of things you need to get moving forward. Then do them.

If you couldn't tell, I like lists. It keeps you organized.
post #11 of 22
as far as college goes for math issues I went to math labs at my college. I also hate math! Also, I had a tutor, and I tutored others in foreign language.
post #12 of 22
honestly, studying somethin you have no interest in is the hardest thing in the world. I find if I make a schedule so I know when I'm done helps Also make sure you take time for breaks, even if you can only tackle it 20 minutes at a time, then break, make some tea, whatever, just plow through it........ that's how i do it!

goodluck!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubSluts'Mommy View Post
For me, it's finding the time right now to edit. When I have the time, I need to clean and do other things that may help make money. I may be going back to school in prep for my MA/MFA in Creative Writing... so I know i need to really get focused on it...
Find someone willing to edit for you. That way you can get feedback (outside of your own head), and it gets done.

In fact, that's probably a good tip for everyone - ask for help if you get stuck rather than getting frustrated and giving up (or letting the project collect dust).

That said... I really need to relearn/learn more Spanish sometime. Anyone have suggestions on that one? After several years I have finally figured out how to roll Rs (oddly from pronouncing things in Finnish ) which was my biggest hurdle for speaking it.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post

That said... I really need to relearn/learn more Spanish sometime. Anyone have suggestions on that one? After several years I have finally figured out how to roll Rs (oddly from pronouncing things in Finnish ) which was my biggest hurdle for speaking it.
I suggest watching lots of movies and tv shows in spanish It helps me soo much!! Or find an illegal immigrant who doesn't speak English and become friends I've been learning spanish for the past few years now and I have a friend from Mexico who doesn't speak English- it helps sooo much to speak to her!! The only problem is when I go to my spanish class, my grammar sux because top priority in conversation is being understood rather than saying things correctly....Not only that but my friend will try to adapt - she knows how much I know now and tries to say things in a way in which I am guaranteed to understand. But still- it helps.
post #15 of 22
I don't know if you've ever been to Texas.. but Oklahoma isn't that different. We have a very large Hispanic population. And though some do still have problems with English - a lot of them are legal.
I did have Spanish classes in high school, but had a poor teacher. What I did learn is still locked up in my brain somewhere since I can read a lot of Spanish and understand some of what's said around me (if not spoken super fast).
The only good thing is that I have a strange natural tendency to adsorb words - Finnish, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, German, Japanese (ok, I know a good amount of that and can read it) - but it makes for brain overload.
It's just getting around to learning more, making time for that and learning grammar that is so difficult.
post #16 of 22
I am always trying to lose weight but I am losing the battle. I can't tell you how many times I've been to Weight Watchers and then after a while lost all motivation and quit just to gain the weight back. Believe me keeping oneself motivated is very difficult for me anyway so you are not the only one out there. It is a struggle but some stay motivated very easily, I guess it comes down to how much you want that outcome whether it be learning algebra or losing weight or quitting smoking.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I don't know if you've ever been to Texas.. but Oklahoma isn't that different. We have a very large Hispanic population. And though some do still have problems with English - a lot of them are legal.
I did have Spanish classes in high school, but had a poor teacher. What I did learn is still locked up in my brain somewhere since I can read a lot of Spanish and understand some of what's said around me (if not spoken super fast).
The only good thing is that I have a strange natural tendency to adsorb words - Finnish, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, German, Japanese (ok, I know a good amount of that and can read it) - but it makes for brain overload.
It's just getting around to learning more, making time for that and learning grammar that is so difficult.
OMG I heard Hungarian is really hard...That's so many languages!! I know a little Japanese too, I took two intro classes but I hated it and I gave up on it
In Georgia hispanic population is just growing so there are a lot of illegals and new legals who don't speak English..I met this girl at my high school job at pizza hut, she cooked there..
But yea I like learning new words too.Grammar comes naturally with enough practice but that's a lot of work.. remembering words has never been a problem for me.
But when I watch spanish movies and talk to a friend it becomes so easy I don't even have to think about it....So I definitely prefer that to sitting down with a book. After almost 5 years of Spanish I think i can say I speak it now, but I owe so much to those simple things. Hollywood movies helped me learn English too, when I lived in Bulgaria and watched them
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
OMG I heard Hungarian is really hard...That's so many languages!! I know a little Japanese too, I took two intro classes but I hated it and I gave up on it
I don't speak all of those languages. I have friends that do, and listen to music in several languages, so I just sort of naturally pick up bits here and there. They also think it's fun to curse so I also know bad words in several languages... things I did not really need to know how to say in Finnish for example.

I'm self taught on Japanese. I sort of lost interest because I have no one to practice with outside of chatting online, and little confidence at that. I didn't find it particularly hard other than all of the kanji - the grammar all seems fairly logical. Again, this is something I really should push myself into keeping up with and learning more...

Watching subtitled movies in Japanese and Spanish is interesting, usually because my brain is already translating before the subs are up and because I can tell often when things are changed.
post #19 of 22
Oh man, I wish I had the magic solution to this problem.

PROCRASTINATION is my middle name.

SELF-MOTIVATION is nowhere to be found.

I am HORRIBLE at this. Even when it involves things I ENJOY, I am absolutely, positively HORRIBLE at this.

For instance, the suggestion about giving myself rewards... Who the heck is going to stop me from having a steak dinner right now? Or the awesome Hershey's Kisses right now? I don't have to wait until I'm done with this task I hate. The reward technique only works if you also have the willpower to deny yourself something you want! If I want chocolate or steak and I have chocolate or steak, the chances are... I am going to go cook steak or have chocolate. As you can see, the reward-oneself motivation technique does not work for me.

