Motivational spa treatments

In preparation for tomorrow's post on Daniel Pink's book, Drive, it is time to incite your motivation.

Give yourself the luxury of five minutes.  I know, I know....who's got five minutes to spare?  Consider today's post a spa treatment for your soul.

Photo by Leo Reynolds; Photoshopped by Jen
Spa treatment #1 for motivation
Set the timer on your cell phone for three minutes.  When time begins, answer the question:  What motivates me?  Keep writing nonstop until time is up.  If you run out of things to say, keep repeating the question aloud "What motivates me?" and answer it.  Do not concern yourself with spelling, punctuation or being repetitive. After, take a look at what you wrote.  Underline common themes or big ideas.  Your stream of consciousness has something to say.  What did it reveal about what motivates you?

Spa treatment #2 for motivation

Use Pink's "big question" activity.  "In 1962, Clare Booth Luce, one of the first women to serve in the US Congress, offered some advice to President John F. Kennedy.  'A great man,' she told him, 'is one sentence.'"  What is your one sentence? 

Me?  Jen lived her life passionately embracing the motto - life is an adventure.  First draft.

Spa treatment #3 for motivation

Create an inspiration board.  Pink advocates doing this as do most artists and designers.  You can put one together fairly quickly especially if you have your favorite magazines, catalogs, and photos laying around.  Here is my board right now.  It inspires me (although the photo quality doesn't).

Spa treatment #4 for motivation

DIY motivational signage.  This one, which I found in a Patagonia catalog last winter, cracks me up.  For skiers/boarders, it is plain and simple motivation to choose a trail wisely.  Seeing it, brings me delight - which in itself is motivating.

To create your own signage, check out this free web-collection of tools, Big Huge Labs.  I lost count at 20 how many options they have to create your own signage.  The "Motivator" tool might be just what you are looking for...(though, I could see your face on the cover of a faux magazine using the "Magazine Cover" tool).

Alrighty, go give yourself a motivational spa treatment.

Come on, you deserve it :)



  1. Spa treatments 2 and 3 spoke to me.

    Here's what I got for my first draft: Jenna lived freely and honestly.

    I love inspiration boards. I haven't made one recently, but I used to be an avid collage maker. Back in college a friend inspired me to make one with the theme of my future. It included a beautiful home, pictures of kids, pictures of stethoscopes, power words, etc. We both drew our ideas from the famous philosophy called, "The Secret." Essentially, this philosophy maintains that those that expect good things receive good things. I think that my collage as well as the idea of a vision board in general is very motivating and inspiring. I need to make one and put it up in my classroom as a daily reminder...The heavens know I need that reminder.

  2. Jenna - I like your first draft. Freely and honestly? It doesn't get much better than that. If you create an inspiration board, email a photo. I'd love to see what inspires you.


  3. WOW! I think the one sentence is amazing. My one sentence: Eliza is usually cheerful, sometimes calculating, always optimistic. (also a rough draft)

    I would love to motivate my students this way. How inspiring would it be to have each student write his or her own personal sentence and then put them all up on a bulletin board. Knowing my students, they would want to put up sentences like "Tionna is fresh" or something, but I think through modeling and thesaurus using, we could have something truly motivational, which proves that all of my students are valuable for who they are and what their one sentence shows.

  4. Eliza - Tionna is fresh is a start, but I agree, a good lesson on using a thesaurus would be helpful.


  5. I tried 1 and 2...3 minutes went by faster than I would have liked...but I found that I am motivated by a sense of accomplishment. If I think I can do something, do it well, and it would make someone happy, then I will do it until it is done. It doesn't seem like intrinsic motivation - or maybe it is...can you be intrinsically motivated by other people? My sentence is like an angsty emo-high schooler's but here it is: Anamika intensely loved to love. I also wanted to incorporate - was hard on herself to a fault and cried at any tragic episode in a book, song or movie but rarely at real life tragedies. It would have been a run-on and not indicative of a "great" woman. I think my students would enjoy the one sentence activity. Maybe we could start with an adjective and then build to a sentence.

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