Three Practical Ways to Enhance Motivation

Hey y'all!

How's this weather treatin' ya?

Pretty frigid here in Ohio, supposed to be a wind chill of -28 tomorrow! How revolting.

I've started noticing that beginning of the year hype depleting, everyone is starting to get past the "New Year, New Me" belief, and more into the - "it's really cold, and dark out, and I'm tired" way of thinking.

That's perfectly okay and also perfectly normal, however it is not goal consistent. Actually, maybe it is. Maybe your goals for the year were to be really relaxed and sleep a lot. If so, do you girl. Hashtag winning.

If that was not your idea for how this year was going to go, keep reading! I've got three super practical tips for enhancing your motivation when you just can't get started.

  1. Talk yourself into it. 
You know how it easy it is for your brain to say to you, " You don't need to get up and workout, it's cold out. Stay in bed, snuggled up. Eat some popcorn. Hibernate."


"Those dishes can wait! It's not life or death. Let them pile up. It's YOUR house!"

Just as easy as it is to talk yourself out of something, it is just as easy to talk yourself in to something. Replace these convincing statements your brain is whispering to you with more reasonable self-talk. 

Validate with yourself why you don't want to do whatever it is you're unmotivated for, but complete the thought with how you will feel if you did it anyway.

"Yes, I'm super tired and don't want to workout, but if I do I know it will make me feel so proud."

Or maybe you do better with negatives, so instead ask yourself how you will feel if you don't.

"I really don't want to workout, but if I don't I know I will be angry with myself later."

     2. Be Action Oriented.

It is a common misconception that once we start feeling better, we will then be able to get more motivated. Buuuut that's now how that works. Behaviors reinforce our feelings, not the other way around. 

So if you want to get more motivated, your first step needs to be forcing yourself to do something. Use the 5 second rule. Count down from 5, and on 1, you go and do something for 5 seconds. 

After the 5 seconds is up, you are free to return to your hibernation. The next time you are going to make yourself do something, increase the time. Maybe 10 seconds of something? Maybe 5 minutes?

Don't have it set in your mind that you absolutely will be returning to your hibernation once this task is completed. Ideally you will do something for 5 seconds and be motivated to do just a little more. But if you can only do it for 5 seconds, good job! Proud of you! That's 5 more seconds of something being done than what you had yesterday.

      3. Set More Attainable Goals

The last tip is the one I suggest most to those lacking motivation. It is likely if you can't reach your goals, you are setting them too high for where you are in this moment. 

Break them down even further and see where you get. Because what can happen is we set goals that we can't attain for ourselves, and then when we don't reach them we beat ourselves up, in turn enhancing our lack of motivation, creating this endless cycle of "I can't complete anything so why even start."

Whereas if we set goals we can attain easily from the jump, it builds our self-efficacy, thus enhancing our motivation, ultimately allowing us to reach higher and higher over time. 

A good example of this is a client I had in the past who was suffering from depression. She would be so upset with herself for having a sink full of dishes and not having enough motivation to wash them.

I encouraged her to set a goal of only washing one dish this week. I know this seems a little crazy, but for someone suffering from severe depression, even one dish being washed could take a hell of a lot of energy.

The client obliged, and found that she washed two dishes. The next day she washed another. Then another, and by the end of the week her dishes were finally washed. After weeks of sitting there. This one tiny action did wonders for her self-efficacy and motivation. 

*Bonus Tip*

I would like to add that a very common source of lack of motivation is a lot of times something as simple as lack of sleep. Not getting the sleep you need can decrease the energy needed to attain the goals you're setting for yourself.

Check your sleep cycle first. If it's out of whack, start there. You may see a great improvement just after that!

There you have it! Three practical tips to help you get motivated when you just aren't feeling it.

Any other tips and tricks of the trade are welcome! As always, thanks for reading and I hope you found this post to be helpful!!

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