Ask the Readers: What Motivates You? (Chance to win $20!)

By Linsey Knerl on 27 April 2010 (Updated 5 May 2010) 75 comments

*** Congrats to our winners! ***

  • cwaltz - I set small rewards  for wen I meet goals. I might reward myself with a new shirt for staying on budget for the month or a new piece of cookware upon completion of a full declutter and clean in  the kitchen.
  • frugallauren: If I want something different, I have to do something different.  #WBAsk

Do you ever have days that you just aren't sure you can make it through? Perhaps you're working on a tough project, class, or financial situation that requires an unusual amount of commitment and drive. Are there things you do regularly to make it a little more bearable? We are curious about all the different ways to motivate yourself to keep on keepin' on!

We want to know what motivates you. If you're stuck in a job that you don't particularly like, how do you get through the day? Is it the money? Your family? The hope that you may be promoted? Perhaps you're not working, but use motivational tools to keep pressing on in your job search. What kinds of tips can you offer others in your position? By sharing your thoughts, you'll be entered to win a $20 Amazon GC.

Feel free to link to a blog post, if you're written on this topic! We'll include it in our post upon the conclusion of our giveaway!

Win a $20 Amazon gift card:

We're doing two giveaways — one for random comments, and another one for a random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, May 3rd at 11:59 pm CST. Winners will be announced after May 3rd on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings — once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

Good luck!

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Lynda

I want the best quality of life for my family and friends; that's what motivates me.

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Kristin

I sometimes have to use my "parent" voice on myself (and I'm not event a parent).  I'll tell myself, "You can either grade those papers, clean for an hour, or exercise for an hour."  Then doing a little of my paid work seems more appealing. 

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Matthew McElhaney

I remind myself of every time that someone told me I can't, that I would fail, that it was beyond me, and then i remember how every time I've proved them to be wrong. 

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Tamar

I teach at a community college, and it's often discouraging. But, then I remember one of my first students. The second day of class I called on her by name and she just said, "You know my name?" Her expression was so heartwarming- she said afterwards that she was overcome that a teacher had actually bothered to learn her name, that someone in academia actually cared about her as a person. Everytime I get feel like I'm banging my head against a wall just trying to get my students to listen to anything I'm saying, I think of her and how something as simple as me remembering her name made a difference.

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Deborah

I have a total fear of failure.  I hate the idea of letting people down or not accomplishing my goals.  So, I feel like I have no choice but to keep moving forward. 

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Guest

Simply put, the fact that I have my dog at home to lick my face when I feel down and family at home that cares for me. Knowing that someone's at home thinking of me and looking out for me helps to erase fear and doubt from my mind and gives me motivation to try most things out as I please

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financial independence

Guest's picture

My sons motivate me. At 48 years old I went back to school. I wanted them to be proud of me. My youngest was a freshman in high school at the time and I wanted to be a positive role model for him. If I could do college, he could do high school. Here it is 2010, in 2009 I achieved an Associate of Arts Degree while maintaining a Crimsom Scholar status and he is a senior and just won the Gates Millennium Scholarship. My oldest was an honor student all through his schooling and is doing fine with his life.

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Eris

Remembering all I have to work for and all I already have. 

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Olivia

Financial peace in the future - and knowing that tomorrow is another day; if I can't make things work today, there is always (hopefully!) tomorrow.

Guest's picture

Personal pride to always do my best motivates me.

 

And of course, money.

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Jen

My son motivates me.  Because of him I am motivated to cook just about every day instead of ordering out. I have been cooking more and more from scratch as well, it's good for him and my hubby and I. For the same reason I get off my arse and exercise.

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Eric

Hmm... I don't hate my job, but at times that it gets boring, I'm motivated by my free time after work and on the weekend... time with friends and family... making money for necessities and entertainment.  And the boring moments do help motivate me to continue looking for a more interesting job.

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Christie

I get motivated when I get something done that is on my list!  Also a nap seems to motivate me some days.... dont' know why that is!  But the more that I get done, the more I am motivated to do.  Usually, a long term goal is a good motivation, especially when I am making progress on it.  For example, going on a girlfriend getaway soon and I wanted to lose 15 lbs before I did.  I am really motivated to get that done--and I'm almost there.  2 1/2 weeks left, 1 lb left to lose!  Yippee!!

