If you are going through a dull and unmotivated phase of your life, then this post is specifically for you.
This has been the most unhealthy and consequently nonproductive year of my life too.
That is… so far. (and not that it has gotten any better immediately after I typed ‘so far!’), but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you pick yourself up now just as I am helping myself.
And using them has felt like the hunger satiating cupcake your gobble up in one go.
- I have finally made peace and come to terms with what is going on. Which means more peace overall. (No, I’m not talking about stoic resignation.)
- I am finally enjoying the fulfilling feelings of progress
- The progress itself has started a chain reaction and that means overtime the resistances have gotten less resisty aka easy to handle.
If you would like that for yourself too then keep reading…
But be warned, as counterintuitive as it sounds, I am going to give you three things to do right in the middle of when you feel like garbage and don’t want to do anything.
Don’t leave just yet. Listen, I promise IF you work them, the tips will work for you too.
Let me reiterate the issue in simpler words: only knowing them won’t get you back up on your feet. So you should have the one secret to make motivational stuff work for you before you swing that index finger and scroll right down to read the tips.
First, The Secret
In 99% of the human struggles, success is only on the other side of something that is currently stopping you from your work.
In the middle of your frustration, if that sounds cruel of God (or was that only me feeling so the other day?), let me tell you what was a hard pill for me to swallow too:
Accept it: Success DOESN’T come cheap.
The sooner you can get your mind to accept this, the closer you get to meet your goals.
Yes, the icky feeling, heavy-heartedness, tired body, foggy mind, angry-heartedness, etc will be there.
In fact, they’re a good sign you have left the ordinary circumstances behind and entered the higher levels where not everyone goes.
What your job now is this, every time you encounter any of these symptoms, stick to your path and keep pushing forward.
Just keep going.
You don’t have to love and enjoy every moment anyway. (Or you can, your choice!)
The most beautiful things only come after the ugliest moments (think childbirth!).
The secret ends here. (Accepted? Keep reading…)
Now, here are the three practical tips which will hold your hand and motivate you.
1. Take A Power-dose Of Success Literature
When you are hungry, you have no food and you cannot cook anything for yourself either, where do you go?
Same goes for your soul. When you do not have any motivation and neither can you create any for yourself, you can go get some from external sources.
Here are a few of my favorite, the ones I regularly use in my routine life. And the difference between doing any of these things or not is like day and night.
- Podcasts by my favorite people
Podcasts are the best choice for me as a stay at home mom. I can listen to them while I am doing my household chores or exercising on the treadmill. My go-to ones are by Ruth, Melyssa Griffin, and Kim Anderson. I would really love it if you listen to this life-changing podcast by Ruth today.
- Inspirational movies
Movies are the next fun and easy way to get inspiration if you have the luxury of time. (Or maybe you can set up a fun evening with kids and/or spouse.
Here are a few suggestions for you.
- The Pursuit Of Happyness (Message: Never give up.)
- Apollo 13 (Message: Survival against all odds)
- The Shawshank Redemption (Message: Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.)
- Dangal (Message: Beating the odds)
- Goodwill Hunting (Message: A little help and a push in the right direction can go a long way.)
Note: Keep a tissue box handy for if you need while watching any of these movies.
My lifelong experience tells me that book reading is by far the best habit for staying on track. Especially the act of holding a physical book in your hand which you can annotate with personal comments and learning points as you go.
After marriage, this habit has reeeeeally suffered but I try to consciously carve out some time for books. I always have one book by my bedside table.
I promise if you use any one of the options, you are going to feel better no matter how meaningless or silly or useless it feels right now.
If you are pressed on time, just play this podcast and continue while you drive, do the dishes or fold the laundry.
If you do any of these, please let me know in the comments how it went because I’m sure you will feel better.
2: Produce Endorphins (the motivation hormone!) With Physical Exercise
Did you know, science says if you stand up in superman posture, and say I’m super. The physical activity will trigger your motivation hormones and you will actually feel super.
So you should do good physical activities that produce good feeling hormones, and the best way to do this is to get your body moving in exercise.
I talk about how yoga has changed my life as an early morning habit in this post but you can try anything that stretches your body or works your muscles till you feel sweaty.
Here are a few options you can pick from. They include all kinds of activities depending on your mood. Because let’s face it sometimes we don’t even want to step outside the house.
So instead of giving up altogether, it’s better to do a low resistance activity. Pick anything from:
- Jumping jacks
- any stretching exercises
- treadmill, if you have one at home or can go to the gym
- going out for a walk
Fun fact: Did you know, I wear (physical act!) sneakers even when I’m at home, to make myself feel less lazy, more ready-to-work and active. Do try this, works every time. =)
3: Find Accountability And Support in ‘Human’ Company
I have kept the best one for the last.
This has been by far the most effective strategy for getting myself motivated post marriage. I’m an extreme introvert who has been hiding from friends and cousins for 2 years. ( I hope no one from real life reads this.)
A big reason why I started this blog was because I thought it’s the easiest job where we don’t have to dress up pretty and go out and deal with other people every day.
Over time I lost the motivation to sit down on my desk every day and work on the PC when nobody was there to talk to me about anything. I was working in a vacuum.
My progress needle didn’t move – until I connected with other bloggers.
This connecting and working along with people picks its strength from the concept of synergy.
Let me explain with an example:
Have you ever seen a flock of birds forming a V in the sky? Well, it has a purpose.
Every time a bird gets tired or derailed and gets behind, the pull of the V forces it to fly right back in. The V encourages each bird to stay the course.
Here are a couple of ways you can find synergy and accountability:
- call a friend/cousin/sibling who has similar concerns as yours and if she is willing to set a specific accountability session with you for a number of days
- look for a group on FB that addresses your issues and ask someone or a group of people if everyone would be willing to be accountability buddies for a few days
- tell your spouse or other family members (even mother in law!) you are doing something for the next few days. Trying to maintain your impression will hold you accountable to your commitment and force you to continue work
- you can join a paid mastermind. Search online for one.
- use a habit tracker and don’t forget to display it on the wall (where everyone can see it)
Some tips for forming strong accountability
- Have a very specific/quantifiable goal so it is easy to measure progress. You can’t measure ‘I will exercise daily’ but you can measure ‘I will do 50 jumping jacks/ I will do 2 miles each day this month’.
- Set a specific deadline so it becomes easy to continue. If you want to continue for longer time periods, you can start a new session once the first accountability session completes.
- Make the progress visual.
- Record the progress daily.
- Start work on your daily goal early in the day, don’t leave it for the end of the day when you are mostly zapped of energy.
It is super important that we take our motivation in our own hands… at least as much as we possibly can.
And I believe because I have seen so many people with their amazing stories of how they defy odds, that we can pick ourselves up.
Look, we know that we are given the freedom to choose and pick our behaviors and responses, unlike any other creatures.
But what we don’t understand is that we are free to choose our actions only. And not the consequences that follow our actions.
You pick an action and, the consequence will follow along. You can only choose to get back up or stay where you are, and their consequences, a hard-earned reward OR failure will follow accordingly.
So choose what you want to do about your motivation based on what you want at the end of the day. This is itself enough motivation to get you going.
As I shared above, you can create your own internal fuel with the help of motivational materials and exercise or take external support in the form of friends. And you have to remember that the ball will start rolling with YOU do.
Get to work, you got this!