It has honestly been a while since I’ve uploaded here or even had the motivation to write on my blog. Whilst I have been busy with work and exams, the consequences of being in lockdown and my mental health is starting to drain me. I’m sure many of us have lacked the motivation or drive to even do the tiniest of tasks.
In light of it being World Suicide Prevention Day today and being overwhelmed during this COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to share some of the simple ways that I find motivation. Lack of motivation can be debilitating. It isn’t simply as easy as laziness. I know personally that depression and anxiety can suck all your energy and motivation to the point that it is a struggle just doing daily tasks.
I also want to be more transparent with myself and hence I’ve started this Dear Diary series – a more personal lifestyle and wellbeing orientated post. I have talked about the importance to live an authentic life to please ourselves rather than pleasing others. Excessive use of social media can fuel depression and anxiety and can lead to a drop in motivation.
Set small, manageable goals
Lack of motivation can stem from a sense of being overwhelmed. Having small goals is attainable and allows you to achieve bigger goals and tasks you have set in store for you.
You may also be prone to procrastination. Having ambiguity in your goals can also lead to further procrastination. It is important to make doable actions that you can perform immediately.
Think about one thing that you can do to make progress on your goal.
Make a Habit
It can be so easy to jump off motivation. How many times have we said that we would eat healthier and exercise more but end up back to where we started only by the next week?
Getting into good habits can fuel longer-term motivation and avoid procrastination.
Whether your habit is going to the gym every day, waking up at 6am every morning or doing meditation every day, you are building healthy rituals on autopilot.
This is such a powerful tool. You are performing positive behaviours that achieve your goals. Even when you lack motivation, you are reminded of your routines and remember the benefit you had from doing the habit and you’ll have the desire to keep performing your habits.
Use the 10 Minute Rule
Starting something can seem the hardest task ever. The 10 Minute Rule is a productive strategy that means you have 10 minutes to do a task and once it’s been 10 minutes you can decide whether to keep going or not. 10 minutes is not a lot of time.
You’ll be surprised that you may want to decide to keep going. This is a positive habit that you can use to reduce procrastination and negative feelings. I love this quote I found online. Don’t doubt – just do.
Be willing to change
Many of us don’t have motivation or act on our motivation because we have an avoidance of discomfort. We don’t want to do things to avoid uncomfortable feelings. Something I personally struggle is I’ll avoid tough challenges on purpose because I don’t want to fail.
Something that helps me with motivation is asking the why. Why are you doing what you’re doing. If that motivator is compelling enough, you will have confidence and motivation to succeed.
For example, something that I’ve done recently is being motivated to change my diet and improve my fitness. It sounds so simple but it has been hard to change my ways and nothing has stuck.
I was ill the other week and thought this was after-effects of the vaccine. However, I put the correlation of increased thirst, fatigue and headaches to my PCOS condition and potential warning signs of prediabetes. Whilst this condition is something I’m aware of for a while, this was the kick that I needed to really commit to it.
Whilst some health scares can turn out to be nothing, they also have the power to change your mindset about life.
Seek professional help if you need to
If your motivation may remain low for weeks or months at a time, it may be best to consult a mental health or health professional. This is always an option to tackle your lack of motivation. They can assist with strategies to increase your motivation and use treatments such as therapy or medication.
Congratulate yourself for your wins
Rewarding yourself for your efforts will improve your confidence and your sense of motivation. Harsh self-criticism is not healthy nor effective.
If you’re interested in weight loss and the psychology of food, someone I enjoy watching on Youtube is Kiana Docherty. She recently posted a video relating to another influencer and consequences of self-criticism on our weight loss and behaviours.
Self-criticism can be helpful as it allows you to be uncomfortable and thus can be a catalyst for change. However, with constant negativity you can never be proud of the accomplishments you have achieved – even the tiniest of ones. As I’ve mentioned throughout, small positive reinforcement such as making habits or achieving small goals and tasks is enough to keep us motivated.
Be proud of yourself.
I hope this has been helpful! Finding motivation is not a quick fix. It requires determination, persistence and most importantly, resilience. Don’t let challenges and setbacks stop you.
In the words of Shia LaBeouf, don’t let your dreams be dreams.