“But I’m just so unmotivated!”
We’ve all been there. Not really wanting to do anything, and not really wanting to make ourselves busy. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a nice day off. But, once a day becomes a week, then a month, then 2 months… it’s time to make a change. I’m here to give you some tough love. Yes, it’s okay to feel unmotivated and recognize your off days. The real question is, how do you know if you’re tired or lazy? Motivation doesn’t just work alone, it requires COMMITMENT as well. Have you noticed that you’re more likely to follow through with commitments you made to others but not yourself? It’s because you don’t want to let others down, but what about letting yourself down? Commitment to yourself is the most important thing you can practice. Below are the practices I use to stay motivated. They’ll also help you GET motivated!
1. Start Small
Starting is always the hardest part. I will admit, at the beginning of quarantine, I was unmotivated to take dance classes. I knew that I should be training and taking a bunch of styles, and it was overwhelming. So, I started small. I took one class. Just one. And then I was done for the day. Then the day after I took another, and continued to work up to where I am now, at around 7 classes a week. Now, if I had started big at 7 a week, I would’ve quit by now. It’s the same with working out, just start by doing 10 squats and a 30 second plank. Or whatever exercises you want, that’s it! Once you continue doing that each day, you’ll be more motivated to continue, because you haven’t overwhelmed yourself in trying to make a huge lifestyle change. If you’re not working out at all, and then you say “I’m going to work-out for one hour everyday”, I can guarantee you that it’s going to be pretty challenging. Keep it simple, listen to your mind and body. One day at a time, one step at a time.
2. Remember Your “Why”
Usually, we set a goal, and then for some reason it doesn’t happen. We make a list of goals to check off, and don’t make much progress. That’s because, you don’t have a “why” written down next to it. You “why” is the reason you want to accomplish this goal. For example: If your goal is to build a professional website, your “why” may be: “I want to build my website so that I can promote myself on my own terms, which we help me make more money and build a brand”. You’ll remember this every time you don’t feel like working on your website, and you’ll remember to start small, maybe just doing one page a day.
3. When You Don’t Feel Like It
You’re not going to jump out of bed everyday ready to take on the day, that’s just the truth. Some mornings are harder than others, it takes more energy to get up and get after it. Unfortunately, our goals can’t happen without us. We have to find the motivation, and motivation is very good at hide and seek. On the days when I don’t feel like doing something, I remind myself of my long-term goals by finding some inspiration. I’ll read a book about creating the life I want, I’ll watch a dance video of some of my favorite dancers, I’ll research people that have done what I want to do and learn. When you have a goal that you are excited about accomplishing, it is so much easier to get it done- and more enjoyable! When I don’t feel like working out/taking a dance class, I remind myself that I will feel much better after I do it, and am usually VERY proud of myself once I finish.
4. Reward Yourself
We all love a nice treat after accomplishing a difficult task. So, use that to your advantage when you’re trying to find motivation! When you’re starting small, give yourself a reward for accomplishing the task you choose for the day. Whether it’s a nice cup of coffee, dessert, or watching TV, commit to yourself that you will get your task done- and then you can have your reward. Don’t give yourself a reward if you didn’t get it done! You always have the next day to try again.
5. Get Support
Use your friends/family as accountability partners. If you have a project you’re working on, ask them to hold you accountable to get it done. You don’t want to become one of those people that has a bunch of great ideas but never really does anything about them. Tell them exactly what you want to get done & when, and give them permission to give you some tough love if you’re not following through.
Lastly, I wanted to touch on excuses. They’re the WORST! Challenge yourself to be aware of anytime you’re making an excuse for not getting something done. What do you tell yourself to make it ok to not do something? The more you become aware of it and recognize your procrastination, the easier it will be to rid these habits. Remember to start small, reward yourself, and ask for support- let’s get MOTIVATED!