Motivation and willpower are not universal and everlasting. They are finite resources we use up. And I do, every day. When I’m not full of meetings, I may be flush out of gumption at 10:00 AM, but that’s no problem if I started writing at 6:30.


Because I know myself, I know the dip is coming. It comes sooner or later, and goes deeper or shallower, depending on the day. It’s not a problem to solve, nor a weakness to overcome. It’s just the truth. I want to give in and waste time. Most often, I simply listen to that feeling and acknowledge it, then choose something easier until I can kick it into gear again.


For me, writing when I wake up helps. No workout, email, news or shower. I just start writing. It might last for 10 minutes or 110, until I have to get my daughter off to school– a handy built-in breather. Once the dip comes, having a productive first round under my belt makes any choice less important, or guilt-laden. Plus, I usually want to get back to it.


Let your behavior show YOU who you are.

By front-loading my day with one or more tasks that are important to me, I avoid fighting negativity when my willpower is low. In fact, when my days start well, I feel much less negativity (and have more willpower) throughout the day– good work begets more good work– and then I STOP. Hard work makes it easy to rest, guilt free.