Motivation Blog Post: Insert Witty Title Here… Later…

What’s the deal with motivation? Why do we sometimes seem to have it and other times it mysteriously retreats far beyond our reaches? How do we keep up the motivation to get up, perform and repeat day after – – wait, hold on, I need to go check my email, order dog food, stare blankly at a scuff on my ceiling, and eat 30 snacks. 

Ok, I’m back. What was I working on again? The motivation fairy didn’t show up, but, thanks to all of you who showed up for last Friday’s IDEA Hub Online Education Session – Staying Well, I’ve got a list of tips to share for motivating ourselves and our students. 

Research tells us that change (or motivation) needs some key ingredients: social incentives, progress monitoring, and immediate rewards. Here are some of the ideas we came up with to help with these 3 ingredients:

For You:

  • Keep a regular workday routine. Get up at the normal time, shower, and get dressed (from head to toe – skip the pajama bottoms). Don’t forget to put the work away at the end of the day!
  • Exercise! From Zoom Crossfit to a 30 day yoga challenge to outdoor hobbies and walks, y’all are really moving. Let’s keep at it – and don’t forget to put those positive social incentives out there for others. My challenge to you: can you start a department challenge, join Strava to track your time at Tech Trails, or post a pic on Instagram?
  • Spend time learning something new (or picking up an old hobby)! You’re going to feel old and crusty and cooped up if you let yourself live in stagnation. While I might not be picking up Python anytime soon (like my IDEAhub compadres), I’ve found reinvention in … well, nothing yet, but this sounds really nice, and I should totally do this. 
  • Practice Mindfulness. I love this tip! Someone in our group shared that they’ve spent time “finding pleasure in the differences compared to life before.” Yes, yes, and yes! It’s too easy to get bogged down with the bad. Take a deep breath, right now. Feel that immediate reward!
  • Find your silver linings – shout out to the IDEApub discussion on silver linings – connections with old friends, home refinancing, precious time with adult children back in the home, increase in awareness of teaching tools and methods. Talk about amazing rewards!

Check in tomorrow for part II of tips from last Friday’s IDEA Hub – how to help with student motivation.