It’s a trying time here in the U.S. and with all the negativity swimming in the air, how the heck are we supposed to stay motivate? Seems like there’s more heart in the Disney movie Moana than there is in our communities. But I don’t want to be daunting and add to the grief, so let me share some inspiration and strategies I use to get me back in gear. Check out My Why YouTube video for extra motivation and inspiration.
As a speaker, trainer, life coach, husband, and father, there’s a lot of pressure to be a leader. But being I’m human (I think), sometimes even I get discouraged. There are times when the house gets messy, the hours at work are long, the hours of sleep are short, the commute to our day job is similar to watching paint dry, and the children need time with us to bond and build on our relationships. That doesn’t leave much room for chores, personal “me” time for my wife or I, time for my wife and I to spend with each other, time for the dog, time for blogs or vlogs. Life, especially with children, can be pretty demanding. And those are the times where dispiritedness can creep in. It’s crucially important to do some self reflecting during these times to find fuel to your fire.
Try these 5 strategies for boosting your inner-drive when you’re feeling low on gas.
- Remembering why you started in the first place. This is number one for a reason. Your why is the reason you get up in the morning, the reason you don’t quit (even when you want to), it’s THE reason you continue on. Consciously thinking of this can give you a boost to finish the day, even if that’s all you can muster for the time being. Your why could be your significant other, it could be your children, your parents, your current goal, your passion in life, etc. There are many reasons why people persist, so just make sure you find your why.
- Change your perspective. How often you sit back and compare your life to someone who seems to “have it all”? Do you ever do this? Do you ever scroll through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or watch a bunch of YouTube videos and see what appears to be the “good life” and wonder why you don’t have it that good?
Ask again: “How would I feel if I had it worse than I have it now?” Let that marinate for a little bit… Doesn’t that change your outlook? When you think about it, is your life really that bad? I mean, are you starving? Are you without clothing? Are you without shelter? Are you in a war zone? The truth is, things could be a lot worse. I was at the gym the other day and I watched a commercial for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and I couldn’t help but think of how hard it must be for those children. Then I thought of the parents, and imagined how powerless I would feel if one of my children were in that situation. Those three to four minutes of commercial made me grateful for and appreciate my children’s health.
- Think about the last time (negative). Seriously, think about the last time you got down on yourself for one reason or another and what did you do? You stayed in and watched TV? You scrolled through social media and made it worse? Binged on a bunch of junk food? Did that make things better? Or did it make things even worse because not only did you feel down on yourself, but you engaged in “I feel bad about myself so I’m going to do *blank* and feel worse about it” behavior? (Yes, I just made that up).
Instead of repeating the behavior, do what you need to do, even if your heart isn’t in it at that moment. Go to the gym. At least you went! Write part of that paper, that blog, that chapter, that report… just write something because it’s better than writing nothing at all. Don’t let history repeat itself.
- Just do it. I’m not getting paid to advertise for Nike but their slogan suits this post. The last tip had you think about how you felt the last time you felt down about things and engaged in positive feedback behavior (that’s when you feel bad and do things that will make you feel bad, making you feel worse). So instead of thinking about what happened last time, don’t think, just do. Are you down about how much laundry needs to get done? Start a load buddy. Are you bummed because the sink is full of dishes? Roll up your sleeves champ. Feeling bad about not spending time with someone? Reach out to them, and if they’re available, go see them. Don’t procrastinate, just start doing! You can feel bummed, down, tired, unmotivated, uninspired, and still command your body to move. It’s not like your actually paralyzed. (Think of tip #2).
- Think about the last time (positive). Tip #3 was about thinking how you felt last time you gave in to the feelings and did what you were already bummed out about. This time, I want you to think about the last time you achieved a goal. Think of how good it felt to clean up your place and easy it was to pick out clothes when everything was put away. Think about how good it felt last time you didn’t want to go, but you went to the gym anyways. Think about how good it felt when you wanted something bad to eat, but you ate well instead and lost a pound or two that week? Think of how good it felt when you paid off that loan or credit card because you didn’t spend on X, Y, or Z. Remember those times? I bet they felt fantastic! Consciously bringing those rewarding thoughts back to life activates the reward center in your brain because your brain can’t tell the difference between reality and a thought. It reacts the same. So, think of some rewarding time and use those good feelings to move you towards achievement again!
Keep these 5 tips in mind next time you’re thinking of skipping out on responsibility and make the choice to do today what you will thank yourself for tomorrow.
ClintFit Consulting ™
© 2017 Clinton N. Downs