A lack of motivation can happen to the best of us. There are some days that you would much rather stay in bed all day, eat and binge-watch the entire season 3 of Stranger Things. That was me this past Saturday.
My to-do list was as long as can be but the motivation was lacking. Bruno Mars’ song, The Lazy Song came to mind and I did just that, NOTHING.
We often feel lacking in motivation as a result of several factors; it may be due to burnout, procrastination, laziness, psychological issues and so on. A dip in motivation is not good for one’s emotional wellbeing. A lazy day every now and again is fine but if your lazy days are affecting your productivity and you find that you get less done more often than you get stuff done then something’s got to give.
With these 5 steps, you can become motivated, stay on top of your goals and feel good about yourself.
The Reward System
“If you finish your veggies, you can have ice cream”. Does that sound like something you’ve heard your parents say to you at the dinner table as a young child?
That’s a technique I use to motivate myself. For instance, I don’t like dealing with numbers and budgets but it’s become a part of my life. I have to do bookkeeping and accounting for my household and my business. I used to procrastinate and do it at the last minute which made it even more onerous, but now, I use the reward system.
It can be something as simple as psyching myself to do it and using food as a reward. If I haven’t had lunch, I’ll tell myself that once I’m done with the accounting, I’ll eat. Or once I’m done adding the numbers, I can watch my favourite show or have a glass of wine. Having something short term to look forward to tends to motivate me. And, I always feel good about myself, so much so that that in itself has become a reward. The feeling of respect for myself and the sense of accomplishment that I feel when I complete a task is very rewarding.
2. Make SMART Goals
Having goals is a sure way to stay motivated. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals specifically.
Similar to having a reward system, a SMART goal helps you to keep your focus. But unlike the reward system, it is more long term. Hypothetically speaking, I have to complete a project for my client by the end of July before I can get paid for services rendered. Knowing what my obligations are will help me stay on course so I know that come what may, I have to complete the project by the end of July otherwise I will not get paid. Getting paid is my end goal.
So also, if you have a SMART goal/s, you know what you have to do, why you have to do it, when your end goal is and so on. This will help massively on days when you want to quit or when you lose focus.
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3. Create a vision board
If you find yourself lacking motivation, you may need to create a vision board. When you can see the end goal, it becomes a lot easier to work for/towards it. According to The Secret, a book by Rhonda Byrne, “The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualising, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the universe.”
A vision board can help you in feeling motivated on days when you are anything but. Pinterest has some pretty great examples of vision boards.
4. Listen to music
Listening to music is another way that you can get some much-needed motivation. Music can be healing but just as it can get you out of a funk, so also can it put you in an angry, depressive state. That is why the type of music you listen to matters. Take Rihanna’s song, “Bitch better have my money”, it can either get you through a stressful moment at work or it can be the fuel you need to demand your money back from that colleague who you loaned money to five months ago, has yet to pay it back and keeps avoiding your calls.
Music is a great motivator and that’s why Bruno Mars’ The Lazy Song is not what you need to listen to on a Monday morning when you are trying to get out of bed and get ready for work. Lifehack has a list of 30 inspirational songs that will help to keep you motivated for life.
5. Feed your soul
The best way to be motivated is to feed your soul. What do I mean by that? Feeding your soul has to do with the people you surround yourself with, the media you consume, the books you read… There’s a saying that goes, garbage in, garbage out. Conversely, if you surround yourself with people who inspire you, read books by Oprah, Michelle Obama and Maya Angelou to name a few, you are bound to be motivated by the stories of these great women.
Whenever I’m feeling low on motivation and the thought of quitting blogging and social media crosses my mind, I think of digital content creators like xxKhanyaxx, ThePatriciaBright, Thisthingcalledfashionn and Vchilimanzi. These ladies inspire me with their smarts, creativity and entrepreneurial skills and watching their content or going on their page, I often feel energised with a renewed sense of purpose.
Who inspires you? It could be your boss, colleague, a friend or a parent. Use them as a source of inspiration when you are down. Another route is to watch TEDx talks or read self-help books. Anything that will get your motivational juices flowing again.
To stay motivated, you must always have a ‘Why’. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What is your purpose? Without the why or a purpose, you are bound to drown.
Find your purpose and work towards it every damn day.
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