I feel like when I was younger it was easier to be motivated. I secretly wonder if other “‘grown ups” feel this way or if it’s just me. Sometimes, I think maybe I just “used up” all my motivation in my twenties simply getting through the complete chaos of my life at that time. Like, maybe we are born with a certain amount of motivation and over time we deplete it like the gas gauge in our cars and after a while we just run on empty until we come to a puff-puff and stop.
It’s funny, because I have spent over two decades coaching hundreds of women and I hear it over and over again, ”I don’t feel motivated and I just don’t know why!” So that makes me think maybe it’s not just me. Women who are stuck in a rut, wanting to change, but finding themselves procrastinating, and avoiding doing the actual work that is required for change. Over the years I’ve watched big dreams and goals die simply because the dreamer was waiting to, “feel motivated.”
Unfortunately, I get it. As I’m writing this I am remembering I promised one of my favorite nurses I would do a video for her (God I hope she’s not reading this) and literally every day I say, “Em we have to do that video!” It’s a month later and alas no video.
I also have a desk I want to repaint. It’s my grandfather’s, one of the bigger projects in my “redecorate my home saga” and I keep avoiding it. Because truth be told, having to pick out a “light shade of gray paint” starts to bring on an anxiety attack simply because we all know there is at least 50 shades of gray and probably more like 50,000 shades of gray according to Lowes.
I could go on and fill up this whole page with a list of things I’m “planning” on doing as soon as I start to get going to get motivated….
In my head, I know this stems from a basic misunderstanding of motivation. In my work life, I have found motivation always follows action. Sure, we might be briefly motivated by an inspiring speaker, a hyped up video or a mind shifting book, but those tend to be fleeting temporary moments of motivation. Only when we start in action and see results, does motivation last. It’s like this crazy diet I’m doing. I’m not motivated to eat a salad for lunch or drive 20 minutes to my yoga class. Sure, I want to lose weight and fit back into my jeans, but when that donut is calling my name and it’s raining outside motivation is hiding warmly tucked into my covers exactly where I want to be. It’s only when I put on those skinny jeans after weeks of calorie counting, it’s only after I can do a perfect one armed plank and I see tangible results from my actions that I get a deep lasting motivation… and think, “Hey this is worth it!” (Ok let’s be real. I’m still trying to master a 20 second plank with two arms much less one…but one can dream….)
I was recently asked how to “get motivated.” So here’s what I came up with based on what I see works in business.
- Choose one small action that you can do in the next 24 hours that would take a tiny step in the direction you want to go.
- Choose to do just one small action each day for five days without concern for the results or the feelings. Just the action.
- Start with the end in mind. Think about where you ultimately want to end up. Break that down into small realistic steps and commit to 90 days of action only towards this goal. You can change anything in 90 days if you stick with it.
So I guess it’s time to take my own advice and find one small project I want to complete and take one small action each day towards this. Which brings me back to procrastination…I mean I have a gazillion projects which one am I motivated to do first? So if I have to choose just one I’ll choose getting Making Cancer Fun ready for our next product launch because openly it feels 100% overwhelming.
So here’s to hoping if I commit to just the action, then maybe, just maybe, I might feel motivated after all….
* I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Anything you are feeling unmotivated about too?*
PS if you want an updated on the Gigglers, they are back this weekend and this is the current conversation at my kitchen table while I’m writing.
Giggler 1: Do you know how much personal shoppers get paid? $70K! That’s like $18K more than teachers. We need to ditch the teacher idea and become shoppers!
Giggler 2 : I have a better idea let’s still be teachers and then be personal shoppers on the weekends!
Giggler 1: Or ice cream testers ,we can make $60K a year.
Giggler 2: That’s not a lot of money.
Giggler 1: Yes it is!
Giggler 2: No it’s not. Your house is probably like $300K (side note how does she know what houses costs?) It’s not a lot of money. But it depends where you live (and then goes on to explain housing costs and salaries nation wide….. ok confession giggler #2 is my giggler….)
Other ideas they are actively considering:
- food stylists
- ice cream testers
- water slide testers
- panda mommies
- professional bridesmaid (apparently you get paid $1K a wedding)
- Private Island Caretaker ($150K a year)
*UPDATE* They have decided on a professional bed warmer. ($200K a year) to take naps in other people’s beds.
And in other news I now may be changing careers…..
Photo by Zhang Kenny on Unsplash