Motivation – Where Does It Come From?

Motivation is a really big discussion point for me.  I present so often around goals, visions and confidence – yet rarely about motivation itself.  Yet it impacts on not only these 3 things but also on almost everything we do in life, from getting up in the morning to climbing mountains.

Motivation! Were we born with it?  I imagine there’s a whole psychological debate on that one.  I believe we were, what else made us try to crawl, walk and talk.  Everything we do has a driver behind it and that driver is motivation.

But if it comes so naturally to us, why do we lose motivation?  I don’t believe we ever lose motivation, I believe we just lose the driver for it.  Imagine wanting to lose weight.  We go on a diet.  Somewhere along the way we lose sight of the end goal.  The reason we wanted to lose weight whether that was to look good or feel healthier.  The motivation was still there but without the need, the desire to continue, motivation doesn’t have a need to kick in.

So next time you feel your motivation is beginning to flag, or you begin to lose sight of why you’re striving for something, take a small step away from the situation and revisit your goals.  It works every time.

Lost motivation can really get in the way of what you want to achieve, so if you feel your motivation is preventing you from getting where YOU want to be, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 for your free consultation to see what coaching could help you achieve.



words and pictures copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)


Why Use A Coach or How Would You Tackle A Brick Wall?

As a coach, I’m often asked why, if my client always has the answer, do they need a coach?  This is where I always use my favourite metaphor:

When a client gets stuck around their particular challenge, and it doesn’t matter if they want to lose weight, gain confidence or change jobs, they get stuck for the same reason.  They encounter a blockage.  That blockage stems from their fight or flight response, their brain won’t allow them to think deeper and solve the issue because the answer may scare them.

A coach, will continue to question beyond the point where a client will naturally stop when challenging themselves.  A coach won’t accept “because I can’t” or “I don’t know” as an answer?

Let me explain:

You’re traveling on your normal daily journey to work.  Someone builds a brick wall across your route.  You have 2 choices, stop or turn back neither choice will get you to where you want to go.  Giving up can be the easiest option.

If I were then to say to you, “what else could you do?” you naturally think a little harder, a little deeper and that can be enough to allow yourself to think of other options, getting a ladder or a sledge hammer.  2 solutions that we didn’t have before.

If you’d like to know more about how coaching could help you resolve your personal challenges, drop Carolyn an email today on



MOTIVATION – Top Tips from a Guest Blogger

If you have read recent posts on this blog, you will have seen some snippets about a client that I have been lucky enough to work with who has recently successfully achieved her near impossible goal. I have attempted to share her story with you and I really don’t think I have done it justice.  So I am delighted to say that Sandra has agreed to guest blog for me AND share her MOTIVATION tips.

Please enjoy:

I have the honour of being asked to write a guest blog post for Carolyn on motivation, following my recent journey up a mountain.  I’m no expert in this field, but I’m happy to share my journey and maybe, just maybe, something will inspire you to achieve your own goal too.

P1060319Sandra on the summit of Great End



I’d always been a bit of a fitness fanatic and a huge lover of the great outdoors.  An ex-gymnast, fitness instructor and personal trainer I looked after my body and truly believed that by eating well and keeping fit my body would reward me well into my old age. 


Oh what a delusion!  You can imagine my devastation when, just over 5 years ago, I acquired a disability affecting the use of my legs.  Going to the shops became an expedition needing help, support, crutches and a wheelchair.  I took the easy option and stayed home, isolating myself from the world in my own little bubble of safety.  I basically gave up on life.


In August 2012 I attended the Lake District Calvert Trust, a charity that challenges disability through outdoor adventure activities.  I had low expectations, low confidence and low self-esteem. I told my instructor of my one regret of not having got around to summiting Great End (a mountain in the Lake District on the Scafell range) before my disability.  He looked me in the eye, and said quite matter of factly “Don’t have regrets, go and do it then.”  As the week progressed a spark inside me ignited, and over the following months that spark became a roaring fire of passion, hope and self-belief.  I am proud to say that 9 months later I stood on top of that mountain, fulfilling a long-standing dream and raised nearly £2,500 for the charity the brought me back to me.


