Every day we are faced with opportunities. Opportunities to change old habits, fears, & mindsets that are harmful to our motivation. Within the span of twenty-four hours, we have the chance to wake up refreshed and start anew. And sometimes, this means breaking down your actions step-by-step in order to transform yourself into who you want to be.
For me, this entailed the concept of fighting my lack of motivation. Although most people believe motivation is the opposite of procrastination, the two are in slightly different categories; procrastination is the action of putting off something until the end of its deadline, while motivation is the reason behind one’s actions.
Like many people in the world, I personally struggle with lack of motivation. After taking some time to search within myself, I have discovered the essential ways to kick my mind back into gear. I not only found the way to stop procrastinating, but to also have a POSITIVE outlook so that the reasons for my actions would be encouraging and progressive.
When I used to wake up in the morning, I went into autopilot mode. I quickly learned that my version of autopilot only included the actions I wanted to do, not what I needed to do. But the core of my issue was that I never really knew what I needed to do.
To make each day count as something productive, I make small choices that create a large impact. Instead of hitting the snooze button first thing in the morning, I wake up at the initial chime of my alarm clock. Instead of scrolling through social media on my phone or answering emails, I make my bed or cook breakfast. When I have a sense of accomplishment at the start of my day, even with small actions, I start momentum for accomplishing tasks for the rest of the day.
Sometimes, my mind turns simple daily tasks into large, insurmountable projects. It can feel crippling just to think about what I have to do next. I would often lay in bed in the morning, stare at the ceiling, and just ponder all that I had to do for the day. It became incredibly overwhelming, and more often than not, I would not complete most of my tasks.
To regain motivation in this way, I break down my day into smaller pieces. When I focus on one task at a time and set a reasonable time limit for myself to accomplish each task, I’m not worried about the future or regretting past actions. I allow myself to stay in the present.
Of course, I realize I may have some off days where everything seems like a struggle. If this is the case, I tell myself to just do something small. Just get out of bed and put your feet on the floor, only check the first three emails in your inbox, only shop for five essential items from the grocery store. Once I became victorious with the actions that seemed insignificant, I felt much more empowered to take on important tasks.
It’s easy to get in the cycle of self-doubt. I will be the first to say that I am my worst critic. However, I will never have a reason to do something if I don’t truly believe that I can succeed. Confidence can be attained even through the most minor actions.
When I took these small steps to boost my confidence, I renewed my inner strength. I knew I was perfectly capable of handling anything to come my way.
Achieving my goals came a lot easier to me when I surrounded myself with the right people. Sure, I am capable of proving naysayers wrong, but the trend of regaining my motivation only came when I placed myself in a positive environment. I consistently had people lifting me up instead of tearing me down, which made me feel unstoppable.
Environment goes beyond a support system of people, though. I also give myself a pleasant atmosphere to work in. My desk is neat, my papers are organized, and I have a routine I follow within my workspace so that I don’t become mentally cluttered. I also add comforts like my favorite color around my work area, pictures of friends and family on my desk, and posters or knick knacks that make me smile or laugh.
Why are you starting this project? Are you contributing to your overall career? Are you working toward a specific degree or credential? Whenever I’m feeling stuck about what I need to do, I remind myself of what I’m going to gain from the experience. Most importantly, I don’t allow myself to settle for losses. However, if I’m in the process of working toward a goal and I feel unsatisfied or I believe my goal needs to be adapted, I’ll grant myself the ability to change along the way. This takes discernment of when to be creative and flexible, but really, it’s all about knowing what you are and are not willing to compromise.
There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks, especially if the action is overwhelming. If you have been taking the fast track, remember to slow down every now and then. Success is not a race. As a human being, it is essential for you to take time for yourself in the form of self-care. Personally, I’ve noticed that when I take at least an hour each day for myself, I become even more prepared to take on whatever tasks are ahead of me. The goal here is to not be so burned out that you don’t even try again— it’s only that much harder to bounce back.
In the end, loss of motivation comes down to a mindset that is ill prepared. When you take time for yourself to assess your behaviors and confront them head-on with a plan in mind, you will undoubtedly have success. The key takeaways are to stay positive, set attainable goals, and always do something to move forward. Of course, with these extra tools I’ve provided, your day-to-day life will soon change into a world of many achievements.