Well it’s January 16th and I am wondering if I am the only person who is looking for all that motivation I had a couple of weeks ago. It hit me like a brick wall this weekend which is probably why I spent a lot of my weekend watching Season 1 of Downton Abbey (I can now see why so many people are hooked on this show). I have hit this motivation wall before and over the years have used various techniques to get over it, so I thought I would share them here with you.
Revisit Your WHY
Whenever I lose my motivation for something I always start by going back and revisiting my WHY. Your WHY is always the most important reason why you decided to do something in the first place. So for example, if you want to lose weight and you are finding it hard to stay motivated, go back and ask yourself, “Why is this so important to me?” or “What is my main reason for doing this?” If your WHY doesn’t motivate you to get back on track then you probably haven’t found your real reason. Dig a little deeper, be honest, let yourself be vulnerable, and that is where your WHY will be found.
Work Through It
Sometimes I just need to work through the feeling of lethargy by doing the task anyway and eventually my motivation returns. In part because I get a lot of satisfaction from “working through the pain” so to speak and because I think when I force myself to do something even though I really don’t feel like it, I begin to remember all my reasons for doing it and see all the benefits that come from completing it. This is the technique I use when I need to find the motivation to clean my house….
Seek Out What Inspires You
There are certain people, places, and things that really inspire me, so whenever I am feeling unmotivated, I try and turn to those things that I find truly inspirational and they help me find my motivation again. So for example, if you are struggling to find the motivation to clean out and organize your basement, try taking or finding pictures of an organized basement and revisit them when you are struggling. Planning a speech for work and can’t find your motivation to get it written or practiced? Take some time to watch or listen to speeches of those people you admire and respect to help re-energize and motivate you.
Whenever I am struggling with motivation, I always look to see if I am struggling with issues of margin. In his book, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, Richard Swenson defines margin as “the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.”
In many cases of my life when I have struggled with motivation I can often trace my lack of motivation back to being overwhelmed and exhausted and work to restore margin by reevaluating my priorities, taking out time for myself, or taking a break from the demands of life with a few episodes of Downton Abbey.
So, what strategies do you use to re-energize and motivate yourself after losing your way?