So what motivated me to achieve what others had said was impossible?  Here are my top tips:-


M   editate on your goal.  Imagine how great it feels to have achieved it, what it looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like.  Doesn’t it just feel fantastic!  Hold onto that feeling every single day of your journey.

O   bserve your goal and your journey from every angle so you are as prepared as you can be to overcome any obstacles.  It’s ok to change your game plan, it’s the end result that’s important.

T    ell others.  This makes the goal real.  If anyone is negative, ignore them – that is their problem not yours.  Surround yourself with positive people and ask for their experience and expertise to help you get where you want to be.

I    nspire yourself.  It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough, but keep yourself inspired by focussing on a role model, google inspirational quotes, print them off and put them around your house.  I love the quote by Martin Luther King “If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

V     alue yourself, what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Yes, you are worth it!

A    ccept where you are now, and identify what help or support you will need to get where you want to be. This will enable you to set realistic goals and targets.

T    hink outside the box.  How could I get up a mountain when I cannot walk unaided and need to rest after a few steps?  Let’s think in a different way.  I can walk with assistance for a few steps and then need to rest.  I can repeat that process over and over again.  I can travel at 3.6 hours per mile.  It will take me 3 days.  I can do this if I camp in the mountains for 2 nights.  I will ask people to help me, support me and carry my kit.  Change your words, change your way of thinking and suddenly you will find a solution.

E    njoy your journey.  To reach your goal you need passion.  For me, failure was not an option.  My passion and desire to achieve my goal was so strong it drove me on when exhaustion wanted me to stop and when the pain was screaming through my body.  My passion of the great outdoors, being at one with Mother nature and standing in awe at the beauty of her artwork from the summit of a mountain is one I shall never forget.


I am humbled by the help and support shown by my team who shared this journey with me.  Sometimes a goal is just too big to achieve on your own.  Ask for help, work on yourself, dream, believe and achieve.


With love.


Sandra x

What A Window, A Shovel & A Bear Have To Do With Making Goals A Reality

I hadn’t realised until now, however this is my 100th post.  I blog weekly so it must be almost 2 years.  Normally I’d rack my brains trying to think of something particularly outstanding to write about.  I don’t need to this week I knew what it was going to be all week.

Last week I went on holiday.  We don’t tend to have 2 weeks in the sun like everyone else, we tend to have a week walking in the lakes regardless of the weather.  We’ve walked in mist, rain, thunder, ice, snow, hail, wind and glorious sunshine on the odd occasion.

But last week was different.  Last week wasn’t about having a walking holiday, it was about making someone’s dream a reality.

So if you wish to know more about why I set out with 7 volunteers, spent 3 x 12hr days on a mountain, and we took with us 4 tents, 2 pairs of crutches, 1 teddy bear, 1 bathroom window, 1 shovel, a Chevron (all terrain wheelchair) and a mountain of chocolate then please read on……….

My client has always been fit and active.  She’s been a fitness instructor and a keen hill walker.  Sadly a little while back she started to suffer when walking.  Since then she has been diagnosed with a progressive debilitating condition that means she suffers with painful spasms in her leg.  The condition now means that she has to resort to crutches or a wheelchair to get to the shops.

But Sandra, who can sometimes be a little crazy and more frequently a little stubborn was determined to climb a 3000ft mountain.  No one would have thought less of her if she had decided to sit in front of the TV, maybe a walk in the park, but no all 3000ft of the mountain.  Rather than deciding it wasn’t possible, she sat down and figured out what she needed to do to get up there.  The result was a very clear goal, a strategy which involved a support team and a shovel load of motivation.


What Sandra did was rather clever and this is where the lesson lies:

  • She set herself a clearly defined goal – she would climb Great End in Cumbria and give herself 3 days to do it in.
  • She considered what would stop her achieving that goal.  This included needing help over difficult bits, not being able to carry her own rucksack, needing plenty of rest and found solutions to these challenges.
  • She provided herself with motivation to achieve her goal.  How?  Telling everyone she was going to do it and getting sponsorship for a charity meant there was no backing out, particularly when we were offered a substantial amount of sponsorship to carry the window up as well.

We can apply these lessons to any goal.

