Seattle personal coach CJ Liu

A Seattle Personal Coach on . . .

Top 9 Tips on Getting Motivated


CJ Liu, Life Coach

Did you ever have a time where no matter what you do you can’t seem to get motivated to get stuff done?  From Seattle Personal Coach CJ LIu, here are 10 simple tips to post on your bulletin board when you need some extra ideas to get going.

1) Perfect vs. Perfectionist: Instead of having everything perfect and being a perfectionist, think instead I will perfect (noun vs. adjective) over time. Before starting a project get a sense of the bare minimum of what you really need to achieve. Do you need to give 500% or would 50% be enough to just get started. Better to do 50% than 0%.  Plus, you’ll be ½ way there after your first try.

2) Work the way you do.  I met a gentleman that waited 2 weeks to get an email written for a trip report. He personally liked writing, he liked presenting in groups, he liked created PowerPoint slides, but he just didn’t like sending emails to educate others. This is a classic problem of defying nature. We arrived at an easy coaching solution. Send an email to schedule a meeting and present the information in a meeting. This example illustrates how often we just do things the “standard” way that it’s done in our organization without really questioning whether the standard fits our personal way of doing things. Break the mold, and explore what other ways you can achieve a goal in a way that works the way you do (vs. doing what everyone else does).

3) Energy is key.  If you have a long list of things, then do the thing that you have most energy for.  Do the thing(s) that get you the most excited. I coached a woman on completing her marketing plan. She had about 20 action items in sequence and couldn’t seem to make progress. She felt compelled to do them in order. Instead she picked the 15th action item she was excited to do. This did the trick, all she needed was to start and the rest unfolded naturally based on her energy. Sure, it may have been marginally more efficient to do it another way, but the main point is she got it done.

4) Take baby steps. Often times especially with complex tasks we get overwhelmed. Let’s say you want to lose 15 pounds. Take the easiest thing you could do on a project and do that first. For example, let’s say you had to clean your whole house and do nothing day to day since the whole place is a mess. Well, do one thing at the time. Start with one room, say the kitchen first. Just do one easy simple thing that you are sure you can do, wash the dishes. The next day, sweep the floors, and so on. Start small and build up.

5) Check your negative beliefs at the door. Often I hear my personal coaching clients berating themselves with their negative self-talk. I can’t do that because I’m not organized, focused, etc. These beliefs are not helpful. Let’s say you were running a marathon and you had a little guy at your side, saying you can’t do this. You will never make it. Do you get the picture? Instead envision the riveting report you’ve written and hitting the send button… or perhaps something more inspiring like you crossing the finish line of the long marathon with report in hand, a band playing, Gatorade poured on your head, whatever floats your boat. Be conscious of the negative self-talk and work on changing it to helpful encouragement versus beating yourself up.

6) Don’t do it. My husband is a big advocate for this tip and is solace for my over planned mind and long to-do list. His refrain… do we really have to do this now? (e.g.- Do we really have to go to Costco today?) What is it that absolutely needs to be done today? Stephen Covey has this great matrix that has 4 quadrants (important/not urgent, important/urgent, not important/not urgent, not important/urgent). Can you guess which ones you should focus time on? If it isn’t important or urgent, then maybe you really don’t have to do it. So instead of procrastinating, just make a choice not to do something.

7) Carve out time. Sometimes we simply don’t carve out time in our schedule for things. So, next time an important/non urgent item comes up, book it in your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself.

8) Create incentives. No one likes doing taxes aside from accountants. Plus, from the accountants I’ve spoken to, they don’t like doing them either, but they do them because they get paid a lot of money. Hmmm… money is a pretty big incentive!! So, what do as non accountants do when we are faced with a project that we don’t want to do, but we need to do it nonetheless? Well find a way so that you want to do it. Maybe after you finish your taxes, you will indulge yourself by taking a yoga class, hot bath, and getting a trashy magazine. Other times we can tie nasty tasks to our values. We value our children’s education and want to support them. Your children’s glowing faces may be just the reminder you need as you lick, stamp, and send 500 envelopes for a fund raiser.

9) Put a time limit on it: This related to #1 above, but involves just putting a time limit so you get something done that you care about. Maybe it’s spend 15 minutes working out and then week after week you work up to 45 minutes.

By the way, this was going to be a top 10 list and I cut it since I wanted to be done after one hour 😉

Over and out from Seattle, Washington.


Articles and Specialties of CJ Liu

Lawyer Marketing Coaches:  Sticking to Basics — Referrals

Life Balance Coach: Common Misconceptions

Quality of Life Coach:  How to use the wheel of life to stop spinning out of control


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