3 December 2018
When you’re feeling demotivated, low on energy and like you want to give up with whatever you’re striving toward, what is it that keeps you going?
We all have a go-to strategy for those low moments, when the world is on your shoulders or you feel like your goal is simply insurmountable. For me the answer is simple. I turn to my checklist:
Change your scenery
There is no point staring at the same screen for hours on end if inspiration isn’t coming your way.
A change of scenery is invaluable and is proven to have a marked effect on motivation. That doesn’t have to mean going far, even changing your desk set up can have an impact.
For me, exercise is the single most important part of my routine at these times. Leaving my office or the meeting room, heading to the gym and working out for a little while – even just half an hour – has the ability to completely change your mindset. Exercise tackles stress hormones like cortisol, which can leave you feeling stressed and uninspired. Endorphins triggered by exercise are the perfect way to snap your out of low motivation and leave you ready and raring to go. The perfect combination for me is a run in the mountains. Born and bred in Wales, you will always find me escaping to the mountains when I’m looking for that extra inspiration.
When you lose momentum it is all too easy to feel like achieving your goal is out of your control. This is when it is absolutely essential to remind yourself that you are in control of what you achieve.
Mindset plays a hugely important role in our achievements. When you believe that you can do something, there’s very little in this world that can stop you from achieving it. When you have that belief in yourself, you take control of your own destiny. You ignore the external factors that could easily cause a distraction. Instead, you take control and focus on what’s most important to get the task done.
Look how far you’ve come
Harvard Business School professor Theresa Amabile says the celebrating progress is one of the greatest ways to snap out of procrastination and be more motivated – and it works for your team around you too.
In her book, Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, she writes:
“This pattern is what we call the progress principle: of all the positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work; of all the negative events, the single most powerful is the opposite of progress—setbacks in the work. We consider this to be a fundamental management principle: facilitating progress is the most effective way for managers to influence inner work life.”
When you’re striving towards a big goal, it can easily seem like you’re putting in a huge amount of effort without getting very far. When you stop to look at what you’ve achieved so far, it’s guaranteed to put the wind back in your sails!
These are just three ways to keep yourself going when times inevitably get tough on the road to hitting your goals. What is your checklist for staying motivated? Let me know in the comments below.