As promised here’s the 3rd part in my Motivation series. If you missed the first two you can catch up here:
Hopefully in my last two posts you’ve picked up a couple of ideas how to instantly power up your motivation and intentionally plan for even more. But we’re not finished yet: there are still some hurdles to jump! Even when highly motivated you can still get knocked off course. Let’s consider some common pitfalls and find ways to avoid them…
Motivation-Killers and How To Outsmart Them
- avoid naysayers
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I’m not sure I completely agree, but we are certainly affected by people around us and we should never ignore potential damage from the negative energy of others. Stay on course by finding family who support you, friends who encourage you and colleagues who will work constructively with you.
- work around energy lulls
No-one is “fully on” all the time; our energy comes and goes throughout the day, often according to quite predictable cycles. Be aware of any daily patterns you tend to experience so that you don’t mistake low energy for low motivation. Plan your tasks so that you are at your best for your most important work.
- steer clear of unhelpful locations/activities
Do those conversations around the water cooler or lunchtime drinks in the bar really provide you with much-needed rest and encouragement, or are you being dragged into gossip and negative thinking? If there are particular places or activities that sap your motivation, change your routine.
- be suspicious of sudden “great” ideas
Having inspiration strike you when you’re highly motivated sounds good: you take an unexpected turn and you have all the energy you need to brainstorm that new idea and start making new plans…but what about the task in hand? It’s so easy to get distracted and by the time you get back to work, there may not be enough hours or energy to finish: an instant motivation-killer. Instead, whilst you’re in a motivated groove, carefully but quickly note down any great ideas that occur to you. And then get straight back to the job to maintain your flow.
- stay healthy
If you’re hungry because you skipped breakfast, too full because you over-ate or suffering because of last night’s drinking, you’re hindering your chances to become and stay motivated. Maintain a healthy balance of food and exercise to fuel your “get-up-and-go”.
- get enough sleep
If your body is not getting enough regular rest, it won’t be long before your get-up-and-go has “got-up-and-gone”. Establish good routines around bedtimes and mornings. As a former night owl, I have now learnt to go to bed early and rise around 5am. It is without doubt one of the best Self-Improvement changes I have ever made.
- develop failure management
Sometimes your day won’t go the way you planned and you will make mistakes or fail in your efforts. Make sure you “fail successfully“: reframe your difficulties as “lessons” and move on. When problems try to sap your motivation, just laugh in their face and continue the journey to your next success!
- go on a News Fast
Do you catch the latest news several times a day via the internet, newspaper, TV or radio? Have you ever thought what a negative influence this is on your mindset? Why let something threaten your motivation so regularly? I have now cut back to checking the news just once a day. I’m never more than 24 hours out of date and the constant stream of depressing (but largely irrelevant) stories no longer drags me down.
- try a TV Diet
In Self-Improvement, any activity that uses up a lot of time without giving any lasting benefit should be viewed with suspicion. Watching TV falls firmly into this category for most of us, particularly if we’re on the lookout for de-motivating influences. “Switch on and veg out” is not a great recipe for motivation. Consider going on a TV Diet and restricting your viewing a little: “Turn off and tune in” instead!
What de-motivates you the most? Are there some simple changes you can make that might significantly impact your drive and enthusiasm? Sometimes it’s the smallest adjustments that have the greatest effect on our Self-Improvement, so don’t discount any of the possibilities. Keep experimenting, keep adjusting, keep improving.
Please share your experiences: “Leave A Reply” below” and encourage others today!
To our continued Self-Improvement and success!
The Self-Improvement Guy