Sunday, May 19, 2013

Incentive vs. Internal Motivation {Blogging through the Alphabet}

Last Wednesday morning I knew I needed to finish straightening and cleaning our house because we were having company coming to town this weekend. I ended up being up much of the night before when Lauren had a tummy ache, and I was dragging a little bit. I decided to offer the kids an incentive to help me clean up. I had to go out early that afternoon to an appointment, and I'd be driving right by Sonic on my way home. I told them that I'd pick up slushies if the house was clean before I left.

We did manage to get everything done and I happily stopped by Sonic to place our drink orders.

The next morning, I walked into the house after a run and noticed how pleasant it was to open the door and see a clearn downstairs -- nothing left on the counters that needed to be dealt with, nothing left out on the floors that had to be picked up. Even the kitchen table was still completely cleared off. I smiled when I walked in the door and realized that everything was picked up.

I started thinking about how it takes something special (in this case, company coming) and/or a special incentive in order for me and the kids to put forth the effort to keep the main areas of the house picked up.

On the other hand, I had just come in from a run. I didn't have a slushy waiting for me at the end of my run. I don't run because I want to win a prize. I run because it relieves stress, because I like knowing that I'm doing all I can to stay healthy, and because I like the challenge of seeing whether I can run faster or longer than the day before.

I don't need a tangible incentive when I get up early in the mornings and lace up my running shoes. It's all about the internal motivation I have and the intangible rewards I find from running.

Why is it that I need some sort of incentive when it comes to cleaning my kitchen? Why is it that I choose to spend time on the computer instead of making sure that the twenty-seven random objects in the living room get put away?

I'd like to take the internal motivation I have when it comes to running and apply it to my duties as a wife, mom, and homeschooling teacher.

If anyone has any magic housecleaning motivation to spare, you can send it my way. In the meantime, I'll continue to wonder why I find so much satisfaction in waking up early to run four miles up and down hills but still can't find the motivation to put away the random stuff scattered around my living room.

I is for both Incentives and Internal Motivation. Therefore, I'm linking this post to others that are on the letter I in our Blogging Through the Alphabet series. It's still not too late to join us on this round -- jump in anytime!

Blogging Through the Alphabet

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1 comment:

  1. Great post. I to have internal motivation for some things and not for others. I to like a clean home but haven't been putting in the daily time it takes. I had a clean home for almost a day because we had company and now there are dishes and pots everywhere. I need to take care of some of it... tomorrow. I think we all have tasks we don't like to do. I have not found a solution yet.

    I also wanted to pop in to tell you I am hosting Goal Planning Mondays for a while. I hope you will join us. This week's post can be found here...
    I hope you can join us this week... or next... or soon. I miss seeing your GPM posts and links. God Bless.



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