Motivation for Real People

motivation-for-real-people1Motivation. That seemingly endless wellspring of energy, concentration, and persistence that highly successful people can leverage at will to keep plugging away at their goals tirelessly day and night. Meanwhile, the rest of us may know what we have to do, but laziness keeps us from working at it as often or as long as we feel like we should.

Motivation is defined as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.”

By that definition, we all have motivation. If you’re looking to go RVing, your motivation might be freedom away from a 9-5, or home ownership. It might be a list of places you’re looking forward to seeing with your own two eyes. It might be a better work life balance. Those things are certainly important to us, so why do some people seem able to act on their motivation daily with very little effort while others struggle with meaningless distractions that keep them from the work that would get them closer to their ideal life?

When you first decide to go RVing, or undertake any sort of new goal or dreams where the results excite you, often there’s a rush of euphoria. In this stage, anything seems possible and working toward your new goal comes easy. You might spend all your free hours looking up RV types or scouring the internet for sources. It’s easy to stay focused on the end results โ€“ your getting on the road and changing your life, what fun!

But big dreams don’t come true overnight. Once that initial surge of elation wears off, it’s actively working at keeping your motivation high that gets you through the hard parts. Here’s a list of things you can do to keep working on your dreams when laziness threatens to swallow your day.

  • Some days you might wake up full of inspiration and ready to tackle the world. When this happens, drop whatever other lesser chores you were going to do and focus as much time as you can on your big goal. For me, these days occur most often when I reach some sort of milestone and am seeing some success from what I’m working on, but sometimes I’ll just wake up feeling like this. This is like a freebie day, no additional motivation required, make good use of it!
  • Motivation for big projects is easier to find when the other important areas of your life are getting the attention they need. You can look at it like a pyramid of sorts. Take care of the baser needs like getting enough sleep, eating well, spending time with friends and family and you’ll find it’s easier to focus on big dreams that make up the pinnacle of the pyramid. If you have a busy life this may mean you don’t have as much free time for your big project as you would like. But at least you’ll be able to put in your best effort with the time you do have when the other areas of your life are in order.
  • Motivation is something that can be worked at. If you’re feeling unmotivated, do something to remind you why you’re on this path. If you’re working at going RVing, talk to or read about someone who’s already traveling, and put yourself in their shoes โ€“ imagine what it’ll be like once you’re on the road. Read something inspirational, look at photos of places you want to visit once your on the road. Start making a map with pins in the places you want to see. In day to day living, it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re putting in all of this effort, particularly when your dream is something that’s months or years out. Keep reminding yourself of the Why, as often as you need to.
  • Make a habit out of working on your dreams. Even if you can only spare a little time every day, working on it consistently makes it easier to keep working on it, there’s less resistance. You’ll find that people who achieve great things manage it because they kept at it, day after day until they figured it out and got it right. As long as you keep working at it, you’ll get there eventually.
  • Motivation ties into moods as well as needs. When you’re in a good mood, it’s easier to work on hard projects. So don’t forget to take time now and then for things that have nothing to do with the project but which make you happy. For me this could be hiking, reading, sight-seeing, and spending time online.

Now I’ll turn the question over to you all, what keeps you motivated on a particularly hard day?

* * *

Things are moving right along at Amazon. Last night was donut day, and this year there was more than enough for everyone. I’m only in my second week (first full length week) and already I have overtime, I’ll be working Thursday for a 50 hour week. So far ICQA is going fine, I will be writing more about it when I’ve been at it longer. There’s been a lot of rain the past week and a half, and Big Chief is pretty muddy. Today’s picture is particularly pretty maple along the main street of Coffeyville. I think that pretty much covers everything, enjoy the rest of your week everyone.

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18 Responses to Motivation for Real People

  1. Bill and Kris Osborne November 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Nicely written Becky.
    Bill and Kris Osborne recently posted..Kentucky Horse ParkMy Profile

    • Becky November 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      Thank you.

  2. Dave November 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Great wisdom. Hope your gig at Amazon goes even better than last year, will be wishing a bunch more overtime for you. –Dave (
    Dave recently posted..November Autumn, More MemoriesMy Profile

    • Becky November 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Thanks Dave. We’ll see how I feel about overtime after tonight is over, I’m getting tired, haha. But it’s hard to argue with $15.75 an hour.

  3. Pleinguy November 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    Motivation is difficult when your big goal is a long way off. Best to have smaller steps you can achieve more easily. That way you sense progress regularly and I think that will help keep you motivated. Because you see yourself getting closer day by day. Perhaps having a check list that shows you are accomplishing something toward the goal can also keep you focused. Perhaps the most important thing you mention is doing something regularly, which means success will come eventually, and you get a sense that you’re getting closer to that day.

    I have to agree that motivation is perhaps the hardest thing for someone that is busy living a life that is not conducive to the dream. It involves a change in how you live your life and envision your future. It can be very difficult to stay on track. But, if there is enough desire, it can be done.

    You have a knack for discerning the essentials. I’m glad you write about this more weighty issues. Thanks.
    Pleinguy recently posted..The GalleyMy Profile

  4. Furry Gnome November 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I finally made it up to the present! Right from your very first post your blog has kept me enthralled the past few days. Your unique combination of practical and philosophical, along with your own personal story is just great. I love the ideas you talk about, like ‘living deliberately’. You’ve helped me clarify where I want to go with my own writing a lot, and I look forward to following your story in the future. Yours is one of the best written and organized blogs I’ve read – so get on with the book!

    As for motivation, I’ve often found that when you don’t like getting going the best advice is to “just start”. Rather than waiting to be motivated, start with something simple and the motivation will come. I’ve found that happens over and over again.

