Finalists, Picture – James Robinson / Surfing NSW 


Published on 25/10/2021

Samantha Flook (The Core Health), is a keen surfer who lives on the northern beaches is Sydney. She is Strategic Psychotherapist, Coach, Mindfulness Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist in Training and has been working 1:1 with clients for the past 7 years. She specialises in Habit & Pattern Management, Anxiety, Stress, Emotional Eating and Self Esteem issues.

We welcomed her in 2020 to Her Wave as our Her Wellness program delivery partner, where we collaborate with our local surf schools to provide our communities a practical approach to wellbeing through Surfing + Mindset group coaching experiences.

This article written by Sam focuses on Motivation; what improves it and what limits it. 

Lockdown lessons; Simplistic Choices for Maintaining Realistic Motivation 

Motivation for many has been at an all time low during the lockdown period. We have all had to constantly adapt to a profound amount of external change, whilst also navigating our own individual experiences. For many this has meant, having to sit with ourselves and our thoughts more consistently, without the comfort of our daily routines and distractions and with that too an extensive array of shifting emotions in response to our ever changing landscape of uncertainty over the past months. This extensive amount of emotional adaptation can lead to continual experiences of low motivation, mental fog and exhaustion and as a co-morbid experience heightened experiences of anxiety and stress. Even though we are entering back into some form of “normality”, there has been continual conversations of feelings and experiences of anxiety and overwhelm coming with the easing of restrictions; having to re-socialise and once more adapt to this next surge of profound change. With this it is essential that we are setting some realistic goals, routines and choices to navigate and maintain ourselves and our own specific needs.

When it comes to assessing motivation levels, there are a couple of factors we want to look at;

  1. Are your expectations realistic for your current circumstances?
  2. Are you focusing on what you can’t do over what you can do?
  3. Do you have the present capacity to execute said tasks or goals e.g energy wise & emotionally?
  4. Do you feel capable in managing ambiguity as it presents?
  5. Are your choices individual to your specific needs?

Our expectations are the basis of most of our present judgements in life, so learning to adapt our choices and expectations in response to our ever changing daily needs, is where we find greater balance in life. We often wait for motivation to “kick in”, which can lead us to wait for the “right time” to start or action something, which means we can be waiting for a while, or are so dependent on the feeling that our choices and routines provide us, we end up finding ourselves over-exerting and over-doing, which can lead us to struggle to slow and creates avoidance our basic needs.

Motivation doesn’t arrive, it is actioned. What I mean by this is, we have to learn to act and decide for ourselves even when uncomfortable experiences or feelings arise, even if that decision is to take a break, for the future benefit of our energy tomorrow, we have to give our choices, a bigger more supportive meaning. We feel greater motivation, ambition and confidence, when we have strategies in place, an actioned, realistic plan forward that helps us work towards the choices we wish to make. When we begin to simplify our choices and shift our focus to “What I can do, what I can control and what I can choose”, this is where we open ourselves up to an endless amount of choices in response to our everyday experiences and feelings that potentially we couldn’t see before. The “Simplistic Choices for You” checklist was something that I developed during the first lockdown, simple by name, simple by nature, but the actual underlying task is profound in re-framing patterns to something much more realistic, achievable and supportive for each individual. For us to experience the same, we have to do the same, so introducing and offering yourself simple shifts in your daily routines, helps us to feel a greater sense of control and responsibility over the part we play in our everyday experiences. No matter what you are feeling, what your day consists of, there is always something you can do and choose to prioritise you and the experiences life brings your way.

The Simplistic Choices for You task, invites you to check in with yourself at the beginning of your day and serves it’s purpose the best, when you are experiencing low motivation, anxiety or wake feeling overwhelmed with the day ahead. It invites you to not only manage the discomfort that life can present us with but most importantly gets you to make an actioned decisions in response to the discomfort that you may be feeling. We can make choices that make us feel better in the moment, but aren’t actually changing what we are doing and can keep us in not so helpful patterns, which can be detrimental in the long-run for our well-being. When we learn change our responses to our emotions from an over-analysis which to an effective analysis, we are prompted to make a decision or choice and further more building a more supportive association with not only sitting with our feelings as an effective tool to help us move forward, but to build a more positive relationship with each and every varying emotion themselves. The 6 categories focus on aspects of life that maintain all aspects of our needs; Movement, Nourishment, Self Care, Stillness, Nourishment, Connection and Creativity. When taking part in this task you are guided to, once assessing your emotions, energy and scope of your day, add 1-2 realistic choices and task for each category, creating foresight for your day and steps to help you understand and see that you are “still doing something” even if that is choosing to rest. Boundaries are also developed in this task, as when you choose to focus and be responsible for you, the focus shifts from everything and everyone around you, to yourself and meeting your needs, whilst the world continues to turn and change around you. When we make choices simple, they become more realistic and we often surprise ourselves of how truly capable we are in making change. Learning to think and decide for ourselves, is one of the biggest contributors for motivation and productivity, again even if that choice is to decide to switch off and rest, the goal here is what you choose to decide and do for you and your presenting daily needs. 

It is through the profound times of change, we are able to look back and see how truly capable we are to adapting to discomfort and change. If you find yourself feeling emotionally fatigued post lockdown or worried and stressed about integrating into normality once more, I invite you to give the Simplistic Choices task a go. Within every situation you have the ability to turn your “What If into can I do/ what do I need now”. All steps are included in the frames below. Go kindly and patiently with yourself and when in doubt, stop, breathe and focus on that simple, next step in front of you. 

If you would like further information on The Core Health’s 1:1 Mindset, Emotional Well-being and Self Maintenance Strategy Coaching Sessions, get in touch here

Follow The Core Health on socials: @thecorehealth

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