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Staying Motivated: Section One

PhoenixFailed

Survivor of 2016, Fighter in 2017
SF Supporter
#1
Welcome to the Guided Study forum! By the survey posted by NYJmpMaster, motivation was selected as the first topic. (Both ironic as I hit a big bump in the road in maintaining motivation as I began to research our study and helpful as I read about ways to help.)

How does this Guided Study work?
In the time window specified:
  • Read/view the selection(s)
  • Join in the discussion by posting on this thread.
What are the forum guidelines?
  • Judge favorably (give the benefit of the doubt to all who post)
  • Focus on discussion of ideas
  • Recognize the diversity of the forum in ages, diagnosis, experiences, treatments, place on individual journeys, (to name just a few)
Please know I am an internally focused perfectionist, but far, far from perfect. I tried to select materials that would be helpful and actionable. This meant placing aside virtual reams of materials that instruct us to simply “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” (because sometimes I feel I not only don't seem to have bootstraps, I do not seem to have boots) or are so long, lofty and theoretical that one would need motivation to read the information about motivation. o_O I am aware of the variety of diagnoses here as well as the lack thereof. Some materials may seem to be aimed at a specific diagnosis, but are still shared in hope we can all benefit from the suggestions. Also, this is my first attempt at facilitating a self-guided online study when I do not know the people involved in real life, so know I am conscious of timing and selection of materials and will try my best to adjust as we move forward.

Suggestions about future materials or requests about better meeting your needs are best PMed to me as not to pull the the thread away from productive discussion for all.

So, if you have gotten through this long post, give yourself a pat on the back as you have persevered and maintained motivation to get to the first set of dates and materials! :D

Study Window for Section One: December 11th-December 27th

Materials:
You Tube Video:
Dealing with Difficult Times in Life (approximately 12 minutes)

Blog Post:
Tips for Finding Motivation When You Are Depressed
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/12/22/tips-for-finding-motivation-when-youre-depressed/
 

Brian777

Safety and Support
SF Artist
SF Supporter
#2
Hi @PhoenixFailed this was an excellent video, he gave a lot of good tips that are easy to follow and I will definetly try them. I find when I'm having a bad day(which is usually quite often) my response is to hide away from the world and hope it gets better. But on days that I "force" myself to go out and interact with others, even in a small way, i do feel better. When he quotes "this too shall pass" he's right, although difficult to believe when depressed or anxious, it always does. My worst time is when I wake up, I always seem to feel down and worried about the future etc.......as the day goes on this mood lifts and I begin to get some optimism for life. It's amazing how much we're effected by a "feeling" and basically that's all it is "a feeling" and feelings do pass.
Thank you for taking the time to put this program together :) you're doing a great job.
Brian
 
#3
I have been feeling particularly bad lately and have a hard time seeing how the future will get any better. Still...I realize that if I give up and don't make any effort to offset my negative thoughts and feelings...then I am really stuck. With that in mind...I'm going to try to apply some of the ideas in the video.
 
#4
I agree...this is a very helpful video...alot to absorb and really work at internalizing and putting into practice but it is presented in a way that seems doable...not easy but feel/believe are doable...so the first thing I thought I would tackle was 3 goals for the day---my problem came up with 1 personal and 9 for work (prioritizing is something struggling with in a serious way)...so broke those 9 up into prioritized 3 groups of 3...also thinking of gratitude that is something which I often lose in the daily struggle of my days. So will try to think on that as I tackle my 3 things for the day. Hope its appropriate sharing this but let me know if these personal approach/thoughts should not be posted here as last thing want to do is impede discussion here. Thank you @PhoenixFailed for starting this...so much appreciated.
 

PhoenixFailed

Survivor of 2016, Fighter in 2017
SF Supporter
#5
@J Lyn and others that see the video, what might you try to apply in your life? (@Brian777 and @Kiwi2016 I did not mean to exclude you, but you both answered the question, but feel free to share more :))

For me I am going to try to tackle the three goals a day too. I know there is a goal thread on SF, which is a testament to the great wisdom present on the forum long before I posted this video.
 

nobodyknows71

For a Phoenix to rise, it must first burn.
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#6
I'm reasonably good (most of the time) at getting up and leaving the house. I love walking and photography so I use that as my escape from the suffocation I sometimes feel when I'm at home. I feel like I can breath when I'm outside, I struggle more with perspective. I very quickly lose sight of anything good and can't remember a time when I was happy or when anything went right for me. So after reading the article (im redefining the self-talk part to suit my needs) I'm going to write down some good/positive things that have happened so that I can remind myself of these when I 'can't see the wood for the trees' and keep them in my purse to look at to remind me it WASN'T always like this, and it WONT always be like this. Thanks @PhoenixFailed
 
