6 important ways to stay motivated in an unmotivated world
All the time in the world!
Oh, this is much needed I feel! I’m going to bring to you my 6 important ways to stay motivated in an unmotivated world. This seems to be a conversation I keep having with almost anyone I come in contact with lately. We all seem to be feeling the humdrum of pandemic life right now.
So let’s talk about the big fat elephant in the room we all are trying desperately to avoid. Motivation, or rather the lack of motivation seems to be a reoccurring theme these past few weeks for many of us.
Heading into the end of month four since most of our lives drastically changed for the unforeseeable future. In the beginning, many of us took the initiative to use this unprecedented time and focus on goals we have always wanted to achieve. I decided to use the time to create this blog, and set forth on a new adventure in my career path and life. The first few weeks and months were exciting, even with the underlying uncertainty of “when does it all go back to normal”.
We jumped into new educational experiences, new projects, and routines. I know people who were determined to create new a new healthy lifestyle of working out daily. Others, like myself, decided this was the best time to invest in a new career path because there was finally time! I mean isn’t that what we all told ourselves when it came to our deepest dreams? You know what I’m talking about, the desire to create something, or change something in our lives, but we never had enough time to do so. Then suddenly, without any warning, we ALL had the time.
Reality sets in
So what happened? Well truth is, reality took over. Two weeks turned into forty-five days which turned into four months. For some of us, there seems to be no end in sight of this current world. As with anything that you throw your excitement into, the motivation to keep pushing forward rises and falls. It takes real work to stay actively motivated, especially when your normal routine and structure has disappeared.
Right about now a lot of you are feeling the motivation to stay focused draining away. I personally found myself staying in my pajamas all day. Rarely leaving the house, and what’s worse is as the days bleed into each other, the goals I set in the beginning, have started to FEEL so much further out of reach. My insecurities have grown and my passion has started to take a back seat! Does any of this sound familiar? Well, you aren’t alone my friend, there are tons of us out there!
6 important ways to stay motivated in an unmotivated world
Today’s world has us feeling confused, worried, and most important unmotivated when we need it the most. So what can we do to stay focused on the goals or vision that excited us and ignited our passions just a few short months ago? Here are 6 important ways to stay motivated in an unmotivated world.
Create a Schedule
Around day 62 of being furloughed from my job, I found myself struggling quite a bit. My sense of structure was gone. Even though I had courses I needed to work on, for both my emotional health and my career path, I couldn’t find the motivation to really do much. Getting out of bed or dressed seemed all too much to handle. I mentioned my seemingly sudden apathy towards life to my therapist. She suggested that I create a schedule for my days. Apparently the lack of structure in my life had created this sucking void of nothing that was eating up my motivation.
I set the task of writing out a schedule each night for the next day. Including the essential tasks I wanted to accomplish or tackle, along with some personal things I needed a little motivation to get done. From simple things like getting up and getting dressed and “officially” starting my day, to finding the energy to walk my pup!
I found that if I didn’t schedule time to sit down and actively do my research and write every day, then I was leaving myself up to the HOPE that I would have the motivation to sit down at some point and get it done. Let me tell you, more often than not I didn’t find that much-needed motivation. Or worse, I would let myself get distracted by other unimportant things.
Setting a schedule also allows you to have an “end of the day” feeling. Your work has gotten done, you feel accomplished and are able to really enjoy your downtime in the evenings now. Instead of lamenting about what you SHOULD have done with your day.
Routine Routine Routine
My 2nd suggestion of the 6 important ways to stay motivated in an unmotivated world is to create a routine. Routines are great because it takes away the need to make a decision. You no longer have to talk yourself into getting up and going to the gym, or sitting down to write out a blog article once you build up the routine that leads you to do these things. Some of the most successful people in the world all have one thing in common. They live and die by the routines they created for themselves. Whether its to get up every morning at the same time, get dressed, and go straight to the gym. Or set up a self-care routine that you practice every morning that allows you to create the right mindset to tackle your goals for the day, routine is SO important.
When you create a routine for success it should include physical movement. Like getting dressed and putting your shoes on to go for a walk every morning. It doesn’t always have to be exercise either. It can be as simple as waking up every morning, taking a shower and getting dressed for the day. For those of us in this never-ending state of furlough, getting dressed every day is a physical movement that clears the head and sets up the mind to know “ok we are getting things done today.”
Start with something small and simple at the beginning of your day and continue to do it until it becomes a habit. The more you practice it the quicker it becomes an automatic part of your day!