  • Set a clearly defined goal
  • Know what your stumbling blocks will be and plan for them
  • Ensure your motivation is strong

If you have any top tips for achieving a goal please share with my readers.

Are You Stuck In A Rut?

Its very easy to become stuck in a rut, especially at work, what can you do about it?


Fortunately there are some easy quick win solutions to get you started on your climb out of the rut.

  • Ask yourself if there’s something missing? – it could be that you’ve been in the job too long, unchallenged and bored.  Write yourself a dream job checklist.  What do you need from your job?  Include earnings, hours, responsibility, commute.  This way you can start to make small changes to move towards your dream role.
  • Put some of the fun back – once we’ve hit that rock bottom boredom threshold it becomes quite tricky to change our thought processes.  So just do something different.  Why not organise a lunchtime or evening event such as a quiz or sports event, make some new friends and have a bit of fun too.
  • Network – Networking is vital and not just to those in business.  It is connecting with new people that could halp you with careers moves at a later stage or get you involved in projects.
  • Do something new – start something in your own time, do a part time college course or even start a part time business.  It could bring in a second income or even replace your first.  Do consider carefully though what it is you want to do and consider those items on your dream job checklist. Or you could ask for more responsibility at work.
  • Rewards – we all need to be rewarded for our efforts and this is often lacking at work.  So why not motivate yourself, I have chocolate treats when I know I’ve finished a project, you know what works for you.

And remember:

“If you always do, what you always did,

you’ll always get, what you always got” – unknown

So don’t be afraid to change something.




Do You Need To Make More Time?


We all know the name of the “Thief of Time”  its our good friend “Procrastination” – but if he steels time – who actually makes it?

Last weeks post about Parkinsons Law really got me thinking about time, and where we get it from.  Yes of course, we all have 7 days in our week and 24 hours in our day – we can’t change that, but some people seem to manage to achieve so much more than others.

I used to have a full time job, gym habit, dog to walk, house to keep etc etc and still found time to pack for my holidays.  My retired mum, yes she has a gym habit although not as bad as mine, but no dog yet still wont make arrangements the week before she goes on holiday because she has to pack.   Where did I get the extra time from?  Now I’m working from home I feel I exhibit behaviour more like my Mum than the former me with a full time job.

So as I set myself a goal to get a grip on my rather sloppy recent attempts at time management, I analyse my previous behaviour.

My former life was compartmentalised (I’ll apologise if that’s not in the dictionary).  Work time was work time and very structured and home time was well, home time.  It wasn’t the work/life balance I wanted but it was balanced in a rather precarious manner.

Yet being my own boss hasn’t yet given the work/life balance I wanted simply because its become a work/life jumble.  The housework is slipping and my leisure time interspersed with checking emails and social media.

So February’s challenge – if you wish to join me is to get my work/life balance balanced.  Compartmentalisation of my week will mean that work time is work time and home time is home time.  It has to be flexible – of course it does I’m in business, but this is what I plan to do:

  1. Planning what my working week will look like on a Monday morning
  2. Shorten my working week, giving myself 2x half days off
  3. Giving my working day a definite end by switching off my laptop
  4. Give myself challenging goals to achieve every day
  5. Reward myself, chocolate, time off, walk, ebay, etc for achieving those goals

Change Clock

Who makes the time?  Well it must be me!

Making time for yourself when running a business can be tricky and its easy for things to fall out of balance.  If your work/life balance isn’t what you want it to be coaching can make all the difference.  For more information about one-to-one online or face-to-face coaching solutions visit Reflections Coaching


Motivations and Inspirations


Where do you get your inspiration from?

Since starting my own business one of the things I’ve found most difficult to deal with is finding my own motivation and inspirations.  As a coach, this is something that I do on a daily basis to support other people, but when it comes back to me – well its just plain hard.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  And at the same time thinking about new business start ups, particularly women you may have seen my blog post “Its Women’s Business” a few weeks ago.  I’m in the process of pulling together some interviews of business women from different backgrounds and trying to understand where their motivations and inspirations come from.

