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Cultivating Motivation When You Need It Most

Hello and welcome to episode 38 of The Mom-entum Podcast! I’m your host, Tanya Valentine. Thank you so much for tuning in today! This episode is part of our special "listen to when..." series, created to offer you a pick-me-up whenever you're feeling a certain way. Today, we're diving into how to get motivated when you need it most.


Episode Highlights:

- Introduction to the Motivational Triad: Discover the three things our brains are naturally motivated by—seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and conserving energy—and how these can sometimes hold us back.

- Overcoming Resistance: Learn how our brains create resistance to protect us and how we can overcome this to achieve our goals.


The 7-Step Method for Cultivating Motivation:


1. Find a Compelling Why:

   - Identify strong, emotional reasons behind your goals. Whether it's a vacation, a special event, or a personal milestone, having a clear 'why' keeps you going when things get tough.


2. Just Get Started:

   - The hardest part is often just beginning. Don't overthink it. Decide on the next best step and take action.


3. Make a Plan:

   - Think through potential obstacles and prepare for them. A well-thought-out plan helps you stay on track and avoid unnecessary stress.


4. Feed Your Brain Positivity:

   - Listen to inspiring podcasts and read motivational books. Some of my favorites include Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins, Ed Mylett, Jody Moore, Oprah, Lewis Howes and Brooke Castillo. Filling your mind with positivity helps counteract our natural negativity bias.


5. Use Comparison to Your Advantage:

   - Instead of letting comparison steal your joy, use it to inspire and motivate you. Let others' successes spark your own drive to achieve more.


6. Realize It’s Possible:

   - Believe in the possibility of your goals. If others can do it, so can you. This belief can open doors and make you more resourceful.


7. Get Accountability:

   - Share your goals with someone or announce them on social media. The fear of letting others down can push you to take action. You can also hire a coach for added support.


Challenge of the Week:

What's one thing you've been wanting to do but can't seem to start? This week, I challenge you to take one small step toward that goal. Remember, the hardest part is getting started. You can do this! You're first step can be to simply announce your goal on social media-and be sure to tag me @tanyavalentinecoaching!  I can't wait to see what you're working on!  And you can count on me to hold you accountable!


Final Thoughts:

I hope today's episode gave you the motivation boost you need to achieve your goals. If you found value in this episode, please subscribe so you never miss an update. Share it with a friend and consider leaving a rating and review. It helps me reach and support more amazing moms like you!


Connect with Me:

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Hello and welcome to episode number 38 of The Mom-entum Podcast, the show dedicated to inspiring, uplifting and empowering women on their journey through motherhood. I’m your host, Tanya Valentine, thank you so much for tuning in today!


So todays episode is part of a series of episodes I’m doing called the “listen to when…” series.  And basically each of these episodes have been created to serve a purpose.  For you to be able to listen to whenever you are feeling some type of way to just help you through, give you some positive coping strategies and help kind of shift your energy and increase your vibration so that you will be able to show up the way you want to as the best version of yourself.


So last week we did, listen to when you are feeling overwhelmed.  And this week we are talking about getting the motivation when you need it.


Sometimes we wait for the motivation to come before getting started.  But we can’t do this because motivation is such a fleeting feeling.  We cannot sit around and wait for it to come.  We have to create it.  And how do we do this?  That’s what I’m going to talk about today.


So let’s talk about what motivates us. Let’s start with the motivational triad, which is ultimately the 3 things we are motivated by.  These 3 things are: to seek pleasure or reward, to avoid pain, and to conserve energy, because all of these actions keep us alive.  


Think about it, we need to seek pleasure, like food and water, because we literally need these things to survive.  We avoid pain because sometimes pain can mean death, right?  Or sometimes it just feels like death, like for instance the pain we might feel from having to get up and speak in front of an audience.


 And the last piece, energy conservation, is important because we all need rest, and it is important to conserve our energy so that we always have enough in case of an emergency. 


But the downside of this is that our brains will subconsciously conjure up stories, making things seem more difficult than they actually are to dissuade us from taking action.


I know this happens to me sometimes when I finally take a moment to stop and sit down.  Like when I’ve finished a meal for example.  I can make cleaning up and doing dishes seem like it’s running a marathon in my head.  AND I have to tell myself,  “it really isn’t that hard and the sooner I get up and get going the sooner it will be finished.  But it really isn’t this arduous task that my brain is making it out to be.” 