The suggestions of making lists don't work either. I make lists and then forget that I have made them, or forget to take them with me. I'll make a list of what I need at the grocery store, and then forget to take the list. Or, if I do take the list, I will still forget one or two things that are on it. It's horrible.

So basically I am absolutely horribly terrible at motivating myself to do anything. One of the worst things is that I have this problem with feeling "obligated" to do something. It is pathetic. I even know that I do it, but I have a horrible time overcoming it. I love to give presents to people and to do things for people, but as soon as I feel like someone expects me to do something for them, all the sudden I don't want to do it. Or if someone expects me to get some task done (for them or me, whatever), then now I am obligated to do that thing and therefore I don't want to do it.

Stupid, huh?


Good luck motivating yourself! If you pick up any new tricks, let me know.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorana_dragonky View Post
I love to give presents to people and to do things for people, but as soon as I feel like someone expects me to do something for them, all the sudden I don't want to do it. Or if someone expects me to get some task done (for them or me, whatever), then now I am obligated to do that thing and therefore I don't want to do it.
There was a rule in elementary school that we couldn't chew gum, so we'd sneek it in and get away with it constantly. The moment the ban was lifted we stopped chewing gum.

I am the same way as you and still haven't figured out how to master it. For some reason the reaction from someone who is already expecting something from us is something we're avoiding.. .. guess we're just rebels!
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorana_dragonky View Post
Oh man, I wish I had the magic solution to this problem.

PROCRASTINATION is my middle name.

SELF-MOTIVATION is nowhere to be found.

I am HORRIBLE at this. Even when it involves things I ENJOY, I am absolutely, positively HORRIBLE at this.

For instance, the suggestion about giving myself rewards... Who the heck is going to stop me from having a steak dinner right now? Or the awesome Hershey's Kisses right now? I don't have to wait until I'm done with this task I hate. The reward technique only works if you also have the willpower to deny yourself something you want! If I want chocolate or steak and I have chocolate or steak, the chances are... I am going to go cook steak or have chocolate. As you can see, the reward-oneself motivation technique does not work for me.

The suggestions of making lists don't work either. I make lists and then forget that I have made them, or forget to take them with me. I'll make a list of what I need at the grocery store, and then forget to take the list. Or, if I do take the list, I will still forget one or two things that are on it. It's horrible.

So basically I am absolutely horribly terrible at motivating myself to do anything. One of the worst things is that I have this problem with feeling "obligated" to do something. It is pathetic. I even know that I do it, but I have a horrible time overcoming it. I love to give presents to people and to do things for people, but as soon as I feel like someone expects me to do something for them, all the sudden I don't want to do it. Or if someone expects me to get some task done (for them or me, whatever), then now I am obligated to do that thing and therefore I don't want to do it.

Stupid, huh?


Good luck motivating yourself! If you pick up any new tricks, let me know.

That's excatly how I am!!
Even if you don't have the magic cure I'm glad to know I'm not the only one like that. Talk about frustrating!
I did like the idea of a daily planner, I'm not sure if it'll work but I'll give it a shot!
post #22 of 22
I've been having seemingly insurmountable problems with self-motivation (for thesis writing). I actually went to a therapist, who, just three days ago, suggested that I use a reward system. I'd never done it, for a variety of reasons including a lack of self control (would do reward without doing task).

My therapist suggested using a reward system anyway, and it's working wonders. I decided to use very dark chocolate, because it isn't nearly as tasty when I eat a lot of it at one time, but I love it in small doses. She had me define as a task "open file with statistics output" and other very small tasks, and I gave myself a reward for opening a file. It's been working splendidly, which seems kind of crazy to me. I think what happened before was that when I opened the file, I felt guilty that it had been so long since I'd opened the file, overwhelmed at how much I didn't understand the data we've collected, overwhelmed at how I was supposed to turn this into a coherent paper ... and all of this together made me quickly look away from the file, not work on it, and not even open it the next day. But, with the chocolate, opening the file made the think "Okay, open drawer, get out chocolate, put in mouth ... oh, wow, that tastes wonderful" which distracted me from having the cascade of fear and loathing. So, with the chocolate slowly melting in my mouth, I've been getting started on the doing the actual work. I'm fantastically happier in the last few days, and I'm finally staring to get some writing done!

So, MonaxLisa, I suggest you find a tiny reward (that you can do while you do algebra) and reward yourself for
1) opening the algebra textbook and getting out paper and pencil
2) reading one section
3) doing one problem
ect., ect.

Chocolate can't solve all problems (I was trying to learn R to analyze some of my data and make graphs, and that was a frustrating 4 hours full of procrastination because it was painful, confusing, and just full of syntax errors), but I'm definitely a convert to the reward system. Don't knock it until you try it!

One problem is that stuffing chocolate or other reward food into your mouth constantly isn't that healthy. I'm breaking the chocolate into very small pieces and I'm also using hard candy as a reward. I'm thinking of using sugar-free gum or knitting a row on a project (can do while reading, although not typing), and it is getting to the point where I need fewer rewards and I'm actually excited to open the file in the first place. However, I do like what I'm studying, so if I were you I wouldn't expect to be excited about opening the algebra book without a chocolate. But a piece of chocolate when you open the book and a piece of chocolate when you finish the amount of work you wanted to do in one day is probably a sustainable level of chocolate eating that you could simplify your reward system to, once it started working.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Self motivation, how do you do it?