Is your life hectic?
Do you feel overwhelmed with your schedule?
Does your to-do list look endless?
Do you find it hard to stay motivated?
I could go on and on…but did you say yes to any/all of those questions. I did. Maybe not all the time, but often, right?
The thing about motivation, as Zig Ziglar says, is it doesn’t last. We have to find ways to get back to our happy place.
One exercise my Mom taught me
When your spirits are low or when you doubt the outcome of your efforts, take a sheet of paper. Recall three/five things that always make you happy or make you smile. Store these away in your mind so you can look at this whenever you feel low. As you grow/go through life, you can always replace these three/five things with even happier stuff that makes you feel good.
Point is…even though we might want life to be ideal at least most of the time, meltdowns are a fact of life. But why depend on others? Why not help ourselves?
It is all about how we respond to these situations and stay motivated to carry on with all that we want to accomplish.
Here are 25 easy ways to stay motivated especially when you feel like throwing in that towel.
Make a list of at least six achievements you are proud of
Relive those moments. Think of how people reacted and complimented you—those glorious memories. What pushed you through to reaching that goal?
Setting goals is a proven way to motivate yourself and stay motivated. Goal-Setting Is Linked to Higher Achievement. Visualize each goal. Feel it. Split it into tiny tasks. The smallest success sets off the brain’s reward center, releasing dopamine, that feel-good chemical, motivating you to move ahead.
Make a vision board
Forget about all that is past for the moment. Right now, list the things you’d like to do over the next six months to one year. What is your vision for your future? Here’s a fabulous guide on how to create an empowering vision board.
Take a break.
Seriously. Maybe you are overwhelmed by an overdose of work and just need to unplug and recharge. You’d be amazed at how much a good night’s sleep will benefit you. And while you’re at it, make sure you start your day with a good breakfast to power you through the day.
The right amount of stress is healthy, but too much, not so much. Inf act, too much of even a good thing is not such a good thing. So how to de-stress quickly? How about a cuppa your favorite beverage—enjoyed slowwwwwwly? How about a nice warm shower? Or if you can, a spa visit? Or hey, how about a comedy show? That always works for me. But even housework works for me! Total win-win and instant gratification.
Every day is a chance to change yourself
How about some music? Grab those headphones and enjoy your favorite music. Let it fill your mind. Enjoy the lyrics. I love to blast my playlist at full volume. Enjoy dancing? Doesn’t matter if you have two left feet. Just shake a leg!
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Sit back and take stock
Sometimes, there are situations that don’t go the way we expect and well—one can’t freak out over the inevitable. Now’s a good time to take a good long look at things, perhaps change your perspective. Let me give you an example. If you’ve been following my Gratitude posts, I’ve been talking about ongoing internet and computer issues for months now. Now, I work from home and just cannot afford to have either of these stop working. Rather than get demotivated, I’ve simply changed the way I looked at things.
If things are raising your anxiety levels, why not consciously distract yourself? Try deep breathing. Think of pleasant times. Play a game.
Had to mention this separately. The benefits of meditation are proven and plenty. Even getting a good nap equals meditation. Did you know that? Also, sitting quietly, blanking out your mind brings on a serenity that helps you reframe your thoughts. Try it.
Work it off
Go for a brisk walk. This is one of the best ways to raise your energy levels.
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that lift your spirits and relax you. This helps deal with any stress and keep you from becoming demotivated. During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. Also helps you sleep well and feel better. More motivated to tackle stuff!
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing… that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar
Change your posture
Really! I call it the power of positive posture! When we feel dull, have you noticed how we slump? Now shake it off, push those shoulders back and smile. Go wear your favorite outfit for an instant surge of self-confidence. Bonus? Happier self-image!
Read quotes and affirmations
One of my favorite self-motivation techniques is motivational quotes and affirmations. They’re powerful. Draw inspiration from TED talks.
Take up a challenge
My favorites are photography challenges especially on Instagram and I enjoy looking at photos. But it can be anything that moves you. A challenge keeps you motivated and if it is a community challenge, even more so.
Even if you don’t sketch or craft, check out some YouTube videos or browse DIY art and craft on Pinterest for easy ideas. There’s joy in creating and who knows, you might end up making a few things you can gift away!
Grab some BFF time
Best thing ever! If you’ve been too busy to spend time with your pals, now’s the time. Catch some quality time with your BFF. Family works too! Geographically challenged? How about a marathon phone call?
Read or binge-read
This works great for me. With all the connectivity issues I had, I decided to simply go offline and catch up on my reading. Grabbed a series by an author I enjoy and binged on a whole series. Even one book does the trick sometimes. It takes the focus away from what is stressing you out and helps you look at things afresh. So go to your favorite bookstore! Pick up that book!
I mean, tonight, set intentions for tomorrow. It is amazing how invigorating it is to wake up with a plan—keeps you motivated all day.
Send out a few thank-you cards
Good ol’ fashioned gratitude. Always works. Think of three people who have made a difference in your life. Thank them. You’ll definitely feel better. Take it a step ahead and make it a habit. Appreciate the little things. Join my Gratitude Circle, which goes live on the last Thursday, every month.
Seek the silver lining
There’s always a bright side, if you look for it. Every experience teaches us something. As I enjoy saying, we learn what to do and also what not to do as we go through life. Sometimes, it is a matter of perspective. Learn, move on.
Have you noticed how there are certain triggers that set you off and make you feel lousy? Learn to recognize them. What makes you happy? Do more of that. Walk away from toxic situations and people.
Get a change of scene
Sometimes, our surroundings can drive us nuts. Why not give your space a makeover? Maybe some flowers, a picture you like, new cushions, new curtains? I love wall decals—and getting them up. So easy and so much fun.
Spend time in nature
Go to the nearest park. Turn off your phone. Sit on a bench. Feel the warmth of the sunlight on your skin. Listen to the sounds around you. Be one with nature. Just ten minutes is all it will take to calm down and love life again. Live close to the beach? Lucky you. Dig your toes into the sand and feel the waves tickle your feet. Breathe in the smells around you.
It is okay to seek your loved ones’ support. Share your woes, unburden yourself. Sometimes that’s all it takes to feel better–a good rant!
Keep a journal
Why not write down what’s bothering you? Journaling is a great tool that helps sort through your feelings and understand yourself better. My Mom used to say,
“Diary writing is far more than a way of exorcising one’s unhappiness. The effect is extraordinary. Distanced on paper, troubles shrink to their true size. You can regard them objectively and see how temporary they are”.
It is true. Try it.
Your expression affects your emotional state. Smile. Turn up the corners of your mouth. Fake that smile until it becomes real. A little hard to stay down when you are smiling! If you meet someone without one, give them one of yours.
How do you stay motivated?
What is your favorite method?