If you’re keen to take better care of yourself, but are finding it difficult, there may be a key ingredient missing. Motivation. Without this, it’s all too easy to let self-care tasks slip down the priorities list.
I know for me, figuring out my motivation (and thinking broadly about it) was a game changer. It was something to help me keep self-care at the front of my mind, and something to refer back to when those excuses of ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I don’t need to’ come up.
In my case, I have two motivators and they are:
- To protect my mental health (and thus not need to take time off sick from work)
- To be better able to support those around me (my loved ones, coaching clients, even work colleagues)
They give me permission to be soft, to be kind to myself. They stop guilt in its track and support me as I continue to learn what works for me and what doesn’t work for me in the realm of self-care.
I thought it could be helpful to go through a journaling exercise to help you uncover what your self-care motivators are and how you can use them to keep you on track when it comes to looking after you. So, grab a pen and jot down your answers to the following questions:
What do you consider an act of self-care?
This is always a good starting point – what exactly does self-care mean to you? Think big and small here, and remember everyone is different so keep in mind what it is that really nourishes you.
How do you feel when you carry out these acts?
Get really descriptive here. Personally I feel grounded, centred, calm and capable when I carry out my self-care activities. I feel like I’ve got my shit together and I just feel that little more able to ride the waves of change, stress or anxiety.
What are your personal benefits?
Think about how you physically, mentally and emotionally benefit from self-care. This is where my mental health motivator springs up. When I take care of myself, I can better manage my anxiety.
Who else benefits from your self-care?
I’ve written a whole post on how self-care supports others, so do take a look at that if you’re struggling with this question. Again, this is where one of my motivators came up – I realised just how much other people benefit when I’m calm and able to support them.
What are your self-care motivators?
This is where you put it all together and come up with one or two key motivators. I’ve picked two, one centred around me and my mental health and one that considers other people. How you do this is totally up to you. Here are some great examples I’ve heard lately:
“To be a role model for my child”
“To be a more supportive partner”
“To align with my belief that people should be kind to themselves”
“To take greater control of my health”
Once you’ve got yours, put it somewhere you’ll see it. Make it your screensaver on your phone, put it up on a vision board, stick it up on the wall. Sometimes we need the visual prompt and reminder to help it sink in.
Use your motivators to encourage and hold you. Keep coming back to them, they are both a compass and anchor.
And finally, if you are looking for more support in the self-care department, do take a look at my self-care strategy session coaching offer on my coaching page. It’s a one-off call where we get into what’s holding you back from self-care and figure out a practical action plan. Sometimes we need a little guidance with this stuff and it’s a subject I love helping people with.
I hope this was helpful, I would love to hear from you if you already have your motivators or if you’ve tried this journaling exercise.
Before I go, I wanted to mention that my next Monthly Musings newsletter is going out next Sunday (24th) and it’s going to follow this theme of motivation. I’m going to delve a little deeper into finding the energy and motivation to keep showing up and where to draw the line and just… take a break.
If you want to receive it (and get my introductory guide to self-acceptance, self-love and confidence as a welcome present!) do subscribe before next Sunday.
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