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What to Do When You Lose Motivation

MotivationIf you’ve found your motivation starting to wane as you make change through 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You, realize real habits change over time, and often it can take up to 6 or 9 weeks for one habit to stick. I’m sure this sounds like a long haul, but if you can keep your motivation kicked in high gear, you should get through that time period easily.

    1. Get Emotional: If you are making change, you are likely convinced of what and why you need to change. This appeals to your rational or thinking side. But real change requires we engage our emotional or feeling side, which addresses the want of change. You need both: rational and emotional. If you aren’t tapping into the emotional, this might be the reason for your lack in motivation. Try to find the emotional attachment to the change. For instance, “Eating more fruit and vegetables will help me to fit into that bikini in the summer.” Or, “Seeing the glass as half full will make me a more likeable and attractive person.”
    2. Create Personal Affirmations: Although affirmations may sound hokey, they’re actually very useful in cultivating a positive outlook and a “can do” attitude. Use affirmations in a genuine and thoughtful way to push past negative thoughts and help reprogram your mind so your thoughts become more motivational. According to Stephen R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a good affirmation will be personal to you and your vision, it will be positive, it will be present tense, it will be visual and it will be emotional. The visual side basically means that you should be able to visualize your affirmation, such as writing it somewhere so that you can see it on a daily basis. A few examples:
      • I am smart and successful in everything I do.
      • I am capable of achieving what I want.
      • I make healthy choices in the foods I eat, and I exercise regularly so that I can be the healthiest possible.
      • I deserve love and happiness.
    3. Ask Yourself a Question:Although affirmations work for many, asking yourself a simple question might actually provide you with more motivation. In a study conducted by University of Illinois Professor Dolores Albarracin, she found individuals who ask themselves if they will perform a task generally do better than those who tell themselves that they will*. Professor Albarracin’s team believes that by asking yourself a question, you are more likely to build your own motivation. As a result, consider asking yourself a question as it relates to completing an action step or milestone. Some examples:
      • Will I make healthy choices today?
      • Will I go to the gym today?
      • Will I be open and trusting today?
      • Can I let go of past hurts or resentments?
    4. Fake it Until You Make it: If you don’t feel motivated, you might find faking it to be helpful. Studies show that when we don’t feel a certain way (e.g., confident) but pretend that we do, we can actually cause ourselves to feel that way over time.  If you feel like you aren’t motivated, try faking it. You might end up becoming motivated after all.
    5. Laugh: If things don’t go as planned or you find yourself taking longer than you had hoped, find the humor in the situation. Allow yourself to laugh, especially when times are challenging. Laughing helps to diffuse stress and tension, and helps you to relax about otherwise difficult situations.
    6. Celebrate Your Strengths and Accomplishments: You have strengths and have accomplished important and meaningful things in your life. Jot these down somewhere you can reference on a regular basis. When you start feeling unmotivated, revisit them. You might even want to put reminders of them in places you look often so they are constantly top of mind.

* Reference:­/releases/2010/05/100528092021.htm

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Change / Reinvention, Mind-Body Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,