Have you ever looked at the idea of motivation as a cause-and-effect relationship, where the cause is the reason something happens and the effect is the thing that happens as a result of the cause? It sounds strange but it definitely isn’t. Motivation is not constant and that’s the fact. Of course, there is a fairly large percentage of people (especially in some work environments) who will try to convince you, in many different ways that it’s possible for a human being to be constantly motivated and focused on main goals. But, let’s be honest, we are not robots but human beings who need to rest and relax to be able to feel energetic again. Recharging batteries are crucial for balancing mind, body
Drawing on my own personal experience I can agree that for a short period of time you can be highly productive and fully focused on your goal but as soon as you achieve it and the adrenaline wears off you start to feel completely burned out and empty inside. What is even more dangerous is that working, studying or living on your very highest levels for too long (quite a subjective issue) can lead to depression and anxiety disorder. For this reason, it’s important to remember that, exhaustion is not prerequisite for perfection but rather to some further health issues. Let’s face the reality, sacrificing yourself to achieve some goal at all costs it’s just not worth it. This is something you may not notice at first, but it’s nothing but a vicious cycle, some sort of a black hole. Stephen Hawking said:
If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.
It means that there is always some hope but maybe, it’s better to stay away and keep some healthy distance from a black hole…
So, what is the best approach on challenging yourself and finding a motivation? Well, in my personal opinion first thing to do is to establish your life priorities and set a goal structure but in a realistic way. What does it mean? It means that we should find our mind-body-spirit balance in order to work hard and rest hard (you know what I mean). Because it’s the only way to live true to yourself, sincerely and with the harmony with the universe. Sounds a bit lofty? Maybe, but I truly believe that this is the perfect equilibrium that can bring you happiness and satisfaction in life. Remember that you are the only one who knows exactly when is a good idea to push the limits and when it’s better to slow down a bit. Okay, so that’s where the whole idea of “listen to your body” comes in… the real-life motto of those who achieve success.
Ok, this introduction brings me to the point of this post. The question is:
How can we create a motivation through the day?
1. Set up some good daily routine & create healthy daily habits
- We are creatures of habits and we achieve our goals through hard, consistent work. Because “Nothing worth having comes easy.” So it means that Consistency and Consciousness are the keywords here. This is the path to success we have to build first.
- Set up your goals (micro & macro) – In the evening write down in your journal a daily checklist which will include your goals and intentions for the next day to make everything clear and organized. Nothing is more satisfying from ticking off things/activities we scheduled before. It’s an incredible feeling!
- The power of habits – If you want to achieve something, be somewhere in life you need to create the habits in order to get there. That’s why I always remind myself these famous words of Aristotle:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
2. Clear your mind after waking up
- Practice early morning yoga – Honestly, I love yoga because it helps me make up my mind, empowers and energizes me, sets my mood and my breath for the day and of course helps with my posture (I tend to hunch my shoulders especially when I am sitting in front of my computer)
- Meditate – Guided meditations make wonders to our mental & physical health. Honestly, mediation keeps my sanity when everything goes wrong.
- Clean your room/house – keep your environment tidy. Let’s face it, no one likes housework but it’s incredibly hard to focus in the middle of chaos. We all know that a messy environment/room is the reflection of a state of mind. In order to create and maintain life balance, we have to organize a little bit our environment.
Mess=Chaos & Order=Peace
- Exercise at least 30 minutes daily – it’s not a secret that working out improve our physical and mental health. Working out boosts our energy level, balances our mood, hormones and improves digestion.
- You don’t have to do a 60 min cardio or HIIT workout if don’t feel this, choose the type of workout you love doing, don’t force yourself. Working out shouldn’t be a punishment but part of self-care and everyday routine. So, stay active, do some stretch and/or take some long walk
4. Surround yourself with a good, positive energy – Good vibes only
- Adopt a positive mindset. How can we do this? By practicing! Practice positive self-talk, gratitude and compassion towards yourself, practice guided meditations for positive affirmations and positive energy. Switch your mind on a positive mode. it’s not that hard as you think but it requires time, patience and hard work. Don’t overthink, just try!!
- Stop negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is a dangerous and destructive force. Let’s be realistic, there is nothing good about this. Talking to yourself in an awful and nasty way can only make you feel depressed and hopeless. Usually, we are our own worst critic and that’s why we should pay attention and not to let our mind be our enemy. How can we do this?