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Guest

I find motivation in finding ways to streamline daily tasks, whether work or home related.  Yes I'm one of those geeks who love discovering the shortcuts in Microsoft office programs.

For motivation on performing tasks (e.g., exercise) I tell myself that one hour of exercise is just 1/24th of an entire day. Or tell myself start doing the task for 10 min and see how I feel then.

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Jenna

I am motivated by the pride i take in the finished product. I remind my self how great it will feel once the task is done!

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Mariel Martinez

I don´t know. It all depends upon my mood. Sometimes a movie, sometimes a friend; mostly books and sometimes the Bible... The bible makes me change some behavoiurs, such as what I eat...

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matt

My biggest motivator is the well being and happiness of my children.  My wife and I are divorcing after 20 years and although it's tough, keeping my kids pictures on my desk to look at all the time and remembering that I will be happier in the future and therefore they will as well is what keeps me moving forward.  Day by day.

 

matt

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gt0163c

In general, I'm motivated by remembering that what I do has consequences. If I'm around kids, they see what I do and often imitate my actions or at least assume that what I'm doing is okay. If I'm at work, the work I do reflects on my company, my group, my boss and myself. At the gym, I remember that if I continue to work hard the physical tasks in my life will be easier and there will be fewer negative consequences to eating that third cookie.

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A

Making things fun is what motivates me tremendously. Therefore, if there's someone else there that I like or who acts a little friendly, I'll try making jokes or telling stories. If it's just me then I let myself daydream all sorts of fantasies.

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Kathy

I like to look at all the positive that I have in my life to keep my motivated.  No reason to dwell on the negative..

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Emily

If it's work - the money. School - the grade. A necessary evil like cleaning - blast some music and just keep telling myself to "get it over with!"

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Guest

Right now, my main motivation is just to finish school and start becoming financially independent.

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rjwilcox

I do everything in honor of God.  I told my boss that I do not do what I do to please her but I do what I do to honor God in that way I know that I can please the people I work for but do not limit myself to their standards.  In otherwords: If I do a project for my boss then it would be possible to not do my best because of a stupid issue in my head.  If I work to honor God then I have to give it my best.

Bob

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bbee

My failures motivate me because with them comes some of the best "teachable moments" and I am less ego-driven and more humble.

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fairydust

I actually really like my current job - it's interesting, not too overwhelming, keeps me busy, and I work with very nice people. But in past jobs that I really did NOT like, mostly the motivation was the money I was making for the time I could then spend with my family.

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Guest

Investing in my future

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Christy

I'm having trouble with motivation, but knowing I have a job right now when so many others don't keeps me going

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Amy

I gave up my nursing career to homeschool my two boys and help my husband with his business. My older son has medical issues and my younger son has autism. It has not been an easy road, but I know that my kids are getting what they need and I am able to help my husband make it through his day. A happy, healthy family is what motivates me to stick with it.

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Dunkey

I can do anything for 15 minutes. So no matter what the task, I set the timer on the stove, and start the task. Next thing you know, I'm into doing the job, or even finished! When I have a bunch of jobs, but get bored, I set the timer for half an hour, or an hour. Then I'll work on the mess in the basement until the timer goes off, then I'll reset it for half an hour and clean the bathrooms, then I'll reset it and go do dishes, or go back to the basement. Next thing you know, there are results! Yeah!

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ryan

the desire to not work forever motivates me to try my best everyday and invest everything I dont absolutely have to spend.

if i get investment income over my expenses, i am out.

that is all the motivation i need.

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ryan

the desire to not work forever motivates me to try my best everyday and invest everything I dont absolutely have to spend.

if i get investment income over my expenses, i am out.

that is all the motivation i need.

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Julie

I remind myself that every day is a gift.  I remember that all of life's challenges are opportunities to grow and learn.  We only get one shot so we must remember it all goes by quickly.  Enjoy each day!

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Kate

I work for a nonprofit so whenever I feel bored or frustrated by my work I remind myself what I'm working for and the pride I have about that gets me energized again. 