Remember your “why”
This is a crucial step in how to stay motivated! We all know what it’s like to get caught up in the passion of a new idea. The excitement of why we want to do this new thing. The brain starts going super fast and ideas come flying at you on how to accomplish this new goal! The determination is rock solid, and motivation isn’t even an issue.
Unfortunately, that isn’t a lasting phase. It, just like the rest, ebbs and flows. It has high points and low points. The key is to find ways to bring that phase back when the low points make their appearances.
They tell you when you set out to accomplish any task or goal, to envision it being successful. They also tell you to figure out your reason that you want this to be successful. It’s crucial to have these visions in our minds when we work on goals. Sadly though, as the work progresses on our dreams, we learn new things, there are setbacks and failures. It’s in these times that the lack of motivation rears its ugly head. Self-doubt can steal that passion you initially had. This is why taking the time to remember your reasons for starting, to begin with, is so vital to success. Remembering your why is a mighty weapon to combat the lack of motivation, self-doubt, and fear of failure.
Create smaller goals from your big picture.
Creating smaller goals and tasks that help build up towards your ultimate goal will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. Feeling overwhelmed will have you concentrating so much on HOW to do something that you end up never doing it at all.
Create your bigger picture, but then take that big picture and break it down into smaller more accomplishable steps to build on towards that goal. By doing this you create a sense of accomplishment, even the ability to reward yourself for each smaller step that you’ve achieved. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at the daunting tasks ahead of you, which can leech you of your motivation, you’re now on a path that renews that vigor and passion with each small success!
Organization and Decluttering
A little bit of organization can keep your motivation on track in big ways. The physical can easily sway the mental. Meaning, if your space or schedule is unorganized than so your mental motivation will be. For me, that means getting up, making my bed, and creating a space that I enjoy sitting down and writing in. When my desk is overrun by papers, clutter, and cups the last thing I want to do is sit down in the mess and try to be creative.
Take the time to organize and declutter the space or areas you want to feel most motivated in. If it’s a workout routine, organize your gear and prepare it for the workout ahead. Clearing out your physical junk will allow you to clear out the mental junk and stay focused on your task at hand. Think about what ways you can organize the area you are lacking in motivation. Is it cleaning up your desk so you can feel at peace when you sit down to write? Or perhaps it’s having an organized kitchen so you can spend the day doing your meal prep without the stress of clutter. Projects with the kids? Make some time to organize a project station that is designed just for that task. Organization, along with some solid decluttering, opens up the creative mind and allows that energy to flow freely!
Distractions are the death of motivation
I saved this for the last of the 6 important ways to stay motivated in an unmotivated world, because of how valuable it is. Recently I deactivated my personal Facebook account because of the reaction I was having to the daily goings-on in my feed. I found myself getting caught up in others opinions, arguing (mostly out of boredom) over things that in the long run wouldn’t change the world. Possibly worst of all, was how badly the negativity of it all was having an effect on me as a person, and on my creative motivation. Not to mention my personal relationships with people I care about.
Distractions, like social media, can become addicting. They take time away from our goals and can have emotional effects that touch all aspects of our lives. If you allow distractions to take away your energy, they will easily rob you of that passion you had when you first set about creating your goals.
Distractions come in many forms.
Not all distractions are negative either. Some can be fun and hard to ignore. Playing games with friends or on your phone, surfing through youtube for funny videos, binge-watching all of Netflix (I swear I’m close to doing this!) It’s so easy to be seduced away from the work it takes to bring your dreams and goals to life. This is when the discipline of routine and the structure of scheduling comes into play in a big way. When you have those tools at your disposal, then setting down your phone, for a few hours to write out a blog, or go for a run becomes less of a struggle. Being able to step away from negative addicting behaviors for a few days allows you to clear your head and refocus that energy into productivity.
Allow yourself time in your day to surf social media, or play the games you want to enjoy, but after you have accomplished what you set out to achieve for the day. Trust me you, and your motivation will thank you for it!
The Bottom Line
Motivation isn’t limitless, it takes action like structure, discipline, and routine to help refuel it. The passion for your project may always be there under the surface, but when you let the motivation slip away that passion becomes something easy to ignore. In today’s world, it’s easy to lose that motivation and just let the days drift on. If you use these 6 important ways to stay motivated in an unmotivated world, I promise you that you will see that passion spark back to life. You will start accomplishing those little goals and tasks that you need in order to build your better future. It just starts with your actions, one little step at a time. Give it a try, what have you really got to lose? Until next time my friends, stay strong, stay motivated, and stay healthy. Remember you are NEVER alone.
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