My homeschool (my life) depends on it.

I haven’t been following my own advice, and I haven’t set real goals in weeks. And I’ve been getting a lot of these sideways glances.


Day 4: Yes, You Need an Incentive.

Video: Just a few minutes a day, doing something you love, can motivate you and make all the difference.

Workbook: List practical rewards for continuing on the path that is moving forward. Write out the external motivators (simple things like a great cup of coffee or lighting a candle) and the internal motivators (the deeper things like preparing for the day allows me to better align with my purpose in life).

I go through lots of cycles with motivation. From hyper-motivated and set out to change the course of my entire life to woefully under-motivated and barely able to make my own coffee in the morning before the kids come downstairs.

Underneath motivation is a drive, and sometimes – quite frankly – I have zero drive for life. I mean I live, I eat, I maintain the most basic of tasks around the house, but I have absolutely no motivation to do anything more than just survive. And when I feel like this, homeschooling seems nebulous and impossible. Failure becomes my companion rather than my enemy.

My kids are old enough now that they know the difference in my demeanor. They can tell what kind of day we are going to have based on whether or not I care if they watch PBS Kids first thing in the morning or not. Now, I don’t think it’s life-altering to allow them to watch Wild Kratts every morning, but the sad fact is that any show (no matter how educational) makes an imprint on how they will go about their day.

So, I survived a major slump in December. I wanted desperately to start January with fresh motivation. Pregnancy aside, I know the difference between physical limitations and mental blocks. I’ve been through the homeschool year cycle 3 full turns now, and for this fourth cycle I want to make sure I’m continuing to put more of myself into the success of our year than the year before.

Isn’t lack motivation usually the first domino to fall?

Which leads me back to the Make Over Your Mornings course (yes, I’m talking about it again because I’m working through it again – I’m not afraid to come right out and say that I need to re-makeover). As I wrote out my homework for Day 4, I realized I have some really great motivators already in place (the ones that worked really well before the day I saw the 2 pinks lines) if I would only rise and shine for my life. I felt a renewed sense of purpose. Finishing Day 4 was easy, and I felt accomplished.

Until the moment the alarm went off the next day. And the next.

I completely bombed. Like, getting out of bed an hour later than planned, bombed.

And with this failure came the bullying feeling of shame.

Emily Freeman describes it this way:

When fear bullies my soul, I know it because I spend lots of time wishing I was someplace else.

  • I become obsessed with building my life
  • I am frantic to catch up.
  • I feel like I’m missing out.
  • I search but don’t have hope of finding.
  • I build but don’t have a vision for finishing.
  • I strive but don’t believe I have what it takes.
  • I compete.
  • I compare.
  • I hide.
  • I feel ashamed but I don’t know why.
  • I refuse to move toward others.
  • I dread small beginnings.
  • I look at other people’s eight-foot assignments. (That only makes sense if you’ve read chapter 5.)

The solution to this soul-bullying is love. (You’ll have to read the rest of the chapter for yourself because I’ll get in trouble if I copy any more of it here.)

And when I woke up on my own this morning, 35 minutes before my alarm feeling well rested, I knew it was for love that I am awake. It’s for love that I’m alive.

When I live without love, I lack motivation every-single-time.

When I live without love, I don’t care about PBS Kids watching in the morning.

When I live without love, I hit snooze 3 times.

When I live without love, I slump and our homeschool routine slides later and later into the day.

When I live without love, I get dreadfully close to wanting to give up all the good things in my life that I have had to work so hard for.

So, Crystal is right: You need an incentive. And I believe there are rewards for hard work. I must enjoy the incentives for what they are, but I can’t cling to them when the motivation runs out. Because I’m not Pavlov’s dog and I can’t truly be conditioned to behave a certain way indefinitely, so I must stay in better tune with my heart and soul. I must recognize my need for living in tune with love.

My homeschool (my life) depends on it.

Links to what’s helping me right now:

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