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Angela

Nothing motivates me more than the desire to feel free and in control of my own life.  I keep my goals of early retirement and financial independence on my mind at all times.  That helps me work hard when I need to, but it also helps me NOT work hard when it really isn't worth it.  I wrote a post about motivation a couple of months ago on my own blog:

http://hotfrugal.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/dear-motivation-please-dont-leave-me-thank-you/

I also wrote a post today about finding happiness by keeping your "wants" in perspective.  I think it's really important to be motivated by the right things.

http://hotfrugal.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/happiness-part-1-perspective/

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bjs1109

I get really bored making pants, but I tell myself "they aren't going to make themselves. Keep at it for 15 min a day and they *will* get done." Actually I try for an hour a day. Doesn't always happen, what with other things that come up, but a little each day does eventually finish it up. Then I can go on to stuff that's more fun.

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saudade

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

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Buffie

Knowing that at the end of the day I can go home and hug my daughter. Also, realizing that my life outside of my job is very blessed.

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DEE

my 6 year old motivates me to:

earn more

save more

live more (vacation, daytrips,etc.)

 

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Michael

I want to pay off our student loans so I can go back to school for a DDS

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Ashley

I'm a college student right now working part time, and what's inspiring me to keep working right now is the summer.  I'm going to be participating in a rather pricey study abroad program, and I'm determined to pay for it myself and through scholarships.  I keep looking at pictures of Tokyo and reminding myself that this is my goal, that I'm going to get there and I'm going to do it on my own.

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Justin Hollender

I have the drive to provide for my family - that's what keeps me going, even if my job gets annoying. Most people don't like their jobs at some point, but if the feeling lasts for a period of time, I would say take a look around and see what other jobs are available. Maybe it's time for a career shift. It never hurts to re-evaluate your position every so often.

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Janetbass

Keeping the roof over our heads and food in our stomachs motivates me.  Prayer keeps me going when it looks too bad for my efforts to make a difference.

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Emily

The well-being and happiness of my family -- especially our daughter who'll be eight weeks old tomorrow -- motivates me. We want to be financially able to homeschool our daughter and travel all over the world with her.

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Kristy

My family is definitely my motivation. I do a lot of things just so that they stay provided-for. I'd let myself go without sometimes, out of laziness or whatever, but there's no way I could do that to them.

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LRJ~

I have the spirit of Rocky (another Philly guy). Never want to give up or give in. I know that there is nothing I cannot accomplish when I put my mind to it. The joy and satisfaction in knowing I can take on a challenge and come out on top motivate me more than anything else~

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cwaltz

I set small rewards  for wen I meet goals. I might reward myself with a new shirt for staying on budget for the month or a new piece of cookware upon completion of a full declutter and clean in  the kitchen.

Christine

dazed1821@aol.com

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Guest

After failing to get into medical school twice, people ask me how I keep pushing forward? I recently realized the answer. I have trouble perceiving failure. I see the failed attempts as life experiences and opportunities that will ultimately make me a better person and doctor. And with the extra time that I am not slaving in medical school, I am saving money and teaching myself about investments and finance. In the wake of every rough patch, there are hidden opportunities!

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Gina

I get motivated to pay off my debt by listening to Dave Ramsey in my car

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Dennis

Sunshine is a huge motivator to me.  If its nice and sunny out, I'm usually in a good mood to do just about anything.  Having a significant other can do wonders for motivation as well.  You can also visualize the end result.  Having a picture of someone else accomplishing your goal or a graph to track your progress helps when working towards a goal.  When you're lazy but you need to get out of bed and get moving, some hopping music always help you get jump started on your day.  If you're really stuck, try getting sometime of hypnosis tape or mp3 that helps retrain your brain to get in the habit of doing things works too.

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Lisa

When I feel really discouraged and I'm tired or I'm struggling with work and finances I try to make some quiet time for me. I find that when I refocus and take some time for myself I remember how far I've come and why I'm on this path. Quiet time allows me to reflect on the progress and let go of the mistakes.  

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Lauren

Fear of staying in the same place that I'm in now. Whenever I'm feeling particularly lazy or unmotivated, I think of that saying "Insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results." I then tell myself that doing what I'm doing now has kept where I am now. If I want something different, I have to do something different.

That's usually enough to get me to do something, even if it's just coming up with a plan to reach my goals.

