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Motivation & Inspiration

February 7, 2011

I feel an important part of what I do for my customers and students is to provide motivation and inspiration.  But what do I do to provide that for myself?  February tends to be the time of year I just want to roll over and pull the covers back over my head each morning.  I’ll come out again in a couple of months when the ground hogs do!  I wonder if the dormant seeds and flower bulbs feel like I do?  And like many of you, there are some times so many things that I “should” do that I get lulled into non-action at the thought of deciding which direction I should go in.  Or I get “busy” just putting out fires or in the case the past few weeks, of cleaning up floods.  Well, a minor leak!  The photo (left) shows a build up of ice on the exterior of my building that turns into water as it comes in between the wall cavity and the window.  It has managed to damage many things I have stored in the back of my studio and distracted me into dealing with the clean up of that stuff.

So I need to get back on track and get moving in the right direction, whatever that is!  Usually that direction is forward and the way to get moving is by just putting one foot in front of the other. It really doesn’t matter where I start.  Just THAT I start is necessary.  So, here is my list of guidelines:

1.  Accountability Friend -Set up a friend to check in with once a week just to account for progress on a few small goals which I set the previous week.  A short phone conversation about what we did, what we plan to do and where we may have run into some obstacles.

2.  Start Small –  Start with a small project and a short amount of time.  It can be a creative project, an organizing project, a bookkeeping or computer task.  Set the alarm clock for 15 min., 30 min. but no more than an hour.  Then set to work and see how much I can accomplish in that time frame.

3.   Hermit Time – Allow for quiet, alone “being time”.  Don’t beat myself up for taking some time to hibernate.  It is necessary, and productive in a way that can’t be quantified in the same way “doing time”.  Re-define GUILT as Going Underground and Inside Loving (me) Time!  Now I want to feel Guilty!!!!

4.   Star Stickers -Remember when the teacher put a star sticker on the top of an assignment that was well done?  Well, I need to give myself “stars” for things I have completed.  I get so busy just looking at the mountain ahead of me that I forget to look back and admire the vista behind, those things I have done and done well.  Sure there is always more to be done ahead and it will always grow, but when I have finished something, I need to give myself a little reward.  Even if it is just a little deep breath!  I think many people who work for themselves and by themselves don’t get the feedback that someone who works with co-workers would get at the completion of a project.  I need to work on stepping back and giving myself that feedback as well.

So, I hear-by name myself Pam Penney, Princess of Perfect Procrastination!  And by that I mean, that to procrastinate perfectly I will give things the perfect amount of “waiting” and germination time.  Knowing that when the motivation and inspiration hit me I will jump into action, finish the required task and enjoy the process.  Much better than forcing myself to do a project when my heart isn’t into it, I’m feeling tired, or would rather be somewhere else.  And I give you permission to do the same!  March will be here before we know it with it’s longer days and the slight smell of the promise of spring.  And if we have successfully rested in February we will be ready to “March forth” (March 4th is my birthday – coincidence??)  and get creative and productive!  So, pretend you are a seed or flower bulb and know that when the force starts to pull on you to “get to work” you will start moving with the guidelines to get going in the right direction…that’s what I plan to do!

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