Life and Stuff

How Do You Revive Your Motivation?

bridge
You’ve come to that bridge. Now cross it.

Lately, I’ve been wrestling with a lack of motivation. Only, it’s not so much a lack of motivation in the strictest sense. I want to achieve the goals I’ve set. I’m willing to take the steps necessary. What I’m lacking is enthusiasm. Every step I take on the path to my goal has lately felt like just another thing to tick off my list.

So, is that a lack of motivation? A sign that I just need to keep plugging along until my enthusiasm picks up again? Or do I need some time off to replenish my creative energy?

I found two blogs this morning that I think are helpful for anyone struggling with finding their motivation and/or enthusiasm:

Finding Motivation: Change Your Life by Jay Colby
Jay offers several suggestions on how to find or restore motivation. I especially like his suggestion to block out negative influences and think about our goals daily (in a positive, success-minded way).

Let Your Goals Be Your Biggest Motivation by Jessica Hugo
Jessica reminds us that “nothing good comes easy.” Bumps in the road are part of the process. Instead of letting them sap our motivation, we need to stoke it by visualizing our ultimate goals, letting them fill us with the passion to keep going.

Even if your motivation isn’t flagging, I recommend you pop over and check these out. They’re full of good stuff that might help you avoid falling into a slump in the first place.

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Note: No ROW80 check in today. I’ll catch y’all up on Sunday.

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What are your favorite ways to stay motivated or recharge your batteries?

Photo Credit
Path by James Baker, at https://bestreviewbase.com | CC BY 2.0

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22 thoughts on “How Do You Revive Your Motivation?

  1. It’s funny how timely this post is. I’ve definitely been feeling similarly. I want to write, and I want to “be someone who can just plug away at it day in and day out”, but more often than not focus is an elusive thing. There are many distractions, and a lot of the time writing is really “struggling to find an answer, to find the right words, even though I don’t ‘feel it”.
    Sometimes it can feel like such a herculean task, all to create a few hundred words that can be read and understood in a matter of minutes. Sometimes, those rare times, the words just flow, and there is an exultation in the creation, but it’s so easy, when you’re down in the valley, to focus on the long climb back up, and forget about the glorious vista that awaits you.
    I think part of it is the mentality that we often hear. You finish something, and you feel very proud, but then the world says “Good. Now go do it again, and again, and again.” Some of it’s internal, the belief that “I’m only a writer while I’m writing”, but I think a large part of it is that all too common desire to “get there”. I think “there” is a very personal thing, and frequently changes, but it never truly goes away, the desire to be free of doubt, and write exclusively for the love of it, without the burden of “proving” that we are indeed writers.

    Of course, that’s just one person’s humble opinion. 😅

    1. You put it so very well. Creative pursuits take a lot of passion. It can be so draining. I’ve struggled with that focus too. Maybe if we can box up the need to “prove” something until it’s useful (like when it’s time to edit and such), we can just enjoy what we do a little more. Which would go a long way toward restoring focus and enthusiasm.

      1. Mmm. One strategy I’ve been trying to apply lately is a tunnel vision perspective. “Right now, all that matters is ‘this’, nothing else. If ‘this’ is all you do today, so be it, but you’ll do it right, and that will be enough.” And I try to always switch to a non writing activity, like a household chore or exercises, before coming back to work on a different writing task.

        Of course, there’s always a bit of a gap between saying something, and getting yourself to believe it.

        As you say, it can be very draining, trying to “work hard” every day. It cuts against the grain to say “it’s okay to ‘half-ass’ it today, but in some ways we have to find a balance between “giving ourselves permission to not try so hard ‘today’ while still ‘doing our best”.

        Thank you for the compliment, and for sharing your own experience with this piece of the puzzle. It’s so easy to think “it’s me”, instead of realizing “this is part of the process” that we all work through.

        Hopefully we’ll be rekindling it soon.

        1. I like that tunnel vision idea! I was trying something similar this afternoon. I went through some scene notes and told myself all I needed to do was that. I ended up writing some more on top of that. It wasn’t a lot, but it was something.

  2. Well, there are certainly a few times lately when I just can’t feel it either and have no motivation. Personal issues are certainly a big influence on that. I’m doing one thing in that regard…..I just go with it. Instead of forcing myself to (for instance) wrote a post, I just relax a bit. A great example was the past weekend. I was very down and sad, so I just put on Netflix and bingewatched some tv series. And honestly it helped. On monday, I feit refreshed and just had more energy to do stuff again. Sometimes it’s better to just take a bit if the edge off and go with the flow so to speak. That’s why for instance I don’t have any kind of schedule fir my blog. I just post when I feel like it, instead of adhering to any kind of schedule that puts pressure on me. If for some reason I could not maintain that schedule it would only make me feel more down. Blogging is supposed to be fun, and I really enjoy it, but in order to keepmit that way, I just try and maintain my own pace 😊 Hope you can find a bit of relaxation yourself, as I always enjoy reading posts from you. Take care 😀

    1. That’s wonderful advice. We all need time to recharge. I’m always afraid of completely loosing steam if I take time off, but then slogging along can lead to burnout too.