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Ernest S.

As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like having control of my life is what motivates and drives me.  Knowing that I go to work and accomplish things (even though they may not be important in the big picture) makes me feel empowered.

If only I could find a job where I feel like I am making an impact on the world -- then I might be motivated AND fulfilled in my career.

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lauragr

Hope is what motivates me- hope for the future, for my kids and myself.

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Norman

A good cup of coffee motivates me every morning.  Love to sit down with a cup and think about the day ahead.

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Guest

I just have to keep on going... I cant just stop, thats just not an option... like Dori says in "Finding Nemo" "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

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KelR1

What often gets me through tough days/projects is caffeine! :) But I also remind myself that if I roll up my sleeves and tackle what needs to be done then I will be DONE. The sooner I finish something the sooner I can relax! I do what I need to do in order to have the life I want for my family and me. Of course I have tired, lazy days when I truly don't feel like accomplishing anything, but if I think of my family and how great it is to feel secure and happy then I power through.

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FLIN

Knowing that in about a year (good lord willin' and the creeks don't rise) I am moving from New York to Florida and will be within 20 minutes of my 2 grandsons...to think about being able to watch them grow and prosper keeps my mind young and my heart strong!

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BRB

My debt motivates me to keep going when I'd rather stay at home!

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DeDe

I am motivated by the sense of accomplishment. I find that a raise (while nice!) without constructive compliments on my work is not motivating. I want to be acknowledged for my accomplishements.

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My inspiration is my Daughter. I am a single Dad and I have my 6 year old Daughters picture on my desk...If I get frustrated I take a deep breath, look at her picture and remind myself why I do what I do.

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Amanda

My friends motivate me. We have a gmail thread that's ongoing (about 12 of us) and there are two or three hundred messages in a day sometimes. I don't read everything everyone says but there are people from all over the world, five different time zones, so every time I need a breather SOMEONE is going to be there. They keep me going. 

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Pwdrskir

I'm in sales and when some people hear that, they cringe. I ask those people if they ever emulate their lives after anyone. They usually tell me it’s someone who has been a helpful person to the world. I think of sales as helping people who might not know how to do something, being helpful. Think of your actions as helpful to someone to motivate you. Also, repeating the following mantra will take a lot of pressure off to help motivate. “No one expects me to be perfect, No one expects me to have the perfect job, No one expects me to have the perfect life.” Seriously, try it for a day, it’s truly liberating.

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LisaLIsa

My family motivates me. I'm motivated by all the troubled children that are the world....they keep me motivated working to make a difference!

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Waterson

What motivates me? What gets me through each day of hard work, full of trials and tribulations? A picture paints a thousand words, right? I'll let the photo do the speaking.

http://twitpic.com/1fufbs

That's what makes each day so damn awesome!

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Guest

I'm always motivated if I am rewarded

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buster

Doing the everyday requires an unusual amount of commitment and drive.  When you do the same job, same routine and same everything it drives you crazy.  You must keep in mind what is important to you to continue.  When you consider your motivation always consider your offspring.  Even if you have no drive for the everyday you must at least do what is necessary for your offspring.  You made the decision for them.  They had no choice.  All that is left is that you give them every tool possible to find their own path in life.

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gravesender

my kids motivate me.

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gravesender

my kids motivate me.

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Lisa

I'm motivated by wanting to do the best I can for my son.  That's not about money,  it's about providing him with the best experiences I can, parenting him as best I can, and looking for work so he can be provided for. 

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Ceci

When discouraged, I like to think of the things in my life that I love, then I ask myself if what I am struggling with is going to get me closer to those things or bring me more happiness.  If the answer is yes, I have all the motivation I need to continue on.  If not, then I need to figure out if I need to be spending my energies on it.  My boring job provides financial security and health insurance for my family, knowing that helps me find ways to tolerate the boredom.

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Lori

My daughter keeps me motivated!

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Susan Lew

My cats are my motivation. They are always there for me and love me unconditionally, and they are totally dependent on me for their needs.  I am motivated to keep my crappy job because the bi-weekly paycheck pays the rent, utiliity bills and buys the organic cat food, and cat litter. 

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Carmen

The fact that my husband is under-employed and we have a baby on the way.