    • Becky November 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Heya Furry, welcome to IO and glad to have you here! I’ll be responding to your comments on earlier posts too, but figured I’d do the official welcome on the most recent one. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You make a good point about just starting. If the bigger stuff seems like too much, starting with a smaller task can often lead to getting bigger things done as momentum propels you forward. I approached jogging like this frequently. Sometimes I just didn’t feel like jogging for a half hour, but if I just got myself outside and told myself 10 minutes, usually I’d end up doing the full time.

      I tried clicking on the blog linked in your name, but it doesn’t seem to be a valid url, you might have to put http:// or .com after it.

  5. Charlene Swankie (SwankieWheels) November 7, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    I seem to remember there were lots of baby steps along the road, but for me, what motivated me out of a sedentary life to a free full-time life on the road was establishing a BIG DREAM, a picture bigger than life itself. Such a goal can be meaningless in the beginning but soon takes on a life of itself. For me, after not being able to walk in 2005, it was setting off in 2008, after bilateral knee replacements and recovery… to Kayak America. It didn’t mean much in the beginning, but I never considered it impossible. Soon I was living to fulfill the goal. In May 2014 I will kayak my last state, #50 – Hawaii for my 70th birthday. My son and some of my friends are going with me to celebrate the completion of the Adventure, and my birthday as well. I did not plan it that way, it’s just the way it came together. And as I finished my 49th state, Alaska in August 2013… I wondered what I would do next. A friend had been talking about hiking the Arizona Trail. The idea would not leave my mind because I had never thought such a thing was possible for me… but suddenly it was decided… I could and would hike that trail… and I must begin training for it now. A new dream/goal was born. I’ve never felt more fit or alive than I do now, being free on the road, and free to dream and free to live. By the time I complete the trail, age 71, I will be the MOST fit I’ve been in my life. Who knows what new idea will come into play then… I’m wide open to any possibility. Not too shabby for an old 300 pound lady who could not walk 1/2 block eight years ago. OK, I’m bragging a bit ’cause I’m swankie… and that really is my last name. I’m proud of where the name came from and I’m proud to have it as a handle.

    • Becky November 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Wow, what a story Charlene! Congratulations on the upcoming completion of your Big Dream (full-timing before retirement is mine, and I’ve not “completed” it to my satisfaction yet, but I’m getting closer). I think you are very wise, to set a new Big Dream before the one you’re on finishes, it always keeps you moving forward. Good luck on training for that hike, keep us all updated on how it goes!

      Also, your name links to, but not your particular blog, I think you can adjust it so readers can click directly to your blog.

      • Charlene Swankie November 8, 2013 at 9:38 am #

        the Website address for me is (not sorry about that…
        Charlene Swankie recently posted..Desert TortoisesMy Profile

        • Becky November 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

          Haha, no problem. This way it makes it easier for readers who enjoyed your comment to find out more about you. Take care!

  6. Gary November 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Great article Becky.

    I find myself in this exact situation. Recently retired and “motivated” towards a full time RV adventure. I will receive delivery of my new fifth wheel in February 2014. I have been following you for a while and you and others have been a definite inspiration for me. Thanks for sharing your adventures.
    Gary recently posted..Retirement Decision โ€“ Life โ€œRe-Startโ€My Profile

    • Becky November 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Your welcome Gary. I read a little bit of your blog, looks like you have a solid plan! I myself have made good use of the way full-timing lets you visit family and friends for extended periods of time without having to impose on them. Keep us all updated on how that fifth wheel works out for you, safe travels and happy trails!

  7. David Michael November 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Today is payday at the Amazon Fulfilment Center in Fernley, Nevada. Sun is out, and my wife and I are still vertical and breathing. I counted about 18,000 bins last week (ICQA) so Santa could get a head start for Christmas. Lots of overtime here, most of it mandatory, so paychecks are bigger than I had planned. Celebrated with new friends at the Pioneer Casino with breakfast at 7 PM, a Bourbon and seven, and five minutes at the slot machines. Only downer was watching Oregon Ducks lose to Stanford. So, despite our age as full-timers (mid-seventies), life is good…very good! I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.
    David Michael recently posted..Eastern Sierra NevadaMy Profile

    • Becky November 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Yep, payday here as well David, but it was just for orientation and my first week of work hardening so it wasn’t much of a paycheck. My next one should be good though, I had overtime this week (it’s all voluntary for campers this year at Coffeyville, an experiment) but the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. Congrats on still being able to walk like a normal human being, that can be a challenge sometimes after an overtime week at Amazon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It may not be the most glamorous job, but that money will allow us RVers to enjoy more glamorous environs after the season is over, preferably somewhere warmer, haha!

  8. Jeanne November 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I find that my motivation levels increase if I voice my dreams, goals and intentions to other people. Doing so gives my dreams a life of their own because they become part of the conversations I have going forward. I feel more accountable to myself just by sharing my ideas and intentions.
    Jeanne recently posted..PortlandMy Profile

    • Becky November 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      I’ve found that to be true as well Jeanne. I struggled initially when I first started preparing to go full-time because I didn’t tell anyone I knew about it. I knew most of the comments I’d get from coworkers, family members, and even some friends would be skeptical at best and that would make me doubt myself and my plans. That’s when I started joining online RVing communities and talking about it there, with people who understood and were supportive. It allowed my dreams to become more real, when I was able to talk to others about it.

      And I’m a little jealous of your Portland visit! I keep wanting to get to the Pacific coast but it’s just so dang far away. Maybe next fall or in 2015…

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