So the bummer is, we must overcome this inherent motivational triad in order to get what we want in life.


You want to lose weight?  You’re gonna have to overcome the instinct of seeking pleasure (like when someone brings a box of donuts into work), and you're gonna have to overcome the instinct of avoiding pain (lots of times we will eat or drink to avoid or numb an unpleasant emotion), and lastly you will have to overcome your wired in need to conserve energy (like when we don’t want to put the effort into planning or preparing meals, or putting in the work by exercising).


So if you haven’t been able to get yourself to do the things necessary to move you towards your goal, know that there's nothing wrong with you.  You just have a human brain with this built in survival mechanism that’s designed to keep us safe.  And its this motivational triad that is creating the resistance we have to overcome in order to take action to pursue our goals.


I love these quotes about resistance by the author Steven Pressfield,


“Most of us have 2 lives.  The life we live, and the unlived life within us.  Between the two stands resistance.”


I mean come on….thats so true isn’t it?


And then there’s this one…


“The more resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested project is to you-and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it”. 


Ugh that’s so good, and it is so true.  And we must remember this, that feeling that we will get once we’ve completed whatever it is we have set out to do.


So we must anchor ourselves to that end result.  Take yourself to that place of how am I going to feel once this is achieved?  And won’t that feeling be so worth the pain of doing what I need to do to get there?  And isn’t the pain of not doing these things, the pain of regret, so much worse than the pain I might experience of going through the steps to achieve my goal.  


Like for example, say you want to get up in the morning before your kids wake up and you want to work out.  But you set your alarm and in the morning when the alarm goes off you're so tired and you start to negotiate with yourself.  


Well I really didn’t get enough rest.  And if I get up now and work out like I said I was going to, then I’m going to be exhausted.  And I know how I act when I’m tired, I can be so impatient, and moody, and I lose my temper easily when I’m tired, so it would just be better if I hit the snooze button and get the extra rest.  


But then what happens is, first of all, you really don’t get that quality sleep you need.  In fact, hitting snooze can prevent you from re-entering the restorative sleep phase and it leaves you feeling groggy and tired when the alarm goes off again.  In addition, repeatedly hitting snooze can cost you time in the morning, leaving you feeling rushed and potentially more fatigued.  So you have actually added to the fatigue, PLUS, later you are kicking yourself for not doing what you said you were going to do.  You are mad at yourself for not waking up early as you had planned, and this anger affects your interactions with others.  You are less patient and more easily triggered.  


And if you actually had got up when your alarm went off, although you may have to go through the pain of jumping out of bed and getting dressed (which you eventually have to do anyway, by the way).  But getting through the pain of just getting started and getting moving, and the pain of just completing a workout.  But by the end of it you are left with this feeling of pride, of achievement, and this actually gives you exponentially more energy when compared to the perceived energy you might think you will get from the extra rest when you hit the snooze button.  


So what is it that you want? Do you want to lose weight but can't get yourself to do the things necessary to get there?  Create the motivation for yourself by doing any of these 7 things:


  1.   Find a compelling why.  You need a strong reason why you want this thing in order to keep you motivated when it gets challenging.  Think about what motivates you to lose weight or get fit.  Maybe you have a vacation planned and you are going to have to wear a bathingsuit some time in the near future. Maybe there’s a wedding coming up and you want to look and feel good in your dress.  Or maybe you have family pictures scheduled.  These are the types of things that will motivate many of us to get a little more disciplined with our eating and exercise routines.


And then what about the people who have been smokers their whole lives and then suddenly get a cancer diagnosis and they quit cold turkey.


What is it that motivates these people?  It is that they have a compelling why.  It’s having a strong emotional attachment to the end result.  So as is in the case of the smoker with a cancer diagnosis, they are quitting because its their own mortality at stake.  Or you might want to think about the positive impact you might have on the people you love once you achieve this thing.  So whatever it is that you want, take a moment right now to write down what your compelling why is.  How would achieving this goal improve your life?  What positive impact would this have on your family?


  1.   Just get started.  No overthinking anything.  Just decide on the next best move and go.  The hardest part is just getting started.  The key to achieving the motivation and momentum is just getting started.


