Ahhh motivation…. See the funny thing about it is that at some point we ALL need motivation and there isn’t a single person on this earth that is motivated all day every day (or I have yet to meet them!). Motivation can be defined as ‘enthusiasm for doing something’. If it is something you are really passionate about you will find it a lot easier to motivate yourself, but even within that there will be times you are just not feeling it! A good example for me is exercise as I absolutely love training and keeping fit, but some days I just really can’t be arsed.
Now you may fall into two camps on days where motivation evades you. Camp A are the people who say to themselves ‘oh well, these things happen, I will just try again tomorrow’, they acknowledge they are having an ‘off’ day and are able to let it go. Then you have Camp B…. now you guys are with me… we are the kind of people that feel like we should wake up every single day motivated and that if we don’t, we are the laziest arseholes on earth and don’t deserve happiness. Sounds dramatic? These are genuine thoughts I know people have (including myself) daily.
Now I wanted to write about motivation because I see it being banded around everywhere during lockdown. I also see and hear people beating themselves up about not being motivated at the moment, or feeling like they should be doing and achieving more. Therefore, I think it is important to firstly address the thoughts, feelings and mindset you may be having and then secondly find ways to help!
So let’s address some key points first:
1: IT IS OK TO NOT BE MOTIVATED EVERY DAY! During this lockdown I have had days, weeks even months lacking motivation so believe me you are not alone with that feeling. Problem is we spend so much time scrawling through social media with lots of people posting stories about how motivated THEY are and how we could be achieving X,Y & Z and we are all sitting there like yeah alright mate. Therefore, MY advice if you are feeling this way is to first of all just acknowledge it and be at peace with the feeling. Embrace it, have a laugh at yourself, take a moment to breathe and reset your thought pattern. I do this a lot… especially when even Netflix asks me if I am still there because I have watched it for so long, its like me cue to say oh yeah, I need to get off my arse and do something now! My second piece advice on this is to unfollow or remove people on your socials who make you feel you are not doing enough. Believe me you don’t need them.
2: UNDERSTAND WHAT TYPE OF MOTIVATION DRIVES YOU. It goes without saying that the more we understand ourselves the more likely we are to be successful, so work out what really motivates you… is it perhaps competition, social recognition, money, praise? Or more internal achievements such as solving a problem or learning something new. Naturally this will differ based on our goals, but I do believe we have a tendency to veer towards certain types of motivation and its good to get an understanding of what really floats our boats.
3. WHEN WE DON’T HAVE MOTIVATION, WE STILL HAVE COMMITEMENT. Big one for me this! If you have committed to doing something you are more likely to get it done even if your motivation is at 1% … why? Because you’ve made an agreement with yourself that you will do something… without the caveat of if you can be bothered. This doesn’t have to be massive (especially at the moment!) but a commitment to achieving something every day can have a huge impact. For me this works in the form of a to do list… because the perfectionist in me HATES not ticking something off, I am far more likely to do it if I have written it down. An example I have taken this year is that I will do yoga 6 days a week. Every single morning it’s the first thing I put on my to do list. The days when I am feeling ‘meh’ I just roll out the mat and do 30minutes (just so I can tick it off)… by the time I get going I’m like “oh yeah, I do love this actually let’s do some more” and there I have created my own motivation.
Which leads me perfectly onto ways I believe you can boost your motivation:
- What can you commit to doing? If you have a goal, you’re looking to achieve what small things each day can you do to work towards this. Once you have planned this out WRITE IT DOWN or TELL SOMEONE you are going to do it. That way you are ACCOUNTABLE. When we have accountability, we are far more likely to complete a task.
- Ask yourself WHY? If you find you are constantly unmotivated with something specifically ask yourself why is that? What is the limiting factor stopping you? My example would be my flute. I really want to get better at playing the flute and reading music and yet every time I put it on a to do list, I always seem to leave it until last… why? Because I am not naturally good at it and I would prefer to make myself feel great by doing something I know I am good at rather than actually taking the time to focus on it. However, the sense of achievement I get when I see improvements on this is ten-fold and links back to what motivation drives me.
- Remember the feeling. When you are motivated and smash everything you set out to achieve in a day, week, month remember that feeling! We all know how good it feels to get stuff done, so on those days when it just isn’t there we have to step back and remember those feelings. This can be a huge help in just taking a small step, perhaps ticking one thing off your list or completing one task… chances are you find some momentum and wind in your sails once you get going.
- CHOOSE to do something rather than NEED or HAVE to. By using the latter words, we back ourselves into a corner and without knowing probably internalise some inner resentment and resistance in getting the task done. I am sure we can all think of a million examples where people have told us we have to do something or we say to ourselves I NEED to get that done…. Which makes us bitter and resentful right? Think about the language you use during the day. It can make a big difference.
So always remember to celebrate the little wins, understand the losses and most importantly don’t beat yourself up every day over it! Motivation comes and motivation goes …. “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn how to surf”
As always I genuinely hope this helps!
Lots of Love