Just Not Feeling It? 8 Tricks to Instantly Boost Your Motivation.
Updated: Jun 25, 2021
Struggling to stay motivated? Read on to learn top tricks to harnessing your brain and the power of habits to master your motivation...
We all have those days. You know the ones I’m talking about...
💫 Where bed is so much more tantalizing than the emails you know are piling up...
💫 When the idea of working out feels more torturous than a colonoscopy...
💫 When the thought of writing that newsletter for your subscribers makes you wither...
Sometimes a break is exactly what you need. When fatigue levels get high - don’t be afraid to let go! You won’t lose all the progress you’ve made.
Stepping aside from the work in front of you and engaging in other activities that make you feel good gives your prefrontal cortex a break and allows your creativity to flow and attack your goals from different angles.
As English sociologist Herbert Spencer poignantly stated,
“objects we ardently pursue bring little happiness when gained; most of our pleasure comes from unexpected sources”.
So too does creativity and inspiration flow most easily when we ease up on the pressure and allow our mind to wander.
But pause for too long? You’re right to worry. You don’t want to lose all the momentum you’ve built after months or even years of hard work.
So how can you spice up your routine, keep morale levels high and motivation flowing – especially on those days when you’re just not feeling it?
1. Wake up Consistently
It’s hard to feel inspired when you wake up and are already behind schedule!
🧠 Research shows the key to a productive day is mastering your mornings. A 2010 study found early-risers are more proactive, achieve more goals, and maintain more energy and productivity throughout the day than later-rising counterparts.
We can look to entrepreneurial icons like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Ariana Huffington who all claim their morning routines as instrumental to their success. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos proudly prioritizes his “puttering time”, as told to an audience at the Economic Club of Washington D.C.
Prioritizing a consistent routine sets you up for a successful day by aligning you with your goals. Get consistent in what time you wake up, and what you do in the first moments you’re awake to build your habits towards success.
Consider what other successful entrepreneurs might do in those first waking moments. Many swear by reading, others exercise. Test what works for you and craft your own high-powered morning routine to prime you for the day’s opportunities!
2. Banish All Technology in the AM
Want leaders in your field to see you as innovative, creative and exceptionally unique?
Stop suffocating your voice by immediately checking your phone in the morning.
It can be tempting to hit the snooze and start scrolling through LinkedIn notifications and client emails…
It might seem productive to quickly check off some of your to-dos. But when you start scrolling through notifications and emails first thing? The noise from news and notifications drowns out what’s simmering underneath.
Choose to live just for you in the first moments of the day. Live in the moment - give yourself time to not feel rushed. Savor every moment of being perfectly yourself, and allow your mind to wander.
This move changed my life. Writing blogs doesn’t always come easily to me. My mind runs on tangents, and three paragraphs later I’ll have no idea why I started. By removing technology from my mornings, I could hear my own unique ideas without filtering or expectation. I could hear and hold myself accountable to the ideas already stirring inside me, enhancing my ability later in the day to write with intent and clarity.
Of course you’ll need tech at some point to respond to emails and create content. Limit distractions with apps like SelfControl that block procrastination-inducing sites (Instagram and Facebook anyone?)
3. Optimize Your Environment for Success
Now I’m not saying it’s time to Marie Kondo your life... but it may be time to Marie Kondo your life. Biting your nails? I feel you. I used to be the ‘throw-it-in-a-pile-til-I-trip’ sort of organized.
Give yourself a head start on your day by cleaning your room the night before.
🧠 A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found a direct link between a clean environment and increased productivity. A group of 103 students were placed in either an organized or cluttered room before moving to another room to solve an unsolvable puzzle. The results? Students who sat in the cluttered room applied themselves for about 669 seconds before giving up, while clean-room students gave more time and energy to the puzzle, spending an average of 1,117 seconds. Researchers suggest a greater sense of control over their environment as a key energizer for these students. So give spring cleaning a go - sure it’s summer, but it’s quarantine - other than stressing, what else you doin’?
4. Get Your Body Moving!
Whether it’s a high-powered weight training session or doing some light yoga - get your body moving.
The more we learn about the science of exercise, the more concrete it seems that HUMANS NEED TO MOVE. Beyond a physical imperative, exercise refreshes the mind and lifts the spirit.
Not sure you want to add some booty-shakin’ and soul-stirring movement to your routine for major motivation boosts?
🧠 One study found participants incorporating workday exercise saw a 72% improvement in time management and workload completion on days they exercised.