First: Notice your negative self-talk,
Second: Replace negative beliefs with positive affirmations,
Third: Remember you are not your thoughts (beliefs are NOT facts!) and
Fourth: Control your mind, don’t let it control you
5. Fight procrastination
- Procrastination is often simply
aconfusion. It’s easy to notice that when we start something new or continue to do something that we consider difficult that generates feelings of confusion and anxiety. What happens next, well our focus is gone and we become distracted. Then we noticed that our path to the success is temporarily blocked just like our movement towards the goal.
- Know the difference between Obstructions and Excuses. An obstruction is a thing that blocks you and prevents you from progress. You know that this is an obstruction when life becomes tough and something bad happens. In order to overcome this, you need to be aware of the problem and make a plan, some sort of crisis management plan and start to implement it. However, my advice is: Don’t force the solution, let it come to you. How can we do this? By being mindful, observing and noting what is really happening. You should always rely on your intuition, your inner voice will always tell you the truth. You just have to learn how to listen to it. An excuse, on the other hand, is some kind of defense mechanism that we use when we feel tired, anxious, bored or just not in the mood to do something. It’s quite easy to overcome this because it’s not a real problem but a mind game we play with ourselves.
- Ask yourself a question: What is that is holding me back? What is exactly standing between me and my goal? Is a real obstacle or a simple excuse? What I should/can do to complete my activity and achieve my goal? What advice would I give to my best friend if he/she had the same problem?
- Sometimes the thing that blocks us and makes us procrastinating is the fear of change or even the fear of positive outcome (those who have a tendency to a pessimistic bias knows exactly what I am talking about) – This is the exact moment to ask yourself a question: What is the good reason for doing this activity/project? Why I’ve started doing this in the first place?
6. Practice self-care
- Schedule time for
relax– recharging batteries is crucial to our wellbeing and it’s the only way to be able to feel energetic again. If you deprive yourself of rest, sleep, food or other essential things in life you act against your body and as we all know it’s just a road to nowhere. My advice would be: Plan and organize your day in details but remember to prioritize your goals this will prevent you from self-flagellation, which is always a bad idea.
- Connect with nature – contact with nature is highly beneficial to our physical and mental health, it keeps us grounded and mindful. As creatures of nature, we need undeniably and organically daily contact with Mother Earth.
- Practice gratitude (I advise you guided meditation for gratitude) – let’s just say that your life depends on it. Being grateful equals being humble, honest, respectful and authentic.
- Practice compassion for yourself – treat yourself like you treat people you truly love. Let’s put it this way, it’s better to create a healthy relationship with yourself because there is only one person you will spend a whole life with and that person is YOU.
- Give yourself a credit/award yourself for every small achievement Validating yourself everytime you achieve your goal is crucial because by consistent small achievements we are making a real-life progress and we build self-confidence. Life is made up of tiny victories and simple pleasures and by being grateful for them gives your life meaning. For me personally, it is the real-life essence and some kind of mind-body purifying experience.
7. Eat mindfully
- Guts are your second brain – It is scientifically proven that processed, junk food cause brain fog, chronic fatigue, digestion issues and can worsen depression and anxiety. (Please keep that in mind when you will be doing your next grocery shopping)
- Go to the grocery shop with a grocery list! Otherwise, you will end up confused with tones of food you didn’t even want to buy in the first place.
- Prepare your meals and snacks in advance in order to avoid confusion and bad food combos. (I like to have some precooked meals in the fridge, it makes cooking so much easier especially if you have a busy day).
- Adopt a healthy, nutrient dense, moderate diet – Find out what kind of diet works for you by listening to your body and/or with a help of a nutritionist
- Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated; on the other hand, dehydration causes headaches, dizziness, confusion, tiredness
8. Look for inspiration
- Remember that Inspiration = Motivation
- You need to create a good relationship with
things/activities you do on a daily basis. How can we do this? The best advice I can give you is the same that gave me my best friend: Choose mindfully a way of doing things in order to maintain a positive mindset.
- Listen to podcasts/watch ted talks to find an inspiration (I do this every single day since I’ve understood that we can learn from other people’s experiences.)
9. Feed your passion (3x Passion!)
- Passion is one of those things that give us a sense of a purpose
- Passion brings happiness (this kind of childlike sense of joy!) and satisfaction in our life
- Passion should be also a part of our self-care because it benefits our wellbeing but also builds our character
10. Listen to your body
- Work with your body, never against it, it’s the only way to create a healthy relationship with yourself, establish mind-body-soul balance and find your happiness.
- Listen to your inner voice & connect with your higher self (intuition – our sixth sense, don’t underestimate its importance because it will always tell you the truth).
I hope that after having read this post you get an idea of how I stay consistent (consistent does not mean constant!) with my motivation throughout my day.