Contributed by Raquel S.

My Self-Motivation Recipe

  • Create your to-do list complete with time frames.
  • Gather the items needed for each task ahead of time.
  • Tackle you biggest tasks first.
  • Set up a reminder system.
  • Create a reward for completing tasks.


Motivating myself has always been difficult. I am able to complete my tasks for work but, when it comes to my own stuff, I am all about procrastination. I want to work out, clean my home, cook, you name it. But instead I just sit on the couch, watching TV,  scrolling through Facebook or reading books. How come I can work so hard for others but do so little for myself?

I decided to do some research on motivation and see if I could come up with a recipe to motivate myself.

Ingredient 1: The first thing I did was make a list of what need to be done. This is easy. I always have a to-do list. The problem was completing it.  But instead of just having a list, I decided to plan ahead.

Ingredient 2:  I wrote a time estimate next to each task on how long it would take. Then I gathered the equipment necessary to complete the task. For example, I put all my cleaning supplies in a bucket, figured it would take 2 hours to clean and got to work. I timed each task and found that nothing took as long as I estimated. I put the bucket complete with supplies under the sink for next time. No need to gather it all again.

Ingredient 3: My next step was to do the most dreaded task first. Tackling vacuuming first made me feel accomplished. I didn’t have the stress of having to vacuum with me throughout my chores. Instead I felt energized, and got things done.

Ingredient 4: Instead of writing down my to-do list on paper, I decided to use an online/smartphone app system. The main reason for doing this (besides constantly losing my paper to-do lists) was to set up alerts. When it was time to start working on my task, Remember the Milk send me a reminder to get started.  This worked great for my workout plan. Since main problem was that I got bogged down with work and lost track of time. Before I knew it, it was ‘too late’ to work out.  With this APP I am reminded to take a break and work out.

Ingredient 5: Getting a tasks done is motivating but not all the time. I found that giving myself rewards helped keep me going. It may sound silly but I bought a bunch of gold star stickers like my teachers used in grade school for high scoring tests.  Every day I worked out I put a gold star on my calendar. It actually motivated me. Seeing a bunch of gold stars made me not want to miss a day.

With these steps, I was finally motivated to get through my to-do list.

How do you motivate yourself?  We’d love to hear from you!  So, please get in touch at Food For The Soul