“I just don’t feel motivated.” Sound familiar?
We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s motivation to get to the gym or finally finish that school or work project. We wait for that motivation to hit. But it never comes. Then, we never make it to the gym, and we end up waiting until the last possible moment to complete that project. Not exactly what we intended.
John C. Maxwell has stated, “Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”
The truth is that motivation won’t always be there for us (as much as we wish it were!).
So, what does this mean? Well, we have to find other ways to stay motivated—which might not exactly mean waiting on motivation to hit us when the time is right. Rather, we might just benefit from developing our self-discipline muscle.
So, let’s dig in. How can you get “motivated” with more discipline and other tricks?
Mustering up that motivation comes down to having a little bit of discipline. While we might struggle with self-discipline, there are a few ways you can start to flex that muscle—without more stress or work. Here’s how!
Being motivated usually means just forcing yourself to get started. This doesn’t mean you have to commit to an hour or more of work (or exercise or whatever it is you have your sights set on!). Instead, commit to five minutes.
Take those five minutes to start to get organized or dive into your workout, whatever it is, and you might just find that after five minutes, you’re in the right mindset to keep going.
It can further help to start with a small step, such as the outline for your big project or simply getting in your car to go to the gym, then continue from there. The key here is to start so that your brain triggers that dopamine release, which may foster a bit of motivation to keep going.
According to psychologists, the tasks we are most motivated to do come from intrinsic factors (aka your internal dialogue!).
In other words, tasks that need to get completed but you don’t feel motivated to do may require a slight change in thinking.
This may mean making the task more fun or even switching your “I don’t want to do that” thoughts into reasons why you should do said task.
For instance, you might not feel like exercising. However, you can dig deeper here.
Find those reasons, and the motivation will soon follow!
Sometimes, we don’t begin a task due to deep fears and phobias.
For instance, we may put off writing that speech because we know we aren’t good or well-practiced at public speaking.
However, breaking this down further, we can determine that we’re more scared of what others will think about us. Then, this gives us something to work with! Taking this a step further, we can challenge our thoughts about why it matters what others think about us.
Deconstructing your anxieties or fears can help you overcome them and muster up that motivation you need to get stuff done.
Related Article: How to Overcome Fear: The Practice of Facing What You Are Afraid of
Don’t feel like cleaning out your house and home for your weekend guests? Not in the mood to sit down and start that big work project? Try going for a walk.
Movement enhances blood flow to the brain, fostering creativity and cognition. Plus, this can help energize you! While you walk, you can mentally prepare for the task that needs to get done, helping you get in the right state of mind before diving in headfirst.
Related Article: Why You Should Walk Everyday
Ah, how the brain loves rewards!
While the feeling of accomplishment should be reward enough, it’s never the thing that truly gets us started on a task. So, trick your mind by setting up a reward for when you complete the project or a section of it. This might mean a healthy and delicious lunch or even a coffee from your local cafe.
And the key here is delayed gratification. You want to delay the reward until the task or part of it is complete.
Okay, so this one might not work “in the moment.”
Yet, creating commitments with yourself and sticking with them can help you develop self-discipline. Self-discipline refers to your ability to take action and get things done, despite how you feel or other hurdles present.
Adding your tasks to a calendar can not only help you manage your time, but it can also ensure you have a plan in place to complete what you need to complete. On top of this, you develop the ability to override your feelings and get things done, no matter whether the motivation is there or not.
You might think “easier said than done,” but it’s entirely possible to become a regular gym-goer or a person who “gets stuff done” just by using a few simple strategies (like those above!).
Plus, you’ll feel way less guilt or stress and be motivated to do even more. So, which strategy are you going to try the next time motivation isn’t there for you?
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