Are You Too Nice to Stay Motivated?

Posted by dianne on Feb 1, 2010 in Newsletters | | No comment

Are You Too Nice to Stay Motivated?

My friend, Deb DiSandro, and I have been accountability partners for a couple of years now. We meet and talk about our goals, our plans, and our challenges. We write down the steps we plan to take in the next week or two weeks. Then we each go back to our offices and do what we can. But we figured out that there was a flaw in our arrangement. We were too nice! If we fell short of our goals, if we didn’t follow through on our plans; we let each other off the hook.

Knowing we would need personality transplants in order to become tough butt-kickers, we have come up with a new motivational strategy: CASH! I have to give Deb credit for bringing this idea to the table (literally…we met over breakfast). We both wrote down two firm goals that we committed to meet in one week and posted a $20 bill over our desks. Mine is taped to a lamp. If we have not completed the work required by that goal in one week, we mail that $20 off to charity. Try it! Money can be a great motivator.

I can think of only one flaw. If you are really, really too nice, you might feel a little guilty about meeting your goal and keeping your $20. So here is a loop-hole. If you meet your goal and WANT to send $20 to charity, you are allowed. Just don’t send the one that’s on your bulletin board, or taped to your lamp. That one stays to motivate you next week.


A Writing Tip – Exercise Your Writing Muscles

Writing is a skill as well as a gift. Some people are born with a flare and a love for writing. Some even feel compelled to write. Still others are simply required to write in order to get their work done. The good news is that your writing skill can be increased and enhanced by study and practice.

Here is a technique designed to strengthen your writing muscles so that the quality of your work will improve as you go along.

Choose an appealing picture in a magazine or a photo in an album. Look at it for one minute and put it away. Then write a description of that picture. Try to spend about 10 minutes at it. Make it as vivid as you can, let yourself loose with all the extravagant adjectives you like. Try to make the picture come to life so that a reader will be able to experience the picture with all the senses. Your goal is to make someone who has never seen the picture feel that they are in that picture.


What My Dog Taught Me This Month

We have had Tramp, a corgi mix, for five years. He is a very affectionate, adorable bundle of energy. He has been a whole new doggy experience for us. We had been the human companions of beloved beagle mix dogs for a total of 28 years. Beagles are known for two things: that characteristic howl and unlimited capacity for food. It seems you just can’t fill up a beagle. One took begging at the table to a new level. If we lingered too long over dinner without getting any leftovers into his bowl, he would start barking indignantly. I am not proud of our lack of control, but there it is.

Tramp, on the other hand, doesn’t hang around the kitchen. He doesn’t come near the table while we are eating. He doesn’t care much about treats. We were amazed at this whole different species we found in our midst. Until now!

January brought a particularly gloomy, cold spell to Chicago. Tramp and I went days and days without taking a walk. Oh, sure, I still let him out in the fenced back yard when he rang the bell at the back door. But that’s not the same as the adventure of walking, jogging, exploring and sniffing the world beyond the fence. The strangest thing happened. Tramp wanted to EAT. NOW. He didn’t care that he had just finished breakfast. It didn’t matter if it was four hours till dinner. He would kick his empty bowl around the kitchen and look pathetic. At first I thought he was really hungry. I would put an emergency scoop of chow in his bowl and he would polish it off in a flash. But then he wanted more. After a few days of this new personality, I figured it out. He was bored!

I knew some people eat when they are bored (chocolate is my personal favorite diversion) but I didn’t know dogs had the same boredom reaction. If he could talk, he probably would have said, “Hey, I’ll have one of those brownies.”

So I started getting both of us out in the fresh air for at least a brisk mile walk every day. Tramp’s back to ignoring the kitchen in favor or sitting in front of the living room window waiting to tell that mail carrier and the passing UPS truck to keep moving.


Do You Have a Friend Who Might Like to Receive This Newsletter?

If you have a friend who might like to receive this newsletter, please forward it to him or her. I love to make new friends.

As always, if you have a writing project you want to get finished, let us take it from wherever it is to DONE! Give us a call at 630-740-4701, or visit

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