Motivation & Personal Growth Q&A: Get Motivated and Stay There

January 1, 1996

From time to time, Today's REALTOR® will ask an expert in the field of personal growth to answer questions on topics of interest to real estate professionals. This month we asked Florida trainer Arlene Alpert about ways of getting and keeping motivated.

Q. It's easy to get excited about your work after attending a good training seminar. But how do you stay motivated after the class is over?

The days of traditional training are just about over. Today a new method that emphasizes self-direction is taking hold. This method borrows techniques from psychology to improve learning and make it stay with us longer.

After identifying their personal growth needs, real estate professionals should look for self-directional training that offers

  • Participant interactive learning instead of straight lecture
  • Learning over time by replacing the daylong seminar with three hours a week over a 12-week period
  • Homework assignments that get turned in, critiqued, and worked over with the instructor for practice in areas that need improvement
  • Reinforcement with additional training three, six, and 12 months later

Q. What's the easiest way to pump up your motivation level when you're tired?

The primary reason for low morale, fatigue, or lack of motivation is stress. Here are some stress reduction exercises that can be done in one minute:

  • Diaphragmatic breathing to in-crease oxygen intake and energy--Inhale through your nose to the count of two, hold for the count of two, and exhale to the count of four, letting out a sigh.
  • Meditation to lower anxiety--Close your eyes and see an empty screen, see a word written on it, and focus on the word for 60 seconds.
  • Visualizing a peaceful scene in nature--Close your eyes and see the ocean with the waves rolling in; repeat for 60 seconds.
  • Power walking in place--March in place for one minute.
  • Affirmations--Start a positive sentence with the word I, such as "I can do it."

To increase the effectiveness of these exercises, rotate them during the day and do one every hour.

Q. What's your favorite technique for reviving your motivation when you're having a tough day?

A rough day can occur when we feel helpless and not in control. My favorite and most helpful tool is problem solving.

I developed a problem-solving technique that's particularly powerful because it engages both the left and the right sides of the brain to solve the problem.

Write down what you think the problem is. Then write down a sentence on each of the following: your thoughts, your emotions, your body tension, what you need, and what small action you can take to make a change.

Alpert is president of the Jupiter Counseling & Training Institute, Jupiter, Fla. She's a licensed psychotherapist, a business adviser, and a national trainer who has worked with real estate professionals since 1979. She has two real estate courses approved for continuing education and is the author of a book, Moving Without Madness: A Guide to Handling the Stresses and Emotions of Moving (Gemini, June 1997). You can reach Alpert at

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