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Feeling Unmotivated? Here's a 4-Step Process to Boost Your Motivation Quickly and Effectively

Old-fashioned typewriter with words "You've got this!!" It's meant to help cheer you along when you are feeling unmotivated.

When you feel motivated, your possibilities feel endless. When you don't, it can feel tough to do even simple things.

The goal of this post is to help with those days when you are feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. As you practice these steps, you may find days when you feel in your groove or in the flow; you have got this and may not need this information. When you don't feel that… well this 4-step process to boost motivation is here for you no matter where you are in your journey! These are the steps that help me over and over again.

One of the best things I have heard of regarding motivation is: Take action to get motivated. Don't wait to get motivated to take action. These steps will help you take action.

I've also created a workbook to go along with this post. Interested in downloading it? Click "Buy Now". There is no cost - it's $0.00

3 things to keep in mind

1: Notice Your Negative Thoughts

Ultimately, we must be kind to ourselves. It is so easy to get into negative thought patterns.

For instance, I am so lazy, why can't I just do it? Why do I always_____? Why don't I ever _____?

Be curious and notice your negative thoughts.

2: Get Uncomfortable

Our comfort zones are good for many things. It makes life simple to have a go-to meal that you eat regularly, for example. It's not so great when we want to make a change. Lean into that discomfort. Get comfortable with feeling slightly uncomfortable. Just a disclaimer, you should never get into physical or mental discomfort that is damaging to your short-term/long-term physical or mental health!

3: Show-up

Focus on progress, not perfection. Take one small step. If that's too overwhelming, take a smaller step. The important thing is to consistently show up!

4-Step Process to Boost Motivation

Step 1: Start with your purpose

Purpose helps guide your life. It can put things into perspective and provide meaning. It can be the foundation for small, everyday behaviors that can guide your big-picture goals. It can help steer you in how you want to be in this world. It can be a beacon when things get rough. Let's get curious about seeking our purpose. Don't overthink this! The downloadable guide contains space to record your answers for reference.

  • How do I want to be today?

  • Do I want to be focused or productive or resourceful or solutions-focused or efficient?

  • Do I want to feel calm or positive or energetic?

  • Do I want to manage interruptions better?

  • Do I want to manage stress better?

  • How do I want to be in three months?

  • What would I like to nurture in my life?

  • What am I grateful for?

  • What would I like to let go of?

  • How do I feel when I show up as my best self?

Step 2: Act as if…

There are several studies that show that “acting as if” is a powerful way to change your behavior - even more so than thinking, daydreaming, or visualizing the change you want. Turns out, if you act as if you are more motivated, then you may be more motivated.

Here are some ways to act as if you are motivated:

  • Put on fun, fast-paced music. It can be disco, pop, rap, country, or classical. It doesn't matter the type of music, just make it upbeat.

  • Do something for 5 minutes. At this point, it doesn't matter if you can finish the task or not, the important thing is to do something!

  • Break down your task into small, doable steps. If that seems overwhelming, break it down even further.

  • Have a competition with yourself. Set a timer for 5 minutes and see how much you can get done.

  • Energize yourself with a cold shower. If you need to, start with the shower at a lukewarm temperature and keep turning it colder. Stand in the coldest temperature that you can for at least 30 seconds. There is also some research that this action may help increase your dopamine levels, which are responsible for learning, motivation, attention, and focus as well as other behavioral and physical functions.

Step 3: Coach yourself

Think of some of the things you say to yourself:

  • I don't have time

  • I don't feel like it

  • I will feel like it tomorrow

  • Why is this happening to me?

  • Why does everything take so much effort?

  • Why am I always behind?

We want to tame these thoughts with some positive pep talks!

Remember "3 Things to Keep in Mind" at the beginning of this guide? One was "get uncomfortable"! You might find this exercise uncomfortable. No one has to watch you do this or even know you are doing this.

  • Choose positive words and phrases.

  • Add your name where the blanks are

  • Say it in different ways: whisper it, shout it, say it fast, say it slow, say it while you are washing your hands or riding your bike or waiting at a stop light. Repeat it over and over!

Here's an example: You've got this, Nicole!

Try saying these phrases out loud to help coach yourself:

  • _________________, you can do anything for 10 minutes!

  • _________________, you have gotten through other challenges, and you will get through this, too!

  • _________________, you will be okay!

  • You've got this, _________________!

  • You can figure this out, _________________!

Step 4: Celebrate

Let's celebrate your successes. This will help release endorphins so you will want to continue with your successes and keep on celebrating.

Here are a few of my favorites (and yes, I do most of these inside my house). There is room to list your favorites, too.FInd your own favorites!

  • Singing at the top of my lungs

  • Car-dancing

  • Dancing to upbeat music

  • Taking a walk with a little pep in my step

Remember, take action to get motivated. Don't wait to get motivated before you take action. You can do this! You've got this!


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