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7 Weeks to Glory – Motivation System Week 5

7 Weeks to Glory – Motivation System Week 5

We need motivation to succeed at life. You will face many tests, but strong motivation will drive you to success no matter how tough times are. Whether you are losing weight, studying for exams, looking for work, or trying to earn more money, we need motivation to keep our eyes on the prize. This Motivation System is divided into seven weeks. Have you completed last week? This week we will focus on using motivational collages as a valuable tool for self-motivation. Motivational collages arouse and sustain motivation.

Motivation Collage

Remember your success stories, personal goals, and motivational notes? Today we’ll put everything together on a motivation collage, which is bigger and more eye-catching than a group of photos or motivational notes.

What tools do you need to create a motivation collage?

Coloured pens/pencils
Glue
Scissors
A blank card (any size)
A printer

How do you create a motivation collage?

1. Print off and cut out motivational photos, quotes, and personal goals.
2. Place the card on a flat sturdy surface where it won’t be knocked over.
3. Place your motivational success stories, personal goals, and quotes across the card. There doesn’t have to be a systematic layout. Do whatever feels right.
4. Make sure everything fits onto the card. Things can overlap but make sure they’re still visible i.e. words aren’t cut off, photos aren’t covered, etc. If necessary, remove things and save them for another collage.
5. Look over the collage one last time before gluing everything down.
OPTIONAL: Doodle on your collage using the pens and pencils. Write anything you want but make sure it’s all positive thoughts, feelings, and images.

Where should you keep your motivation collage?

Somewhere it will be seen.

Recently I found an old weight loss collage I created four years ago. I felt spurred on by it instantly. Don’t make the same mistake I did by storing it away! Aim to see your collage at least once a week to maintain your motivation, and look more often during the tough times.

You could display the collage somewhere that relates to your goals, for example, keep a money motivation collage next to your piggy bank. This means the motivation can translate into an immediate positive act. Using the piggy bank example, feeling motivated by the money collage would remind you to put away some savings.

Where you display your collage is also influenced by its size. An A4 sized collage could travel with you , but an A2 collage would need to stay home. Also make sure the collage stands out in the room or you’ll forget it’s there!

When should you make the next collage?

You’ll know when the time is right.

If your motivation is running low and your current collage has lost its spark, it’s time to create a new one. Don’t copy the last collage! Go for something fresh and new, for instance, if your last collage was mostly photos then the next one could have more quotes. A variety of collages will make you appreciate each one more than if they blended together as one. Variety also means each collage will cater to your different moods, for example, one day you might not feel like reading, so you can look at the collage with lots of pictures.

How many collages do you need?

Only you can answer this question. If you don’t know the answer yet, focus on one collage for now.

I have two fitness collages because one reflects my past (obesity in my teenage years) and the other my future (a slim, healthy woman). However, I’m producing a new one because I’ve started the next stage in my healthy lifestyle: weight training and maintenance. Do you see how collectively the collages show progression? Yours will too.

I know collages are exciting, but don’t make lots for the sake of it. It’s better to have a few collages you love and enjoyed making than several ‘okay’ ones that felt like a chore.

If the motivation collage works for you, take it further by creating a motivation book. Include mini-collages, quotes, photos, etc. This means your collages will all be kept safely in one place. Remember to display the book somewhere visible or you’ll forget it’s there. Where one book ends another begins!

Summary

1. Motivation collages showcase success stories, goals, and quotes.

2. Don’t hide your collage. Display it with pride!

3. Make new collages when the time is right.

4. Quality collages, not quantity.

5. Expand your collages into a motivation book.

When you are ready, move on to next week.

7 Weeks to Glory – Motivation System Week 4

7 Weeks to Glory – Motivation System Week 4

We need motivation to succeed at life. You will face many tests, but strong motivation will drive you to success no matter how tough times are. Whether you are losing weight, studying for exams, looking for work, or trying to earn more money, we need motivation to keep our eyes on the prize. This Motivation System is divided into seven weeks. Have you completed last week? This week we will focus on using motivational notes as a valuable tool for self-motivation. Motivational notes arouse and sustain motivation.

Motivational Notes

Leaving notes is a basic tool, but it works very well…

After yesterday‘s support network exercise, writing a brief note might seem trivial. It’s not. Having a support network is an excellent step towards success, but what if your network isn’t there? If your weekly group meeting is Friday evening, what happens if you’re feeling down on Monday morning? What happens if your support group is on-line and you lose your internet connection? Suddenly you’re alone. What should you do?

Write motivational notes. Lots of them.

If you’re still in doubt, here are three reasons why notes will motivate you:

1. Notes are quick

Writing personal goals is motivational, but it takes a while to organise them with deadlines, rewards for each achievement, etc. What if you need motivation right now?

You’ll save time by writing quick notes to yourself. Instead of long descriptions, photos, etc, just write a brief sentence or two like ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’. Whenever and wherever the feeling takes you, note that positive thought. No need to sit down and think for hours when you can motivate yourself in seconds.

2. Easy

Notes are not only quick but very easy. No need for photos, spreadsheets, etc. All you need is paper and a pen. Simplifying the motivation process also means you can’t make poor excuses like “I couldn’t print off any success stories because the printer’s out of ink”. You’ll always have access to a pen and paper. It doesn’t matter if you have to write on a leaflet or visit the local library to use a pen. There’s always room in your bag for a pen and notepad. No more excuses. Do whatever it takes to succeed.

3. For everyone

When you display your personal goals, keep your motivational notes close by. Others will see your inspiring motivational tools and want to join your journey. This will build your support network and further improve your chances of achieving success. Over time new notes will pop up, but they’ll be written by others. With everyone’s agreement, you might post everyone’s notes in one area of your home, office, or gym for all to see.

