We’ve all been there – mid-project / mid-fitness goal / mid-saving goal – and it seems as though any sense of motivation and inspiration that prompted us to begin has long since evaporated.
Perhaps we’re at that tricky mid-point of a project, where the initial excitement has worn off and now we’re in the admin-heavy, endless to-do list stage and it feels as though the completion stage will never come.
Or maybe we’ve been keeping at our new fitness routine superbly, but now the darker nights and challenging weather of winter have hit and that 6am alarm just doesn’t feel as welcome anymore.
And it doesn’t just apply to projects either. Jobs, careers, relationships and co-living situations can all experience a loss of mojo; where starting even the most everyday of tasks can feel like we are dragging ourselves through mud.
When we are lost to the mojo-less Gods, we experience a number of challenges; it’s hard to start tasks and to see them through; our attention span can feel shorter and we might seek out distractions; our general mood will feel challenged as we attempt to trudge through; and ultimately, our productivity levels will take a hit.
So what can we – not just to power on through and achieve at the level at which we are capable – but also to re-motivate ourselves so that we re-engage in an authentic way?
Read on for our top five tips!
- Check in first – are you experiencing burn-out?
This is an important question, because if you have been burning the candle at both ends and are mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted, then no amount of micro-actions or gratitude practices will help to re-engage you. If you’re experiencing burn-out, what you really, really need is rest. And lots of it. Taking some time out might seem like a huge inconvenience, but the honest truth is that your wellbeing is at stake. And no project should deplete you over such a length of time that your health suffers.
- Break tasks down into micro-actions.
That old saying ‘one foot in front of the other’ has wisdom for a reason. When your motivation has gone, it can feel hard to vision far into the future. Instead, break tasks down into micro-actions. For example, rather than writing ‘create a website’ on your to-do list, break it down into the composite elements, such as creating a menu, listing individual pages and penning copy for each bit of required content. That way, when you approach your task, it doesn’t seem like one mammoth, impenetrable project, and you’ll be able to see the easy wins that will help you to make a start.
- Set SMART goals.
A smart goal is one which is:
As an example, rather than setting yourself a quarterly sales target, work to a weekly one instead. That way, it’s more specific, you’ll be able to track progress in a more meaningful way, and you’ll be less likely to lose motivation and under-deliver in the middle of the quarter, avoiding pressure later on.
Another great technique is to work to power hours – particularly regarding tasks you’re not keen on. It could be that you set aside an hour to deal with all of those emails you’ve been avoiding. Or an hour of selling on your trickiest product. The sense of achievement after ‘clearing’ the backlog of your least favourite things will be huge; like a weight has shifted from your shoulders.
- Ask yourself whether you can make your tasks more enjoyable?
What can you do to make your tasks more enjoyable? Perhaps you can treat yourself to a morning working from your favourite café. Or switch up your home environment by lighting a scented candle and putting on a relaxing playlist? If it’s fitness-related, can you invite a friend to your studio class or morning run and make time to catch up over a coffee afterwards? Switching up your environment or bringing in your support network can make a huge difference to how you experience your day, pivoting your perception from one of dread to something you actually look forward to.
- Celebrate each and every win
Don’t just leave your celebrations to the end of the project – like achieving your final fitness goal or delivering a signed, sealed and delivered product. Acknowledge every completed task; every completed SMART goal; every weekly sales target – and celebrate it! Perhaps it’s as simple as taking a moment to appreciate the number of ticks on your to-do list. Perhaps it’s sharing the good news of your sales target with colleagues. Or sending a screenshot of your daily steps to supportive family and friends. Whatever it is – you made it happen! Take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate.
And finally, gratitude! If your lack of motivation is project-specific, remind yourself what made you start out on your project in the first place. Perhaps it’s a dream of yours, something that gives you purpose? If it’s job-related – even if it’s not a job you enjoy – remind yourself of all of the things your earnings afford you, like a roof over your head, stability, food on the table.
Gratitude is a powerful practice. If you can appreciate the smallest of things and the smallest of wins, your whole attitude and sense of perspective can shift.
If you’re feeling challenged to keep your sense of motivation right now, check out the Studio Think range of courses. We have a number of six-day programmes to support you in all life areas, from unlocking your success mindset to strengthening your inner resilience. All it takes is 15 minutes a day!