Five things to do when you aren’t motivated

Every one of us has moments where there are things to do but we aren’t motivated to do them.  Sometimes these moments are hours, days or even weeks long.  The longer you allow lack of motivation to stop your progress, the harder it is to get your motivation back.  Therefore, it is extremely important to not let lack of motivation hold back your progress for long.

Here are five things to do when your short term motivation isn’t living up to your long term passion and goals:

1.) Take a breath and realize that it is ok.  Everyone feels this way sometimes.  Even the most successful person you know has moments where she can’t get her motivation going.  It is normal to feel this way.  Take that deep breath and relax.  If your lack of motivation happens only rarely and doesn’t last very long, it is ok to just enjoy the break.  Take a little vacation from your goal.  Do something relaxing or enriching.  Recharge yourself.  BUT…….if your little vacations start to interfere with your progress, time to end your vacation.

2.) Eat the frog – Mark Twain said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.  And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”  His logic is that if you do the worst, hardest, least pleasant job first, everything else you have to do will be easier to accomplish.  When your motivation is failing you, do just one task.  Do your most difficult task.  Eat that frog.  It will be a little easier for you act if are only committing to one task.

3.) Do the minimum – When you create your action plan, make a list of easy to accomplish things.  Don’t do these tasks when you are motivated.  Save them for a low motivation day and pound out a few of them.  Because they are easy to do, you will be able to accomplish them, even on a low motivation day, and the day won’t be waisted.

4.) Work off of an action plan – Every week, plan out what needs to be done each day.  Create realistic minimum goals and have a few stretch items.  On high motivation days, go for the stretch goal.  On low motivation days, do the minimum goal and celebrate your accomplishment.  Getting things done when you aren’t motivated is worth a celebration.  Be proud of anything you get done.

5.) Use your body, language, action virtuous circle – A virtuous circle is the opposite of a vicious circle.  In a virtuous circle, there is a chain of events and actions that build on each other to create a more and more positive outcome.  What you do with your body – how you carry yourself, what you eat, the amount of activity, etc – affects your language.  The language you use – whether it is positive or negative, encouraging or defeatist, etc – affects your actions.  Your actions – driving towards your goals or binge watching Game of Thrones – affect what you are doing with your body and language.  Keeping this virtuous circle in mind, do something positive with your body, your language or your actions.  Go for a walk.  Say some affirmations.  Tackle just one task.  Anything positive you do will help make the next step more positive.

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