Tag Archives: Motivation

Why We Shouldn’t Reward Ourselves for Good Habits–With One Exception.

carrotasreward5 reasons why rewards can be very dangerous for habit-formation.

Of the 21 strategies that I identify, that we can use to make or break our habits, the Strategy of Reward was one of the most difficult for me to understand.

In large part, because the lesson is: be very wary of using rewards to master habits!

Why? It sounds so sensible to reward yourself for sticking to a good habit. But it turns out that rewards are very, very tricky to use well.

Why? Continue reading

3 Tips to Stay Fired Up Instead of Fizzling Out

fired upLife comes at us fast. We choose whether it fires us up or fizzles us out. Here are two stories to make the point and then to share some comments in how to stay fired up – passionate – energized in life.

Story one. Fizzled out.

A friend of mine tries to do it all. Someplace in her thinking she feels she is supposed to be supermom, super-employee, super-friend, super-problemsolver, super-cook and super-spouse. She has a personal requirement to be all these – her choice. She comes from a family of high performers where they constantly assess and judge each other based on the things they do. Huge pressure. Lately I have seen the normally fire-filled eyes with gray shadows – she is fizzling out – losing her inner passion, fire and energy. Instead of showing up big to any of these roles, she is now just barely keeping up, disappointed with herself, with others and with the world. Fizzled out.

Story two. Fired Up.

Another friend of mine is a talented speaker who has a high-activity life. It is not unusual for him to be in two or three cities in a week. Between his writing and speaking, he is on the go all the time. He is fired up, passionate, excited and energized by what he does for work. But to keep this pace and to keep the internal fire burning, he has built some effective and practical “stay fired up” habits.

  1. Gratitude. Always start each day or event with a thought of gratitude. Each moment of each day has blessings in them if we choose to see them. By taking the time to appreciate the greatness and “amazingness” of each moment, we fuel our internal fire. Gratitude is a fire builder.
  2. Breathe. Take a breath anytime we feel too busy, confusing or chaotic. In this moment, we improve our clarity about our situation. This creates the ability for our next moment to be wiser, saner and more effective. Stop things even for a fraction of a second to see more clearly. This can help us pace ourselves to feel more in control, less defeated and therefore more fired up.
  3. Self-talk. Have positive self-talk. Most of the chatter in our minds is critical, non-supportive and judgmental. Noticing that chatter and realigning it to be kind, gentle and supportive is the way to rekindle our passion for what we are doing. That critical “committee” in our head is a fizzle maker. Tell the noisy voices in your head to sit down and shut up (I know that sound severe but sometimes our committees only respond. Then, without the noise, you can take a breath, be grateful and reconnect to your inner fire.

A single dad friend of mine used to say to his kids as he got them into bed (and help them to stay there instead of wanting this and that and making the bedtime process take hours), “When you stay in bed it gives me time to be ready to be a great dad to you tomorrow.” We all need to develop our personal habits to allow the time to plug back into our power source – to have greatness habits that fire up the passion for life, the passion for people and the passion for our work.

Our world can wear us out. Actually, we allow our world to wear us out. Since we choose how we respond to the things that life sends us, we could also choose to stay fired up. We could choose to feed our internal fire by connecting to our passions, being more present in what we choose to do and to appreciate what is instead of noticing what is missing. It takes awareness. It takes practice. It requires building some fired up habits.

What feeds your soul and energizes you to love life and feel connected to it? What can you do each day to do more of this? What makes you feel empty, tired and disconnected? What can you change to do less of this? Fired up or fizzled out. It’s always a choice – our choice.


If you like Jay’s post check out these similar intents on Intent.com

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photo by: matthewvenn

Overcome Your Procrastination with 7 Go-Getter Quotes

It’s been said that procrastination is the assassinator of opportunity – and that’s probably true. Yet, we’re all guilty of putting things off at least every now and then. There’s always time to do the laundry later or pressing the trash down so you don’t have to take it out just yet. Have you ever pushed off a big assignment or work thing until the last minute? Red Bull wasn’t invented for people with great time management skills.

We’ve all been there so that means we also know that procrastination gets in the way of goals. There are several things you can arm yourself with to combat it though. Make yourself a to-do list of the things you have to get done. The physical representation helps you focus and checking the items off can empower you to keep going. Hide the distractions! If you are prone to breaking your concentration for a round of Candy Crush then put your phone in a drawer or a separate room until the task you need to complete is done. Organize yourself – it is AMAZING how empowering a clean desk can make you feel and motivate you. However, if those tips don’t help try to get yourself back on track with a few of these inspirational quotes. Procrastination may be damaging to progress but we can definitely overcome it.

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Empower Your Intents with These Motivational Social Media Accounts

motivational social mediaBy Elizabeth Eckhart

The holidays are long gone and the rush of the New Year is steadily drifting by, which means that the motivation to accomplish all of our new goals for 2014 might be declining. If the weather hasn’t brought you down, perhaps it’s the stress of work and school, or family concerns that have got you worried. Luckily, social media has become an excellent tool for spreading inspiration left and right, just when you need it most. No matter what your goals are, whether fitness, meditation, scoring that new job or graduating with straight A’s, we’ve found the most popular, and appreciated, motivational social media accounts, as well as the most discussed tools that will encourage you daily. So when you’re feeling down, check out some of the motivational sources we found using social media tool ViralHeat below, and continue paving your way through your good intentions!

