Truth be told, I’ve struggled with my own motivation lately. I know that I am not alone. So I decided to share my personal struggles and what I’ve done to overcome the blahs. As always, I write with the hope that you may benefit from my experience.
Recognize the Problem
Recently, I had been feeling extra lazy. I worked every day and did my best, of course, but couldn’t muster the energy for much else. I still made my to-do lists. Although, every day boxes were left unchecked I felt like a failure. My self-esteem took a hard it. I started to lose my motivation. I had no energy or desire to workout, write consistently, put away the laundry or cook dinner, as I had always done before. It happens to the best of us. Life gets overwhelming and it’s easy to fall into a rut.
I, like many of you, work from home all day, every day. I am a full-time, remote, 5th grade teacher, a small business owner, a writer and an author. I am a wife and a mother. We have four teenagers. The oldest two are away right now. One in the Army and the other in college. The younger two struggling at times with hybrid and remote learning. My daughter is the the youngest. She has Down syndrome and often needs my help throughout the day. Balancing all the responsibilities of wife, mom, teacher, writer and business owner is not easy. Needless to say, I am overwhelmed and a little stressed. I’ve learned to balance and juggle it all, in the past, for the most part. But recently I felt like I had been swallowed up in quicksand, being pulled down against my will. I felt out of control. That’s when I had those self-sabotaging thoughts of “Why bother?” or “What was I thinking? I can’t do all of this!” Which, of-course, can kill all motivation!
Working from home has it’s pros and cons. It provides freedoms I didn’t have before, such as a zoom meeting in pajama bottoms. That’s right! Don’t judge. You know you’ve done it. Fancy blouse, hair and makeup done, but those glorious pjs and slippers from the waist down. Professional, yet comfortable is, for sure, a bonus! I also now have the opportunity to accomplish things I need to or want to do, during my lunch break. Some days I’m able to complete two loads of laundry and prep dinner. Some days I can get to work on my next book. And on the days that the sky is clear and the sun is shining, I can go for a long walk through the woods around the lake or take a joy ride playing my favorite music and singing as I drive. But probably, the one I enjoy the most is having the pleasure of being able to put my daughter on the bus, in the morning, and also be home when she returns at the end of the day.
However, as most of you are aware, there are downfalls to working from home as well. Some days I think to myself, “If I have to look at these same four walls one more minute I’m going to scream!” Cabin fever is a real thing! And as nice as it may be to stay in those comfy pjs or yoga pants all day, they created a new problem to tackle… weight gain! Am I right? It’s WAY to easy to grow accustom to sitting too much, for too long. Sitting to teach on zoom. Sitting to create invoices and answer emails. Sitting to write. Sitting, sitting, sitting. I found myself getting too comfortable at home and very close to becoming lazy… another culprit of losing your desire to ‘get up and go’. Especially when you don’t have to actually go anywhere.
I began to notice a negative shift. I started to feel terrible, physically, because of the lack of exercise, bad eating habits, extra weight, gray hair, and un-manicured nails. But, just as dangerous, my attitude, drive, mood and self-esteem took a nose dive. I realized I had to make changes. I knew deep down this was not me!
I started reading and praying to find my answers. I often used affirmations, in the past, to stay focused on my goal, so I started there again. There is a huge amount of motivational, and inspirational quotes and prayers on Pinterest, by the way. Check ’em out! I believe positive, uplifting and encouraging mantras really do help. This particular quote spoke to me and something just clicked. “YOU WILL NEVER ALWAYS BE MOTIVATED, SO YOU MUST LEARN TO BE DISCIPLINED.” It makes total sense, doesn’t it? It’s up to me. I can decide to change. No truer words were spoken about staying motivated, in my opinion.
So, to that end, I accepted the fact that I lost my mojo. I surrendered. I felt as though I couldn’t control my blahs, given my busy schedule and stress level. However, being disciplined is something different. It comes from another place. I CAN control my thoughts! I decide to adhere to my to-do list, in order to accomplish a goal. I choose. Emotions can consume me and bring me down. They’re powerful enough to make me feel defeated. But, only I can control my thoughts. You’ve heard the saying, “What you think about, you bring about.” It’s so true. It is up to me! I don’t have to give-in to a feeling when my emotions are in a fragile state. I CAN be disciplined and use my head. So, that’s what I did. I read that quote over and over. “You will never always be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined.” The serenity prayer is my new favorite and supports my new found quote, as well. “Dear God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Those uplifting thoughts I chose to tell myself made a big difference. My heart soon followed my head. I felt good again, very quickly. Positive mantras or prayers provide hope that not all is lost. I was accomplishing more and feeling better. And the better I feel, the more I do. The more I do, the more motivated I become. And all of a sudden… I was back! The old me. The happy me. Feeling balanced, accomplished and fulfilled.
We’re all in this unpredictable, whirlwind of our ‘new normal’. Life was already hard. Now we’ve been forced to adjust to an entirely new way of doing things. If you are lacking motivation, try positive mantras or prayer. They may give you hope, like they did for me.
Keep In Touch
When do you lose your motivation? How long do your slumps last? What has worked for you to regain your mojo? Drop your comments below. I’d love to learn about you. Remember, being motivated keeps us moving towards our ultimate goals. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep on, keeping on.