#7
I agree...this is a very helpful video...alot to absorb and really work at internalizing and putting into practice but it is presented in a way that seems doable...not easy but feel/believe are doable...so the first thing I thought I would tackle was 3 goals for the day---my problem came up with 1 personal and 9 for work (prioritizing is something struggling with in a serious way)...so broke those 9 up into prioritized 3 groups of 3...also thinking of gratitude that is something which I often lose in the daily struggle of my days. So will try to think on that as I tackle my 3 things for the day. Hope its appropriate sharing this but let me know if these personal approach/thoughts should not be posted here as last thing want to do is impede discussion here. Thank you @PhoenixFailed for starting this...so much appreciated.
Not sure if ok to reply to own message (so let me know @PhoenixFailed if not)... well... didn't do too badly on the goals (I'm a work in progress)...as one goal took nearly all day...sigh...but going to keep trying...know should also have more personal goals but right now just thinking need to concentrate on work related goals given situation etc. etc....again prioritizing is something that i can't seem to get a handle on. I did want to share that doing this is making me feel a bit more positive despite the realities...that I am actively doing something- taking some action. Also, thinking about gratitude today some more-- my loving husband, the time i spend with my 102 year old mother-in-law..and at least trying to think about/ figure out complicated relationship with somewhat estranged father...I know that I said it before...but thank you @phoenix failed...hope more find this and your posts as the road out of depression.anxiety i am realizing is traveled by taking baby steps not by leaps and bounds as much as we would all like/or as others think we should be doing...will need to re-watch video perhaps tomorrow as know there's more to learn/think about...
 

PhoenixFailed

Survivor of 2016, Fighter in 2017
SF Supporter
#8
Not sure if ok to reply to own message (so let me know @PhoenixFailed if not)... well... didn't do too badly on the goals (I'm a work in progress)...as one goal took nearly all day...sigh...but going to keep trying...know should also have more personal goals but right now just thinking need to concentrate on work related goals given situation etc. etc....again prioritizing is something that i can't seem to get a handle on. I did want to share that doing this is making me feel a bit more positive despite the realities...that I am actively doing something- taking some action. Also, thinking about gratitude today some more-- my loving husband, the time i spend with my 102 year old mother-in-law..and at least trying to think about/ figure out complicated relationship with somewhat estranged father...I know that I said it before...but thank you @phoenix failed...hope more find this and your posts as the road out of depression.anxiety i am realizing is traveled by taking baby steps not by leaps and bounds as much as we would all like/or as others think we should be doing...will need to re-watch video perhaps tomorrow as know there's more to learn/think about...
Oh, I am so glad you found it helpful. :) I think you can reply to your own posts. I can't see why not.
 

memyselfand1

University Student
#9
I am the opposite when I am at home, I ain't thinking about my friends (lack off) it's only when I am out into the outside world does the reality hit home when seeing people in the local high street going about their daily business, meeting friends/family/work colleagues for lunch or for a coffee. I am sitting alone in Starbucks with absolutely no-one talk to apart from a few hundred close penpals via WhatsApp and facebook messenger. The worst thing is that, there are no groups that suitable in my area unless I am either under 5 years of age, child/adolescent or enjoy heavy binge drinking or aimed adults with particular severe cognitive needs.
 
#10
the road out of depression.anxiety i am realizing is traveled by taking baby steps not by leaps and bounds as much as we would all like/or as others think we should be doing...will need to re-watch video perhaps tomorrow as know there's more to learn/think about...
@PhoenixFailed thanks...so will reply to own posts...and try to keep these thoughts concise (ramblings will leave to diary)...
I am realizing as I try to accomplish my goals (or not as the case seems to be at the moment) that part of my problems stem from the fact that I can't seem to just finish something...that I keep trying to "tweak" it to be better but then end up running out of time as due to deadline finished product has mistakes which would have caught if finished earlier...and I can't seem to stop myself from doing that...so though I am motivated to try to accomplish the 3 goals a day I can't get them done as worry they aren't quite done enough yet and then this is compounded by demands and negativity from certain colleagues...so then i find myself in a tailspin of just sitting in my office attempting to work but not really focused/accomplishing anything which then leads to feelings of a panic attack (meds have taken away physical but can feel it just under the surface) So how do I get past this...so that can accomplish my 3 goals?... that is something have to work on...will re-watch video as maybe is answered there ...as so want to get past this...as know how good will feel if i can accomplish 3 goals a day,,,as I will be making progress/baby steps out of this depression/anxiety ...
 