And just yesterday I was driving to a meeting whilst listening to radio 2 and they were interviewing Daraine Mulvihill who is one of the presenters for Channel 4 for the para-Olympics.  Daraine a former cross country runner lost the lower part of her legs at the age of 16 following illness and is now starting to use blades claiming Oscar Pistorius to be part of her inspiration.  Yet for me, Daraine herself is inspirational – certainly from a perspective that sometimes I lack the motivation to switch on my laptop.

Yesterday on the radio she talked about how she didn’t think she would have achieved her current levels of success as a cross country runner and that being forced to rethink her career has worked well for her.


For me her story reminds me that anything can be achieved when you believe in yourself, we have to push through the tough bits along the way and stay focused on being the best we can be.

What success do you really want to achieve?
Please feel free to share other inspirational stories about you or someone you’ve heard about by commenting below.  I’d love to hear all about them.

New Year – Do you have Resolutions or Goals?


Resolutions! Some of them keep them, others forget them after a week.  Why?

Its often because we’re sitting down to do something that is fake.  We feel we should give something up because its the right thing to do and is expected after the party season.  The classic example is giving up alcohol or detoxing after over indulging for a week.  Many of us find it hard to give up something we enjoy completely, and once we’ve “just had one” the resolution is broken and its easy to give up completely.

What is much better is to make your resolutions into forward looking goals.  So lets take that example of giving up alcohol and turn in into a forward looking, positive intended goal.  How about?

“I want to achieve a healthier lifestyle during 2012”.  This gives up more options, we can do this by being more careful about our eating AND drinking habits without giving anything up.  It allows us to go to that special event and indulge for one night.

Goal Setting

So – use this week to have a good think about building on your PAR from last week and about what you want to achieve during 2012.  Next week, we’ll look at taking your goal and thinking about some specifics

M for Motivation

I talked last week about diets and the need for motivation.  Although this post focuses on weight loss, motivation is required in achieving all goals and some basic rules apply.

But firstly we need to understand a bit about motivation.  Motivation is the thing that drives us.  We all have it.  We just need to understand a little about how we are motivated and how to harness and nurture it.

There are two types of motivation.  “Towards” motivation and “Away from”  motivation.

Towards Motivation

This is about moving toward a goal. A predominantly towards motivated individual will do something because of the rewards they will receive. So, being focussed on fitting into those trousers that are 5” smaller than the ones you are wearing now. Towards motivated individuals respond extremely well to rewards, and are motivated by league tables etc.

Away From Motivation

Away motivation is linked to pain.  Predominantly away motivated individuals do things out of fear of what might happen if they don’t take action. So an obese person might be motivated by a doctor explaining the health risks associated with their condition.  They’re taking action to avoid consequences.  Once a little action is taken the situation is less important, the less motivated the individual is likely to become.

In short it’s all about carrot and sticks.

Many people tend to preference one system more than the other.  Making the most of both systems will ensure you are harnessing your full motivational potential.

So take a step back and think about when you have been successful in the past.  Was it because you were working towards something new and better or because you were working towards leaving something behind.  Understand what motivates you can really mean the difference in achieving your future goals.

Diets – The missing ingredient

Whether you’re trying to put weight on or loose it, weight management presents numerous difficulties – take that from someone who has spent over half her life watching her weight.

I’ve tried counting calories, weight-watchers points or doing slimming worlds red and green days.  I’ve even tried meal replacement plans.  Going to the gym presents its own challenges.  When I find the motivation to go it can make me hungry so the first thing I do is break the diet.

I don’t claim to be a nutritionist or dietician; however I know a few of the basics.  The most basic rule of all is that if you eat less calories and exercise more – you will loose weight.  Continued weight loss can only then be sustained by maintaining this balance.  This is how diets like weight-watchers work for a while.  Thing is, we achieve our goal, or get bored and increase our eating habits again and with it gain weight.   We can’t cut out all those lovely things we like to eat forever.

The other problem I find with diet clubs is that we can turn up every week, pay our money, look disappointedly at the scales and have put weight on.  We scratch our heads and can’t understand the weight gain, yet we do this week after week because we know it would be much worse if we didn’t go.


So what is the missing ingredient?


What is it that joining an ordinary diet club doesn’t give us?


The answer is simple and free – we just need to get our heads around it.

The answer is:




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