Cincinnati Family Magazine

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July 19, 2024

Self-Motivation Tricks All Moms Need to Know

This mom blogger goes in deep with helping moms find their self-motivation. Some days aren't easy, but this advice will have you on your feet in no time, mama.

Let’s talk about self-motivation. For moms, it can be hard to feel motivated when you’re exhausted from doing things for everybody else. Maybe you’re wondering if there are creative ways to get motivated when it comes time to keep going, but you’re ready to stop. 

It’s easy to be overwhelmed in a world where everyone is constantly busy, but with the right reward system in place, and understanding the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, you can find methods that speak to you. 

We’re all motivated by different things. The trick is figuring out what inspires you to keep going. 

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the stuff that feels good from the inside.

Are you motivated by feel-good stuff? Do you get a kick out of enjoyment, curiosity, passion, or a sense of belonging? Intrinsic motivation triggers all those warm vibes that make us thrive. But not everybody feeds off this. Maybe love, learning, or self-expression aren’t the things that motivate you. You might be motivated by extrinsic motivators. 

A Handful of Intrinsic Motivators:

  • Love
  • Learning
  • Belonging
  • Curiosity
  • Passion
  • Growth
  • Self-Expression
  • Purpose

Extrinsic Motivation are the rewards that are either tangible or come from outside. 

When you get a promotion at work and a pay raise, it might fire you up in a good way. Ever use a credit card that gives you reward points? It feels great to save with a coupon, right? Do you love certificates or badges that validate you did a good job at something? Think of the image of a horse and a carrot on a stick. The horse is motivated to move forward because of the reward potential. 

Here are some extrinsic motivators:

  • Fear of embarrassment
  • Money
  • Badges, Certificates, Social Proof
  • Rewards or Points
  • Bonuses
  • Benefits/Perks
  • To Win/or Prizes

When you know what motivates you, it’s easier to create good habits or accomplish something you’ve been putting off. 

One of the two probably resonated with you more. It doesn’t mean that both can’t motivate you. 

The Trick is Knowing Yourself

The most important thing is recognizing which speaks louder to you in a given circumstance. Let’s take for instance, waking up an hour earlier in the morning. Most people would cringe at the idea. We treasure a good night of sleep. You might do it to feel accomplished if you have a goal to start waking up earlier, but if it’s still not pushing you to do it, think about this.

If somebody offered you $100 to wake up an hour early and check in with them, you’d probably be a little more motivated. I only need to wake up, check in, and I get paid? Hello! Show me the money, right? You’re motivated because suddenly it’s not feeling like such a big deal now. Little effort, and a new pair of shoes, right? 

Okay, let’s look at another example. 

Your son is about to sing in his first elementary school concert. He’s nervous, but knows if you’re out in the audience, he’ll be able to see you and relax a little bit. Do you think credit card rewards are going to be the motivation for you to show up at the concert? Of course not. It’s intrinsic. It’s out of love and wanting to support your child. It feels good to be there when he needs you.

Climbing the Hurdle Takes Motivation

Now, what if it’s something you are putting off, don’t feel like you’re ready for, and really want to accomplish? That’s where it pays to examine what feeds you. What will be the greatest reward in this circumstance?

When you know how to motivate yourself, you’ve won half the battle.

  • It’s as simple as setting a goal. 
  • Figure out your strategy. 
  • Break your strategy into uncomplicated steps or tasks. 
  • Tackle them one at a time. 

At what part of the journey do you get stuck? Learn to recognize your stumbling blocks so you’re prepared with the right type of reward that will push you through. 

One of the awesome aspects of this is you get a choice. It gives you a sense of control. You choose what will get you from point A to point B. 

A great way to be prepared is to sit down and write out a list or do a brain dump. This way, when you’ve got a big challenge or task ahead that you know will trip you up, you can pull out your list and choose the reward that works best for you.

Another tip is to write down how good you feel when you accomplish something. This way you have a journal to look back on. It reminds you what it felt like when you reached a goal. 

If you’re still stuck, consider why you want to reach a certain goal. What does it mean to you? Dig deeper for clarity and get clear on your goals. Create intentional goals and know your why. This alone can help motivate you when you truly connect and align with your values.

Borrow from Businesses

Businesses often rely on what are called SMART goals. It’s used in a lot of areas of life, but it comes down to creating goals that are: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

When you know what you want (specifically), you can figure out how to get there. When you can measure your results, you can see how far you’ve come and how far you need to go. Attainable means you’ve set goals that are realistic. Are they relevant to what you’re doing? Or is it a stalling tactic? Have you set a time limit? Knowing a timeframe helps you focus with intention and you’re more likely to achieve your goal, rather than relying on the “someday” tactic. 

Let’s Recap:

Set SMART goals that are both specific and attainable. You need to be able to measure your progress and have a timeframe in which to achieve your goal. Make sure it’s relevant to what you need, and not something that’s making you avoid the real issue you’re working with.

When you’re ready to motivate yourself, choose a reward that will help get you excited, set realistic goals, and take steps to work toward the outcome. Any step forward is a step forward. The biggest issue for most people is simply getting started. 

What motivates you? 

Bonus Tips:

  • Don’t complicate things. Simplicity will help you stay focused.
  • Change your perspective. You get to do this, not you have to do this. Focus on the positive.
  • Find an accountability partner if you know that will push you.
  • Keep track of your progression if it’s something that takes a bit. Seeing the progress can be the push you need to keep going.
  • Dive in. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reach the finish line.
  • Small steps are all still steps forward. No need to overwhelm yourself by doing too much too soon.
  • Remember your list of motivators and choose the right reward for the situation.
  • Don’t be afraid of messing up. It happens. Just start over again.
  • Don’t compare your situation to others. We’re all at different places in our lives. 

Now…what are you waiting for?


About the Author

Kelly Hater

Kelly Hater, owner of Mama Bear Domain, has over 15 years of coaching experience along with a B.S. in Health Promotion specialized in Exercise Science. She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout, providing a clear, decisive plan that leads her clients on a path of success. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming struggles herself. Get the accountability needed to take action. As a mom of two she gets it. Get your E-Book: Mom, Open Your Eyes to Self-Awareness.