🧠 Another study examining “Sit-Less Move-More” workplace interventions across six Spanish universities found a significant decrease in time wasted when students moved more, directly increasing productivity and efficiency. Interestingly, this study also found that sitting more on days-off and moving more on workdays also led to better performance. This makes a great argument for working energetically and efficiently when it’s time to work, and fully relaxing once you’re off the clock. Allow your brain to fully invest itself in the task at hand, whether that’s finishing programming for a client, or relaxing.
5. Prioritize Time for Creativity
Taking your mind off of the task at hand is crucial for allowing innovation and unbridled creativity to surface from beneath the depths of performative identity and automated everyday human activity.
We know genius often strikes *annoyingly* when we least expect it:
JK Rowling worked out the details to Harry Potter while on a train thinking about a separate adult storyline.
After being stumped for close to a decade, Albert Einstein came to a sudden realization while traveling home by streetcar - time is relative.
Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis found the chemistry behind the Polymerase Chain Reaction while driving down a California highway.
Our brains work on their own schedule. Ignoring our own needs actively prevents us from attaining the answers we seek, which often find us on their own time.
🧠 One study examined the effects of mind-wandering versus dedicated and unbroken focus on creative problem-solving. Performance improved most when participants allowed mind-wandering while engaging in simple tasks.
The less they focused on their problem, the easier it was to solve when they returned to it.
So if you’re feeling unproductive? Schedule an hour just for you. Sign up for a yoga class, go for a hike, take a drive and blast the radio. Give yourself permission to forget your problems and indulge yourself in the joy of living.
Trust yourself. The answers will come.
6. Dream Big & Celebrate With SMART Goals!
One of the best ways to stave off lack of motivation and boost excitement? Set SMART goals. Setting SMART (Specific-Measurable-Attainable-Relevant-Time Constrained) milestones keeps you on track for your ultimate goal, boosting your self confidence with minor endorphin rushes along the way.
As explained by James Clear, Author of best-seller Atomic Habits,
“The human brain evolved to prioritize immediate rewards over delayed rewards.”
This makes it hard to sustain motivation for long-term goals when there’s no ‘wins’ along the way.
🧠 Use dopamine to your advantage! When you receive something you’ve been looking forward to, your brain releases dopamine. Give yourself more opportunities to experience the thrill of a dopamine rush by setting and celebrating smaller milestones along the way to your ultimate goal. In setting atomic goals, you not only build your self-esteem by proving to yourself you can do exactly what you set your mind to, but you also actually manipulate your brain chemistry for more energy and motivation.
Bonus? Knowing distinctly where you want to go also eliminates the risk of taking a detour along the way, increasing your workload, without getting you any closer to your goals!
7. Prioritize Giving, Rather Than Getting
It’s interesting that when we feel our worst, stuck in that well of despair and self judgement and unable to empathize with anyone let alone ourselves - our best cure?
Giving to others.
This is not just something your parents tell you when you are P.O.’d. While their optimism can be frustrating, it speaks to scientific truth. Giving and showing gratitude actually drives your motivation to self-improve.
🧠 Forbes notes this inextricable connection through several studies findings' that expressing gratitude reduced social comparisons. Often, social comparison leads to resentment towards those who already have what you crave.
🧠 Studies conducted in 2009 and 2011 found another benefit - increased experiencing of gratitude reminds people of their self worth and ability to achieve their dreams, alongside further success in attaining their goals.
Set aside some time to write out 10 things you are grateful for every morning - you may be surprised with how many more opportunities you’ll see pop into your life.
8. Speak to Your Goals and Build Your Community!
We are social creatures, and even for the most introverted of us (who, me?) - we thrive with people and community. We go mad without it.
Although there is nothing quite as scary as exposing your courageous ever-evolving heart for the world to see - there is also nothing quite as motivating.
Share your passions with the world. Encourage your friends to engage with your work, and let them lend you confidence when it’s hard to believe in your dreams yourself.
Share it. Speak it. See it. The more you speak your dream, the more real it gets.
Channeling your goals in-line with your intentions and sharing those goals with others creates a potent feedback-loop that trains your brain to see the opportunities rather than the failures.
When you share your work, you also offer others the opportunity to consider if they need you in their lives. If you don’t share it and live it, how will anyone know to find you?
🔥There’s nothing more motivating than meeting people excited to hear your thoughts, passionate about your mission, and work with you!
Well - I feel thoroughly motivated. I hope this article serves you along your journey to becoming an unstoppable force in the health and wellness world and inspires you to keep going even on those days when the going gets tough.
Still struggling to create consistent idea-inspiring blog posts, eye-catching email sequences, and heart-thrilling web copy? Let’s schedule a Free 30-Minute Discovery Call - I’d love to hear more about your business goals and how I can help.
In the meantime, here are some more articles to spark ideas and scintillate the soul:
Thanks for reading!