Part of us – the whole
“I’m just not feeling motivated.”
Does that sound familiar? How many times has that refrain come out of your mouth, or echoed in your brain?
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a client, a friend, or MYSELF utter those words, I’d be papering my walls with dollar bills! Or, more likely, I’d have a hefty travel fund at my fingertips.
Sometimes we’re not ‘motivated’ to make new healthy choices with our food even though we desperately want to feel and look better in our bodies. We can feel ‘unmotivated’ to get off the couch and go for a walk or to a dance or yoga class. And, sometimes we wait around for the ‘motivation’ to pick up the phone and call someone we love, or to pick up a paintbrush or other creative tool.
I do find it fascinating that we insist on saying those words to ourselves—even though it’s pretty obvious that it only compounds the problem.
To say it makes it even more true. Basically it’s DE-motivating to affirm that you’re not motivated!
But, of course, there’s a payoff.
It’s a convenient excuse not to do the new, the unknown, or the uncomfortable. It’s a great reason for staying just where we are. For looking at ou
r goals and dreams as far-away things. Treading water and wondering if we’ll ever get there.
We feel like ‘motivation’ is this elusive thing that either shows up or doesn’t. But what if it were possible to actually create our own motivation? What if it’s manufactured right there in our own brain and is always accessible?
I have come to realize this is actually the case.
Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes fall prey to that ‘unmotivated’ energy and realize that I’ve lost an afternoon, I’m now catching myself more often and trying out some new ways to stay on t
rack. I’ll share a few of them with you here.
5 Ways to Amp Up Your Motivation
1. Ask yourself a question.
Instead of falling back on the old refrain and then reaching for the cookies, or procrastinating your afternoon away on Facebook, try asking yourself, What would motivate me? Put your brain to work on searching for solutions. Your brain might despise change, but it LOVES solving puzzles and looking for solutions.
2. Draw from Your Success
Think back to a time when you didn’t really want to do something, but you did it anyway. Maybe it was studying for a test or taking the necessary courses for your degree. Maybe it was accompanying your spouse, partner, or friend somewhere. Can you remember where you found the motivation to go for it?
Lean into THAT energy – it came from you. If you could do it then you can do it now.
3. Take the Long View
Usually, those things we don’t want to DO are the very things that lead us to where we want to BE. Take a moment to tune into your aspiration, your vision of what you want. Why do you want that end game? What will it bring you? How will you feel?
Write it down, or speak it out loud. It’s been proven that people who write down their ‘goals’ are more likely to achieve them. If you don’t like to think of ‘goals’, you can consider them dreams, visions, or aspirations.
4. Think Like a Turtle
Remember that fable about the tortoise and the hare? My natural inclination is to want to be the rabbit. I want to leap ahead and get there NOW! If you can relate to that, I‘ll ask you exactly what I had to ask myself: “How’s that working out for you?”
While it’s true that there are a few things in life that you can achieve with some big leaps, most things take a more patient and steady approach. So, when I’m feeling rabbit-like, I remind myself of the words of the tortoise, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Tough to swallow – but it’s true!
5. Look for Stronger Motivators
I used to motivate myself to get to the gym and exercise because I wanted to keep my weight down and have a toned body. I was a bit of a whip-cracker on myself around the whole thing. But the problem with that is it can backfire. We can rebel against that inner drill sergeant and just quit doing that thing that will bring us what we want.
we have much more motivation to move my body and get exercise because I know it keeps my body stronger and pain-free. I get more energy and feel more flexible. I don’t get sick as much. These are much kinder and healthier motivators …. and I don’t get flack and resistance from my inner rebel when I focus on those reasons instead of how I want to look.
Simply Essential Life,