PhoenixFailed

Survivor of 2016, Fighter in 2017
SF Supporter
#11
I am the opposite when I am at home, I ain't thinking about my friends (lack off) it's only when I am out into the outside world does the reality hit home when seeing people in the local high street going about their daily business, meeting friends/family/work colleagues for lunch or for a coffee. I am sitting alone in Starbucks with absolutely no-one talk to apart from a few hundred close penpals via WhatsApp and facebook messenger. The worst thing is that, there are no groups that suitable in my area unless I am either under 5 years of age, child/adolescent or enjoy heavy binge drinking or aimed adults with particular severe cognitive needs.
I can relate to seeing what you want when you go out. When I went through infertility, there were babies and families everywhere, break-ups, nothing but couples...

Please excuse my lack of understanding (work has taken all of my brain this week) are you referring to when the guy in the video says it is better to force yourself to get out and the opposite is true for you? Thank you for taking pity on a girl with hardly two brain cells left to rub together. :oops:
 

PhoenixFailed

Survivor of 2016, Fighter in 2017
SF Supporter
#12
@PhoenixFailed thanks...so will reply to own posts...and try to keep these thoughts concise (ramblings will leave to diary)...
I am realizing as I try to accomplish my goals (or not as the case seems to be at the moment) that part of my problems stem from the fact that I can't seem to just finish something...that I keep trying to "tweak" it to be better but then end up running out of time as due to deadline finished product has mistakes which would have caught if finished earlier...and I can't seem to stop myself from doing that...so though I am motivated to try to accomplish the 3 goals a day I can't get them done as worry they aren't quite done enough yet and then this is compounded by demands and negativity from certain colleagues...so then i find myself in a tailspin of just sitting in my office attempting to work but not really focused/accomplishing anything which then leads to feelings of a panic attack (meds have taken away physical but can feel it just under the surface) So how do I get past this...so that can accomplish my 3 goals?... that is something have to work on...will re-watch video as maybe is answered there ...as so want to get past this...as know how good will feel if i can accomplish 3 goals a day,,,as I will be making progress/baby steps out of this depression/anxiety ...
There is one theory in education (I'm a teacher) that when shaping new behavior, lower the bar enough so the student can 100% make it at first and work up from there. Sometimes this means lowering the bar all the way to the floor. I know I get better results from students if I first let them see success, we actually go faster I the long run than if I tried to make them jump over too high a bar. I often forget to extend the same consideration for myself sometimes. Sometimes keeping goals so small that others might find them too small to see (but they are my goals and I get to be the judge and jury), helps. For instance, work is wearing me out and I just got home. I am going to 1) finish typing this post 2)get off the computer and 3) go to bed. And soon all 3 will be done. (Okay #2 is iffy...)
 
#13
There is one theory in education (I'm a teacher) that when shaping new behavior, lower the bar enough so the student can 100% make it at first and work up from there. Sometimes this means lowering the bar all the way to the floor. I know I get better results from students if I first let them see success, we actually go faster I the long run than if I tried to make them jump over too high a bar. I often forget to extend the same consideration for myself sometimes. Sometimes keeping goals so small that others might find them too small to see (but they are my goals and I get to be the judge and jury), helps. For instance, work is wearing me out and I just got home. I am going to 1) finish typing this post 2)get off the computer and 3) go to bed. And soon all 3 will be done. (Okay #2 is iffy...)
Thank you @PhoenixFailed that is very good advice and so easy to forget in this age of "high expectations" that the only goals that are worthy are the big ones...so in that vein my 3 goals for today are 1) to follow up on voicemail and emails that have put off as working on "big goals" to exclusion of these minor but still important ones ; 2) to really only work half day and NOT come back after therapist appointment (part of "forced vacation" as have too many hours); 3) to type up notes from PIP conversation with boss yesterday (she was complimentary that I seem to be getting a handle on things which was nice to hear-a ray of hope perhaps--that balances out the ongoing criticalness (not sure if a word but oh well) of the sr admin analyst and the fear of the new acting director).

So re-watched a bit of the video--there really is alot there to absorb...and thinking on section of perspective---thinking back when I was doing things well/right etc. etc. when life felt "good", that I was an asset to this job and not a liability, that I can get back to that place...just have to work at it one day at a time,,,no one ever said that a job was easy...so will think on that today as I work to accomplish my 3 goals...
 

memyselfand1

University Student
#14
Most of the time i ain't bothered about it, I just think its a relief that i dont have to face the ugly outside world again, one less bullet to dodge.
 

