Is your motivation mojo in hibernation? 5 tips to find it again.
Has your motivation mojo got up and left you? Is it hibernating somewhere in these colder months? Are you getting frustrated with yourself because you have all these goals and intentions but you just don’t seem to be able to kick yourself into action? In this blog you will find 5 tips to help warm that motivation mojo back up and get you feeling productive and on it!
When it is cold, dark, wet and windy outside it can be hard to get enthusiasm for anything but pj’s, chocolate and Netflix! You’re not alone! Winter months can be a really difficult time to keep motivated and productive. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it is health related, career, business, well-being, creativity. January and February are often the hardest because the sparkle and glitter of Christmas is over, all the pretty lights have been turned off and with it your motivation (or so it feels!).
Why has my motivation mojo hibernated?
There are lots of reasons why your motivation and general get up and go, can take a nose dive in the winter.
The weather and in particular, the reduced amount of daylight, has a big effect on hormone levels and subsequently your mood, how you feel and then what actions you do or don’t take. People self-report lower levels of energy and lethargy. Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
It can also be to do with focus and expectations you have for yourself.
Sometimes people set themselves big aspirations of what they want to achieve (particularly surrounding January and new years resolutions), and can then hit a brick wall of overwhelm at the enormity of it. I remember doing this myself, when a friend and I met at the gym at the beginning of January. In the gym we agreed we would both start to run as part of our gym routine as neither of us had done any running previously. By the end of the evening (a meal and several cocktails later!) we had gone from running in the gym, to a 5km race for life to a half marathon! Needless to say the reality hit me in the weeks leading on from there, and there were some very bumpy moments, but we did succeed in completing a half marathon! It is possible to get the desire and drive to achieve the big goals, but it takes focus and patience.
People can often fall into the trap of choosing big changes in one area of their life to focus on without linking them to the bigger picture for themselves. It is really important to know what the bigger picture is for you and what you want your life as a whole to be like, so that you can see how your goal is connected. If this connection with the bigger picture is missing, it will be even harder to keep your motivation going during the winter months.
How can I ignite my motivation mojo again?
These 5 tips will start getting your motivation mojo out of hibernation:
- Connect to your bigger picture.
There is something that you really want to do and you are excited. You just want to get on with it. That is your focus. I completely get it. But if you don’t make sure you are making the connections with the rest of your life and your aspirations, it will be really hard to stay driven and focused, when it is cold and dark out there, and your duvet is so warm and cosy. Read more about connecting to the reasons behind your goal here.
- Check your resource levels.
I see so many people trying to make big changes and struggling, when they are running on empty. We all have different pots of energy, that we use for different activities. For each person these will represent different things. For example, it may be a physical energy, a mental energy, an emotional energy or a spiritual level. You don’t need 100% in all areas all the time. It is important that you start to understand what your needs are, and where your inner resources are at. If you are struggling to feel that bounce in your step or the passion for your goal, it could be that you are running low in one or more areas. Listen to your heart and give yourself some nourishment. Once recharged you can be awesome whatever the weather.
- Seek out some inspiration.
Our mood can start to reflect the weather outside, ‘dank and grey’. You can feel like your internal fire has gone out. But the good news is that you can change this. Your mood does not have to be a permanent state. So turn your focus to whatever it is that gets that fire burning. Spending time with the right people, in the right places, reading the right things, listening to the right things. We all get inspired by different things, so think about the last time you felt inspired and get some more of that happening! Feeling happy and inspired is a great way to top up your internal resource levels too.
- Be focused and realistic.
Being focused and realistic is key to all success. It becomes vital when you are struggling with your levels of motivation. Chunk it down into smaller, achievable targets. Connect with that bigger goal, and then have smaller targets which are steps towards the bigger thing. 2 or 3 months are a great timescale – long enough to allow you time to make progress, but soon enough to give you a sense of immediacy to get on with it. Hitting the mini-goal will give your brain the much needed reward, and feed your motivation mojo. Keep the number of things you are trying to do, to a small number, too many targets is just too overwhelming. You will spend too long wondering where to start and not enough time doing. Prioritise, focus and stick to it!
- Be forgiving to yourself.
Being compassionate and patient with yourself and your progress will prevent you from giving it all up completely! Everyone has days when it doesn’t go to plan, when you feel like you are so far off the plan that you can’t possibly, ever, get back on it. When the world has ended, and you are a failure. The best way to keep it as one day, rather than a whole week, that turns into months, is to be kind and accepting of yourself, warts and all. You are human. You are not perfect. You are not a robot. Finding something you are grateful for at the end of the bad days can really help (read more about this here). Reflecting on your progress overall can also really help you put the bad day into context, and helps keep perspective.
Remember, you are awesome, you can do this!
If you would love to work out what else you can do to boost your mojo, get hold of this fab worksheet.