Lost Your Motivation? Here’s 5 Things to Try
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You know that feeling you have when you begin a new project? The intensity and determination you have on January 1st? When Monday rolls around and you feel empowered because this is going to be the week that you make real progress, a lasting change, a big difference... You're on top of the world, the sun is shining on your beaming face.
Time chugs along and you feel yourself losing your motivation. All that forward momentum you built up is finally slowing down. You want change now. You want to already be at the finish line. You start to feel as if all your hard work is just that-- hard.
Maybe you can cheat for day, slack off, take a break from it all. Most often though, that little break leads to a bigger break and finally abandoning the initial project altogether. You can't even remember why you were so gung-ho in the first place.
Get your motivation back: 5 Things to try
1. Read an inspiring book or watch a TED talk. It doesn't even have to be directly related to your initial goal, but it can give you a little burst of motivation if you see or read someone else talking about something they are passionate about. A lot of times lack of motivation comes from our inability to see the end. It can be comforting to see someone who is further down the path than you are.
2. Take small steps. Instead of avoiding your goal or "taking a break", break it down into several small, actionable steps. Commit to doing 2 of the little steps before you back off. Often times all you need is to simply begin to get motivated again. If you still aren't feeling motivated repeat the process the next day and the next, choosing the most important 2 tasks until you start to feel ready to go again.
3. Check something off your to-do list that isn't related to your goal. Wash the dishes, doing them might suck but finishing is awesome. Pick up the dry cleaning, what a relief to have another task completed. By completing other tasks you'll put yourself in the mindset of success and you can use that feeling to motivate yourself again.
4. Take away the stress. Chances are, if you don't complete your goal it won't be the end of the world. It's not life or death. Remind yourself that you don't have to do this, you want to do this. If you can take away the pressure you'll be more likely to follow through and see the journey as something enjoyable rather than tedious.
5. Make a list. If all else fails make a list of why you wanted to do this in the first place. If you're proactive, you can make this list in advance and write down how great it makes you feel to work towards your goal so that you can read in times just like these. If you haven't made the list, don't worry, make it now. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself "why" to get motivated again.