It’s difficult to stay motivated especially when you are dealing with personal issues such as grief, depression, anxiety etc. Throughout the month of March, I felt lost within myself. I caught myself searching for reasons to do things I would normally do with ease. For instance I felt myself adding pressure and self-critique to all my actions, constantly reminding myself that my life is not as long as I think it is, so I must seize every moment. You may not be dealing with the same circumstances as me, but I know you’ve dealt with feeling unmotivated because we all have.
We’ve all been there completely unmotivated, questioning why you even attempted to do something, day dreaming of lying in your bed or your next vacation. We can’t only take action when inspiration hits. Motivation is elusive. Sometimes you feel it and you’re achieving your goals with ease. Other days, you’re hitting the snooze button ten times and fighting the urge to call out sick from work.
Here are my 5 tips to help you find your fire again:
1. Determine Your Bigger Purpose
Have clear reasons for why you’re achieving a particular task. Without a purpose, your effort will fall short quickly. When you do things that matter to you personally they become meaningful tasks, rather than annoying to-dos. If you find yourself working on a task and you don’t remember why you’re doing it, chances are it shouldn’t be one of your priorities. Remind yourself that hard work is a part of crafting yourself into who you want to be. Reflect on the impact that your work as on others. Refer to your brag book whenever you feel doubtful. Keep screenshots of nice things people say about you and your work as a booster when you’re feeling unmotivated.
2. Narrow Down Your Tasks
It’s better to work on your top goals for 20 minutes a day than to work on them once a month. Consistency and repetition leads to developing highly effective habits. Beyoncé was not built in a day. It takes years of repetition, consistency, and persistence to reach your maximum potential. So, trust in the process. Don’t let the journey wear you out. You don’t have to wake up at 5am everyday to be a high achiever. Maximize your productivity in the allotted time that you give yourself by setting deadlines for your specific goals.
Don’t just set deadlines for business tasks; schedule your personal time as well. Schedule your dinner with friends and gym time like you would a business meeting. This may sound excessive however, it is a game changer. If you begin with a small task and continuously complete the next small task, you’ll realize that you’ve become closer to conquering your large goals over time.
3. Reward Yourself
It can be challenging to stay motivated and on top of things if there’s no reward in sight. Many people await big promotions and major news before they feel like they can celebrate. Celebrate the small wins and give yourself something to look forward too. When you find the motivation to not give up and you push yourself to persist, celebrate that advancement. If you do well in a presentation or you complete a difficult workout, celebrate by going out with loved ones or watching one of your favorite TV shows.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes
Failure is a massive part of becoming successful. Practice is controlled failure. When I don’t know how to complete a task, my initial reaction is to pause, and then self-doubt thoughts immediately flow into my head. I combat this feeling by just doing it. Even if the first draft is horrendous, I go ahead and get my thoughts out and worry about revising later. Embrace getting the task done rather than getting it done perfectly. Getting things wrong is part of everyone’s process. Many of us spend way to much time revising and second guessing our work instead of finishing it and moving on. That’s why there are many dreamers and not nearly as many high achievers. Enjoy the process of solving your biggest challenges. Use that confidence to fuel your next task.
5. Change Your Environment
It can be difficult to do great things when you’re not in a positive environment. Make your work environment inspiring. Be deliberate about what’s on your desktop background, what surrounds your desk/workspace, the energy of the people you’re around. Be mindful of what videos/music you’re listening to. Make a playlist of YouTube videos and music that inspire you and listen to that when you’re feeling unmotivated. If you’ve been sitting in one spot to long, take a walk, chat with a coworker or friend. Find a new place to sit so you can accelerate your focus. Your environment should jump start your momentum.
Take it one day at a time. Wake up with the intention to make yourself proud everyday!