Demotivation can hit you in any area of your life. Work, relationships, fitness, weight loss… So what can you do about it? After all, we all want to feel motivated to better ourselves.
Want that super summer bikini body? It’s gonna take more than a couple of half-hearted trips to the gym… Want that promotion? Then to outshine other potential candidates, you may well have to study, take some exams, or simply pull out all the stops at work to show you’re the most deserving…
Whatever your aim, it takes motivation. Even if you feel like you’ve got none at all, there are some simple steps you can take to start getting fired up again.
Learn a little
OK, this isn’t as daft as it sounds. Did you know that the brain has the ability to tell the body to secrete feel good hormones, as well hormones that end up making you feel down, and therefore lacking in motivation?
You might’ve heard about hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin. Each has an effect on the body and how we feel – in fact, they’re sometimes dubbed the ‘happy hormones’.
There are many ways to increase our burst of these, including easy ones such as a walk in the fresh air, having a hug, breaking goals down into small, easily achievable ones… These are all simple ways to help the brain tell the body give us a feel good boost with these hormones.
Understanding a little about how the body decides when and where to secrete these chemicals can be a good starting point for beginning to get motivated.
Create some daily rituals
Humans love routine. Yes, even you – the person who never has a routine to speak of. Making something become a habit (which, incidentally, takes around 66 days, not the 21 days that most people seem to think) can be a great way to begin to get motivated.
And for those lacking in motivation, the trick here is to start small. Sure, you might want to ensure you go for a run every morning before work – and of course, if you can do that, it’s great. But if you’re lacking in motivation, that really could be a step too far.
So if fitness is your goal, why not try simply getting up 5 minutes earlier and trying to do 10 sit ups. The whole idea is to start a routine where your day always begins with exercise. Once you’ve got that habit formed, then it’s just a small step to increase the amount of exercise you do.
Set a goal… A SMALL goal…
Moving on from the above, it’s time to set yourself one or more small, readily achievable goals. You might want to gain a Master’s degree, but that is going to take time and effort. It’s far better to take it in small steps. Perhaps you could begin with telling yourself to read a few pages of a book that will allow you to begin your education?
Or you could sign up to a weekly evening class that leads to the first step in a qualification?
Whatever it is you decide to do, it needs to have a finite finish date not too far into the future. That way you get a little adrenaline boost when you reach that goal. And then you can set your sights on the next one…
Write it down
So, you’ve decided on your above small goal. Then write it down, and then write down the steps you need to take in order to accomplish it. Even the act of putting it down in words is motivational in itself. And another great tip is to actually sign it at the bottom – in exactly the same way you would a contract.
This tells your brain that you’ve committed to a contract with yourself to work towards and reach that goal.
Talk to people about what your goals are. You’ll be amazed at how such a conversation can get you fired up – and you might even find you get another person who wants to join you on your journey.
For example, maybe you’re trying to get motivated to lose weight. People love to talk about their own success, or, if they too aspire to drop a few pounds, the next thing you know you’ll have a partner in crime to give you a boost along the way.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
We all need a helping hand sometimes. No matter what you’re trying to get motivated for, there’s always others who’ll be doing the same, or happy to give you the boost you need.
Don’t know anyone to call on? Then the virtual world is, to coin a phrase, your oyster. There are literally thousands of forums out there for every subject under the sun. Get online and get talking. You’ll be amazed at how such communication can boost your efforts.
Recognize your negativity
We all have negative thoughts. But the trick is to recognize them and do your utmost to replace them with positive ones. So not talk yourself down – this is the number one thing that you need to spot and change.
Spend a few days thinking about your own thoughts, and simply recognizing when you’re putting yourself down. You know, thoughts like, “this is too hard”, or “I can’t do this”. Once you’ve tapped into your own negativity, the next step is to think about squashing such thoughts and replacing them with something far more motivational.
When you think that you can’t do something, remind yourself that other people far less capable than you can and do on a regular basis. Imagine that the thought is a physical item, and imagine that you can squash it under your foot. You can then tell yourself that yes, actually, you can do it. It’s all about changing the way you think – and yes, you CAN do it. It just takes a little practice, that’s all…