Starting anything new, be it a business, a workout regime or even a class -- is always exciting in the beginning. Seeing your planning come to fruition, dropping the first few pounds and learning something new is always great in the initial stages. After awhile the excitement subsides and things become routine and redundant. In these times it can be especially hard to find your groove and be motivated to continue to push through. A few mindful activities may be just the spark you need to refuel your fire.
KEEP TRACK OF THE POSITIVES
Throughout your journey make sure you take time to reflect. Reflect on periods of inspiration, successes, wins, overcoming obstacles etc. These can serve as a way to jumpstart to motivate you and even inspire creativity. It is natural for the brain to float between the past and future. We use mental shortcuts including patterns, previous experiences and the like to allow the past to shape our future. You can take advantage of this tendency and intentionally focus on the positive. Reviewing your past high points could be the very thing to bring you out of your present low one.
RECONFIGURE YOUR GOALS
First, I’m not saying scrap your goals and start over. However, looking at where you are currently in relation to your goals, may be where your motivation lies. Write down the differences and the actions that need to take place to close the gap. Chisel away until you have the smallest of steps left to take. Sometimes we lose motivation because we get lost in the day to day and feel overwhelmed. The end of the semester and your desired A may be months away, but midterms are right around the corner. Weekly reflection and planning are a great tool to keep you motivated and on your right track.
HONOR YOUR FEELINGS
Sometimes what seems to be lack of motivation, could be a sign of needing rest. Take an honest look at your most recent habits -- could this be burn out? A trend right now is to “grind now and sleep later” - “hustle hard” - “be a go-getter” -- not bad mantras, but in present execution are very counterproductive to the creative process. The theme is pushing beyond exhaustion and this pointless..Your body and mind need rest to recharge. Pushing yourself beyond your breaking point does more harm than good, the quality of your life and your work is the only thing that suffers. If self-care is not a weekly (even daily!) practice in your life, it should be. It is the perfect anecdote for lack of motivation due to burnout.
Despite your most valiant efforts, you will still lose motivation from time to time. It’s less about avoiding it, and more about being proactive and knowing what to do when the time comes. Create habits that both honor and support your productivity, growth and mental health -- these will help sustain you even through the slumpiest of slumps. Just because you feel unmotivated does not mean you are. Be careful of yourself talk, take a breather -- and jump back in the game.