specific ways to up motivation?
do i know about using exercise to boost mood, with increased motivation as a side effect? do i know about using a lack of motivation to access a message we want to tell ourselves? do i know a lack of motivation to do something can be a way of telling ourselves the specific goal is not aligned with our true passion? do i know it takes more emotional energy to dread and avoid than it takes to go ahead and do something? do i know avoiding the action is a form of attaching to a biased opinion of something (i.e. the action) having an unpleasant quality?
that knowledge is adding another layer to the frustration. most of the time, i'm not too crazy about doing laundry or going through old clutter (this after i used to be a lil bit of a neat freak). i'm generally not too crazy about doing certain tasks that aren't as enjoyable as others. but my lack of motivation is getting out of hand. part of it is like a spiral of cause and effect... like many or most people, i have two 'modes' - i call them 'stop mode' and 'go mode' - if i have a long list of places i need to go and things i need to do, i muster the energy and motivation it takes to get them done, often tackling even more than what was necessary. that's my go mode. since the beginning of August, i've had fewer things to do. half of my classes are meeting online half the time, and in the previous semesters i had a grad assistantship (16 hours/week) on top of working 20 hours/week as an intern and 12-15 hours of course work. there were days i left the house at 7:15am and didn't return until 10pm. that's in pretty stark contrast to the incredibly laid pack schedule i have now.
at first i used this change in routine as an opportunity for some much-needed, much-deserved R&R. but i think there was a point somewhere in there where i got the rest i needed. rather than switch to a more active level again, perhaps doing some volunteer work to use my time in a meaningful way, i've developed some pretty lazy habits (i have been exercising, but it's not always consistent). i don't even get out of my pjs on some days (as an outsider, that may sound wonderful to you, but it's symbolic of these new patterns that aren't really serving my best interest). there are plenty of things i could do with my time, but i'd rather just play on the computer and watch Charmed DVDs. as i said, i did need some rest and i needed the opportunity to recharge. but that renewal process completed in some previous moment, and instead of switching to a more active level i've just been lounging. it's at a point where i don't have any desire to do even minor academic assignments. this is true even for the assignments and classes i'm actually interested in. i can tell myself about the ways to use my time, but the call of these new habits is enticing. intellectually, i understand this is basically an issue of modifying behavior. in practice, i'd rather play... all the time. and, this is hard to describe, but it's like i also have a feeling like i am suffocating and oppressing myself with these habits. you might think that would be enough to drive a change, but so far it's not. i just lounge around and get irked with myself for enforcing a pattern that feels oppressive.
so, i decided to ask you folks for some suggestions. i'd prefer specific ideas instead of the general 'you can do anything you put your mind to' stuff. i'm not saying those ideas aren't beneficial because they are. it's just... i think i need some specific ways to switch things around to get me out of my current pattern. merely thinking and feeling about it is probably not as helpful as acting. but a lazy lifestyle is not very open to acting. the lifestyle may not be, but i am. i'd like to overcome this pattern. what i'd really like is to overcome the pattern without swinging to the type A extreme that i remember from my past. so, thanks for reading and i hope you understand why i'm requesting specific suggestions as opposed to the generalized ones.
What I've found effective:
1. Waking up at the same time every day (preferably early) - There's something about waking up early at the same time everyday that stimulates me. Like Steve,
2. Making a list of what needs to be accomplished (and do it) - This is a very basic way to stay organized, but it is highly effective.
3. Physical exercise - It helps keep your energy levels up and will thus give you more motivation. When going without exercise, many people feel lethargic.
4. Do it all at once - If you are going to eliminate clutter from your room for example, I have found it helpful to do it all at one time. E.g. Clear out all of your unwanted items in one day. Make sure that you are finished by the end of the day (and reward yourself in some way (positive reinforcement) when you are completed).
5. Meditation - Although you may not feel motivated from meditation, I have found that it helps organize thoughts and improve focus on what needs to be done. Focus can go a very long way when it comes to productivity/motivation.
Obviously things like caffeine (red bulls / expressos) are going to increase your mental excitement/energy, but they will not necessarily help to motivate you to get a specific task done.
1) Make a daily schedule/ things to do, but keep it short and plan time for "play"
2) Staying in PJs is no longer an option. Get up, shower and dress down to the shoes every morning.
3) Get an exercise buddy.
4) Take a class in a sport or dance that you're interested in.
5) Listen to some motivational speakers (including Pavlina podcasts;) ) and lively music on your MP3/CD player
6) Tackle clutter in small pieces. If you Google clutter, you can find many resource/techniques.
7) If you don't belong to a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, explore finding a spiritual community you can relate to. Don't be an audience member only, join the ongoing activities.
