Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Staying Motivated When Discouraged. 5 Ways to Stay on Track!

How can you stay motivated when you feel discouraged, the cloud-cover gets a little thicker and your goals seem so distant?
I'd like to share with you a couple of ideas I came up with today!

I know how awesome I usually feel after a hard run or heavy weights. I feel renewed and rejuvenated and ready to take on the world! I actually pulled off a decent workout at lunchtime today. The lunch workout gave me an energy boost and a sense of accomplishment which powered me through the rest of my day!
If you're in an office-setting, this is a good way to get the blood back into your legs after long hours at the computer. Just run up and down the steps a few times, or if weather permits - take a good walk. If you're really ambitious and your office space provides changerooms or showers: take a good run. If you get the typical 1hr lunch, do a 30-45 minute run and leave just enough time to clean up and smell fresh.
Tip: eat your lunch slowly at your desk after your workout to avoid pigging out before or after, which can make you feel sick.
If your boss or company doesn't allow food at your desk, just do a smaller run and leave enough time to have a decent-sized snack. You can always do exercises in your chair at work, as well.
Also, if you find you are so discouraged that you can't motivate yourself to work out, try taking a short walk around your block, or just walk the stairs in your house a few times. Everything counts. 

       Maybe your environment is uninspiring!

2) CHANGE THINGS AROUND A BIT - I find tidying up and re-organizing my workspace is sort of zen-like, plus it allows you to change the scenery. Once you get moving physically, the things on your desk, that is, it is likely to transfer over mentally as well and get that engine started!
Tip: Put on some uplifting and mood-boosting music. You never know, you might even start dancing :)
If it's de-motivating to look at the clutter of your desk and wonder where your mouse went, then start small. Grab one pile off the desk (a manageable size) and take it to another room to sort it. This will keep your mind off the large desk-problem and on the small, easy-to-fix pile in your lap. Once you're done and you feel like you can do more, keep going with small piles. If one is enough, then today, you have done one pile! :) That's a great step in the right direction.

A lot of the time, people get overwhelmed when thinking about the magnitude of the tasks they need to complete and so continue putting them off until too late (you know, missing deadlines or having to beg for extensions!). So, instead of thinking of the whole picture, break it down into smaller sized projects.
For example, if you have a large paper to write, focus first on what your topic will be. Then think of a few points you would like to make regarding that topic and find resources for those. Then write your thesis statement and supporting points together and start jotting little notes down. It's like a downward brain-storm.
Writing a list out is usually a great way to facilitate the chunking-process as well because it makes it visual.
I find it very hard to concentrate or figure things out if they are floating around in my head. I need a solid piece of paper that I can write all over and then figure out what to do from there.
Tip: Brainstorm on paper, and find the best way from there.  It'll ease the stress on your mind!
 Constantly being the "procrastinator" wears on you as well, and sets your mind up for thinking negatively about yourself (self-talk like "oh I never get anything done on time, I'm so lazy"). That doesn't motivate very well does it.

I don't mean permanently, but as our motivation drops, so too does our ability-level. It's extremely discouraging and de-motivating to attempt doing things you used to be able to do and continually not reaching that same level of achievement. Instead of aiming for perfection, just do what qualifies as "good enough".It will ensure the project or goal is completed, and satisfactorily, without stressing you out that you aren't as good as you were.
You'll get back to your old-self (or find a new pinnacle of success for your new self!) in time. For now, or today, good enough really is good enough.


Whether these relate to a specific project or goal (new job, exercise goals, homework goals, etc.), or whether they are random achievements throughout the day, it is continually motivating to see progress. Additionally, it can help us keep on track, knowing that we have to account for some achievements at the end of the day!

Tip: Do this during your wind-down time at night in your journal and read back over it every few days. You will have things to feel proud of and motivated by. They are all successes, and they are all yours and they are leading to a great success. Own them all.


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