  1.  Make a plan.  Don’t overthink this step but its true what they say fail to plan and you will plan to fail.  It helps to think things through a little bit, think about what obstacles you might be faced with and then prepare for them.  


For example, say you are planning a family vacation and your family is going to have to travel by plane to get to your destination.  Well you might think through what obstacles you would be faced with. For example you would want to plan to get there early because you know that with kids things take so much longer, like going through security you gotta get the stroller through, there’s so much extra stuff that needs to be emptied from bags and placed on the conveyor belt.  And not only that, but it’s just no fun rushing with kids, it makes traveling that much more stressful.  And you want to allow for enough time for them to use the bathroom or for you to change diapers before boarding the plane.  You are going to want to pack a change of clothes, snacks, and books or little toys to keep them occupied.  You're going to want to make sure that their ipads are all charged up and you have some movies or games downloaded and ready to go.  You're going to want to pack medicine in case their ears hurt from the change in pressure.  These are just examples of things to plan for to allow for a much more smooth experience and just to demonstrate the benefits of planning.


Not only that, but for me, I know that putting something on the calendar can almost guarantee that it will get done.  If it’s not on my calendar, I’m much more likely to forget about it, or put it to the side, get distracted by shiny objects and place my attention on other things that have nothing to do with my goal and actually steal my time and attention from the goal I had set for myself.


  1.   Listen to motivating and inspiring podcasts and books: some of the authors and speakers that I like to listen to and follow are Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins, Oprah, Lewis Howes, Ed Mylett, and Brooke Castillo, and Jody Moore just to name a few.


We need to feed our brains with positivity because we have this built in negativity bias.  And again this is a programmed thing in our brain and its purpose is to keep us safe, to keep us alive.  Because if we are scanning the environment for danger, we will be prepared and ready for an attack.  So we have to circumvent this negativity bias by purposefully, deliberately looking for the positive.  And if you are not practiced at coming up with positive thoughts on your own, I highly recommend finding yourself a podcast (like this one) or books that you can read or listen to that will help uplift your spirits. 


5. Taking advantage of comparison. Listen,  I hate comparison just as much as the next person.  


We’ve all heard that saying “comparison is the thief of joy”.  We think we are doing alright in our lives and feeling pretty good about ourselves and then we hop on social media and watch other peoples highlight reels and we feel like we are not pretty enough, we are not making enough money, we need to be more organized, we need to be playing with our kids more and doing more, we need a bigger house, we are smart enough, all of the things.  


But use comparison to inspire you, to help motivate you to become a better, more evolved version of yourself. To go out there and do the things that scare you so you can create the life that you want for you and your family. So you don’t die with the regret saying I should’ve went on that trip or I should have taken that risk and I should have pursued that dream, I wish I hadn’t cared so much about what others would think about me.


So take comparison, and flip it on it’s head, use it to your advantage.  When you notice yourself comparing, think about,  “ok why am I doing this?  Why has this thing got my attention?”  


Use comparison to help motivate you.  It can inspire you and give you a kick in the butt, to do what you need to do to grow. It can instill that desire in your heart to even WANT to grow, when we might otherwise stay stuck in our same old patterns.


  For example, this one has happened to me, you see a mom with little kids who has started her own business.  She has created something in her life that provides value to others, she is able to contribute financially to her family, and she has the freedom to make her own schedule because she is working for herself.  This comparison plants a seed of desire in your heart that may not otherwise have been there.  But it’s something that will push you out of your comfort zone.


 6.  That leads me to step number 6, Realize it’s possible-if she can do it so can you. I learned this lesson from my mentor Brooke Castillo, the main goal for herself and her business is just to be an example of what is possible.  And I have adopted this one for myself, because I think it is so powerful.  Being an example of what is possible helps to break barriers and set new standards, to uplevel the game.


One example of this is the the story of Roger Bannister.


On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister, a British middle-distance runner, made history by running a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. This feat shattered the long-standing belief that it was physiologically impossible for a human to run a mile in under four minutes. Before Bannister's accomplishment, many experts and athletes thought breaking the four-minute barrier was beyond human capability due to physical and environmental limitations.


