Create #52: Structures: When You Just Can’t Get Motivated

1. Announcements/Offers

What are they Saying about ‘Explode Your Practice’?
“I have already listened to at least 6 hours and my ability to open my practice has been accelerated by at least 3-6 months. Hearing David’s real life advice to coaches has made a huge difference for me. This will take months off my learning curve. I won’t have to go through the frustrating trial and error process which costs time, money and clients! Thank you, David!”Jeannie Crowell Oregon, USA jcrowell @

Get your ‘Explode Your Practice’ CD set at:

New York Event: Day of Marketing
I’ll be speaking at this event at Columbia University. It’s Friday, May 16, from 8 am to 6:30 pm, and Saturday, May 17, from 8 am to 12:30 pm.

If you can make it to NYC you’ll hear my speech that people paid up to $2000 to hear last year, plus we can say hello.

My topic? ‘The Four Freedoms: How to do what you love and get paid for it’ For more detail on what I’m covering see that pretty much lays it out. Check it out and kindly post on if you decided to register ;-)

Register Here

2. FEATURE: Structures – When You Just Can’t Get Motivated

For three months I’ve barely touched work. In fact I’ve found it hard to leave the house much of the time. And for some people (including me the past few months), lack of motivation can be just the surface. I’ve recently experienced anxiety and depression, and now a break up. (Yes, yes, all part of the spiritual journey. And – it can all be a bit inconvenient when there are bills to pay, and results you want to produce!)

You may be in a similar place. You may just be feeling unmotivated and wanting some oomph in your life. Or you may be doing well, and want to fly higher.

This article is for you.

I’m feeling motivated and excited right now. And I figure if I can do it coming from the space I’ve been in, then anyone can do it.

I’ll keep it to two simple steps:

Step 1) What do you need for yourself?

Take a look at what’s missing for YOU. What are you not giving yourself? What could you add to your life that would fill YOU up? Is it a soothing bath each day? A massage? Doing a good deed? Nurturing touch from a friend? More (or less) time with your partner? Exercise? Or to see an exciting football game.For me, it’s setting up a lot of company/social interaction. It’s being around inspirational people who are making things happen. It’s exercise and moving my body. It’s music, good food, and chai tea ;-) It’s doing the inner work. And it’s keeping busy so I’m not navel gazing too much on my own in my apartment with my thoughts.

What is it for you? I invite you to make a list right now of things that you might really enjoy; that would fill you up; that would have you feel nurtured and happier.

Step 2) Put the structures in place to have this in your life

Given I don’t feel like leaving the house right now, and I’m often not in the mood to set up something supportive, setting up structure in advance can often be the key.

What kind of structure would support you moving forward with your goals? And giving you what you need to soar higher?

For business goals do you need a goal buddy? A coach? More social interaction or fun? Accountability? Inspiration?

For more personal goals do you need more fun? More nurturing? To be in action each day? A goal buddy? A coach or therapist? A filled in calendar?

As you read through the list of structures I’ve created (am creating) for myself, see what comes to you as something that would serve you:

  • joining a men’s group
  • scheduling time with friends including sleep-overs
  • registering for volunteer work
  • exercising almost every day (e.g. rollerblading in central park, squash, 5 Rhythms/Sweat Your Prayers, Bikram yoga)
  • setting up a buddy for a regular 8:30am call to do withholds (you get 15 minutes each to talk uninterrupted and blurt out the rubbish in your head; or you could do the Morning Pages)
  • setting up appointments to work from a café with friends, instead from my home office.
  • hiring an awesome coach to help me do The Work
  • massage twice a week



1) Go to the blog right now and post the top three things that would fill you up; that would have you feel nurtured and happier and possibly more motivated.

2) After that list, post the STRUCTURES you will put in place in the next 7 days to make sure these things happen without you having to keep creating them all the time; they just happen. (Hint: a regular schedule helps, as does committing with a buddy or coach).

* * * *


P.S. Got a comment on this article? Add it to the blog. I’d love to hear what gifts you’re going to give yourself, and the structures you’ll put in place to ensure they happen.

