We all have bad days (and weeks). Even the most determined and driven people suffer slumps now and then.
Whether you’re feeling down or simply stuck procrastinating, it can be hard to find the motivation to make things happen when you’re in a slump.
Slumps or ruts can leave us feeling unmotivated, unproductive, guilty, lost, frustrated – you name it. Get unstuck and make your comeback with these tips to get motivated again.
Check Your Basic Needs
Do a mental audit of your recent lifestyle. Have you been getting enough sleep? Eating nourishing foods? Moving and exercising regularly? Checking in with your support network? Is your environment tidy and organised, or cluttered and messy?
Lifestyle and environmental factors can have a huge impact on your motivation and morale, and addressing these basic needs can help you get back on track.
Ditch Your Biggest Time Waster
What are you doing instead of what you should be doing? Life is rife with distractions, from scrolling through social media and watching Netflix to texting friends and checking what’s in the fridge (again).
Pinpoint what’s chewing up most of your time and determine how you can eliminate the temptation. For example, if you’re lurking through Instagram instead of exercising, delete the app until you’ve finished your workout. If you’re texting friends instead of working on that big project, put your phone on silent or leave it in another room until later.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
Having too much on our plate at once can sap our energy and have us running from our responsibilities. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try focusing on just one goal at a time. Make it a small, achievable goal that you can accomplish with little time and effort.
Chances are once it’s complete, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep ticking off your other to-dos.
It’s a bit of a catch 22, but motivation is created by action. Many people believe that doing something will give you motivation, and waiting for motivation to do something is pointless. It’s a little like the chicken and the egg.
Starting can be the toughest part, but once you’ve made a move, you’ll likely find yourself on a roll and keen to maintain momentum.
So in the wise words of Nike – just do it.
Give Yourself an Incentive
There’s nothing wrong with a little self-bribery if it gets the job done. Reward your efforts with your favourite takeaway or an online purchase.
Or create something exciting to look forward to (e.g. a weekend trip away or a fun event with your friends) to give your mood a boost.
Make a Vision Board
Thinking about your goals and dreams every day can help you remember your ‘why’. Maybe you’re studying for a career change, or sacrificing nights out to save for an overseas trip.
Whatever your ambition, looking at a vision board each day will make it easier to visualise what success will feel like, and this will help you stay focused, excited, and motivated to get there.
It’s easy to give up on goals we’ve set in private. It’s harder to surrender to defeat when there are other people counting on us.
Research shows sharing your goals with someone whose opinion you value can make you more dedicated and unwilling to give up. So find those people you want to impress – whether it’s a friend, family member, or mentor – and commit to your goals publicly.
Make a List (or Two)
Got a lot going on in your life? Juggling work, friends, family, and everything else that fills our days can take its toll – especially if we’re not organised.
Lists can help us determine our daily priorities and get on top of our to-dos. You might have a monthly goals list broken down into weekly and daily to-dos to help you stay motivated. Just think of the satisfaction you’ll feel when you cross everything off before you go to bed.
Get Inspiration from Others
Energy is contagious. If you’ve been stuck in your head while you’re stuck in a slump, you might need to look to an external source for a boost.
Talk to positive people, read inspiring books, listen to uplifting music, scroll through motivational quotes, or go for a walk in nature. Inspiration can be found just about anywhere if you seek it out.
Change up Your Routine
We can all get bored when every day is the same. If you’re feeling stagnant and uninspired by the monotony of your day-to-day, it might be time to make a change and break an aspect of your routine.
For example, you might set your alarm for an hour earlier to go for a walk or make a healthy breakfast. Or maybe you’ll swap your nightly Netflix for a book or podcast, or a phone call to a friend.
This shock to the system might shake up your mindset and inspire some new ideas.
If you’re going through a tough time and need someone to talk to, our experienced counsellors can help. Learn more about our counselling services and how to book an appointment here.