Happy Motivational Monday – and what better topic to discuss than motivation!
Lately, I’ve actually been struggling with motivation. I couldn’t figure out why and it was really frustrating me.
Often I hear the advice for motivating yourself was to remind yourself of personal goals, creating an “Inspiration Board”, writing down reasons for your goals, listening to that one stirring song, or reading inspirational quotes. While these are good ideas – they are short-term and extrinsic influences. They work well when you’re already somewhat motivated – but not when you’re in the slumps of de-motivation (my newly coined phrase).
The other day I had to really think about how my sources of motivation. The things that usually enthused me like crazy had absolutely no effect – I simply didn’t care. Normally I’m driven and determined with an “I can do whatever I set my mind to” attitude, but I was in a state where I felt like maybe I just couldn’t do it all. I just didn’t feel like it.
If you’ve ever felt like that, you know it’s discouraging. You also know that reading a motivational quote at that moment is not going to do anything – except maybe depress you because you feel like you can’t live up to the splendor of the words.
So how do you get out of that kind of slump? How do you fill yourself full of motivation again?
On Saturday, I kept thinking about it – normally I’m happy to pursue my projects, assignments, deadlines, family projects, do my workouts, and eat healthy.
Yet, as I mindlessly plowed through a workout I had no desire to do, I wondered, “Why does everything sound hard? Why don’t I feel as driven right now?”
I asked myself what pieces are in place when I’m feeling the MOST MOTIVATED and then I realized what the problem was. If you’re struggling with motivation, then maybe you should ask yourself the same question.
Here’s what I discovered – when I’m the most motivated/most excited about life I do THESE THINGS:
I am rested and sleep well at night
Despite Project Morning Person, I haven’t slept well in a while. People, I’m sure you know that if you’re exhausted EVERYTHING sounds like a drag – except maybe a pint of cookie dough ice-cream and a long sleep. Not only that, but it’s harder to make good decisions when you’re tired, which is where the ice-cream often comes in. I really need to work on this. I’m learning how to get up early, but I haven’t fixed the part where you go to bed early too.
I have quality time with God every day – not just reading the His Word, but having good talks with Him and having an attitude of learning from Him
While I try not to ever skip time with God, lately it’s been quicker since I’ve been getting up early with school. When this piece of my life is out of balance, everything else is too. I’m learning to take advantage of all my long car travel time for praying – it’s so awesome!
I workout, but I also have rest days
Lately I think I’ve been over-training. I do hard workouts every day and I started wondering why yesterday I could do 25 pushups and today I’m struggling with just 10. This makes it feel like you’re getting “worse” at being fit, rather than stronger every day – which is disheartening. I’ll do a workout and be shaking through it wishing it was over (and I love working out). The over-training mixed with being overtired make the combination even worse.
I think you can workout 5-6 days a week, but alternate days between intense and intermediate workouts. I’m going to be switching my workout schedule so I don’t do HIIT or circuit training every day, but mix in some lighter workouts like short runs or Pilates in between the harder days.
I eat well (meaning less sugar and carbs) and drink lots of water
When I get tired I crave sugar and carbs. It’s a vicious cycle because the more carbs and sugar you consume, the more tired you get.
I keep myself organized
From recipe development deadlines, college assignments, website to-dos, and home projects I try to tackle small bits of things ever day. Once I let the work pile up, I can get overwhelmed because everything needs to be done at once! Time needs to be made for some relaxing (it’s good for your brain, body, and spirit) – even if it’s just 30 minutes in bed reading or having a hot bath.
So largely, summed up, the key for me to stay motivated and excited about life is:
- Quality time with God
- Quality sleep
- Healthy eating & hydration
- Balanced exercise
- Keeping on top of projects (not procrastinating)
Once these things are in place, it’s easy for me to be motivated! From there, I have a fresh joy about the life God has given me and I feel that I have the strength to be more disciplined and driven to do the things I need to.
How do you keep yourself motivated? Any tips to share?
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