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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you worked so hard to find the motivation to tackle a big project or begin pursuing a new goal, only to find yourself unmotivated after a short time? It is important to understand that motivation will ebb and flow, and one of the best things you can do for yourself is learning how to stay motivated, even when you feel defeated!
Finding the motivation to start that big project, or to start exercising every day after work is hard, but what is even harder is maintaining that motivation. Because I am here to tell you, you are going to have days where you wake up, and you just feel like crap.
To get past these days, you need to learn how to maintain your motivation! And while there is no exact formula for how to overcome this, there are so many things you can try doing that just might boost your motivation.
I highly suggest you try each one of these at least once, if not twice, to see if you get any results from them!
Have a Plan in Place!
When you are in the right frame of mind, meaning you are motivated, energized, eager, and feeling very positive overall is when you need to come up with your plan of action!
Planning and decision making comes from the prefrontal cortex part of your brain. This part of your brain is very future-focused and can work slowly to answer the burning question on your mind: How can I achieve this?
It is important to let your prefrontal cortex do this work and create a plan for how you are going to tackle that big project or achieve that massive goal.
Because guess what is going to follow the plan?
Taking action! You are going to have to put in some hard work to achieve your big projects and goals which will mean following through on your plan. And taking this action will result in some discomfort and resistance. That is normal when you are trying something new! The only problem is, this can kill your motivation.
By having a plan in place, you take away all the decision making and planning so you can focus solely on the steps that need to be taken and working past that resistance! And the more you do, the more results you will see. This will, in turn, boost your motivation.
Follow A Morning and Evening Routine
Habits come from your cerebellum, also commonly known as your habit brain. This part of your brain seeks efficiency and comfort. Any time you feel discomfort, your brain is going to tell you to go back to the thing that makes you comfortable.
Unfortunately, it does not recognize when the habits you are used to doing are unhealthy or holding you back from achieving your goals.
In order to accomplish a goal or make any kind of positive change in your life, you are going to have to do things that feel foreign or make you uncomfortable. Learning how to fight through this is going to be a key part of your success.
A morning and evening routine are an amazing way to do just this!
Determine the different things you want to do in a day and add them to your morning and evening routine. Then follow that routine. Every day!
And when you hit that wall of resistance, push past it, and continue to follow that routine. Do not stop and question it!
Eventually, your morning and evening routine will become your new habit, and your cerebellum will adapt!
Make a List!
Sometimes the thing that kills our motivation is a direct result of overwhelm from all things you have to do to accomplish your goal or finish that big project. It is for this reason that you should consider breaking down your projects and goals into small, bite-sized tasks!
And there is something to be said about the satisfaction of checking things off a list!
Your list should include each mini-task you need to complete in order to achieve your goal or project.
As an example, if you had a goal that was going to take ten steps to accomplish, you would break down each of those ten steps into smaller tasks.
Whether you write this down on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge, or add it to your planner, keep this list close to you throughout the day!
Check items off the list as you go, and you will feel the motivation bubbling up in you!
Consume Content that Teaches and Inspires You!
Sometimes, all you need to bring back motivation is a dash of inspiration! Consuming content that teaches and inspires you will help bring joy and excitement back to the project!
There are so many forms of content that you can consume to help you feel inspired or learn something new!
- Music – Turn on your favorite tunes and get moving!
- Podcasts – Do you have a podcast you just love to listen to? Try to find podcasts that motivate you to take action to accomplish your goals. Listen to them on your commute to and from work, while your cooking dinner, or out for your jog!
- Books – Similar to podcasts, find books that inspire you to take big action! Whenever you are feeling burnt out or overwhelmed, unplug from life, and sit down to read a book! (Tip: If you do not have time to stop and read a book, consider listening to audiobooks! This is my personal preferred method of consuming content!
- YouTube – Videos can be so inspirational! The video will help you build a deeper connection as you get to hear their voice, and maybe even see their face! Find some videos you really enjoy watching and have them ready on queue when you need that dose of inspiration!
While I stress the importance of taking action on your plans, I want to make sure you know that you don’t need to do it all at once. Taking breaks is good for your soul as well as your mind!
When you are making your plan for the day or week, be sure to schedule yourself some downtime every day to avoid burnout.
Whether this is 15 minutes or an hour, add it to your morning or evening routine and stick to it!
There is a lot you can do during this time to unwind and relax!
- Have a hot bubble bath
- Read a book
- Watch a small amount of T.V
- Check in on Social Media
- Practice Self Care
- Do some yoga
If you find yourself spending too much time, try setting an alarm that will tell you when your downtime is done.
You may also wish to do this at the end of the day so that you are relaxed when you go to bed!
Set A Reward System
The feeling of resistance when working towards a big goal or project is completely normal and learning how to push past the resistance is going to be a key part of you ultimately succeeding. A great way to motivate yourself to push through the resistance is to set up a reward system!
These rewards can be as big or small as you want! Just be sure that they align with your goals, (i.e. don’t reward losing 15 pounds by eating a tub of ice cream to yourself), and they must be significant enough that they motivate you to push forward!
Remember Your Why
And last, but definitely not least, remember your “why”!
Reflect on why you are doing this. Certainly, there was some motivating factor that led you to decide to start on this journey. What was that?
Are you trying to lose 50 pounds? Why? Was it so that you could run a marathon? Maybe you wanted to be able to climb a mountain this summer!
Are you trying to start your own side hustle? Why? Was it to have the ability to leave the job you hate? Maybe it is so that you can start a family?
Whatever your “why” is, it is so important to keep it close to your heart at all times. There is nothing more motivating than your purpose!
Do you have any other tips to share on how you stay motivated? Be sure to leave your ideas in the comment section below!