Keeping motivated

Stars and Dark

Stars and Dark

Well-known member
May 11, 2013
California, USA
I have a hard time staying motivated or feeling like anything I'm doing is making a difference. I can feel that I'm getting better and then a short conversation with someone will pull a trigger I thought I had conquered and I will feel like I have made no progress at all. I can see I'm still struggling with Black-and-White All-or-Nothing.

When I was in treatment years ago, the staff had us fill out forms called GRAPES. Each letter stood for a certain thing to make sure we focused on it every day. I found the repetition helpful. At the end of the day when I would do my journal I would realize if there was something I'd forgotten, and I would take care of it.

Mindfulness is core in DBT and DBT is core in BPD therapies. I have been practicing a lot of meditation and focusing techniques and I've come up with my own daily acronym journal I thought i might share. Like I said, a lot of my stuff is based heavily on meditation and the practice of emotion control. It's MINDFULNESS

New idea
Defenses down
Free mind
Unique approach
Set a goal
Sensory play

I basically jot down a thing or two in each category every day. Sometimes it's hard to think of something, but I have to to see things getting better.

Here's a more intricate detailing of what each letter means if you feel this might be helpful to you.

Memory. Happy memories activate and stimulate parts of the brain that make more positive feelings and outcomes possible. Thinking of a happy memory every day will make this journey more pleasant. It may actually combat a flow of negative emotion.

Insight. Seeing things more clearly. Whether this means accepting another point of view or seeing a deeper meaning to something must depend on the day and what is most vital to create a balance within.

New idea. A concept or idea about the world, existence, importance, or anything. Just something that is new or new to me. Something eye-opening is a new idea.

Defenses down. Either willing my defense mechanisms not to interfere or acknowledging and giving myself credit for having them down due to prior work on limiting their presence in my life. The defenses that are meant to be taken down are the ones that impede my personal growth or the ability to understand or accept another person or difficult situation.

Free mind. Letting go of clutter in my head and allowing time for feeling feelings without judging myself or the feelings/thoughts. Meditation or mindful presence is a good forum to allow for freeing my mind.

Unique approach. Find a new and/or unexpected way to solve a problem or understand something. Focus the approach on anything that seems to stick out or feels uncomfortable. Striking a new balance by finding a new way to go about a solution will be beneficial no matter the outcome of the experiment.

Luxury. Do one thing to splurge. Something simple or grand within the available and expendable resources to just feel good or spoiled by myself. Something seemingly luxurious but not over the top. Me time or something to help feel connected to self where positive vibes flow is the goal. (ATTENTION - this doesn't mean self-medicating or acting on impulses or engaging in reckless behaviors. This means take a walk, read a book, take a bath, light some candles, watch a movie, treat yourself to a small item you would like to have *AND CAN AFFORD*, etc. This is in no way meant to engage the user in behaviors they are trying to curb. No cheating on your rules or anything like that. Just saying...)

Exercise. It is important to be active and use the muscles of the body, not just the mind. Exercise helps the feelings of happiness, accomplishment, and a positive self-image. Furthermore, it is a positive time-consuming thing to do for the days that feel long or un-fulfilling.

Set a goal. The goal does not need to be large or life-changing. It may be something long-term or short-term. Make a goal to start or complete a task, make plans, or set a goal to come back to something if it seems to be frustrating. Having goals and completing them will help give life a more purpose-driven feeling. Fulfillment and feeling positive are rewards to look forward to in this concept.

Sensory play. (i know this has other meanings but here it means engaging all the senses) One of my favorite Mindfulness practices included using and focusing on each sense to create a very broadening experience. Do something daily in which each of the senses has a job and focus on the senses individually and as a whole.


Well-known member
Jun 25, 2013
This post is very helpful to others too, I have emailed myself this post :)
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
J Borderline Personality Disorder Forum 1

Similar threads