Kathryn Sandford Online

My Aha Moment – What I have learnt about Me and Motivation

I have just read a really interesting article by Dr Heidi Grant Halvorson called How to make yourself work when you dont want to. - and here lies my problem! Keeping myself motivated and completing  the things I don't want to do but need to!


I loved this article as it introduced me to the "Psychology of Motivation". The more I  read about the science behind Motivation the more I learn about me and how I can control my responses to things that I see as blocks to me actioning and moving forward on my journey. I  look back on the blog I wrote last week and I thought what were you thinking??? I have not given up on believing in the Universe and all the elements that play out in the realm of my  universe but my blog does contain a  hidden element of deflection - in that I  RATIONALISE my lack of motivation and desire to deal with difficult situations  IN MY LIFE by blaming the Universe!!

I am not dismissing how I felt when I was writing my blog last week because those feelings were real - it is only in reflection and with new knowledge that I look back and understand what  the source of my frustration was all about.


 This is what I know ......

I am struggling with  the forces of  Inconsistent  Motivation. I think it is because My Reinvention Journey that I have undertaken this year feels such long way away to achieving my dream - to be a writer and speaker. I so love helping motivate people to go on their journey to achieve their dreams and to know what kind of life they can live that gives them personal fulfilment and of course happiness. You would think that with a plan in place, also knowing the huge rewards this dream will bring me that I would be 100% committed and motivated! Ahhh NOPE.....Why then do I still I struggle with MOTIVATING MYSELF to do the tasks and actions I need to do so that I can achieve that which I desire in my life?

I have read Dr Heidi's articles, many  blogs and articles on peoples journeys and stories on Reinvention, taking a leap of faith, overcoming tragedy, turning their lives around, achieving their dream and I believe that it comes down to 7 Simple Actions - which they all follow without fail and these actions in my opinion keep them Motivated and on task to succeed

Here are the 7 Simple Actions - with my own tips and comments.....

  1. They have a MISSION in that they are CLEAR about what they want (the Dream) they set the Plan and the Actions they need to do to get to their destination
  2. They stayed COMMITTED and  are REALISTIC about their journey (shit happens deal with it and keep going)
  3. They Work Hard  - even when they don't feel like it (read  Dr Heidi's article)
  4. They RECOGNISED and SHARED  their vulnerability (take 20 mins to watch Renee Browns speak on the Power Of Vulnerability http://https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability )
  5. They UNDERSTOOD what Personal Success and Happiness meant for them
  6. They KNEW that they were responsible for their own personal success and happiness (That is they all value the gift we all have - The Power of Choice)
  7. They are ALWAYS DREAMING -  they can see and believe in their future.

These 7 actions make up the Power Sources thats drive these people to staying motivated and on track to achieving their dreams. It looks so easy and it is not complicated.

My Personality Type and Motivation

By following these 7 actions LOGICALLY I  SHOULD have the Power Sources for me to staying motivated and focussed on the activities/tasks that are required for me to  achieve my dream. BUT I am just not getting it. In my head I know those 7 actions are the critical ingredients of Motivation - BUT  I need more. I know me and I am great at not actioning what I know is the right thing to do - especially when I don't want to do it because its boring, too hard, etc. I am a Deflection Specialist  ( I made this label up!!) and it is hard to break old habits especially when  I am so good rationalising and convincing myself  and others why I am unable to to follow through.



...... WHEN I really UNDERSTOOD what Motivation actually means to me.

I read an article on the Temporal motivation theory (TMT). This was the icing on my cake of motivation" When I read this article it really resonated with me. TMT is  an integrative motivational theory developed by Piers Steel and Cornelius J. Konig, the theory emphasises time as a critical, motivational factor. There was lots in the article that I didn't understand however what I did learn was that according to Steel and Konig

" Temporal Motivation Theory "may help further the understanding of the impact of time, and particularly deadlines, on dynamic attention allocation."[2] The Temporal Motivation Theory formula can be applied to the human behaviour,procrastination[3][4] and to goal setting

The formula for TMT is.....

mathrm{Motivation} = frac{mbox{Expectancy × Value}}{mbox{1 + Impulsiveness × Delay}}

here Motivation, the desire for a particular outcome, Expectancy or self-efficacy is the probability of success, Value  is the reward associated with the outcome, Impulsiveness is the individual’s sensitivity to delay and Delay is the time to realization.[6]

I so get this formula  and yet I failed Maths at School.

