Finding ways to motivate yourself every day can be difficult. Even the most motivated, happy people can suffer from slumps. I am a motivational speaker and even I like many others have days where everything feels a big effort and where I feel very unproductive. I run a lot and even finding the motivation to run every day can be hard. Some days just feels impossible. Some days I just don’t feel like doing anything. These types of feelings are normal for all of us. When you face a motivational slump it is important to acknowledge your feelings, admit you’re struggling and take action.
In this post, I want to share with you all how I deal with lack of motivation. Here are my top ten tips on how to get motivated.
- Raise your energy level.
When you are feeling down, you need to do things that are going to raise your energy level. Go for a walk. Do a quick workout. Do anything that is going to get your energy up.
Triggers are cues that remind you of your goals. If your intention is to run first thing in the morning you might set your running shoes right next to the bed so they’re the first thing you see when you get up. If you want to lose weight then placing more fruit on the worktop in the kitchen will help. Whatever your goal may be, a trigger is a way of reminding you of the reason for pursuing the goal. We will all have our own personal triggers. For example, if you want to lose weight because you want to be healthier for your kids then you might place a picture of your kids on the fridge door. The more emotion that you can connect with the trigger the more it will inspire you.
- Build on small successes.
Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another small step. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.
Think about the reason WHY you have your goals. What was it that you wanted to achieve from them? Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. Many days I hate thinking that I have to go training. The more I think the more I don’t want to do it. However, what helps me is I focus on how I will feel after the run and the benefit that I will have gained. Focusing on the benefits of something will energise you that is what has worked for me.
Our internal dialogue can have a huge effect on our motivation and can contribute to our motivational slump. When I am having slump day my mine tells me – There is no use, why am I even trying? Self-defeating talk can zap our energy, lead to discouragement and loss of motivation. Take accountability, encourage yourself and give yourself a good dose of positive self-talk.
- Get support
Seeking support can help you feel not alone. I don’t mean have a pity party and expect the other person to fix all your problems. But just opening up and talking about your feeling can help you come up with strategies to get back motivated. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of my guide runner to keep me motivated. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.
- Look forward to something
Many times, slumps happen after big events have ended or when there’s nothing exciting to look forward to in turn boredom happens. Planning a goal such as a weekend away or signing up for a new class, something that is new will help.
- Find inspiration.
Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I also read books to inspire me. I listen to podcasts. My run coach John O’Regan has a great podcast called: No finish Line which features athlete interviews and other guests. I watch YouTube videos. I also get inspired when I create my own YouTube videos. Listening to upbeat positive music can be a great energy booster.
- Be grateful.
When you are stuck in a slump, it's easy to feel like there is nothing good in your life. All you have to do is think about one thing that is good in your life. Now think of another. Soon you will realise that you are blessed.
And now add another one to the list. And another. Soon you will see how blessed you really are.
- Take action.
Decide on one step that you can take to pull yourself out of the slump. What are you going to do right now? Start really small. The whole point is to just do something. Something that will make you feel better. Start right now.
Motivation will come and go like the see tide. Just realise that when it does go, it will come back. Whatever you desire to achieve, change or fix in your life the only way it will happen is to get moving. Slow is okay but just make sure to keep going and building momentum. Consistent action every day will give you success. Don’t wait. Start right now.