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Some great ways to create motivation

November 16, 2009

Motivation through Challenges
Individuals are motivated when they are working towards personally meaningful goals. Attainment of those goals must require activity that is increasingly difficult, but attainable. In other words, people like to be challenged, but they must feel their goals are achievable to stay motivated. This can be accomplished by:

  • Establishing goals that are personally meaningful
  • Making those goals possible
  • Providing feedback on performance
  • Aligning goals with the individual’s self esteem

Motivation through Curiosity
In this concept of self motivation we are talking about providing something in the individual’s environment that arouses their curiosity. This can be accomplished by presenting the individual with something that connects their present knowledge or skills with a more desirable level – if the person were to engage in a certain activity. So to motivate someone through curiosity, the environment must stimulate their interest to learn more.

Motivation through Control
Most people like to feel they are in control of their destiny. They want to feel in control of what happens to them. To stay motivated, individuals must understand the cause and effect relationship between an action they will take and the result. To motivate individuals through the use of control you can:

  • Make the cause and effect relationship clear by establishing a goal and its reward.
  • Allow individuals to believe that the work they do does make a difference.
  • Allow individuals to choose what they want to learn and how to go about learning it.

Motivation through Fantasy
Another intrinsic motivating factor comes via fantasy. That is individuals can use mental images of things and / or situations that are not actually present to motivate themselves. You can foster motivation through fantasy by helping individuals imagine themselves in situations that are motivating.

For example, if you know that someone is highly motivated by the thought of being in control, then you can talk to them about a future point in time when they might be in charge of a large and important business operation.

Motivation through Competition
Individuals can also be motivated by competition. That’s because we gain a certain amount of satisfaction by comparing our performance to that of others. This type of competition can occur naturally as well as artificially.
When using competition to foster motivation, keep in mind the following:

  • Competition is more motivating to some than others
  • Losing in a competition de-motivates more than winning motivates
  • Competitive spirits can sometimes reduce the likelihood of being helpful to competitors

Motivation through Cooperation
Cooperating with others or the feeling that you can help others is very motivating. Most individuals feel quite satisfied by helping others achieve their goals. As was the case with competition, motivation through cooperation can occur naturally or artificially.
When attempting to use cooperating to motivate, keep in mind:

  • Cooperation is more important to some individuals than others
  • Cooperation is a valuable skill that can be used in many different situations
  • Interpersonal skills are important for cooperation

Motivation through Recognition
Finally, individuals are motivated through recognition. When their accomplishments are recognized by others, then they feel motivated. You need to make sure that recognition is distinguished from competition. With recognition you do not compare their achievements to those of others as you might with a competition.

Extrinsic or External Motivation
As previously mentioned, extrinsic or external motivation is the term used to describe external factors that stimulate our internal motivation. The concept of externally motivating someone is not at odds with the fact that motivation comes from within. The point here is that it is possible to provide others with situations or an external environment that is motivating.

Perhaps the most useful lesson for the leader then becomes how to motivate employees that report directly or indirectly to the leader. If you understand the intrinsic motivational factors previously described, then a game plan can be developed to foster motivation among employees.

Employee Motivation
Some of the most effective ways for managers and leaders to motivate their staff includes recognition, providing positive performance feedback and by challenging employees to learn new things. Many new managers make the mistake of introducing de-motivating factors into the workplace such as punishment for mistakes or frequent criticisms.

When followers feel they are being supported and they have the ability to remain in control of their workplace they stay motivated. Leaders can foster this feeling by allowing employees to take on added responsibility and accountability for making decisions.

But the important thing to keep in mind is that motivation is individual and the degree of motivation achieved through one single strategy will not be the most effective way to motivate all employees. The most effective way to determine what motivates others is through carefully planned trial and error.

Top 10 Tips to Become a Great Goalsetter

November 13, 2009

1: Be Specific
This strength is particularly relevant when setting “Smart” goals because some of your projects will require detailed planning. The more specific you can be on the next step or action required, the more likely you are to take that step and get closer to the goal.
2: Be Tenacious
“Never giving up” may or may not be a wise thing to do. Rather than banging your head against the wall, tenacity can be effectively displayed by looking for another way around, over or under that wall.
3: Be Results Driven
Many people take this for granted but sell themselves very short by settling for limited results. Challenge yourself to be looking for results as a form of positive feedback. This is a world away from the stereo-typical ‘Type-A’ Maniac.
4: Be Enthusiastic
From the root meaning of the word, the “theos” within, this is one of the most important inner strengths to draw on. It is a wonderful thing to feel the power of enthusiasm at work on a desired change or goal.
5: Be Noble
Perhaps this translates best as civility or politeness. Being noble will also do wonders for your stress levels!
6: Be Grateful
You can exercise this strength by simply being grateful for your family and friends, for the opportunities that come your way and for the breath that keeps coming.
7: Be Trusting
It is possible to trust the best intentions of yourself and others without being gullible or naive. By looking for and expecting the best of yourself and others, you may also learn to trust your intuition when something doesn’t seem quite right.
8: Be Happy
This refers to the predominant feeling you wish to experience while achieving this goal. It is an ongoing and an inner experience from a place within. See strength number 4 for a useful ally!
9: Be Serious
“You cannot be serious!”; as the tennis player John McEnroe used to bawl on the tennis courts of the world. Oh, but I am! You can become serious when you need to apply focus and attention, yet also remain discreetly happy within.
10: Be Curious
A strength many of us let lapse from early adulthood. More’s the pity because a curiosity for what you are capable of in the world helps sustain most of the other 9 strengths – just as oxygen fuels a fire.

