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  • Writer's pictureLoralyn Mears, PhD

Motivation Monday: practice makes perfect

This post was originally published on April 1, 2019 at:

Do you slog through your Monday mornings?

If you lament the end of the weekend and dread returning to the office, you may need our Motivation Monday quick tips. GritDaily offers an avenue to connect with others like you. We’re here to help get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Motivation Monday!


Said no one, actually. Although today is April Fool’s Day so I was half-tempted to go there and make this whole column one of opposites. Then I thought about it and my inner voice said, “This is a column intended to motivate people. It’s motivation Monday for goodness sakes. Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Everything we’ve done since we were infants has required learning, trial, error, and even failure. We didn’t walk the first time we tried. Odds are that you learned how to bike with training wheels. But you didn’t really figure it out until those baby wheels came off and you went head-first into a ditch.

Right, Tara? Inside joke.


Whatever it is that you are seeking to improve, it’s likely going to require practice. It may be your golf game, your personal best running time, or just being punctual for meetings for a whole week. No matter what you’re aiming to do, these tips will help. Monday Motivation is all you need to get you back at it. Then you need to practice until you’ve nailed it.

#1 – Identify The One Victory You Want to Achieve

Keep it simple. What’s the win that you’re seeking? Identify that one victory and visualize yourself achieving it. Whatever that number is that you’ve hit a plateau at, imagine how you are going to feel when you crack it. Hold onto that feeling to motivate you through every practice.

#2 – Give Yourself Self-Compassion and Self-Love 

No need for a daily pity party as that’s overly self-indulgent, but be kind to yourself. If you can honestly say that you gave 101% to your practice and you still didn’t crack the elusive goal, it’s okay.

Tell yourself you gave it your all and that tomorrow is a new day.

#3 – Never, Ever, Ever Give Up

Goals are not easy to achieve. If they were, we’d be a society of gabillionaires with nothing to aim for, nothing to practice to improve it and we’d all be twiddling our thumbs on our yachts wondering what to do.

But that’s not how it works. Everything is harder and will take longer than we think it will.

That said, people have achieved great and even unimaginable things once they’ve gone all in with their hearts, minds, and souls. You can, too!


Have you heard of Tanitoluwa Adewumi? My guess is that you probably have not. He’s an 8-yr old Nigerian refugee who has lived in and out of homeless shelters in New York City. He recently went from “zero-to-hero” at the New York State Scholastic Championships tournament by defeating every kid within his age group at chess. This boy has a clear vision:

“I want to be the youngest grand-master.”

Now if that’s not Monday motivation, I don’t know what is! This is the era of college cheating scandals and we need some better stories. Most of us have already grown tired of hearing about how the 0.01% are buying hollow wins that are without merit. So, this story is the one that will give you all the feels.

Tanitoluwa and his family fled Nigeria in 2017 to escape religious persecution. Since arriving in the US, the family has struggled. The P.S. 116 public school chess coach, Shawn Martinez, observed Tanitoluwa making some remarkable chess moves despite only learning the game a few weeks before.

The coach encouraged him to join the traveling chess club. However, membership and travel fees were more than Tanitoluwa’s family could handle. So, the fees were waived, thus giving him a chance to practice with the best and learn how to excel at the game.

Everyone is rallying for the boy. The entire school celebrates his victories. His father encourages him to play chess daily on a computer. Tanitoluwa’s mother takes him to free 3-hour chess practice sessions in Harlem every week. As they say, practice makes perfect. This homeless refugee has now won seven major competitions and is ranked as one of the best players in the country. Checkmate!

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