Motivation and Momentum-The Missing Keys to Successful Time Management

What is Motivation?

It is what drives your behavior.  And according to the experts in the sciences of neurology and behavior – 95% of what drives our behavior as human beings is unconscious!  As an actress and director, I studied motivation in my characters – what desires drive my character to act as she does and what conflicting desire drives her to sabotage herself?  That understanding allowed me to create believable characters .

But how can we possibly hope to influence our behavior consciously and intentionally in the real world?

Most people try harder and push themselves.  They beat themselves with self-recrimination, blame, and shame.  And it becomes like Sisyphus pushing his boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down.  The hopelessness of your efforts can destroy any motivation or momentum you’ve managed to create.  And the amount of energy it takes will eventually burn you out.

From a Law of Attraction standpoint, it is the desire for what you want that both draws you forward (motivation) and draws your desires into your life (serendipity or luck).

It is much more energetically and ecologically sound to draw yourself forward by creating a powerful and inviting vision of what you desire, using your passion to create movement, than it is to push, manipulate and punish yourself into action.

And remember, the basic tenet of the Law of Attraction is that you get what you focus on.  If you are focused on how you are struggling and not doing what you “should” and the lack of what you desire – you are creating more of that lack..

Bottom line – focusing on a specific and juicy vision of what you desire to create will clear the obstacles, and increase your motivation and energy to take the actions that will manifest your vision.

Once you’re clear about what you want (your vision) and you are moving forward towards it,

How do you Maintain your Momentum?

You need to understand how and why you are stopping yourself.  And yes,

YOU are stopping YOU!

Momentum doesn’t come from magic fairy dust.  It comes from within you.

In my experience, the most common destroyer of momentum is fear and the desire to control your speed (and thereby reduce your feeling of fear).  So, notice what you are doing to slow yourself down.  Get wise to yourself.  Because once you are conscious about what you’re doing and what’s motivating that behavior – you have the power to choose differently.

So, once you understand what’s motivating you and you’re working on that, how do you create momentum?  It’s basic physics.  According to Newton’s Laws of Motion – a body that is still, through inertia will stay still.  A body in motion will tend to stay in motion.  So, to create momentum you must get into action.  Even one small baby step can create the shift in energy that will enable you to move solidly towards your goals.

And be willing to be uncomfortable.  That discomfort is evidence that you’re changing your reality – and isn’t that what you want?



How to Create a Values-Based Career

What are values – really?

“Sociology . the ideals, customs, institutions, etc., of a society toward which the people of the group have an affective regard. These values may be positive, as cleanliness, freedom, or education, or negative, as cruelty, crime, or blasphemy. ”

We hear the term battered around, but do you really know what your values are? Values are what you, personally, consider to be really and truly important. And here’s the challenge – this is completely subjective and often completely unconscious.

There are no objectively “true” values. And yet people die every day over values-based disagreements. But that’s a different conversation.

How do I Create My Business to Suit My Values?

First, we have to discover what our values are. In order to do this, we must, in the words of Bill W., make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

And let’s be clear with our terminology. The dictionary definition of moral is “conforming to the rules of right conduct.” In other words, morals are just values that lots of people have agreed are “good”. So the essence of this step is to take a searching and fearless inventory of our conduct.

What we do reveals what we believe is important. It may NOT be what we would like to think we believe is important. This is a critical distinction.

So, sit down and make a list of your values. Create some space where you can be uninterrupted and brainstorm a list of all the things that are important to you. Use these questions to stimulate your thought process:

  • What is important to me?
  • What else is important to me?
  • How am I spending my time and what value does that express?
  • How am I spending my time at work?
  • How am I spending my time with regard to family and friends?
  • What are my self-care habits?
  • How do I treat others?
  • How do I allow others to treat me? And what does that tell me is important to me?

You must think of this as a brainstorming exercise. It is critically important that you write it all down. Be courageously and brutally honest with yourself.

Do Not Edit Out the Values You are Embarrassed or Ashamed of!

The first step is to look at yourself with curiosity, generosity and love. What is true now? When it comes to values, our judgment of what’s Right or Moral can destroy our objectivity and our ability to change.

If you look at your behavior with judgment and shame yourself for what you see, you will not change! Your very judgment of your behavior as “bad and wrong” keeps you frozen in your growth. It actually reinforces the behavior.

Stop Beating Up on Yourself!

Begin this process with the determination that no matter what you discover about yourself, no matter what “bad habits” or “wrong behaviors” you discover, you are OK, just as you are. Without this basis of love and acceptance, there can be no growth, no development, and no real internal change.

