Motivation is the all-important special sauce that is required to reach any worthwhile goal. Unfortunately, motivation isn’t a constant–it ebbs and flows just like the tide. We’ve all experienced periods of high energy and productivity. These times are exciting and we feel unstoppable. Unfortunately, these times of high energy and high productivity don’t always last. No matter how much we desire to reach a goal, we will all experience occasional times when we hit a wall and our energy plummets. These periods of lethargy and boredom are dangerous because it is during these low-energy periods that the temptation to quit can be overwhelming and for many, it is during these difficult, low-energy times that FabYOUlous dreams wither and die.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Low-energy periods don’t have to be fatal to our FabYOUlousness–instead, they just need to be understood and managed. Once we understand that these moments of low energy and low motivation are normal and something that everyone experiences from time to time, we can learn to frame these experiences in a more realistic and less fatalistic way. By understanding that periods of low-motivation are temporary and can be reversed, we can implement strategies to help get us back into a positive state of flow and high productivity. The next time you find yourself feeling like your motivation tank is on E, try these tips to give yourself the energy boost that you need to kick your motivation into high gear.
12 Tips for Boosting Your Motivation Level when You’d Rather Just Stay in Bed
1.) Get back on that horse. Everyone stumbles–it’s part of being human. The key to success is to start again, and again…and again if necessary. Don’t dwell on failure. Instead, use it to guide you to a more intelligent start next time.
2.) Rediscover your why. Why did you set your goal in the first place? What is it about your goal that made you decide that it was a worthwhile pursuit? Is it because you wanted to feel more physically fit so that you could enjoy more outdoor activities this summer? Is it because finishing your book will provide you with a sense of satisfaction and a vehicle to market your expertise? Is it because getting out of debt will allow you to enjoy more time traveling or help you to save for retirement? Only you know the reason behind why you set your goal in the first place and only you can understand the personal significance that your goal has to you. In order to re-motivate yourself toward your goal, spend some time thinking about all of the benefits that you will enjoy once your goal is met. Recommit yourself to your why.
3.) Minimize distractions. Everyone falls victim to distractions on occasion. My biggest distractions tend to be social media, my kids and the online game, Trivia Crack. Maybe for you, unhealthy food in the fridge is distracting you from your weight loss goals. Distractions equal procrastination and procrastination is one of the most powerful motivation drainers of all. One of the fastest ways to make progress on a goal (which will immediately boost your momentum and motivation level) is to eliminate easy access to the distractions and temptations that try to pull you off course. Replace the unhealthy food with tasty, healthy options or remove the Trivia Crack app from your iPhone.
4.) Reward yourself. One way to recover your motivation level is to set appropriate rewards for each milestone that you achieve on the way to your goal. These rewards don’t need to be anything big or elaborate–just a fifteen minute break to flip through a favorite magazine or a new tube of lipstick can do the trick.
5.) Build upon past success. Every step that you take along the way toward your goal is a success. Celebrate each step and then build upon that feeling of success as you move onto your next small step. Let the momentum of your small successes carry you forward to your next success.
6.) Chart your progress. Looking back over the progress that you’ve already made can be a great motivator for sustained action. Keep track of your progress with a chart on which you record weekly progress. When you begin to feel your motivation wane, looking back over the chart and seeing how far you’ve come can fuel your motivation and inspire you to keep going.
7.) Use visualization techniques every day. Make time every day to think about every detail of your goal. Think about how your success will look and feel when you achieve it. Use a vision board to help you immerse yourself in the sensations that you will experience once your goal is reached. Visualization has been proven to be a powerful technique in goal attainment so make this a daily practice in your life and be as clear on the details as possible.
8.) Find outside support. Whether you utilize an accountability partner with whom you check in every few days or simply read a book, watch a movie or listen to a podcast about someone who accomplished a goal similar to yours; utilizing outside resources can be a great way to find inspiration and boost your motivation.
9.) Refuel your mind. Yes, you want to reach your goal and it is important to hold firm to your vision of success. When things are moving more slowly than you’d prefer however; it is important to also enjoy the process of working toward your goal. You can do this by fueling your mind with things that will keep you inspired. Attend a workshop, take a class, go to a conference, etc.–just do something to engage your mind and reinvigorate your excitement for your goal.
10.) Associate with the right kind of people. Your friends and associates will either act as fountains of encouragement and inspiration or as discouraging drains on your emotional energy. Be sure that you choose these people wisely. Endeavor to only spend time with people who lift you up and who want to see you be successful. Seek out accountability partners to help keep you on track and mentors who can provide valuable wisdom and guidance. Sometimes just being around the right kind of people with the right kind of energy can be enough to kick your motivation into high gear.
11.) Give yourself a break…literally. No one can go 24/7 day in and day out–no matter how exciting or compelling their goal is. Pushing yourself too hard is a recipe for disaster that will only lead to burn out and frustration. Take a day (or week!) to unplug and relax. Spend time enjoying hobbies or activities with friends. Your goal won’t disappear just because you make your own physical and emotional needs a priority. In fact, downtime can often be the best remedy for flagging motivation levels.
12.) Let it go. Sometimes we become so fixated on a goal that we try to control every aspect of it. This approach can leave us feeling frustrated when things don’t work out exactly the way that we plan. Instead of trying to control everything in the pursuit of your goal, it is more beneficial to recognize that there are some things that you can control and other things that you can’t. The trick is to learn the difference and to release those things that are out of your control. Being able to let go also allows you to remain open to serendipity and to alternate possibilities. Don’t force your goal–instead, follow it’s leading while remaining open to all opportunities.
Regardless of whether your goal is a decade away or something that you can accomplish by the end of the week–managing your motivation levels will be a crucial skill needed in order for you to reach success. The next time you feel your motivation starting to dip, try a few of these motivation boosters to get yourself re-energized and recommitted to your FabYOUlous goal.