When You Don't Feel Motivated

productivity Feb 02, 2022

We've all been there. 

You just finished a fun goal setting session and you feel super motivated and excited.  You're on cloud nine.  It's going to be amazing!  

And then *poof* cloud nine disappears, life happens, and within a couple days, the slog sets in.  

You know the SLOG.

It's when your excuses and justifications have materialized into 20 lb ankle weights and it feels SO... HEAVY... TO MOVE.  

The slog is super intense when your alarm goes off in the morning and it's dark and cold outside, "Ugh! just 15 more minutes!"

It's more subtle when your best friend from college calls and you were about ready to get started making a healthy dinner, but you'd rather talk to her instead, "It's okay. Cereal's fine!"

Before you know it, you've forgotten all about your big plans... 

Maybe you're just not a motivated person, you tell yourself.  

Yes! You and the rest of humanity!  

The key to goal-getting is to get yourself to do things you don't want to do even when - and especially when - you feel unmotivated. 

Here's how: 

1. Stop waiting.

If I waited around until I felt motivated to do anything, I'd hardly get anything done. Like... nothing. 

I promise you, there's nothing wrong with you!  You didn't miss out on getting your fair share of motivation genes. (Which actually aren't a thing. I checked.)

Here's the magic: you can DECIDE you're going to get going anyway. 

I do this by reminding myself, "You can do hard things!" and "You'll feel so good when you're done."  All true.  

This shifts my energy to feel more determined and resolved which is a far cry from the slog. 

It's usually enough to give me a little kick-in-the-pants-oomf to get me going.

2. Create a mantra.

Mantras are just thoughts you repeat to yourself to get you pumped up or a quick reminder for how you want to show up in your life. 

This is NOT about repeating some meaningless phrase over and over.  

The key for a mantra to really work is it must generate some emotional momentum. Check in: How does your mantra make you feel?  

Emotions lead to actions so make sure you pick something that creates a *spark.* 

It can be as simple as, "Get it!" (I say this with a little snarky accent. Try it. It's fun.) 

Others you can try on for size are: 

  • You've totally got this! 
  • I'm doing this for ME! 
  • THIS is important to me.
  • Just make the next right move. 

If you feel discouraged or defeated as you repeat these in your head, you want to drop it like a hot potato. It's not going to get you going anywhere. 

Try on mantras until you find the right fit. Something that's fun, catchy, and gets your rear in gear.

3. Take action. 

Just get moving!

Sometimes we need a bit of a runway to get started.  

If I don't want to make dinner, I just focus on getting the veggies prepped.  Then it's so much easier to throw together a soup.

If I'm dragging myself to the gym, I just tell myself to put my clothes and shoes on.  Then I tell myself to fill up my water bottle.  And find my headphones, gym card, and phone... Baby steps.  And the next thing I know I'm on my way. 

Once you get moving, it's much easier to keep going! 

If you sit there, think about it, and wonder if you should hit the gym today, it's so much easier to talk yourself out of it.  

Focus on baby steps and just get going! 

4. Focus on a tiny win. 

I was coaching someone the other day who said, "I feel out of control with everything. I'm not doing anything well!!"

After we talked for a minute she said, "okay, maybe I'm not out-of-control with everything..." 

But it seems like everything is falling apart if that's what we're telling ourselves - our brain just goes to work to prove that thought true over and over. 

Don't let piles of paper or laundry mean that you're failing as a human.

We are always on a continuum of change and progress. You don't need to do things perfectly to hit your goal. You just need to keep doing more of what is working and less of what is not. 

Focus on your tiny wins.  

They're there, I promise.  

I hope that helps you to light your fire this week. 

Get it!  :-)

Janeen 

 

 

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