I wish I was writing this from some higher level place, where I have transcended struggle and have everything “figured out.” But let’s get real here – does anyone truly have it figured out?
This year has been full of struggle for me and many of those around me. Parts of the life I knew before are still there but many things have changed. My weekly routines and schedules are much different and I have more responsibilities than before. I am just now starting to broaden my in-person social network and still don’t feel comfortable doing some of the things I once loved, like going to the gym.
Motivation is a fleeting thing for me and some days I’m just not going to be able to make it happen. But you know what? I pick myself back up the next day and try again.
Before I give you some suggestions, it is important that I validate the difficulty and struggle. I may not know what is going on in your life but I know that we as humans do best when we feel like we are progressing in some way, shape or form. So my challenge for you is not to be perfect at whatever you are trying to accomplish but to take a step (or two) closer to it most days.
Here are the things that have worked best for me:
1) Create a morning routine.
I know many of you aren’t morning people, but I swear by this. How we start our day primes our day. Getting up and doing positive things like meditating, stretching, working out and/or journaling makes me feel great and like I’ve already accomplished something for the day.
2) Do some kind of movement.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, so the best thing we can do to jump start motivation is to move. This can look as simple as a short walk, stretching or if you really aren’t feeling it maybe just bounce up and down for a minute or two. Notice how your body and energy levels feel before and after. Also don’t forget to get up and move throughout the day, especially if you work in an office. My recommendation is once every hour to get up, get some water and stretch.
3) Find someone to help you stay accountable.
This could be a friend, colleague, family member or even an online group. There have been times in my life where hiring a coach or talking with my therapist helped me get where I wanted to be. Paying money also helps me to have better follow through!
4) Be clear on your “why.”
If you don’t have an emotionally appealing “why”, you likely won’t work at your goal. If you want to “be healthy” (and most of us do), you need to figure out why. What will being healthy do for you? How will you feel? What will change? Sometimes negative things motivate us as well, such as getting healthy after finding out you have heart issues. This is where a coach or therapist can help if you get stuck.
5) Be kind to yourself.
Beating yourself up or shaming yourself does nothing. It’s okay to be disappointed or to recognize whatever you tried didn’t work. As cheesy as it sounds, try to look at those failed attempts as learning opportunities. Get curious as to why it didn’t work and try something different next time. I am guilty of trying the same thing over and over again and hoping things will turn out different. Spoiler alert: they don’t.
6) Get curious.
When I want to find motivation or make meaningful progress or change I spend a lot of time learning about it. I listen to YouTube videos, audio books and start to create my own plan using bits and pieces of things that have worked for other people. There is so much FREE knowledge out there, so get curious and open to learning more.
If you are needing more guidance in this area please reach out, you don’t have to figure this out on your own.