This may feel counter-intuitive. If I don’t disapprove of my behavior, what would motivate me to change? Think of it this way – if you beat a dog into submission, to get him to behave, he will behave as long as you are watching him. But when you aren’t there, his bad behavior will return or even get worse. And one day, while you are beating him, he will turn on you. Any dog trainer will tell you, it’s much easier to get consistent good behavior through loyalty and love.

So with a fearless heart, notice “the shoulds” – what “should” be important to you? Notice the gap between what you want to be important to you and what your behavior demonstrates. You’ve heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” What are you doing? What are your current values?

The truth is that you are already creating your business (and your world) to suit your values. If you don’t like what you’re creating, if you’re not satisfied with your outcomes, then begin to choose different values. This is the secret of real and sustainable success.

Get Organized

A lack of organization costs in so many ways. We lose time looking for lost things. We lose energy as clutter sucks away our life force. We lose focus because each stray paper distracts us.

“The problem with clutter is that it blocks the energy circulation in your home and in you.”

David Daniel Kennedy, Feng Shui for Dummies.

Have you ever made a resolution to get organized? So why doesn’t it stick? The essence of organization is a combination of internal habits and external systems. Most people try to do one or the other, but the missing link is making them work together. To create organization AND maintain it, you must match your systems with your habits and your habits with your systems.

Start Your Organization With What’s True Now

In Organizing from the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern asks you 5 questions:

  1. What’s working?
  2. What’s not working?
  3. What items are most essential to you?
  4. Why do you want to get organized?
  5. What’s causing the problems?

“Although going through the Analyze process takes a little extra time compared to just diving in, it is the most important investment you can make toward achieving your ultimate goal: becoming truly organized at last.”

Julie Morgenstern, Organizing from the Inside Out

What are your habits? Do you walk in the door and dump your stuff? I do! And in my current space, the coat closet lives as far from the front door as physically possible! Result? Piles of coats on the floor! So, I got a coat rack. I wasn’t going to create the habit of walking all the way to the back when I first came home. So, I created a system in the front, a rack to hang up my coat and bag and a bowl for my keys, cell phone and sunglasses. Voila! Piles gone!

Once you determine what your current habits and spatial situation are now, the next step is to visualize and decide what purpose each segment of your space will serve. I’m a big fan of floor plans, myself. It’s so much easier on your back to rearrange furniture on paper first.

Do Not Expect To Do All of It at Once

Organize one room at a time. Unless you’re ready to hire a team of 15 people like those organization shows, you’re not going to make it happen in a single day.

It will look worse before it looks better.

Start with a single section of your space and remove everything that doesn’t serve the purpose of that area. Toss it or put it in the location it will belong in according to your vision (but resist the urge to organize that space!). Once you’ve got it cleared, then you create containers to keep the new space organized.

Use your creativity to inspire beauty in the order.

Set aside several blocks of time over the next few weeks, until you get your entire space organized. Then, assess and adjust. Things may seem like a good idea in your head, but when put into action they may not work. There will be a period of adjustment. So, don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect right away. If a particular space gets cluttered again very quickly, go back to the original questions. I bet you’ll easily figure out why it doesn’t work and be able to make adjustments.

2 Habits of Harmony:

Once you’ve got things set up to work, create 2 new Daily Habits of Harmony Maintenance. First, completely clear the project in front of you, before you start another. Meaning, when you’re done with a project for the day, or even for the moment, put it away. Clear one thing before you begin another. That will serve to de-clutter your space as well as your mind.

Second, designate 15 minutes a day to organize and straighten up. Each day, focus on a different room. Unless you live in a mansion, you’ll be able to maintain order in your entire home every week.

Resources for Organization

Organizing from the Inside Out, second edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern

Julie Morgenstern has written an organizing book that covers a new way of looking at the task of organizing effectively without labeling or blaming the person behind the lack of organization. Then she gets down to work helping you figure out an organizing system that will really work for you, not more cookie-cutter concepts or systems.

Feng Shui for Dummies (Paperback) by David Daniel Kennedy

The ancient Chinese art of harmonious design -demystified at last Feng Shui can help bring positive energy into all areas of your life, from family and relationships to money and work. Packed with ready-to-use Feng Shui tips and remedies, this friendly guide will help you arrange your home or office for maximum energy – beginning today!
Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE™) system, and anything else that is on her mind.

