Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Desert Week: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated

Losing motivation is honestly one the scariest things that happens to me.  It feels like I have no control over it, though I know it has to do with my own brain.  Immediately, I see my plans and goals in jeopardy.  Nothing says “desert” like being stuck without motivation to get unstuck.
Lack of motivation is something we all deal with.  Whether you are trying to lose weight, get in shape, spend more time as a family, read more, or start a side business, your ability to stay motivated can be the limiting agent in your plans.
Luckily, as I’m getting older and more mature, I’m learning how to recharge the old motivation batteries before I find myself facing a complete breakdown.  Here are five ways I’ve found to help you when you lose your motivation:
1. Don’t try to go backwards.  I majored in history during undergrad, and contrary to popular belief, history does not repeat itself.  Though situations can be similar, exact contexts never echo.  Just because something motivated you six weeks ago, doesn’t mean it will ever work again.  Instead of working to get back to a place you once were, work at finding a positive new place.
2. Realize burning out is a natural part of the cycle.  Whenever we start something new, there is an inherent “newness” to it.  That newness will easily motivate us for a while, but eventually the new car smell goes away.  When this happens, the feeling of “burning out” can remain in it’s place.  Don't worry.  It's ok.  It’s normal.
3. Change something small.  People have known for a long time that small changes in one’s environment increases productivity.  Go to a different coffee shop, take a different route home, change the time slot when you work out.  Variety is the spice of life.
4. Incorporate friends.  Friends can make pretty much anything more enjoyable.  Enough said.
5. Do something different.  As they say, all good things must come to an end.  At times, we need to evaluate our goals.  If they aren’t motivating anymore, it may be time to do something different.

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