There are many contributing factors to why you might be feeling less motivated and suffering from more negative thoughts than usual. It could be as simple as bad weather or a weird-feeling week, or as complex as hectic life stress. Whatever the cause, it’s important to nip it in the bud ASAP so you don’t fall into a rut you might struggle to get out of.
Choose to wake up
You see, I’m a sleeper: when stuff starts to go wrong, or I don’t feel like I can get shit done, I find myself just sleeping, which in the long run can definitely make you feel worse. It doesn’t matter if friends want to catch up to make me feel better, or even that I know that something like getting my nails done or walking the dog will make me feel better - I just sleep.
I know now that sleeping isn’t the answer because when I wake up the problems are still there and my motivation and inspiration to do anything is even more depleted. So, I tried something new. I pushed through the lack of motivation, went out into the world and prepared to spend time doing things that made me feel good.
Increasing motivation is a mental battle. It’s your head telling you “do you really need to do this?”, “are you sure this is what you want to do?”. You need to take a power pose, start some deep breathing and let that voice know that yes, this is exactly what you need to do and yes, it’s exactly what you want to do.
Whenever I start to lose motivation I remind myself that I am healthy, loved by friends and family, and live an amazing life. I remind myself that shutting off the world doesn’t serve anybody (especially myself) and I seek out things to inspire me. It could be as simple as a poem from one of my favourite poets or a pep talk from a friend or it could come from a YouTube video I’ve watched. Focus on anything that boosts your motivation for a while until you have your get-up-and-go back.
Set measurable goals
I like to set measurable goals and reward myself when I hit those goals. So if I say, “OK, this week I will train on five days” and I get it done (even when it means a 5.30am start), I am allowed to buy myself some new sneakers. This will make me work harder, further enticing me to go to the gym. No one expects you to run a marathon (though the rewards are great, two birds with one stone and all that...). But seriously, working toward goals with rewards is the perfect way to help motivate you when you are feeling less than motivated. Eventually, this will help you to work towards a larger goal.
My final piece of advice is to get your mindset right. If your head isn’t in the right space it becomes hard to get back to your positive, motivated self. So focus on pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and doing as much as you can in the day, you will find the more you do and get done the more motivated you will feel day by day.
Motivation will come and go and that’s just part of life. It’s OK to chill on the weekends because you’ve had a massive week at work and it’s OK to say no to those birthday drinks because you spent too much money the weekend before: that’s not about being demotivated, that’s about being smart. Motivation comes down to those bigger ticket items in day-to-day life where you have to prepare mentally to get it done. An you know what: you can do whatever you put your mind to, so get motivated and stay motivated!
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