8) Since you have more free time, take advantage and do more really fun stuff, go places, meet people, travel, etc. Invite company over more. This will motivate you to straighten things up, and interacting with new, interesting people will also get your creative juices flowing.
all of those ideas sound helpful, especially the second one. it's amazingly simple, i don't know how i missed it - if the clothing seems significant enough for me to frame it as symbolic, then obviously (in hindsight at least ;)) shifting my wardrobe can symbolize a shift to a more productive attitude! thanks for helping me see that :)
also, there is a local UU church i've thought of attending. now i have one more reason to check it out.
rei, I would like to share with my way of motivation. Once I learn NLP I have build a person of me but completely perfect, with excellent body fit, so this morning once I start running I imagine that I am running near with that guy, then I imagine that I am running toward to my dreams. My point is, if you will try to set goals, make them 3d in your head and then do visualisation from time to time that would give you extra motivation.
Set goals you can archive for your week.
When you have success with archiving those goals that motivates you for the next week and you might take on bigger goals.
I'm in the same boat, Rei. Ever since I've been unemployed 8 months ago, I've gotten increasingly lazier. Working out doesn't happen as much anymore, and I have all these big cool ideas but all I do is think about them and plan to do them, while I sit on the computer or watch tv.
What has worked for me, a few times, were:
Like other people have said, making lists. I learned this from listening to the Tony Robbins' cd's, he's a great motivator! One day it was just to write down 2 goals, not to do the, just to write them down. The next day was to do them. The next day was to write 4 down. The next day was to do those 4. It really worked, I just got lazy and quit listening to the cd's :D
What has also worked for me, a few times, was hearing a song that made me want to dance, so I changed into my workout clothes just "in case" I felt like dancing, I'd be already ready. Well, I never even sat down cuz I went straight to my iPod and my trampoline and danced for 2 hours! I am not saying you need to dance, :D but maybe some kind of music will motivate you to move somehow.
I think that when people have no structure in their daily lives, it will happen to almost anyone, they'll get increasingly more lazy. When you have all the time in the world to do something, why would you hurry and do it right away? That's how humans think. But if you have a limited time to do something, that gets you right on it right away. It takes a hell of a lot of something we must not have, in order to get something done when it is up to us when we do it.
Good luck, and I'll keep and eye on this thread for more suggestions, I need them too! :D
The only proven way to find motivation is to do what you love. It really is that simple. As your skill in this area increases, you'll make more money.
Pay others to do what you do not love. Money will motivate them to do these undesirable things :)
Can you use other people to give you motivation? I commute for 3 hours every day, leaving at 6.30am. As winter settled in, it was becoming harder and harder to get up on time, and the snooze button was getting worn down. It didn't help that I work flexi-time and could easily catch a later train.
Then my friend started the same commute. I offered to pick her up every morning and we could drive to the station together. Now, I have an obligation and a responsibility to get up on time because if I didn't I would let her down. It's become easier and easier to do as a result, and I now get up automatically, even on days when I don't need to pick her up.
Can you schedule something early every morning that needs you to take responsibility? Something like volunteer work, where people depend on you?
I have to go to gym 3 times per week, if not my wife will call me offic plankton and disrespect as a man (she said that), I have to wake up at 4.00 because I have to complete my gym and drive part way to work and catch metro before this is over loaded with people and I am not squized, I am not drinking alcohol as I am looking very stupid (when I look to mirror) and I do not want my son every see me like that, do you need more samples like that?
Leave pleasant tasks for later, as reward for completing unpleasant ones.
my passion is helping people, which is something i really enjoy. but to avoid any legal snags, i need to get licensed, and taking classes is part of it (since the licensure exam uses some jargon, and the one-right-answer will often be pulled from the teachings parroted in those classes). would i love to forego the classes and just get a counseling job? definitely. is that feasible in my current environment? not so much. thankfully i'm almost done with the classes though.
i was able to use accountability to others earlier this week. i met some classmates to work on a group project. i will think about ways i could apply this to more regular tasks, thanks.
in the last few days, i've become aware of a spiritual reason that my motivation has been affected (i've needed to be relatively still and quiet to tackle some behind-the-scenes objectives). hopefully those tasks are close to complete and i'll regain some motivation automatically. i'm still open to any other suggestions you folks may have. thanks again to all who've posted so far!
Others have already listed all the suggestions I was about to make :D
How about you try a reverse approach? :D
Let's say every other day you make a list of what you have to do, such as, you have to: stay in your PJs, stay at home all day, surf the Internet for 4 hours, watch your favourite TV show for 3 hours, just sit for 2 hours, not clean at all etc :D
Maybe you become bored with it, or create some resistance to having to do it so you'll turn to other things you actually need to do. :D
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