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Changing our Minds: Metacognition and Motivation





Do you feel unproductive in the mornings, even though you have a great deal of work to do? Is it hard to laser-focus on what is most important? How does that impact your sense of accomplishment? What about your sense of self-worth?

Metacogniton, or awareness of one's on thinking, is pivotal for a person to be able to modify thinking and behavior patterns. The desire for positive change may be there, but the habituated thinking and doing patterns that pervade everyday life may be very strong, hence, the individual may feel stuck.

Well, perception is stronger than reality. A problem may appear big, especially if you focus on its problematic characteristics in detail. This unproductive focus can derail motivation, desire, and leave one feeling dejected. It can actually stall forward-momentum, and 'arrest' potential talent keeping it locked up in your mind to gather mothballs.

What is worse is that over time, derailed attempts gather steam, much like a runaway train could. This negativity-minded train takes you for a never-ending ride the wrong way. If this is happening to you, or has happened, you must learn to stop the train, or switch trains at the next train station.

Ask yourself:

  1. Am I taking my daily failure personally? 
    1. Did Thomas Edison take failure personally as he failed thousands of times to light a bulb?
  2. Am I the sum of the thoughts in my mind, or the creator of my mindset? 
    1. If I am the creator.... then I can think my way out of my stalled thinking.
  3. Do I have a list of positive sentences that work for me?
  4. What are my top two priorities in work, and top two priorities at home?
  5. Do I make a 'to do list' at the end of the day for the next day? 
  6. Do I make time estimates amount of time spent per task? Am I tracking my time and writing down actual time?
  7. Do I meditate 2x's a day to quiet my mind?
  8. What are my top three life goals?
    1. What are my time estimates for my life goals today?
  9. Am I eating colorful fruits and vegetables daily, or a bunch of processed food? 
    1. Do I eat natural, energy-rich food in the mornings?
    2. Do I eat lots of big meals?
  10. Do I get cardiovascular and muscle exercise at least 4 x's a week?
These questions serve as a rubric, or  starting framework to start you off. There is more to it, of course. For example, how are you bringing in new uplifting thoughts to mind? Just like a muscle, metacognition, an Executive Function skill, needs to be exercised. Becoming self-aware of what moves you forward, and what moves you back is important. Ensuring that you don't turn on yourself and trip yourself up is essential. 

Try acupressure, meditation, self-talk, and diaphragmatic breathing for short-term solutions to 'in the moment' times of mental crisis.

Coach Bill does these, and then some. Many people, including myself, find great solace and strength in relying on our Higher Power, God.  

To generate new thinking and a desire to work laser-focused on our goals we must:

  1. Know our goals
  2. Quiet the mind through meditation
  3. Feed the mind positive nutrition to build it up
  4. Visualize the manifestation of our accomplished goals
  5. and dare i say... pray with an attitude of gratitude ... (Why rely only on your strength and intellect?)

Praying in thanksgiving literally slides me into a great mindset/ attitude.

In conclusion, strengthening metacognition and igniting motivation needs to be part of a holistic overhaul on your life. Self-monitoring how you respond to situations can tell one a lot about their thinking approach. Your brain and stomach both need high energy foods to keep it humming well, and prayer can     slide your mindset quickly into a relaxed, anxious free attitude. Consistent repetition of the 5 tips will recondition how you act and respond.


For more, go to http://www.CoachBill.US
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