Great! You’ve decided to keep motivational notes to sustain your motivation. Now choose the best way to save your inspiring words.

There are various ways to store your motivational notes:

stick them around the room
store them in your diary
write them in notepads
set them as reminders on your phone
email them to yourself
leave them as voicemails
add them as your social network (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) status

The possibilities are endless. See whichever option suits your needs and try it. If it doesn’t work out, try another method. Even better, use more than one option so you’re prepared and motivated no matter what happens, for example, a sticky note could get lost but an email is forever.

You worked hard writing your personal goals and building a support network, so let loose with some motivational notes. Don’t think too much. Notes don’t have to be neat and tidy. Doodle on them. Write lots of thoughts together. Just go along for the ride and have fun! If you lose a note, let it go. It’s out there helping someone else just as much as it helped you.

Summary

1. Write lots of notes.

2. Notes are quick, easy, and for everyone.

3. Keep notes everywhere.

4. Accept that notes come and go.

5. Writing notes should be fun!

When you are ready, move on to next week.

7 Weeks to Glory – Motivation System Week 3

7 Weeks to Glory – Motivation System Week 3

We need motivation to succeed at life. You will face many tests, but strong motivation will drive you to success no matter how tough times are. Whether you are losing weight, studying for exams, looking for work, or trying to earn more money, we need motivation to keep our eyes on the prize. This Motivation System is divided into seven weeks. Have you completed last week? This week we will focus on using support groups as a valuable tool for self-motivation. Support networks arouse and sustain motivation.

Support Network

I am a very independent person. I’m the sort who tackles a problem for hours before finally asking for help. I just love the sense of pride when I succeed without help. However, there are times when even a lone ranger must seek support to maintain a healthy balance between solo and team work.

5 reasons why you should have a support network:

1. Expertise

I have lost almost 80lbs and 20% body fat, but I’m no fitness expert. I haven’t sat exams or researched intensively like scientists, personal trainers, and dieticians (should) have.

A support network exposes you to others’ expertise. They took years to reach a qualified level, but you can access the same information right now by politely asking them. Even better, they can explain everything in simple terms almost anyone can understand.

2. Accountability

Instead of waiting to become a success story, enter the public eye now because when you’re accountable to others it’s harder to fail. By quitting, not only do you let yourself down but everyone who believes in you. Missing your own goals is bad enough, but when giving up holds back the team it hurts even more. What better incentive is there to maintain success?

3. Inspiration

Support networks (off line and on-line) are full of success stories willing to help others. When you join the group, don’t browse every few months and disappear again. See what others have accomplished. Join some team goals. Visit at least once a week. Active participants are successful because they’re surrounded by supportive people on a regular basis.

4. Honesty

We don’t see the truth unless we want to. The truth is hard to face. The truth requires change. The truth leaves you exposed.

A good support system will always give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If you can’t or won’t be honest with yourself then your support network will provide an unbiased, outsider’s perspective. Of course there’ll be some ignorant people who don’t have tact, but your overall network will be positive and constructive.

5. Vent

Maybe you know the truth and have confronted it head on. Well done! Unfortunately, you still feel a bit lost. You’re ready to move on but something is holding you back. Is it anger, frustration, or even disappointment with your progression?

Time to vent.

Your support network listens when you release stress. It would be nice to vent with loved ones, but sometimes they’re part of the problem. To avoid arguments or hostility at home or work, vent to your support network of strangers instead.

Do you know the best thing about venting? Every time someone vents, people offer great advice. The help doesn’t have to be asked for, and might not even be needed, but a support network is so loyal people help anyway.

Those are the five reasons why support networks lead to success. What next? Time to build your network!

3 ways to build a support network:

1. Join a support network

The common way to build a support network is to join established communities, which includes anything from major corporations like LinkedIn or Facebook to smaller groups in your local community. Don’t focus on the community’s main aims. Just because the overall group is heading towards success in one area doesn’t mean they don’t have smaller goals too, for example, an animal forum might have a sub-forum for finance support. Always ask around on your favourite websites to find others like you.

It’s exciting when you join different support networks because you’ve found others like you. However, don’t go overboard and join too many groups. Be a valuable member in a few groups instead of a distant stranger in many.

2. Expand a support network

The easiest way to build a support group is by expanding the network you already have. Ask family, friends, your partner, co-workers, neighbours, etc whether they would like to join forces. If not, I bet they know someone who does. This way of building a support group is ideal for less confident people because they don’t have to confront or share with strangers.

3. Start a support network

The most daring way to build a buddy system is by starting your own network. Major communities like Sparkpeople were started by someone who used their success to help others. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same. Start small and expand as the community grows.

Keep in mind that starting a support network won’t be easy. As a normal member you can come and go as you please, but being a team leader means people are counting on you to guide everyone. Set personal goals for the team, hold friendly contests, visit your community on a regular basis (once a week in person or daily if on-line), and don’t be afraid to delegate jobs to others like a thriving community should.

There’s no time like the present. Look back over the ways to build a support network and read through them carefully. Only you know which option is right for you. If necessary, expand and/or combine my suggestions, for example, start your own community but link with established support networks. The flow of expertise, members, and exposure would be invaluable for both parties.

Summary

1. Team and solo work should co-exist.

2. Support networks provide expertise, accountability, inspiration, honesty, and a private place to vent.

3. Join, expand, and/or start a support group.

4. Active group members always succeed.

5. The best community leaders are active, visible, and dedicated.

When you are ready, move on to next week.