The simple model to overcome a lack of motivation



Executive coach Terez Rijkenberg is an MBA graduate, author, speaker, and facilitator who blends productivity and mindset strategies to give busy executives simple ways to overcome procrastination and self-doubt. Terez is passionate about helping people achieve more success without all the stress so that they can create the ultimate life-work balance.

The whole world is currently in crisis mode. And whether you're in a full lockdown or volunteered self-isolation or even one of the brave health professionals giving your all to save lives, we are all affected by what's happening right now in some way.

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The reality is that things have changed pretty much overnight.

And like so many other people right now, you may be feeling anxious, fearful, uncertain about the future, and de-motivated. Am I right?

One of the biggest causes of those feelings is this:

Yes – resistance to what IS. We haven’t allowed ourselves to accept what is actually happening. We haven’t allowed ourselves to notice that these circumstances are beyond our control!

When we resist reality, we essentially fight against it or blame it for our feelings, or our lack of action. 

And what happens next?

Well – when we’re fighting something outside of our control or blaming it, we can never win. And at the same time, we disempower ourselves.

You’ve given your power over to something that cannot be controlled. 

But here’s the good news, there’s a simple 5-step model that you can use to change your feelings right now:


This first step is to become aware – of the current reality as well as of your thoughts and feelings. I am sure by now you are fully aware of Covid-19 and what it means in the short term. There may still be uncertainty around what this means for the future in your location, but for now, just being aware of what you do know is a great first step.

It’s also important to become aware of how you are feeling. The only way you can deal with negative feelings is to identify the feeling and become aware of it. It doesn’t serve you to suppress emotions – what you resist, persists!


This step focusses on overcoming the resistance we spoke about above. It’s time to accept this current reality. And accept the fact that it is outside of your control. You can only control your thoughts and actions.

This step is also about giving yourself a bit of compassion. The reality may mean that you don’t have as much time each day to spend on work because of your new role as home-school teacher to children or added chores. Accept the reality of the time that’s available to you right now, and be kind to yourself if you can only focus on the most important things (I am 99% certain, there are probably only three things on your long list of things to do that are vitally important.


Here you will need to decide what you will do with the time and resources that are available to you right now. Make a decision. I know this can sometimes be tough because we fear making the wrong decision. But guess what, if you don’t make a decision you will be in a worse position than if you make a decision. So just make a decision about what you will do.

One of the best decisions you can make right now is to decide how you will schedule your time during the day to focus on what you need to get done. Just deciding in advance what you will do each day will help you feel more in control.


Then do. Follow your schedule, do the chores, home-school with passion, exercise for 5 mins, do what you can each day. Do what you have decided in step 3. And if you find yourself procrastinating about doing something specific, then just do it for 1 minute. We can all handle just 1 minute of anything!

Once you start taking action, you’ll start to find your rhythm again. You’ll start to feel more motivated and more in control.


When you get the end of each day, I’d like you to celebrate yourself. Celebrate yourself for what you have achieved. Celebrate the big and the little actions you take. Feel proud of yourself for making your bed, for brushing your hair, for doing some yoga, for reading your book, for encouraging your kids to entertain themselves for 5 minutes (ok – even 1 minute!). Just celebrate yourself for moving forward every day. Progress, no matter how small, is still progress

And there you have it. Remember those 5 steps when you lack motivation or when you’re feeling sad or anxious.

I’d love to hear from you if this has worked to process your thoughts and get some of your energy back? Comment below with your thoughts or questions. x

Your coach,


Want to know more about how this can apply to YOU?

Why not sign up for a FREE 30-min consultation with me. We will explore your goals, the obstacles that are currently getting in the way and how you can overcome them. It's easy once you have a strategy.

Want to know more about how this can apply to YOU?

Why not sign up for a FREE 30-min consultation with me. We will explore your goals, the obstacles that are currently getting in the way and how you can overcome them. It's easy once you have a strategy.


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