The law of inertia says that things at rest tend to stay at rest; try to put that resting object in motion and you will certainly face some resistance. Isn’t it funny how this physical law can so easily describe what an unmotivated rut feels like? Even the most motivated, multitasking, “how do they do it?” dynamos among us have slumps. Trying to find that daily motivation can be tricky–even overwhelming to the point where you aren’t even sure where to begin!
So what do you do, when you’re faced with a rut or a schedule so jam-packed that you can’t seem to muster up the motivation to tackle it? There are a lot of tips and techniques that you can use to find the daily motivation you need to power through even the deepest of ruts. You can do all of the things you want to; meet your goals, conquer your schedule, and put the kibosh on the procrastination monster! Are you ready to defy the law of inertia?
Take a Giant Step Back
Sometimes, when we are right in the thick of things, balancing one commitment or goal on top of another (and another, and another) it can be hard to even know where to begin. We can become so preoccupied with triage and maintenance that adding anything new to the mix seems impossible! It’s not. It can be very useful to take a giant step back and get a look at the “big picture.” What have you been putting off? What are your priorities? What are the things you want to do but have placed solidly on the back burner while you juggle the things that you have to do? Getting a clearer picture of things can help you gain perspective. Remember, you can’t see the forest from the trees! So taking a full, distanced inventory will be immensely helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed. Often times, just knowing that you aren’t as underwater as you might feel is enough to nudge you in the right direction, providing you with the daily motivation that you need.
Make a Game Plan
Literally. Grab a pen and paper and start writing things down. Group your priorities, your time sensitive goals, and obligations into separate categories. Make a note of what obstacles you’ll face, and then make a Plan A, a Plan B, and A Plan C. Make sure you keep your game plan where you can access and see it daily. Not only does this help you visualize your big picture, you would be surprised how satisfying it is to cross off one of your “to do” items. A great daily motivation activity that you can do is to find one item on your game plan that you can mark “complete” by the end of the day, and tailor your schedule and goals with that one item in mind. Once you see all of this progress being made, making more progress won’t seem so impossible after all.
Reasons and Rewards
So, what if your need for daily motivation stems from something that you just can’t seem to look forward to, like a new workout plan that will finally help you fulfill your fitness goals? This can be some of the hardest motivation to find, but by restating your reasons for wanting to do it in the first place, you’ll often find yourself actually getting excited about conquering these undesirable tasks. Pair that with some basic rewards for yourself. In a way, this is the opposite of the “big picture” daily motivation technique. For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, set little way points along your training and reward yourself when you reach them. By giving yourself something to look forward to, you’re eliminating that little voice that says, “why bother?”. With every way point reached, you’ll know your that much closer to the ultimate reward: achieving your goal!
One of the easiest ways to set yourself back to square one is to try to tackle everything all at once. Remember that inertia comparison? Well, just because something resists movement doesn’t mean it can’t move. Imagine that your motivated self is a big, huge boulder. As you begin to shove it forward, it won’t suddenly start rolling. Instead, it will inch along. But an inch is still progress, and any progress is better than none at all! Taking smaller steps when you’re first getting started will keep you progressing, and ultimately provide the daily motivation you need to really get under way! If you can’t seem to cross anything off of your game plan, break that plan down even further, into the teeny tiny chunks and tasks that make up a larger goal. Before you know it you’ll be picking up speed and nothing will stand in your way!
Get A Safety Net
The best thing you can do for yourself when you are trying to find your daily motivation is to surround yourself with other people who are invested in your success–and invest in theirs! Your friends, family, spouse, even an internet support group can help hold you accountable and give you the little boosts your need to keep going. You don’t have to go it alone, and you shouldn’t! Ask your safety net to help keep you on track and to gently remind you if you start to get off course. Sometimes fear is the thing that deters us from staying motivated, and a strong safety net can help remind us that you we nothing to be afraid of. Another great reason to have a safety net or support system is that you will have a sound board; a place to float ideas or worries. If you’re facing an obstacle you don’t know how to overcome, sometimes an objective party can give you that “ah-ha!” solution you need.
You should always be your own biggest fan. If you are looking for that one thing that you can do every single day of the week to help boost your motivation, positive self-talk is it! Every morning when you wake up, and every evening before you go to bed, look at yourself in the mirror. Even if you feel a little silly; vocalize out loud all of the things that you have already accomplished and encourage yourself to accomplish more. Something is simple as looking at your reflection and saying “You can do it!” or “Keep it up, you’re doing great!” will get the wheels of cognition turning, and before you know it, the positive self-talk that you use as a source of daily motivation will feel less silly and more like the truth! Getting out of an unmotivated rut, or boosting the motivation that you already have will depend on a lot of things, but the biggest is really believing that you can do it. After that, there’s no limit on what you can achieve and no dream too big for you to realize!
Finding daily motivation is less about what you do and more about how you think. Refusing to stay inert is the first step to getting out of even the deepest rut, and the best part is, you don’t need any fancy equipment or to even take time out of your already busy schedule to do it. You can learn how to set and achieve your goals in as little as an hour! Pair that with some of the daily motivation techniques we’ve talked about here, and before you know it, you’ll be living the life you’ve always wanted.