How I Stay Motivated When I’m In A Rut

I wish that motivation and feeling motivated was something I had the secret formula to, but unfortunately, I don’t. There are times when I am energized, motivated and excited to get some work done and others...not so much. Like anyone else, I get tired, bored, or just “not in the mood,” so although I don’t have the formula for “everlasting motivation,” I do have a hit list of how I reinvigorate myself.


First, and this is always my go-to is to make a list. Yes, it sounds simple, but when I write a to-do list, and I see all the items that I need to do, it lights a fire in me to get.it.done. Now the pace and location of where I work vary. If it’s on the weekend, I’ll sit on the couch, plug in my AirPods and just work away. If it’s late in the evening, I sit in bed with my favorite tea, put up up my feet and type out. Trust me; there is no better feeling than crossing an item off a list; it’s fantastic.


The second is the order in which I do the tasks on the list. Sometimes, I do the most challenging thing first, and others times not. If I can get the small things done faster and get a solid work hour in, I will get those small tasks done and cross them off my list. If I have a big job to tackle, I’ll set aside a few hours and only do that one thing for the day. Having that type of flexibility and knowing how long tasks usually take allow me to play with my day and have significantly more control over how it goes.


Third, I reward myself. Whenever I complete my to-do list or hit a big milestone, I’ll make my favorite snack or have my favorite dessert (pssst it’s cookies and cream ice cream), and it always feels good. Knowing that I need to balance work and reward was not an easy habit to build but understanding my motivation certainly helps!


Are you looking for new ways to get motivated even when you don’t feel like it? Before you even start with a list, think about your purpose. Why do you have the work that you have? Is it your job, is it a topic you like? Is it a project? Or is it just a chore? No matter what category it falls into, understanding the why and purpose will help to ground you and give you clarity on direction.


The second is to find the thing or things you love about what you are doing. Will you love every moment of it? Maybe not. However, when you identify what you love about it, it gives you something to look forward to and helps you schedule your work around it.


Third, be kind to yourself. Trust me; there are times where I had a mountain of work to do, and nothing would get me out of bed to do. I was overworked, exhausted, and not happy with my place in life. I had to make changes and changes I did make. Did it happen overnight, no but through thinking, journaling, and just being with my thoughts, I could create a new path for myself.


No matter how you feel right now, know that motivation does not last forever. It’s the habits and principles we create for ourselves that allows us to be our best selves. And sometimes, we all need a little help and some motivation.


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