Motivation and Inspiration Articles

A Surprising Way to Quiet Your Inner Critic

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

The Many Factors That Trigger DepressionSelf-criticism has many faces. It might be a subtle push toward producing better work, or it might be an aggressive or abusive assertion that you’re wrong, bad or seriously flawed, said Ali Miller, MFT, a therapist in private practice in Berkeley and San Francisco, Calif., who specializes in helping adults live more authentic, empowered and connected lives.

Self-critical thoughts have two things in common, she said: They’re very painful, and they’re founded on the belief that you’re not good enough.

They may sound like: “I’ll never amount to anything,” “I’m so lazy,” “I always ruin relationships,” “I’m a lousy cook/mom/dad/friend/worker/person.”

Learn to Bring Light into the New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

remembering-simpler-times-sandy-candle

‘Tis the season for drinking too much eggnog, eating too much, and pulling out old family hangover cures.

We’ve just moved past the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the sun cycle, which happened within hours of the New Moon, the darkest moment of the moon cycle. We are in a season of darkness upon darkness, and it will take some time to start seeing more natural light again.

As human animals, light is an important aspect of our nourishment, like food and breath. I think part of the reason we have so many holiday parties during this time of year is to try to bring some light, even if it’s in the form of tea candles and colourful martinis, to a dark time.

30 Prompts to Reflect on In the New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The Power of the Written WordIn 2014 I shared 60 prompts we can respond to in order to get to know ourselves. (See here and here.)

Here’s another list of 30 prompts to help you delve deeper, take kinder care of yourself and connect to the core that is you. Prompts include everything from reflecting on 2014 to exploring your favorites to lessons you’ve learned about yourself.

Making a New Year’s Resolution? Consider These 5 Tips

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

new-years-resolution-listForty-four percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and I know I always do. Now that I’m obsessed with habits, I’m more inclined to make resolutions than ever, in fact. If my happiness and habits research has convinced me of anything, it has convinced me that resolutions — made right — can make a huge difference in boosting happiness.

So how do you resolve well? This is trickier than it sounds. Here are some tips for making your resolutions as effective as possible.

Adding Power to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Five Ways Autumn Boosts Our SpiritsI’ve lost interest in New Year’s resolutions. I’ve long since lost the “rah-rah-rah” energy for deciding something, trying to be a new kind of me, with better results in the world out there — thinner, kinder, richer, organized, highly successful, time for everyone and never missing a yoga class.

And yet, it seems New Year’s resolutions haven’t finished with me yet. Driving along, following the river one afternoon, I was musing on the word “intention.” In-tend. Tend-in.

Resolutions: Letting Go of Shoulds this New Year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Letting Go of Shoulds This New YearAround this time of year, you’ll inevitably see articles about how so many of us fail to follow through on our resolutions. Within a few months or even weeks, we drop whatever intentions we originally had.

I think a big reason why we fail to stick to our resolutions is because they’re really “shoulds” — as in I should be more efficient at work. I should exercise more. I should be more focused on my goals. I should be more organized. I should eat differently. I should look differently.

“Shoulds” don’t speak to our deep desires. Rather, they’re steeped in shame.

A Creative Way to Usher in the New Year

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

A Creative Way to Usher in the New Year Many people have stopped setting New Year’s resolutions. That’s because traditional resolutions can feel tedious, punitive, uninspiring and overwhelming. Instead, many individuals have started selecting one word to encapsulate the upcoming year.

“The power in claiming a word for the year is that it allows you to claim who you wish to be in the world rather than grounding your worth and well-being in what you do,” said Rosie Molinary, author of the book Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.

How Couples Can Set Intentions for the New Year

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

How Couples Can Set Intentions for the New YearSetting intentions as a couple is a boon to your relationship. “Having shared projects, shared goals and shared meaning increases [closeness],” said Kathy Nickerson, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships in Orange County, Calif.

It’s also “an opportunity to examine what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong in the previous year,” said Susan B. Saint-Rossy, MSW, LCSW, a psychotherapist who works with couples in Loudoun County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

The key is to set positive, concrete goals — elements that many couples unwittingly neglect.

My Passionate Plea at the United Nations to End Stigma through Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Kathryn Goetzke at the United Nations

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak on a panel at the United Nations on behalf of myself, my organization iFred, and a group I am working with called FundaMentalSDG. I’d recently been working with Lisa Nichols and Sandra Yancey on speaking my truth, and decided it was time to tell my story. My whole story.

It is my hope that in doing so, people are inspired to get treatment for their own mental health issues so they can go on to lead productive and fulfilling lives, and also that companies start funding programs so that more have access to treatment.

The Power of Maybe

Friday, December 26th, 2014

The Power of MaybeMany of us view uncertainty as the enemy. It makes us uncomfortable and fearful — especially if our expectations have painted only one picture. That is, we dread uncertainty when we’ve convinced ourselves that only one result will do. Only one thing will make us happy or feel fulfilled. Only one thing, one path will lead to our dream life.

This one thing may be a relationship, a home, a business venture, a big move. Or, as in Allison Carmen’s case, a specific law school.

Questions for Writing Down Your Soul

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Questions for Writing Down Your SoulIn the last few months I’ve been sharing lists of prompts to help us discover ourselves and our needs, because self-reflection is key for taking compassionate care of ourselves and crafting a meaningful life. (Here’s one list of 30 prompts; and the second list.)

As Margaret Atwood wrote in her poem “Spelling,” “A word after a word after a word is power.” The more words we write about ourselves, the more we explore and discover, and the more good information we have to make conscious, nourishing decisions — and ultimately the more we use our voice, which deserves to speak and be heard.

Tips for Finding Motivation When You’re Depressed

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Tips for Finding Motivation When You're DepressedTelling a depressed person to get motivated is like telling a rock to dance. You’ll get the same result.

It’s not because depressed people don’t want to get motivated. It’s because getting motivated is an overwhelming task when you’re depressed. Is motivation impossible? Definitely not. You just have to find a process that works for you.

Recent Comments
  • Chet Bush: Thank you Professor Betsy Hoza for your ‘much needed Study on the ‘impotence of...
  • Lucy: Hi Shawna – you really need to get away from your father. You also need to realise that nothing he says...
  • kazchaz: This is helpful, very much so and it would be great to hear from you again, with updates on your progress,...
  • sambo: I really need some help im so depressed and anxious I cant work or leave the house im on antidepressants and...
  • Concerned: My father was a narcissist. He basically ruined my mother’s life and she ended up dying young of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12688
Join Us Now!