Twitter Accounts to Follow

Fitness Motivation (@BeFitMotivation)

fitness motivationWith over a million followers, Fitness Motivation must be doing something right. The account encourages healthy eating, clean living, and constantly shares pictures of success stories. Better yet, they even include quick, on-the-go and at-home workouts for the busy bees out there. Their motivational quotes are also positive messages, no body-shaming allowed there. After a thorough search, it seems that the main message is to aim to be your best self, and that the short-cuts (such as unhealthy fad diets and questionable supplements) are NOT appreciated. Bonus, they have an Instagram account, too: @BeFitPhotos

Daily Motivation (@wisdomsquote)

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Daily motivation is exactly what it claims to be — a Twitter account that aggregates as many motivational quotes as it can find. Some are familiar sayings, and some are new, but all of them will integrate themselves into your feed to keep you pushing through your day. The account tweets at least a few pictures a day as well of inspiration role models from Buddha to Albert Einstein and Bruce Lee. Trending topics on the page are mental strength, determination, and courage. Warning: following this account might give you the bravery to achieve everything you put your mind to (as well as a few nifty pictures to pin up by your desk).

Inspirational Book

59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman

If Alfred A. Knopf, who published both Julia Child and John Cheever, once promoted the work, then this book deserves to be called phenomenal. A self-help book to decode all previous self-help books, this inspirational guide is written by an actual psychologist and professor, which sounds much more promising and helpful than someone who found success through their own personal path and hopes others can do the same. Professor Wiseman helps you promote change in minutes, to create habits that will last years, based on knowledge of the human behavior and brain power all of us possess. The best part? It’s a quick read, so convincing yourself to give a try won’t take that much motivation at all. Click here for his book talk. 


These Pinterest accounts will knock out any connotations that this site is primarily used for wedding planning and DIY crafts. In fact, these accounts are all dedicated to achieving goals on a larger scale, with helpful pictures, quotes, and videos to achieve them.

Inspiration {Video}: Inspiration video is exactly what it claims to be — a collection of videos from Youtube and other sources that will leave you itching to accomplish your goals. Pin it on your own board, or simply sift through the page and watch them all, it’s up to you! The wildly popular “Move” video, inspiration for any traveler out there, is one of the quickest and best!

Career Inspiration: Hoping to achieve your dream job, or know you need to make moves at your current position and show just how great you really are? This page is for you! Pin it to your Pinterest board, but better yet pin it to your bulletin board, your mirror in the morning, your desktop at the office.. the possibilities are endless! A personal favorite is this quote: Dreams don’t work, unless YOU do!

Ideas: Ideas is the help-all, inspire-all Pinterest page that addresses everything from physical health to soul and spiritual well-being. You never know exactly what you’ll find as you scour the page, but chances are at least one image or video will give you exactly the kick in the butt you need to move forward, move on, and start achieving.

Of course, at the end of the day, one of the most inspiring places to be is right here on Intent.com and Intent Blog! Use these motivational tools to set your own intents and inspire others!

Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

4 Reasons to Find a Great Work Out Partner

work out partnerWe know that motivating yourself to get out there and work out can be tough. So don’t do it alone! One of the greatest assets you can have is a great work out partner who pushes you to reach your own goals and doesn’t let you give up when you’re having a rough time. It can be a tough road to making a healthier lifestyle change, but when you have the right person beside you it can make all the difference. Follow these tips to create a successful work out partnership.

1. Choosing the Right Partner – The most important quality in a work out partner is that they are reliable. If you agree to go out or meet at the gym at a certain time you want to make sure they will be there. This also means that you have to be equally accountable to them. There are going to be days when neither of you want to get out there, but you have to push yourselves to do it! Having a reliable partner will remind you of your important goals when you want to give up. You have to be willing to be there for them in the same way.

2. Partners Help Create Variety – Having a partner in crime when you’re working out also helps to keep you from falling into a boring routine. When you’re working out with someone else you can trade ideas and create new routines that are interesting and challenging for both of you.

3. Compete but Don’t Compare - The other type of motivation a partner brings to your work out naturally is competition. Who can run a little father? Maybe do a few more push ups? Perhaps you can make your warrior-2 pose more aligned. Having someone there to push you a bit further is a great way to get yourself to do more than you thought you could.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone has a different body type that burns fat and changes in different ways. So while you and your partner may compete in healthy ways, don’t compare weight goals or size. Comparing yourself to someone else in that way will only lead to disaster. Everyone’s lifestyle goals should be independent and created on their own body type and hopes.

4. The Strength in Numbers – Are you one of those really social types? No one said you had to stick to just one partner! Mallika herself has written about the great support of having a group of people that hold you accountable. Start a walking group with people at your office or take a fitness class. The people there already share an interest and you can band together to make your work outs even more effective!

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