A Narrative Approach to Staying Inspired and Motivated Throughout the Year
Cellophane crackles in my palms as I unpackage a new journal for 2021. Lifting the journal to my nose, I sniff deeply and allow that fresh pulpy smell seep deep into my amygdala. One whiff and a wave of memories flash through my mind; my first day of school, my first day on my first job, the first day of a New Year. For me, the fresh pages of my diary are scented with signals of new beginnings.
I open to the first page, take my pen and fill a few pages with inspired intentions. Rather than make New Year Resolutions, I use the Narrative Approach I shared earlier this month. The Narrative Approach to New Year Resolutions, takes you on a journey of discovery; what is it that you want to happen in your life, based on what’s really important to you and why. What needs to happen for you to step further into an inspired life designed by you, and for you (rather than the expectations of others).
This week, I’m sharing three more narrative journaling exercises. Delving deeper into your own story, you’ll discover what uniquely inspires you and motivates you. Many people find it difficult to stick to their goals and new year resolutions, but when you know what keeps you inspired and motivated, you can make changes and introduce new ways to keep you moving in flow with your intentions throughout the year.
3 x Narrative exercises to keep you inspired and in-flow
Imagine your closest friend walks through the door right now. They walk over to you and tell you they need assistance with something that is important to them. Your friend desperately wants to finish writing their book this year. They tried to do finish it last year and the year before, but they can’t get motivated. They have tried getting up early to write, they have tried writing every day but they just can’t stay motivated to get it done.
Take your pen and journal and write down at least three pieces of advice you’d give your friend that you believe would help them finish writing their book this year.
Go back into your childhood, to a time where you didn’t have what you needed to accomplish or achieve something you wanted to. What did you really want to do or achieve? Did you ask for help? What did you ask for? Did you ask for what you needed? Spend at least five minutes writing a short story about what happened.
Next, imagine yourself as an adult going back in time to meet your child-self. You take a seat next to your disappointed self. What advice do you give to help your child-self complete what they set out to do?
Take your pen and journal and write a story about your conversation.
Think of something you have accomplished in your life already. Great or small, we have all accomplished something to be standing right where we are today. Think about what helped you to accomplish that. What help did you have? What circumstances helped you accomplish what you set out to do? What steps did you take? What was it about your environment that helped you achieve your goal? What inspired you to start, what helped you stay motivated?
Bringing it All Together
Look back at what you’ve written. What patterns do you see emerging in the stories you've written? You will likely see patterns and indicators as to what uniquely motivates you?
Is your environment important? Support from others? What about rewards? Competition? Prayer or reliance on a divine source greater than yourself?
By doing this exercise you are creating an awareness of what will keep you flowing forward on your path of desires.
Act Upon Your Story
As I lay down my pen and review my own story from the journaling exercises, I am made keenly aware of my need for connection and support from others to stay motivated and inspired. In addition to having a beautiful, creative environment to work in, I am inspired by you and others who share their stories.
I’ve also received messages from Daily Inspired Life subscribers saying that having a support network and connection to uplifting people is important. That’s why I’ve decided to create a space where we can share our stories, interact and support each other in a more connected way. Keep a look out for an announcement on that.
In the meantime, let me know what YOU discovered about what inspires and keeps you motivated. Please share your comments below …