More Resources

The Law of Attraction – Revisited

My most recent Artist’s EDGE Newsletter has been generating lots of conversation. Here’s a great email that I just received from Andrea Anderson:

“Without doubt, negative thinking is dangerous and self-destructive. On the other hand, saying that a person can change any circumstances outside themselves is quite dangerous and puts them in a position of thinking that they have lots of power over other people, places and things. The whole idea, it seems to me is to change oneself. And that change attracts other people and situations.”

My response? Exactly! I love the way that Jack Canfield puts it in The Success Principles:


Events plus Response equals Outcome

You have control over your responses (both internal and external) and that determines your outcome. A lot of people went through Katrina – some people made lemonade, others just sit in the sourness – it’s not the circumstances but what you do with the circumstances.

But then there are those who manage to avoid the circumstances altogether – because it’s not what they’re attracting for themselves.

So when something outrageous happens, it’s not enough to just say, “How am I responding to this? How do I make lemonade out of these lemons?” It’s also important to ask, “How is it that I attracted lemons instead of that ripe juicy watermelon?”

The truth is that you DO have lots of power, but not over others, over yourself and your own circumstances. Other people have power over themselves and THEIR circumstances. Just because those circumstances exist in their world, doesn’t mean you have to invite it into yours.

And it doesn’t mean that you say – well, to heck with them, that’s their problem – either. But you can choose how you think and feel about their misfortunes and what you choose to empower about their misfortunes.

For me, I like to contribute money and time to organizations that are NOT about saving people, but about empowering people. Because I don’t believe we can save anyone. We can only give them the tools and encouragement to save themselves.

If you focus on how powerless they are, then you are attracting being powerless to yourself as well. If you focus on how individuals achieve, then you are attracting the experience of achieving. But beware, if you only focus on achieving in the face of terrible odds, then you are attracting, yes you guessed it, terrible odds!

So, focus on how the real professionals make it look easy and how you can make your own life feel easy and effortless, too.

The Law of Attraction – Truth or Fiction?

In the last year, The Secret has brought the Universal Law of Attraction into the awareness of the broad public mind. But for some of us, this was no secret. Whether you loved the movie or hated it (and I had both visceral reactions), there is no denial that The Secret movie has raised awareness of the universal principle — the Law of Attraction. And I am truly grateful for that.

I Create My Reality

First let me confess to my own bias. I have known about this “Secret” for as long as I can remember. I have always believed I create my reality. So, I’ll be discussing the Law of Attraction from the point of view that it is reality and the awareness that you may not agree with my belief. I hope that you will continue to read anyway and be open.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, a quick review. The Law of Attraction states that everything you have or have ever had in your life you drew into your life. You created your life, the good, the bad, the indifferent. You create your life through your thoughts and beliefs energized by your emotions. Now, I know that this idea freaks a lot of people out. Does a child create being abused? Did 3000 people create 9/11? Is it my fault I’m sick?

Yes and no. The Law of Attraction basically means that each thought sends out a vibration that attracts a reality in agreement with that vibration. The more emotion you imbue a thought with the stronger the magnet becomes. The more directed, focused and repetitious a thought is, the stronger it’s attractive energy. So if you are having negative thoughts that are energized by negative emotions that’s what you’re attracting. And for those people who don’t have much focus or intention behind their thoughts, what they attract can be very random, because the vibration is random.

Is this true? Is it just New Age woo-woo? You know where I stand in this. And I have had a lot of experiences that bear it out. Let’s just take parking spots, for example. I am a master at manifesting parking spots. From the time I lived in Brooklyn with a car, I played with this phenomenon. If I decided that I would find a parking spot, I would. But if I thought, “Oh, it’s late, it’s going to be hard to find a parking spot.” Guess, what? I wouldn’t find one. Every time! Is it magic? No, it’s the Law of Attraction.

Intentional Creation – Action vs. Visualization

So, what does that mean in your life? Can you control your thoughts every minute of every day? No way! But you can become more aware of your thoughts. You can notice how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking and in that moment, choose to think about what you are intentionally creating in your life.

But does that mean you never have to take action? Can you just sit on your couch, day after day, imagining your success and have it magically appear? Probably not. You see, your mind is very literal. It looks at what you’re doing and decides what it will believe. If it sees you sitting on the couch all day, it’s NOT going to believe that you will be successful. And those doubts will undermine every empowering visualization you have on that couch. So, spend 15 minutes visualizing on the couch and then get into action!

The Law of Attraction without Action is just the Law of Attr

What Have You Got to Lose?

Look, just play with it. Whether you believe it or don’t believe it. What harm could experimenting with it do? Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on how grateful you are for what you do have and how you’re creating what you want. Have fun imagining your abundant successful life. Imbue that vision with joy and gratitude. Seriously, what have you got to lose?