What should you eat for depression?

November 13, 2009

A recent report in the Archives of General Psychiatry has shown that eating a traditional Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a lower risk of developing depression.  The key to a Mediterranean diet is to focus on eating vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, wholegrains and legumes.  The diet is low in meat and dairy products, and with only moderate alcohol intake.  The low intake of meat and dairy and high intake of olive oil, nuts and fish means the diet is low in saturated fat but high in beneficial mono and poly unsaturated fats.  Last year I lived in Cyprus where I was hosting detox retreats and nutrition consultations at a leading hotel.  My personal experience and observations of clients certainly confirms that following a Mediterranean diet can make you feel fantastic (… and the Mediterranean sun helps too!).

Other important steps to help lift your mood include eating a good breakfast, getting enough quality protein and avoiding short lived stimulates such as sugar, caffeine and refined foods.

Find out more about how diet and nutrition can help relieve depression, or contact us to book an appointment at one of our London nutrition clinics.

Julia Alderman

Nutrition help for IBS

November 12, 2009

One of the most common complaints clients come to see a nutritionist with is IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  It seems to be one of those terms that get used when no other explanation can be easily found for continued problems with constipation, diarrhoea, cramping and other unpleasant digestive symptoms.  If you’ve walked out of your GP surgery with the words ‘I think it’s IBS’ ringing in your ears, this will all be very familiar to you.

As the name implies, IBS is a syndrome, in other words a collection of symptoms.  However, knowing your symptoms will not necessarily offer answers as to how to alleviate them.  Many put up with IBS symptoms simply because of lack of awareness of different options available to treat them.  As it’s not the most glamorous subject to bring up and won’t really lift the tone of any dinner party conversation, many don’t even realise that something can be done to restore their digestive health.

Food intolerances often get mentioned in the same sentence with IBS, and many people end up on unnecessarily restrictive diets in an attempt to improve their digestive health.  Often, all this ends up achieving is lot of frustration with having only few ‘safe’ foods to eat without providing a real long-term solution to the problem.

The culprit is often elsewhere, usually either in the form of imbalanced bacterial colonies in your digestive tract, or some unwanted visitors such as parasites.  A comprehensive stool test can help to uncover these, and there are many ways to treat these issues through focused supplementation.

If you are suffering from IBS, here are my top tips for easing the symptoms:

  1. Refined wheat is usually the biggest problem, followed by cow’s milk.  Cut these two from your diet for two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
  2. Any type of flour tends to slow down the bowel in sensitive individuals, so for the first seven days avoid all foods containing flour.
  3. Instead eat more brown rice, potatoes, fish, lean poultry, fruit and vegetables.
  4. Citrus fruits can also cause problems.  Instead, opt for berries and bananas, both of which have been found useful for easing symptoms.
  5. Peppermint, fennel, camomile and rosemary teas can all enhance digestion and ease discomfort.

If you think you could benefit from some further help, do get in touch with me.

Personal Discipline

November 11, 2009



The price of excellence is discipline.
The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.

  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
  • We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
  • All disciplines affect each other. Mistakenly the man says, “This is the only area where I let down.” Not true. Every let down affects the rest. Not to think so is naive.
  • Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure.
  • Discipline has within it the potential for creating future miracles.
  • The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong.
  • One discipline always leads to another discipline.
  • Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.
  • You don’t have to change that much for it to make a great deal of difference. A few simple disciplines can have a major impact on how your life works out in the next 90 days, let alone in the next 12 months or the next 3 years.
  • The least lack of discipline starts to erode our self-esteem.

Go here for more information about Ian Dickson

The Art of Active Listening

November 9, 2009

Active Listening


Hearing and listening are not the same thing. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound. It is involuntary and simply refers to the reception of aural stimuli. Listening is a selective activity which involves the reception and the interpretation of aural stimuli. It involves decoding the sound into meaning.Listening is divided into two main categories: passive and active. Passive listening is little more that hearing. It occurs when the receiver or the message has little motivation to listen carefully, such as music, story telling, television, or being polite.

People speak at 100 to 175 words per minute, but they can listen intelligently at 600 to 800 words per minute (WPM). Since only a part of our mind is paying attention, it is easy to go into mind drift – thinking about other things while listening to someone. The cure for this is active listening – which involves listening with a purpose.

It may be to gain information, obtain directions, understand others, solve problems, share interest, see how another person feels, show support, etc. It requires that the listener attends to the words and the feelings of the sender for understanding.

It actually takes the same amount or more energy than speaking. It requires the receiver to hear the various messages, understand the meaning, and then verify the meaning by offering feedback. The following are a few traits of active listeners:

  • Spends more time listening than talking.
  • Do not finish the sentence of others.
  • Do not answer questions with questions.
  • Are aware of biases. We all have them…we need to control them.
  • Never daydreams or become preoccupied with their own thoughts when others talk.
  • Lets the other speaker talk. Does not dominate the conversation.
  • Plans responses after the other person has finished speaking…NOT while they are speaking.
  • Provides feedback, but does not interrupt incessantly.
  • Analyzes by looking at all the relevant factors and asking open-ended questions. Walks the person through your analysis (summarize).
  • Keeps the conversation on what the speaker says…NOT on what interests them.
  • Takes brief notes. This forces them to concentrate on what is being said.

Go here for more information about Ian Dickson

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