JDot

it's ok to have emotions
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#15
I really like the 3 goals a day idea. If you are like me and on the computer 24/7 you could put sticky notes on your desktop and type your 3 goals for the day. That way you will be reminded about your 3 goals throughout the day.
 
#16
Thought would post again here as have been thinking about this and just re-watched video and started to think about what should I be learning from all that is happening right now in my life that I'm struggling with. Doing so-so on the goals thing but getting there (I think) for work. I think it's in part to stop being the victim--to have personal agency in my life--to learn how to effectively speak up for myself when facing insurmountable assignments/tasks while dealing with ongoing personal attacks by one colleague in particular on competency etc. etc. Not sure how to do this though, as due to upbringing etc. my view of normal is a somewhat unhealthy combination of the typical "puritan" thought process--life is for responsibilities not enjoyment/happiness and deference to others wishes/needs/desires-e.g passive not pro-active.

Along this same line of thought --- also realizing in talking with my therapist this past week...that I all I have been thinking about as far as goals are those for work as trying to keep job despite 2 reprimands and PIP plan which was in part result of not being pro-active in the face of somewhat unrealistic assignments at work. But this realization that I have no personal goals for myself, that when asked what do I want for my life--I simply draw a blank, it's like an empty page. So, that's also something that I'm supposed to be learning I suppose--but don't even no where to begin...a work in progress clearly...battery about to die so will post but sorry if not as articulate as had hoped.
 

PhoenixFailed

Survivor of 2016, Fighter in 2017
SF Supporter
#17
I really like the 3 goals a day idea. If you are like me and on the computer 24/7 you could put sticky notes on your desktop and type your 3 goals for the day. That way you will be reminded about your 3 goals throughout the day.
I'm going to give my more public goals at work a try on stickies. Do you know if there is a way to keep track of your finished stickies? I like to try to keep a record if possible, so on the days when I feel like I've "never" gotten "anything" accomplished, so have a quick reference to go back to to disprove my negative thinking.
 

PhoenixFailed

Survivor of 2016, Fighter in 2017
SF Supporter
#18
Thought would post again here as have been thinking about this and just re-watched video and started to think about what should I be learning from all that is happening right now in my life that I'm struggling with. Doing so-so on the goals thing but getting there (I think) for work. I think it's in part to stop being the victim--to have personal agency in my life--to learn how to effectively speak up for myself when facing insurmountable assignments/tasks while dealing with ongoing personal attacks by one colleague in particular on competency etc. etc. Not sure how to do this though, as due to upbringing etc. my view of normal is a somewhat unhealthy combination of the typical "puritan" thought process--life is for responsibilities not enjoyment/happiness and deference to others wishes/needs/desires-e.g passive not pro-active.

Along this same line of thought --- also realizing in talking with my therapist this past week...that I all I have been thinking about as far as goals are those for work as trying to keep job despite 2 reprimands and PIP plan which was in part result of not being pro-active in the face of somewhat unrealistic assignments at work. But this realization that I have no personal goals for myself, that when asked what do I want for my life--I simply draw a blank, it's like an empty page. So, that's also something that I'm supposed to be learning I suppose--but don't even no where to begin...a work in progress clearly...battery about to die so will post but sorry if not as articulate as had hoped.
I cannot come up with a goal for my life either. I wonder about starting with a smaller timeframe. What would you be satisfied doing today? This week? This month?

Although long term goals (even a week out) of the loftier type can be overwhelming, so maybe not getting too far beyond today is a better bet for me. :D
 

JDot

it's ok to have emotions
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#19
I'm going to give my more public goals at work a try on stickies. Do you know if there is a way to keep track of your finished stickies? I like to try to keep a record if possible, so on the days when I feel like I've "never" gotten "anything" accomplished, so have a quick reference to go back to to disprove my negative thinking.
I can't think of a simple way off the top of my head. You could create a spreadsheet, database, or document where you record finished goals. You could make creating such a record one of your goals.
 
#20
I cannot come up with a goal for my life either. I wonder about starting with a smaller timeframe. What would you be satisfied doing today? This week? This month?

Although long term goals (even a week out) of the loftier type can be overwhelming, so maybe not getting too far beyond today is a better bet for me. :D
Yes thank you as you are so right..maybe coming up with a personal goal for today might be a start. So, today will call to find out more about how to volunteer at CARE (a therapeutic horse facility here where I live) to see about setting up a time to go to observe to see if something I'd be interested in doing maybe the week i'm off in between christmas and new years...
 

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