If you don’t feel like the most motivated person in the world, you’re not alone. Even famous motivational speakers, leaders and coaches can feel unmotivated sometimes! We all know the feeling: no matter how hard you try, you can’t find the on switch that lights your fire; so you put in a half-hearted effort that results in a less than wonderful outcome. Wouldn’t it be great to be motivated and then start working, instead of starting a project in a mental funk?
Sometimes you simply can’t get motivated to do something you don’t want to do, but you have no choice but to buckle down and do it. The good news is, you can learn to motivate yourself to do anything at all! Motivation is a combination of mental control, visualization, action and the way you see things. When you don’t feel like doing anything, use these techniques to get motivated:
1. Narrow your focus. A big motivation zapper comes from spreading yourself too thin. Too much going on means a revolving door of unfinished business and scattered attention that saps your energy and motivation. Taking on too much wears you out. Exhausted and distracted, you can’t give your best. You can only FOCUS on one thing at a time! Choose one goal. Tell yourself that this is the ONE you need to focus on now (write down what you will do next once this project is done so you can free up the mental energy you spend thinking about it). Give this project your all, and finish it. Then, and only then move on to the next.
2. Find inspiration. Seek out people who have done what you want to do. Read about them, meet them if you can, absorb their enthusiasm and emulate what they do. Become fascinated with what you’re doing, no matter how mundane. How you see your project can give you the motivation to keep at it.
3. Go public. Talk to other people about it. Build the excitement as you talk. ‘Sell’ the project to others and you’ll become more excited about it. The more you make it public, the more you are committed to doing it; it’s harder to back down after you’ve publicly committed! Plus, you build anticipation about the project before you even start. Use anticipation as a powerful motivating force!
4. Relax into the ebb and flow to motivation. Motivation comes and goes according to your energy levels and your busy-ness; but a temporary slump doesn’t have to become permanent! While you are in an ebb period, read about your goal, talk about it and rekindle the fire of excitement.
5. Get support. Friends and family are there to support you just as you are there to support them. You can also seek out like-minded people (clubs and organizations) who support each others’ aspirations.
6. Take small steps. The big picture can be overwhelming and intimidating, no doubt about it! So don’t look at the big picture. Shift your focus to the small steps you need to take. The smaller the steps, the more likely you are to be motivated. Starting small prevents overwhelm and gives you the immediate gratification of accomplishment.
7. Five more! Make deals with yourself to keep going for just five more: five more minutes, five more pages, five more emails, five more pushups, etc. Of course you can do just five more. And then, when you’re (miraculously) still alive and capable of continuing, you can tell yourself, okay, that wasn’t so bad. I’ll do just five more… see how this can keep you going?
8. Focus on the end result, not potential (or existing) problems. Instead of thinking how hard something is, what about focusing on the result? By developing your power to creatively visualize, you learn to look beyond the current situation and the potential stumbling blocks ahead, and program yourself for success by focusing on the desired result. The Silva Method teaches you to monitor your thoughts and change them by using a combination of positive self-talk and creative visualization.
9. Value your time. Your time is precious! The time you spend in a funk, procrastinating and wishing, is time that is gone forever. Wasted. Sometimes you have to jump-start yourself with some harsh reality and remind yourself that your time is precious and if you spent that time doing something proactive instead of thinking about it, your life experience would be better!
10. Remember your successes. Remember when you felt like you were on top of the world, when everything was going your way and you were accomplishing something that meant a lot to you. Remember how you felt! Remember the energy, the vitality, the enthusiasm and the unwavering focus! Now, imagine how good you will feel when you accomplish this thing. Accomplishment feels SO much better than quitting!
11. Simplify. Simplify your life by eliminating things and activities that don’t mean much to you. Let go of the commitments that drain you and cut out anything on your to-do list that doesn’t make your life better.
12. Prevent the slump by staying consistent. Don’t skip too many workouts or break the diet too many times – it’s that much harder to start up again! Staying consistent makes positive action a positive habit. Recognize your triggers – what makes you say, “just this once” more than once? What makes you procrastinate? If you build your self-awareness through the Silva Method exercises, you will be able to quickly spot destructive thoughts like procrastination and avoidance and derail them. Rationalization is one major clue – if you start rationalizing why you can’t do something you should be doing, you’re headed for a major, major motivational slump! Ultimately it’s much, much easier to keep going even when you don’t want to!
Use the Silva Method to develop the mental mastery to stay on task even when you aren’t motivated; sometimes you’ll find your groove in the action and become motivated again.