3. The Personal Touch

As you may already know from the above article, things have been pretty rough. And – out of the ashes rises blah blah blah. I’ve learned a lot about what I want/need in relationship and what serves me. I’ve set boundaries for myself, even when it was very difficult to do so. I’ve set up strong structures in my life to take care of myself. And I’m exploring who I am – and how my thoughts work (yes, it’s pretty trippy – highly recommend ).

Fortunately – the last 3-4 weeks have been a major turn around. I’m excited about business again, and getting stuck into things. My purpose is becoming clearer, and I’m feeling connected with it: Helping people share their gift with the world, and to get paid for it. And ultimately – to help people be free in all aspects of their life. And I’m intrigued by this thing called ‘service’ – it’s popping up in a lot of different areas. I’m absolutely thrilled to have been voted into the , and I feel it’s calling me to play a bigger game.

I’ll probably do quite a bit of speaking this year and next, and spoke last week to a class at Columbia University which was great. Time soon to get back to the book and ensure the message gets out to the world.

I’m having a few tentative dates, and enjoying my wonderful friends. Also exploring my vision to live with other people after a long time being solo. Life is good!

Lots of love,

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13 Responses to “Create #52: Structures: When You Just Can’t Get Motivated”

  1. nudgeme Says:

    Hi David

    I thought you’d been quieter over the past months and then have noticed you’ve been emailing again recently. I was sorry to read of your relationship break up and also that you’d been a bit down. I just wanted to say that I love the fact you shoot from the him and share honestly how you’re feeling and just say it how it is when life feels tough. It’s very motivational and refreshing – especially as so many other coaches who coach coaches are always so blimmin’ up-beat! Nothing wrong with that of course, it’s just that it can be a tad irritating at times. Anyway, your post just made me want to be in touch and say thanks for all the insights you share and for this latest ‘nudge’ to get people moving on what’s important to them and how to look after themselves more.

    Any plans to speak in the UK in the near future? Would love to join you if you are.

    All the best for now

    Tam at nudgeme

  2. TheJoyfulVoyager Says:

    Music. One structure I use is I play music that fits my de-motivated mood, then play something in between the mood I was in and the mood I want to be in – and then play something that reflects the mood I really want to be in! Marching music first thing in the morning is a great stimulator!

  3. Andrea Williams Says:

    These are the three absolutes in my days (okay when the days roll out as I intend, and that’s pretty often!):

    (1) A four-mile loop walk in the woods with my dogs; it gives us all exercise and almost always becomes my walking meditation. I come home refreshed and clear on my purpose or alive with new ideas.

    (2) Read a chapter or listen to a CD segment of something inspirational; it can be an expert I am trying to model, or an approach to overcoming internal obstacles or enhancing my capacity to envision what I most want in my life. A couple of days each week, I check in with my master mind pals for the equivalent dose of inspiration.

    (3) I go for the easy feel good. This is either time spent with my husband cooking or watching favorite Netflix or otherwise engaged (wink), a quick check-in via phone or email with a close friend, and/or charging up or soothing myself with favorite music.

    These are my always to count on “feel forward” structures.

    Thanks for asking, David.

  4. Chuckmon Says:

    Your raw honesty is refreshing. You seem like a really cool guy.

    On my list I would have to put:
    1. Listen or read to something really inspirational
    2. Get a massage
    3. Have a real, raw, authentic conversation with a friend about where I am in life


  5. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Dave,

    I am not a life coach, but I am a marketing consultant working to promote a great new coach in my town. He is coaching me and – believe it or not – I am sort of coaching him. We each have accountable action items for each other. We set up a collaborative workspace on Microsoft Groove so we can schedule stuff and keep each other honest.

    He has coached me into seeing that my life is a bit unbalanced – and that there are little things I can do to make me feel lots better. Exercising (cheap!), making a list and getting things done, and racking up rewards as a result.

    I am thinking about coming up to New York on May 16th. My dau goes to Columbia so it might be a good belated mother day activity.

    Hope to meet you then!


