How to Become Motivated When You Are Feeling Low
Even the most motivated, driven and happy people can find themselves feeling low from time to time. As of April 2020, 45 percent of Americans reported feeling down, depressed, or even hopeless.
While this number may seem staggering, it's perfectly human to lack motivation every once in a while. If you find yourself feeling down, don't worry. There are many things you can do to boost your spirits.
Here are some simple tips on how to become motivated and get moving again.
Understand How Motivation Works
When we think of motivation, we usually think of scenarios like convincing yourself to go to the gym or striving to perform better at work. What most people don't realize is, motivation often comes after these initial actions, not before. The first initial action, like throwing on your workout clothes or picking up an extra task at work, can be a chain reaction for long term motivation.
The first step is usually the hardest in any difficult process. In our everyday lives when feeling unmotivated, even getting out of bed in the morning can seem like an impossible and daunting task. While we may spend time wondering how to get motivated, remember that we are in control of the chain reaction we want.
Rather than working up the motivation to do something, understand that once you start a task, the hardest part is usually already behind you. After giving yourself that initial push, you are more likely to be met with motivation. It's important to know that it's usually easier to complete a task than it ever was to start it.
Find Your "Why"
Why do you want to achieve a certain task? Why do you want to become a better version of yourself? When searching for motivation, remember to always be mindful of your "why."
One of the best explanations of the power of "why" comes from Simon Sinek, an American author, and motivational speaker. His TEDx Talk, Start With Why explains how to inspire action within yourself and others. Sinek's idea that everything successful begins with "why" and is followed by "how" and "what" is an important concept to remember when we want to get motivated.
If there is a certain task or goal you want to achieve, remind yourself every day of the reason or driving force behind it. Write down your "why" on a piece of paper, in your cell phone, or on a post-it note and read it every day.
Ultimately, your "why" will keep you going if you run into complications or when times get rough.
One of the easiest ways to get motivated is to start small. When you work toward a goal, it can feel overwhelming if you think too big. Dedicate a small task to get the ball rolling for an easier and more approachable start.
For example, if your goal is to get motivated to exercise more, start with a light work out that can be easily achieved. This may consist of a walk down the street or doing five pushups.
While these workouts might seem ineffective at the time, commit to taking these baby steps once a day or even once a week. Watch yourself become more motivated as time goes on.
If your goal is to become more knowledgeable on a certain topic, commit to reading an article or watching a video about it once a week. This seemingly small task will help you realize that since you've already begun, you may as well continue. Starting small to get motivated is one of the simplest ways to ensure continued growth.
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Map Out a Plan
While a strong "why" and small motivational tasks are important, you must map out a plan to stay on track and record your growth. Once you have a goal, write down the steps and mandatory tasks necessary to achieve it.
One of the best ways to do this is by mapping out specific measurable goals and assigning them with due dates. For example, if you're looking to run a marathon, create reasonable and attainable running times or distances to beat every week. Record your results and measure your growth in preparation for the marathon.
Your mapped-out plan should align with the small steps you create for yourself. Once you achieve a goal by a certain date, recognize the work it took to get here. A daily agenda or note system can help with this.
Appoint a Support System
One of the most important ways to get and stay motivated is to appoint a support system. Find someone close to you that will be able to hold you accountable and push you toward success. This person can be your best friend, partner, family member, therapist, or coworker; whoever knows you best.
Support systems in the workplace have a significant effect on motivation and productivity.
In workplaces with highly engaged employees and supportive company culture, employees are 43 percent more productive than workplaces without these motivational aspects. While motivation is needed in every area of our lives, the workplace setting is a great example of how support systems are necessary for success.
If you're looking to complete a somewhat daunting goal, consider asking a friend to do it with you. A partner can help motivate you and hold you accountable when you're lacking energy or feeling low. Watching a partner succeed with motivation can also inspire you to keep on the right path.
How to Become Motivated: Believe and You Will Achieve
Now that you know how to become motivated, you must believe that you can achieve. Everyone lacks motivation at some point in their life; this is a natural part of the human experience. Ultimately, we are in control of the life we want to create for ourselves.
Find your "why," start small, map out a plan, and appoint a support system today.
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