There is a heatwave in Ireland. And when I say heatwave, I mean the last time it was over 30 degrees was in 1887. Irish people and us, adapted immigrants, are not used to this kind of sunshine. When I moved to Ireland I learnt real quick that living in the North West means you see a lot of rain, wind and grey sky. You learn to appreciate those few days in the summer when the sky is blue, the grass is green and sun is shining. If you are lucky enough to be off that day, you drop all your chores, grab a towel and go to the beach. Or you chill in the back garden watching kids melt on the trampoline while you enjoy a cup of coffee with the neighbor. You light barbecues and have a few beers with friends, not noticing that your cat is chewing your bbq ribs under the table. You do everything to take most out of that sunshine. And that’s great, that we have learnt to appreciate and use what we get to it’s full potential. But, what happens with the “normal” routine? Usually, nothing. Because that summer only lasts three to four days at a time tops. But not this year… oh, noooo… not this year. This year we are having weeks and weeks of proper good hot weather… Unreal, I know! But it’s hard to keep your routine going and get things done. It’s OK if the house doesn’t get cleaned for a few days while the sun is shining, but how about two weeks???
What I am trying to say is that people get a bit too lazy with all the sun shining on them and it’s totally normal, but if you know that you need to get things done it might be hard to find motivation after you took it real slow for a few days.
In my case, I am talking about getting enough exercise and going to the gym after work. I have skipped a few days in order to enjoy some vitamin D and enjoy just sitting in the back garden with a cup of coffee in my shorts and T-shirt. It just feels so nice, feels like holidays. But I got a bit lazy and now, when I know it’s time to hit back into the routine my head starts working against me, trying to find excuses for skipping another day. And this is all because I am losing my motivation.
Motivation is like a fire, you need to keep feeding it with wood in order for it to keep burning.
So, that made me thinking… How do you stay motivated? Or how do you get your motivation back once it starts slipping away?
Think about the outcome/benefits/reward/the end result. Try to imagine what it’s going to be like once you are finished with whatever it is you have no motivation for. Try to visualize it. In my case, I have no motivation to go to the gym after work, but I think about the goal that I am working towards. I see myself in the shop trying on clothes that look nice on me, because I finally lost weight. And celebrate small wins. So, after finishing my workout I’ll consider it a small win, my personal success. Overcoming that laziness. Appreciate it and feel proud… Remember that feeling. It might make it easier next time when you feel unmotivated again.
It’s hard to be motivated by bigger result all the time. It seems miles away and you have to be patient, so it is natural that somewhere along the way you are going to lose motivation and hit the low. To make sure it doesn’t happen, break your journey into small journeys. Make small goals on the way to your big goal. This way you will feel that you are winning more often, and if for some reason you fail, it won’t seem as big and scary. Remember to just take one step at a time.
Be patient. Patient and consistent. Every good result takes time. If you get it into your head that you are making progress, but it is going to take time, if you just have a bit of faith, it will help stay motivated. And I know it might sound crazy, but sometimes I have conversations with my inner self, giving a bit of pep-talk and putting some sense into that impatient childish self. Good results, things that we want to achieve are all worth waiting for, so be patient. Rome wasn’t built overnight. Even God needed a week to create the world, so don’t even try to compete with that.
Make a plan on how do you want to achieve your goal and create habits that will help you achieve it. That way you won’t even need to stay motivated all the time, because you will have habits that will automatically move you forward towards your dream. As I said before, key is in consistency, and when you say consistency, what you really mean is: habit. It’s a habit of getting up earlier, habit of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, habit of going to the gym straight after work, habit of putting your dirty clothes into that laundry basket straight away. Every small thing, every small habit counts.
Get out of your comfort zone. I know, I know…. It is so much more stress free to stay in your own little bubble and your own little routine. You are way to comfortable. But the truth is, when you get too comfortable, you are getting lazy. And laziness kills motivation. So if you want to stay motivated you need to get out and grab every opportunity that comes your way. The first time is going to be hard, maybe, even scary, but once you feel the wind under your wings it’s not only gonna be so much easier, but also enjoyable. The moment you get that momentum going, it gets easy. And remember:
You will never be ready, so do it NOW!
Stop looking for excuses. Humans are created such way, that no matter what, there head will always try to find reasons why you shouldn’t do something. Our head can be our worst enemy sometimes. Your head can kill your motivation, but your motivation can also exist because of your head. Try to turn around the way you are thinking. From negatives switch to positives. And I know it’s easier said than done, but it is not impossible. Once you stop making excuses, or blame other people or circumstances you will finally realize that what happens to you is mostly because of what you do, you will finally start being responsible for your life. And that means getting control back. And control is pretty important (in my opinion) when it comes to motivation, because, trust me, it is really hard to stay motivated when you can’t get your sh*t together.
Believe in yourself! For example, if I keep thinking that I won’t be able for that workout I need to do in the gym today, chances are I am going to be so negative, that I will skip the gym altogether. Yet if I believed that I would be able to do it, maybe, not all of it, but very close, I would go and try. Chances are, I would do even better than I thought. I would have another little win, and feel more motivated. You have to give yourself some credit. Because if you won’t believe in yourself, then who will?
Still, no matter how many posts are going to be written about how to stay motivated, no matter how many articles you are going to read about how to get control of your life, no matter how much advice your friends are going to give you, nothing is going to change unless YOU GET UP AND DO IT YOURSELF!!!
Now, this is based purely on my own experience. This is how I think I am getting motivated. I am sure other people have their own way of staying motivated. But, one thing stays the same: it’s really hard to achieve anything without motivation.
Feed your motivation. Find ways that work for you. It’s is so much easier to get to your destination, when you feel motivated.
P.S. How are you staying motivated and where are you getting your motivation from? What works for you?