Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Help me, Wanda, to get motivated!

Dear Wanda, what is a good way to get motivated to do a big project that you just don't want to take the time or the energy to do?......example: painting the last 2 rooms left to paint in my house!

Good question. Interestingly enough, this is not a simple question to answer because motivation differs from one person to another. Some people are motivated by finding pleasure, some by avoiding pain or displeasure. Some are motivated by rewards (buying that CD or pair of slacks you've been wanting), some by the intrinsic value of the project ("The house will be finished!" or "Those two rooms look so much better--now I can stand to go in them!"). So the answer for Wanda very well might not be the answer for you. The question then becomes, "What motivates you?"

An issue of consideration is "How am I feeling?" If I am tired and worn, not very much could motivate me to paint two rooms of my house--not even having my mother come to visit.

Another thing to consider: "What are my priorities?" If I have vegetables to can that will spoil while I am painting, then the veggies become the priority. If I don't have any energy left after the canning, then the painting will just have to wait. I might have other deadlines to meet that will cost me late fees that I don't want to pay (pain avoidance) and that outweighs my desire to paint the rooms (search for beauty and completion). The bills become a higher priority.

But for the sake of this question, let's assume we are healthy and have some energy and that we don't have pressing needs above the painting.

You don't say whether you have kids. If this were my chore and I had kids, I would give them some paint (something that my final coat would cover) and let them have at the room. How much fun would that be? Let them paint whatever they want (remember to test this stuff so you know your final coat will cover it!) and everybody could have a good time doing it. Then...the place would be such a mess after we had had a really good time, I would be motivated to put on the finish coat and make the room look like new.


I would schedule it in my calendar. I'd make a date with myself and my paint roller. I actually like painting. More to the point, I like the finished product. I would put it in my date book and let nothing else get in the way, and I would revel in the feeling of watching the chore be accomplished...inch by lovely inch.

Either way, I'd try to make it fun.

That's what I'd do.


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