Identify a motivational best practice you have used in the past.
How can you apply this to a current dream you have?
On the first day of class each semester, I ask my students to write their college dream into their notebooks. What do they hope to achieve by attending Florida State College at Jacksonville? Why did they decide to pursue that particular course of action? I ask them to be as specific as possible.
Throughout the semester, I ask them to turn to what they wrote on day #1. What kind of progress have they made? Are they happy with their progress? Has there been progress? What keeps them on course? What choices have worked for them and which ones have created obstacles?
This week my students examined the related topics of motivation and goal achievement. To prepare them for the topic I asked them to complete two exercises. As you ready yourself for the coming week, take a moment and complete each exercise as a reality check for your goals and motivation.
- Where do you find your motivation?
- Identify a personal “best practice” that helps you stay motivated. Most pointed to extrinsic factors: their children; money; desire for a better life style; or to please a parent. Some wrote about intrinsic practices like the desire to learn more today than they knew yesterday. One student said she placed a sticky note on her refrigerator that simply said, “I’m not a quitter!”
- How do you know this is a best practice? How do you know this assumption is accurate? Track record is what came up here. Each student could point to specific times their best practice helped them stay the course. They could point to something that actually worked for them.
- How can this best practice help you reach a current goal that you want to reach? While the transfer and application may be a bit forced here, again I saw a commonality. Each student recognized he/she did in fact have a best practice and then started to see how it could be applied to their dream that they identified on the first day of the semester.
Reflection time for you. What is a dream (huge outrageous goal) that you have? What are your personal motivational best practices? How can you (do you) apply your best practices to your current dream?
- Stare at whom I want to become.
- Borrowing the words from Daniel Coyle (Talent Code), I ask them again to look at their written dream from the first day of class.
- Close your eyes. I then ask them to envision that they have reached the dream. They have arrived! I ask them to take inventory of this “future self” and answer the following:
- What do you look like when you see yourself having reached your goal?
- How do you carry yourself?
- What are you wearing?
- Are you smiling? Frowning?
- How do you speak?
- When you walk into a room, how do people respond? Why do they respond this way?
- How do you behave in a team meeting or social situation?
- What else do you notice, feel, smell, or hear?
- The future is now. Once they open their eyes I ask them if they act that way now. If not, when do they plan on starting? When will they start creating this future me? Later? (Later can become the killer of dreams). Today looks like a great day to start a new habit!
Video recommendation for the week:
Reflection time for you. Close your eyes and see your dream. Answer the questions above. Are you living the dream now? When will you start? Consider the three-step reflection model I describe in the video below as a way to jumpstart your movement.
One last suggestion. Go to www.futureme.org and type an email to yourself. Type your dream—be specific. Type your best motivational practice to keep you focused and working on the dream. Send the email to yourself (you specify a future date). This will be your own personal nudge. Another motivational practice to keep moving—or get moving.
Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.
Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.
(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.