I don't know about you, but I have been feeling extremely unmotivated these last few months. I attribute much of my lack of motivation to the global pandemic. There have been many disappointments, road blocks, and major changes in our work lives, personal lives, and so on. Someone once described to me that we have all been in a flight-or-fight mode for the last 14 months. That's a long time to feel worried and on edge...and, those feelings are exhausting! I can only imagine how it feels to be a nurse, doctor, grocery store employee, professional cleaners, a teacher, a parent, and anyone other essential worker! It has been an experience that none of us will ever forget. I know I cannot be the only one feeling low energy, unmotivated, or perhaps, uninspired? There have been more cloudy days than sunshine. But, I have recently made my way back into motivation and inspiration mode. I know what it feels like to not feel inspired. If you're feeling unmotivated and are looking for some guidance, a pick-me-up, or some ideas on where you can start - then stick around and let's dive in!
1. BE AWARE OF YOUR INTERNAL DIALOGUE
It's important to be aware of your internal dialogue. Is it mostly positive? or, mostly negative? If you haven't already - forgive yourself for getting off track. Your motivation will be more consistent if you focus on how far you have come versus looking ahead at how far you still need to go. Take it one day at a time. Rest when you need to. Celebrate your small wins. And, remember to give yourself grace. Embrace your imperfections and resilience. Don't let your sense of perfectionism debilitate you from reaching your goals and dreams.
2. START SMALL & SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS
Ease into it - start small. When we feel motivated to begin again; whether that be working out again, working on your business, starting anything new, or tackling a big project - you don't want to bite off more than you can chew. Start small so that you don't overwhelm yourself. A great step to work towards your goals is to create S.M.A.R.T. goals. Which means, you want your goals to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. And, manage your expectations.
3. REVIEW YOUR 'WHY'
Why did you originally start your habit, project, business, or goal? Or, why do you want to start it now? Be very specific. It helps to be clear on why you're doing what you're doing. In my case, I revisited why I wanted to be self-employed and why I wanted to provide professional organizing services. When you identify why it will provide a clearer purpose and ultimately ripple into all of the inspiration that you need.
4. BE TRUE TO YOUR WORD
When you say you're going to do something, especially for yourself - do it! Be true to your word. By following through on what you say you're going to do you ultimately will build trust with yourself. If you say, "this afternoon I am going to work on my business for at least 2 hours." Or, "After work, I am going to go jogging for 30 minutes." And, you do not do it, then anytime you say you're going to set a goal it is likely that deep down you feel that you won't do it. So, changes things up. Hold yourself accountable. Build trust within yourself.
5. MAKE IT VISUAL
Sometimes we need to see it to believe it or be inspired. Make your goals accessible and visual. Use a habit tracker to keep track of your progress or set out your work-out clothes ahead of time. Use visual reminders to keep you motivated and prepared to tackle your goals. Declutter and organize your space. A clutter space will only contribute to the chaos or unmotivated feelings. Start your days with intention. Write a daily gratitude list. Make a collage or vision board. Write down your goals on sticky notes and post them on your fridge or mirror. Remind yourself that YOU CAN reach your goals.
6. IDENTIFY WHERE YOU FELL OFF TRACK
If you can pinpoint a specific time or situation where you began to lack motivation then that is valuable. What's the root cause of this feeling? Has this happened before? Does someone in your life contribute to this negative feeling? What's on your plate right now? Focus on the feeling you felt during this time. Identify certain factors or people (including yourself) that could be contributing to your unmotivating feelings. Likely, this is not your first road block - you have overcome challenges in your past. And, you will overcome this too.
7. CATEGORIZE, ORGANIZE, AND PRIORITIZE
The key to reaching any goals is sort things out, get organized, and prioritize. You may have many different types of goals or habits that you want to develop. These steps apply to organizing your home, building your business, and reaching any goal or developing any habit. Clean your house and organize your surroundings. You will naturally feel motivated to be more productive and active. You will be making life simpler and easier to manage. Once you have organized your home, you may feel motivated to get organized in other areas of your life and tackle tasks you’ve neglected. Start small and take it one step at a time!
8. MAKE THE BORING TASKS FUN
Do you dread folding laundry, filing your documents, washing dishes, or any other basic adult tasks? Well, we all have to do this because it contributes to the structure in your days. Try putting on your favorite Spotify playlist, an interesting podcast, or your favorite TV show. Give yourself a gold star. Hold yourself accountable because by maintaining your goals or household needs you are practicing self-care. If it isn't too distracting call a friend while you work on certain tasks, if you live with someone then divide up the tasks, do what you need to do to check off your to-do list!
9. MAKE A LIST OF PEOPLE OR THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU
When I am feeling very unmotivated I have learned that writing down a list of everything or everyone who inspires me works. It is a wonderful and personal reminder of what I need to surround myself with. As Marie Kondo says, "Does this spark joy?" Maybe someone in your family, one of your friends, art, a quote, or music - engage with these things or people! Optimism can be infectious. The more we identify what we are grateful for - the more we have to be grateful for.
10. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK FOR HELP
If after everything does not work out - ask for help. It may be difficult for you to ask for help, but it is the best thing you can do for yourself. We would not shame someone we love for asking for help or reaching out to certain resources. So, allow yourself the opportunity to be supported. This can look life finding an accountability partner, a counselor/therapist, a life coach, a business coach, a professional organizer (Hello, there!), or an assistant. There are so many excellent service providers out there eagerly waiting to help you reach your goals. And, if you're hesitant, many people offer a complimentary consultation. So, don't knock it until you try it!
We all experience cloudy days. We have all felt uninspired or unmotivated at some point. It is more complicated than simply labeling your situation as "I'm lazy". Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling and how long you have been feeling this way. You may be surprised by how they have felt similarly. Remember, everything is temporary. Your sunny day is on the other side of your cloudy day. And, if the clouds persist, figure out a way to make your own sunshine.