Motivation

Motivation is a fickle beast. What may motivate one person has no effect on another. What motivates a person today may do nothing the next. Finding that right motivator is a difficult task, especially if you’re trying to motivate a kid to clean.

Crash earned Minecraft for his tablet last weekend when he helped us stack wood at his grandfather’s house. He’s been asking for it for a solid year, at least. We kept trying various tasks for him to earn it: don’t instigate his brother, help clean the house, clean up his Legos. Nothing worked. I’m not sure if Minecraft (which he seem to need so desperately) just wasn’t worth it or what his deal was. We stacked firewood for about two and half hours last Sunday and while he worked slowly he did it. Mind you he’d stack a piece then sit and complain about being tired or hot. Or thirsty. Or his back hurt. Or he was sweaty. Then he’d stack another piece and repeat the process. After about an hour and half he finally realized that he was going to have to work for it.

It’s time he learns that you can’t get something for nothing. A lesson he probably should have learned long ago.

Anyway, he worked and he earned. But now that he has it he has to continue to work to continue earning his time. He has daily chores to do now. The difficulty of the chore determines how many chores he has. Making his bed, and putting away the silverware from the dishwasher are all easy so he has to do them all in one day. Cleaning his toys in the basement is big so that was his only chore yesterday. Guess what. Cleaning his toys proved more difficult than playing Minecraft was worth. He’s on day two of not cleaning his toys. Bang helped me clean his portion of the toys this morning. Crash played Legos and cleaned diddly squat. So apparently, Minecraft that he was dying to get, just isn’t worth the 15 minutes of cleaning it would take to play.

This leads me to think about what motivated me. I enjoy a clean house so I most days I don’t mind it. Plus it’s not worth it to tell DW she folded the clothes wrong, so I just do it myself. But, I’m now thinking of a slightly different form of motivation.

Exercise. I enjoy it. I don’t mind the sweat and heart thumping it entails. But some days (most days until recently) just putting on my running shoes was a huge effort. Thanks to my Fitbit and a few challenges from friends and family, I’m getting back put there, albeit, a bit slower than I was 3 months ago. But I’m running.

Motivation to do, to accomplish, to just try, ultimately comes from within yourself. Right now, close your eyes and think of what it is you want to do, to accomplish. Think of what it will take to achieve. Think of yourself in the moment you acheive it. Now open your eyes and make it happen. Yes, it’s as easy as that. Will it be easy to accomplish, probably not. But anything easy isn’t worth accomplishing.

I’ve put my running shoes back on. Now, if I could just motivate Crash to clean!

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7 thoughts on “Motivation

    • It’s understandable. Chocolate is usually a good motivator 🙂 I reward myself with facebook or wordpress time after completing a chore. I just need to be careful, otherwise that’s the only chore to be completed!

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    • When nothing works, I call his bluff. Crash doesn’t get Minecraft (his tablet is password protected so he needs me to unlock for him in order to play) until he cleans his toys in the basement. He was supposed to clean it Tuesday when he got home from his grandmother’s. He had had a sleepover the night before so he got to play in the morning before he came home. So yesterday was his first full day without. Today is the first day of school, so I’ll be curious to see if wants to play after. So when nothing works, call their bluff. Whatever is most important, remove it until they finally give in. Even if it takes a looong time 😀 But he still has his normal chores to do. But still won’t get Minecraft until his toys are picked up.

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  1. Motivation to get them to do chores is a never ending battle! We do ‘bonus surprises’ – if he’s been on extra good behaviour or helpful, we have a container that has small prizes (random dominoes from a supermarket giveaway, lollipop, bouncy ball etc). The trick with this is that he never knows when he could be rewarded but when he does, he’s super motivated to keep doing more! I need to find motivation for myself to get back to running.

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    • I find randomly awarding them works better than consistent rewards. Plus it works better in getting them to want to do for the sake of doing rather than doing it for the reward. And finding motivation to get back into running can be difficult. Took me 3 months to find it. The hardest part is finding the time that fits best with your schedule. Once you figure that out it’s just a matter of steeling your nerves, putting your shoes on, and getting out there. Good luck!

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