I have a confession to make. Even though I’m known for my ability to motivate and inspire others, there have been several days where I can’t seem to peel myself off the couch.
I’m not depressed. I’m simply tired of constantly trying to build my business, take care of the house, save for retirement, and everything else that is required of me as an “adult.”
When this happens, it makes me question whether I’ll ever get my motivation back. Especially if I continue to feel unmotivated for longer periods of time.
Fortunately, I’ve always been able to pull myself out of my funk using one of these 5 methods:
#1: Make a to-do list
I admit it. I’m a list girl. There’s something about sitting down and writing out the things I want or need to do that motivates me to get off my ass and do them.
Typically, I prefer my to-do lists to only contain 3-5 things. This is enough to make me feel accomplished once they’re done, but not so much that I’m overwhelmed to the point where I never begin working on them at all.
What do I put on my to-do list? Anything that has been nagging at me and sapping my motivation. And if it’s a larger project, I often break it down into a few different pieces so I will actually tackle it versus looking at it and saying, “Well….maybe tomorrow.”
#2: Set a goal
Sometimes my lack of motivation comes from feeling like I’m spinning my wheels. You may know the feeling. You’re expending a lot of energy, but not really getting anywhere. Setting a goal helps me overcome this because it gives me something to work toward.
For instance, although I have a good core set of clients that I write for, I could use a few more to help sustain a more regular workflow. The problem is that I’m pretty uncomfortable reaching out to companies asking them if they could use a freelance writer.
To stoke my motivation to perform this necessary task, I’ve set a goal to bring on at least 3 new core clients by the end of the year. This has motivated me to send out requests daily because the sooner I can sign them on, the sooner I get to lay off this uncomfortable task.
#3: Pick up a new hobby
Is your lack of motivation stemming from feeling like you do the same things day in and day out? Like your life is one big circle of tasks that never changes? If so, picking up a new hobby may help.
I just recently started an online cooking course. Even though it has nothing to do with my writing business, the happiness I experience when I learn a new skill bleeds into my workday. I find that I’m happier overall because I’m learning new things.
What kind of hobbies might you enjoy? Painting? Carpentry? Jewelry making? Gardening? The sky is the limit on this one. All you have to do is identify something new you’d like to try and start doing it.
#4: Do just one thing
On days when I’m really struggling, I tell myself that I have to do just one thing that I don’t want to and then I can go about the rest of my day guilt-free because I at least accomplished something. I did this just the other day with my workout.
I keep track of the days I exercise and, last year, I exercised two-thirds of them. This year, I want to do more, but there was one day last week when I could not get my body on my treadmill no matter how much I tried to will myself.
Once I realized that it wasn’t going to happen, I told myself I had to do just one thing to further my fitness goal. I’m not lying when I say I immediately got on the floor and did some leg lifts and crunches. Is that going to make me buff? Absolutely not. But just knowing that I kept my promise to myself (even on a smaller scale) was enough to motivate me to get back on my exercise plan the next day.
What is just one thing you can do that you don’t feel like doing but won’t take a lot of time? Focus on that today and you may feel your motivation start to return tomorrow.
#5: Give yourself the day off
If all else fails, if it seems like there is absolutely nothing on this earth that will motivate you because you’re tired as hell, then by all means take the day off.
Taking some much-needed downtime when you feel like you’ve had enough is a great way to protect your mental health. It also gives your body a chance to recoup if you’ve been pushing it hard, which is equally as important.
The key is to not give yourself so much time off that people start to think you’re retired. (Unless you actually are which, by all means then, enjoy your life!)
But if you’re like me and trying to stay afloat with work, home, and every other obligation you have, but you’re also lacking the motivation you need to get things done, try one of these five things.
And feel free to drop me a comment and let me know which one worked best for you! Or maybe there’s something else you do to get your motivation back when you’re pretty damn sure it’s gone for good. In that case, share that too!