  6. Becky Henry Says:

    I love that you are sharing this navel gazing moment with us as we all go through it. I just did some downer navel gazing about a week ago for a few days and it was a huge drag. And, being the blimmin’ up beat coach it becomes quite a burden to figure out how to not go insane when I am rolling about in my own muck. I am sorry to hear of your breakup and I am happy for you too that you get to create a better relationship with someone who is a much better match. I did learn that it is so important to let yourself have that time to just do as you say: take care of thyself. I do it via daily exercise, healthy food, lots of tea, walks with girlfriends and letting my hubby know I need a little extra TLC. I’m learning to ask for what I need, not always so easy for those of us who are used to giving assistance to others. Also, allowing myself a couple of days of to do the self care my body and soul needs. I always enjoy your stories and do greatly appreciate you sharing your humanmess. (not a typo). NYC in the springtime, I hope you are enjoying it!
    Becky Henry

  7. Em-poweringU Says:

    Hello everyone

    I just wanted to say thanks.

    Having read David’s email and all your comments so far, I have realised that I’m not the only coach who experiences ‘humanmess’. (For me it’s my business – getting the direction I want it to go in right and then getting it there has proved and is proving to be a lot tougher than I thought).

    …and that’s a really helpful realisation! (There is always that part of me telling me that as a coach I ‘should’(!) be able to sort everything out and that all other coaches lives and businesses are perfect).

    So thanks again.

    Em-powering U

  8. The Dream Catcher Says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for being so authentic and open .I thoguht too that you were stranglely quiet these last months, and I suspected you were going inside. The work is fantastic isn t it? Good luck with your inner journey, and keep in mind what Buddha said:
    ‘It is better to travel well than to arrive”.
    Best wishes,

  9. thomasmangum Says:

    You are so cool. Every time you step up the game by being more authentic, real and just a cool dude. I’m honored to share the space with you David. I’m happy to be of service. Simply call on me.

  10. 'Nike Says:

    Hi David,
    I was not aware that you had been quiet because it has been rather difficult for me to get to all my e-mails lately and I just assumed that I was not keeping up or deleted your emails by mistake. I hope you can’rock through’ how you feel as time does heal. You need to do what it takes to move forward. I’d like to show gratitude for the past few years that I have benefited so much from your guidance how you have motivated me…and once again given me a window when being motivated has been real tough. Thank You! Keep on lifting us up David!!!!!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I had a marriage breakup some years ago and even though I got married again recently my wife has been stuck 4.5 thousand miles away because of visa issues. I find the times when I am left alone by myself to get on with it are when the issues that really need working on really pop up because you can’t avoid yourself for ever. well, maybe you can but I can’t!

    There’s some old saying about the night being most difficult before the dawn and I have started to notice a pattern that when I feel MOST rubbish, worthless etc etc then I’m actually ripe for a breakthrough. It took me several years to turn myself around after my marriage breakup but I’ve come out the other side somewhat stronger and wiser. I hope the same will be said for you. We’re with you in spirit support if not in presence – and thank goodness you’re actually talking about it. Strong silent types end up with stomach hernias and police shootouts. Not funny. If you believe in God, pray as well. He is always listening whether you feel like it or not.

  12. Loni Anderson Says:

    I can’t tell you how true this exercise rang for me. I read the material “The Work” and went through it for a recent betrayal I experienced and found insight. But I also realized I’d actually done this when my marriage ended 12 years ago. We just maturely looked at what we were doing to each other and lovingly decided to move on. We are still friends though admit we push each others buttons if held in proximity for too long together (hey still work there no doubt) But it is such a freeing feeling and a release to be HONEST with one’s self and with those you love (why not be honest with everyone? Keeps positive vibes flowing) There is a saying in Chinese Medicine, “Where the mind goes the Qi (life) flows” Healing is a process, keep the flow.

    Be well,

    Loni Anderson Doctor Oriental Medicine

  13. Iris Benrubi Says:

    Hi David:

    First I want to begin to acknowledge you. Thanx to you I worked with Donna Steinhorn for 3 months and she was outstanding. Secondly, I want to acknowledge you for your honesty. When I first heard that you had ‘shut down’ due to anxiety I was taken aback. I thought this was too much to disclose, that you had to put forward an image to your readers and that this wasn’t it.

    However, I have to say that in my work as a coach and a therapist, the biggest connectors to my clients have been when I have shared my trials and tribulations. It makes us real. It means that if we are able to get through the sludge, then they too have a chance to get through their ‘stuff’. Thank you for being a role model and giving us permission to be real!

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