Bannister's achievement had a profound psychological impact on the athletic community. It demonstrated that the four-minute mile was not an insurmountable barrier. And shortly after Bannister's breakthrough, other runners began to break the four-minute mile as well. For example, just 46 days later, Australian runner John Landy ran a mile in 3 minutes and 57.9 seconds, beating Bannister's time. The floodgates had opened, and numerous athletes followed, breaking the four-minute barrier over the subsequent years.


Bannister's record-breaking run is a classic example of the power of possibility. Once Bannister showed that it was possible, other athletes were encouraged and motivated to push their limits, leading to a series of record-breaking performances. This phenomenon illustrates the powerful impact of belief and perception on human performance and achievement.


Once you believe something is possible, that’s half the battle.  Because think about it.  If you believe it’s impossible, you’re not even gonna bother trying because your attitude is going to be like why even bother, why waste my time and energy and money when I know it’s not going to work out for me.  But you believe it’s possible, and that’s when doors start to open, and thats when you start to expand, you become resourceful, you get motivated, and your perception widens, you have more of like a birds eye view and you can begin to see solutions you would not have seen from the narrowed perception that’s created when we believe things are impossible.

Take me doing this podcast.  There was a time I thought this would be impossible for me.  But women like Brooke Castillo, Jody Moore, and Rachel Nielson, all Moms who started podcasts and showed up every week with new content despite all the roles and responsibilities of being a Mom.  And They helped me believe in myself that I have value to offer, that we all have value to offer.  We all have something to learn from one another.  There isn’t one of us on this planet that has it all figured out.  But we can learn from each other, learn from the wins and learn from the losses.  But listen, if I can do this, trust me so can you.  I have the same human brain as you do and its full of doubts, fears, worries anxieties and self-criticism.  And I have 3 little kids and only 9 hours a week to devote to my business, but I make it work.  So if I can do it with the small amount of time and help I have, I promise you, so can you.


 7.  Moving on to the last and final tip of the day and that’s get accountability.  And you can do this either by hiring a coach or a trainer or you could even tell someone your goal or post it on social media.  That will get you going because, for many of us, the fear of disappointing someone or the potential shame we think we might experience if we don’t do the thing that we had announced we were going to do.


You know, we are worried about what others might think about us if we don’t do what we had proclaimed we were going to do.  We don’t want others to think we are a failure, or we are afraid of the humiliation we might feel.  The pain of thinking about that is for many of us enough to kick our butts into action.


So as we wrap up this episode, I’m going to challenge you today. What is one thing you have been wanting to do but you just can't seem to get yourself to do it.  I challenge you to do one thing today to get started. 1 thing.  Your brain is going to tell you its too hard or it’s not safe or you don’t feel like it.  Just reply back, I hear you brain, your opinion is noted, but the truth is I’ve got this.  I can handle this.  And the pain of living with the regret of me not doing this thing is worse than the pain I might experience from just getting started, so lets go!


I’m going to leave you with something I like to say to myself to keep me motivated and that is this 


“Through the power of the Christ within, I can accomplish all I set out to do”  Now I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone. I am a Christian, but in case you are not, insert whatever you believe there.  I mean I think we can all agree though that we do all have something inside of us, this Life Force, that when we tap into it, it gives us the strength and power to push through hard things.  


So that’s it.  To recap, my 7 steps for cultivating motivation are:

1.Find a compelling why

2.  Get started


4. Feed Your Brain positivity by listening to and reading inspiring books and podcasts.

  1.  Use comparison to your advantage

  2. Recognize it’s possible.

  3. Get accountability.


Well I hope today’s show gave you lots of motivation to go out and achieve your goals!  Remember, the toughest part is just getting started!  You can do this!  And I have a suggestion, why not use 2 of these tips in one.  Get accountability and just get started by announcing on social media your goal and tagging me @tanyavalentinecoaching.  I can’t wait to hear what your working on!  And if you want help applying this in your life, let me help you! Take advantage of the free 30 minute coaching call I offer by going to my website at  I promise you, it will be a very empowering experience.  Thank you all so much for taking the time to listen today!  Congratulations for getting through another episode and sticking with me until the end!  If you found today’s show valuable,  make sure you subscribe so you never miss an episode.  And please share it with a friend and consider leaving a rating and review!  This would mean the world to me and it helps me reach and help more amazing moms like you!  Have an amazing week with your family!  I’ll talk to you soon! Bye!

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