      Thank you for your kind words. 😊

      Glad you’re feeling refreshed. I do so enjoy your posts as well.

  3. Sonia, it’s good to connect with you again. You’re very fortunate to have, in me, the grand master of procrastination and lethargy, so pick away at my brain. LOL, my only suggestion is to break every goal into doable portions. Otherwise you push yourself into a state of overwhelm. I set myself a daily goal that only stretches me a bit and is entirely achievable, regardless of life that tries to get in the way. Schedule it in a time slot that you are most likely to have free every day. Then let nothing in heaven or hell stand in the way of achievement of that goal.

    Nothing you don’t know already. I think I even had a post from a year or so ago, spelled it all out. Back then I followed my advise. I was pretty special … back then!

    Good luck.

    1. So glad to “see” you again, Jay!

      Great points. Sometimes, I think I need very tiny chunks in order for them to be doable. 😂 But, whatever works, right? I need to adjust my schedule too. The current one isn’t doing much for my productivity. I’ll have to ponder what changes are needed.

  4. I struggle with this a lot! It’s fine when I’m first drafting a story and I’ve got that high of discovering a new world, but later, when it comes to editing… I try to set deadlines, or involve others in my accountability, to make sure I don’t drift too much off target.

  5. ❤ your distinction between "motivation" + "enthusiasm".

    There is so much I could say about such issues — this could easily turn into TL;DR material in short shrift.

    Let me try to boil it down to the essential CRUX of the matter (IMHO).

    SUCCESS can only be achieved in other people's eyes. It is up to *them* to call *you* a success (or not). Setting your own goals is all good and fine, but IMHO the stuff we crave for is largely the positive opinions other people have of us.

    I think about junk like this a LOT bc I'm quite an iconoclast. IMO advertising is completely bogus + retarded (BTW: quite a few of the top 10 results for "retard media" on the big G are penned by me — which is particularly ironic bc I apply that term most of all to big media companies, including the big G itself 😉 ). All of this means that a LOT of people disagree with my point of view … which is just a small step away from them calling me NOT successful. Quite demotivating.

    Of course usually the top results on the big G are ads that the big G makes TONS of money on. The 2 articles you linked to have so many 3rd party requests to some kind of espionage mafia sites … no, I will not be tracked by the big G machine. (I prevent such attacks BEFORE they happen 😉 ),

    OK, that is more than enough for now. Will gladly discuss at even more extreme length if you're interested). Great post — very heartfelt! 🙂

    1. Good point about success. I think we all ultimately crave validation from others, which is very human. We’re communal beings. But our ideas about success are often so nebulous or informed by the distorted view we get in the media, we don’t know which kind of success would really make us happy.

      It seems to me that a lot of people we perceive as successful aren’t very happy. They have things. They have admiration. But they don’t have happy, healthy relationships and a sense of joy. And some people we think of as not being very successful may have all the joy and relationships the “successful” lack.

      I don’t think success and happiness are mutually exclusive, of course. But they’re certainly not dependent on each other.

      1. I think Kurt was pretty smart 😉

        I also particularly like the line in “All Apologies” about “in the sun I feel as one” … IMO that’s sort of about being transparent.

        I was just listening to a podcast about how app developers motivate people to do stuff. I want to remark on it (prolly on my freezine site, will link to it, too — I guess it’s sort of related)

  6. I can be a very negative person so I am trying to remedy that with self help audio books. Right now I am listening to one called The Element. It cites many stories of people who became famous by doing what they loved rather than conforming to what family/school expects. Motivational and inspirational stuff.

    1. Sounds interesting!

      I struggle with negative self talk too. I’m getting better though. The first thing that helped was to notice whenever I was being negative, instead of letting it just happen unnoticed. Then, I started arguing with myself. Is this thing true, or am I missing something. If it was true, I’d work to change. If it wasn’t, I’d tell myself the truth. It’s also helpful to me to immediately counter knee-jerk negative thinking with a positive thought, especially when I don’t have time for the indepth analysis.

  7. Me too — and/but don’t 2 negatives make a positive? 😉 IMO people are too down on negativity — without negativity, nobody would ever change anything. 100% positivity would be a very dull and boring more of the same 24/7/365. 😐

    1. True. We need to see what’s wrong in order to fix it. It’s kind of like fear. Fear can alert us to danger, and prepare us to engage or run. But fear can also paralyze us, or make us behave irrationally. We have to embrace one and diminish the other.

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