Motivation & #snday2017

After a weekend binge of The Big Bang Theory  I found a quote that really stuck a cord with me…

“Motivation: It’s the difference between getting things done and remaining horizontal on a Netflix binge.”

So I decided to become vertical and look into all the posts I’ve shared over the month and collate them together. As it was World Sketch Note day on 11th January 2017 I decided to create a sketch note about Motivation – it also meant I could carry on watching TV a little longer whilst I coloured in!

2 types of motivation

  1. Intrinsic – comes from within. Doing something because you want to.
  2. Extrinsic – comes from an outside source. Solving a problem for money or for peers.

3 components required to achieve your goal

  1. Activation – the decision to start something
  2. Intensity – the amount of effort that going into doing it
  3. Perseverance – how long can you maintain that effort?

I shared a post at the beginning of the month about change talk after seeing a lot of negativity about new years resolutions. There are many reasons why people set resolutions and the ultimate aim is so that individual can better themselves. Peers comments and thoughts can influence motivation and so anyone’s desire to change should be encouraged.

Consider quitting smoking;

I quit smoking 7 years ago, after 3 failed attempts – 2 of which were new years resolutions. I firstly tried because my family disapproved – extrinsic motivation. In hindsight my heart wasn’t in this attempt and so I had no motivation or willpower. When I got to the 2nd and 3rd component I failed,  I hadn’t planned for the cravings and had no coping strategies in place for when I craved a cigarette; which resulted in me running to the shop.

My 2nd attempt was a little more successful, with a 2 week abeyance. I now wanted to quit and no longer could afford the high cost of smoking. Component 3 was my failing as I under estimated how long it would take to get over the cravings and couldn’t maintain the willpower.

Fast forward another 2 years during which I watched my Granddad loose his 7 year fight to cancer. This time I was serious – I didn’t care about the cost, or what family or friends thought, I didn’t want to go through the fight I’d just witnessed thinking I could have avoided it. So this time I prepared… img_0630

Break goals down

By doing this it didn’t seem as daunting. Thinking about a life time without the substance I had had in daily life for over half of my life was too frightening.

Take it a step at a time

1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. To this day I still have it in my calendar, and on the 27th of August I will celebrate 8 years.

I planned and signed up for an NHS scheme, I bought patches and set a date. My last cigarette was sitting on the bonnet of my car, on the driveway watching the bats fly around. A memory I will always treasure because it gave me an opportunity to reflect and reiterate my reasons for wanting to quit. Re-enforcing this was entirely for me and no-one else – Intrinsic motivation. img_0634

Reward yourself

I set myself smaller targets and planned to reward myself when I reached these goals with the money I saved:

1 week  = hair cut,

2 weeks = manicure,

1 month = massage.

I stopped rewarding myself after a year and didn’t really consider how my life had changed until I was in Malaysia visiting a friend who had moved there after I had quit. She couldn’t believe I still wasn’t smoking and asked if I’d noticed more expendable cash. I explained, No, the money just disappears, my boyfriend then interrupted me and added “you wouldn’t be here if you were still smoking”. He was right.

Give yourself a break

I have to be honest with you… I’m not perfect! I am not ashamed to say I enjoy smoking – always have and I think always will – so occasionally have a cigarette. Even 7 years later, I struggle to not have a cigarette whilst on a night out with friends. The idea of having a drink in a beer garden without a cigarette is an incomplete picture to me. So I give in and enjoy life without beating myself up knowing that it will become a daily habit again.

Willpower is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better you will be at using it.


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