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When you put action first, motivation follows…

I don’t know about you but I’m really feeling a little stressed, overwhelmed and generally a little tired right now.  I don’t know if it’s because of starting school a week early this year, Thanksgiving being a bit late, having some generally challenging students, trying to get my footing after coming back from maternity leave or a combination of all of it.  

So I’m not feeling great, but I’ve been here before and I’m trying to remain optimistic that “this too shall pass” but I’ve got to be honest that it’s hard.  

I’m definitely a believer in things crossing my path that I need to hear them and this week I was reading a section from the book Finding Peace in a Frantic World and I read something I needed to hear, and thought maybe you needed to hear it too.


“When motivation is low, motivation follows action, 
rather than the other way around. When you put 
the action first, motivation follows.”

Mark Williams

So what I heard when I read this is that when I’m feeling crappy (like right now) I can’t wait for motivation to strike, I’ve got to move into action.  If I move into action FIRST, motivation can follow. In times of stress, waiting for motivation to compel me into action is not going to move me from where I am, to where I want to be.  

What I heard is that I’ve go to “act as if…” and as I’m acting, motivation may begin to creep into whatever I’m doing.

Now before we take that as a cue (myself included) to just keep doing, doing, doing there was (thankfully) some further direction that I want to share.

When you know you are feeling low and know something needs to change in that moment or longer term, pause momentarily and ask yourself these questions BEFORE proceeding…

  1. What do I need for myself right now?
  2. How can I best take care of myself right now?

Really try to listen to what your body and mind are telling you.  When we really begin to slow down, we start to discover that when we begin to listen, our bodies are often shouting to us what it needs.

The next three weeks I will share with you some skillful ways you can take when proceeding with meeting your needs in case your not sure how to meet the needs your body is crying out for, but first we need to learn how to listen just a bit.

This Week’s Action:

Take a few minutes for yourself and journal between 5-10 minutes about the following questions:

What do I need for myself right now?

How can I best take care of myself right now?


Keep the writing somewhere close and we will work on steps to take to make your needs a reality!

So I wish you the best as you head into your week!   If you’re already on board with creating your own daily school self-care routine, check out Teaching Well’s FREE COURSE 4 Self-Care Solutions in Five Minutes a Day.

And if you haven’t yet, join us over at We are Teaching Well for community, inspiration, motivation and meditation.

Some spots have opened up in Teaching Well’s Teacher Wellness Program.  Schedule a free discovery call here (https://calendly.com/dnuhfer/30min). If you’re ready to reduce stress and burnout and increase your health and well being so that you can be the best both inside and outside of your classroom, this program is for you!


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Danielle Nuhfer
danielle@teachingwell.life

Here are a few titles I go by...teacher, student, gardener, runner, nature-lover, writer and meditator. I care deeply about my own journey to wellness and want to inspire others to walk this path. Inspiring others to discover the value of mindfulness, positive psychology and other holistic health practices is my life's work.

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