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Tips for Staying Motivated

by Frances Coombes(more info)

listed in nlp, originally published in issue 142 - December 2007

Belief in yourself, belief in your purpose is the mantra of the self-motivated. But often it is hard to stay motivated when we are either working on our own, or things are not going to plan. At times like this we need to plumb our inner resources, so here are some tips for people who want to get and stay motivated.

Stay Connected

If you are starting a long project then tell people in advance. Say: I will be busy for a while, I will stay in touch with the odd phone call, and I am really looking forward to having a celebration meal with you at the end of my project. Planning the event in advance, and imagining meeting up again with friends is a way of feeling connected with them. Knowing that you have already put the wheels in action by stating what you will do to make it happen is also reassuring.
•    Have a mentor, and be a mentor to at least one other person. Mentoring will give you a very powerful feeling of connection with others. Also, at a skills level, explaining how things work to other people builds your own capabilities. A survey of top UK bosses revealed that 70% of UK males heading UK companies have had at least 12 mentors.
•    Stay in touch with yourself. Practise early morning writing; ask yourself a question about whatever is foremost in your mind, and follow-up with ten minutes of really fast writing, allowing whatever is on your mind to tumble out. Let the pen fly down the page followed hastily by your hand. A phrase by EM Forster sums up the technique: “Think before you speak” is criticism’s motto. “Speak before you think is creation’s motto.” Early morning writing lets you stay in touch with yourself, your goals, your needs and your desires…
•    Be fully present with people. If you are busy you may not be able to spend a long lunch hour with someone, but you can spend ten minutes. Pick one or two people a day and decide to make the time spent with them special. Show the person that you are listening to them, and that what they have to say is special to you. Most people do not experience being wholly listened to by another person very often, so this is one of the most powerful things that you can do with someone to build up a shared relationship with deep rapport.
•    Congratulate yourself. Thinking an occasional thought about how well you have done lately will not do as much good as if you put it in a framework and make it significant and visible. Write a list of all the things that you have achieved and made happen in the last few months, then read them aloud with gusto, and as you do so feel really proud about your achievements.

Things To Do To Feel Grounded

•    Affirmations. Affirmations are a lovely way of focusing on what you have in life, and the things that you want to bring more of into your daily living. There are thousands to choose from, and if you read a book of affirmations you can choose the ones that resonate with you each day. You can change your affirmations whenever you want, depending on what you want to draw into your life, some favourites are; ‘I have abundance, joy, love and fulfilment in my life.’ ‘All the things I want in life come easily to me.’ ‘I am the teacher I never had.’
•    Find people on the same journey as you. There is nothing as exciting as meeting someone you click with, finding out that they are interested in the same things as you, and on the same journey as you. Treasure these people. If you are networking, find two people in the room and discover what is special about them and what is important to them. This is one of the best ways to find life-travelling buddies.
•    Gratitude. Before getting out of bed each day, ask yourself, “What was good about yesterday?” You will find something worthwhile about even the worst of days. Then list all the things that you are grateful for having and carry the feeling this gives you throughout the day. A quote from Lydia Child says it all: “Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore, forget not to say often, I have all I ever enjoyed.”
•    Happiness. A Chinese proverb says that “Happiness is something to do, something to love, and something to look forward to.” Make sure you are working on at least one of each of these aspects for yourself that leads to self-fulfilment, and that you plan many more for the future.


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About Frances Coombes

Frances Coombes Advanced Dip CBT/REBT Dip CBT offers one-to-one therapeutic coaching in North West London and on Zoom.  She is a is a CBT/REBT psychotherapist in North West London, a NLP Master Practitioner and Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapist and runs life coaching groups in London and on Zoom.  She teaches NLP at The City Lit in Central London and tutors at the City Lit and Mary Ward Centre in central London on Using REBT for Managing Stress and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). She runs goal setting and REBT coaching groups for vulnerable people for inner London authorities and charities.  

Her most recent book is Motivate Yourself and Reach Your Goals, pub, November 2013, Hodder Headline. Available on and  For extract visit To inquire or book personal development courses contact Frances on Tel: 07818 896 795; 


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