My Learnings to Share with you

I am not useless at Motivation -   in regard to health and fitness I am quite disciplined and very motivated. I do get up twice a week at 5.15 am to run 10 kms. I go to the gym 4 times a week and love it. I watch my diet and try to manage my alcohol intake! I never really waiver from my fitness goals.

For me my motivation drivers for keeping fit and healthy are  about creating habits of routine and sticking to them because I love the results I get - looking good and feeling great. Its also about being realistic and not being too hard on myself. I am at an age where being fit is about feeling good about myself and valuing  exercise as it  helps me to manage the stress and challenges of my life - its keeps me sane! Over the years being fit and healthy has become a part of me and my life - so now there is no struggle - my impulsiveness x delay is low and my expectancy x value is high - therefor motivation is consistently high!!

I have without me knowing in one part of my life (Health and Wellbeing) achieved an A+ in following the Temporal Motivation Theory formula!!!

But in one important area of my life I have a tendency to be the Deflection Queen. I think for me especially now why my  Motivation level is low is  because the end result seems such a long way away.  So when I am in this state of flux  and combined with my personality -  Impulsive x Delay is a much higher numerical value than Expectancy x Value -  hence my motivation level drops and  Deflection sets in!



  • Increase the value of Expectancy x Value by actioning the 7 key actions listed above
  • Decrease the value of Impulsiveness x Delay by Measuring my Success and keeping track of my progress. (note to self.....I need to keep Celebration Journal that measures by Progress and Successes )....this will keep me on track, on task and hopefully Motivated. I have a feeling I can do this.

Discovering the  TMT formula was an aha moment for me around my struggle with motivation and procrastination.  If you are struggling with motivation in what ever area of your life look for the motivation drivers that gives you that Aha moment that will help you get on track to achieving what ever it is that you desire you want in your life.

A tip...

Before you start do some preparation work on you, get a journal and write down the answers to the following 3 questions

  • What do you love doing and how do you stay motivated to keep doing what you love? (do not judge - acknowledge what you love to do)
  • What aspects of your life today are going well and what do you do to keep it good?
  • What are the behaviours/thoughts/actions  that  are not serving you so well and are preventing you from living your life to its fullest potential?

Now  you can start your Journey to discovering that AHA moment that will open you up to new learnings and better understanding about YOU and what  you need to do to achieve those things in your life that you desire.

Keep the faith you and I will Succeed....

 "People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

2 comments on “My Aha Moment – What I have learnt about Me and Motivation

  1. Just read your AHA Moment. I enjoyed hearing of the same struggles I am challenged with. The equation you shared I didn’t get- at all- I wish you could have dissected it or unpacked it more ( I have equation block). BUT, fortunately I was inspired enough with your own journey moments. Thanks

    1. Thank you Liz for your feedback. I too have equation blocks as maths was never my favourite subject at school. I don’t know why it clicked for me but how the equation works for me (and I may be wrong) – is that with a goal the best way for us to be motivated to achieving this goal is to:

      a) figure out exactly the value of desire you have to be motivated + the reality of you succeeding. You then divide that by the reality of you delaying the action + how long it takes you to realise the delay.

      I can only use the example of losing weight – top of mind for me right now. Anyway the desire is strong and the expected outcomes to losing 5kg are high however in reality my impulsiveness to delay is high (very little will power) and the realisation of that delay is also high so the chances of me achieving my goal of losing 5 kg even before I start is NOT GREAT.

      The next step for me is to reduce the value of my impulsive behaviours and the delay factors that will impact on me staying motivated to achieve my goals – this is the hard bit but once I know what I do to sabotage my desire to be motivated to losing 5kg -then I know what I am dealing with and of course can deal to it!! This increases my chances of being more motivated toward achieving my goal to losing 5kg. Seems to be working for me so far – 3 kg to go and going strong!!

      Hope that makes sense. If you would like to know more about the struggle of motivation plus heaps more about life love you to go to my FB Page http://www.facebook/DreamPlanAct

      Cheers Kathryn

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