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Motivation and Reverse Psychology

Low on energy? Missing motivation? Feeling like a lump?

Ok, so you made it through the holidays and the shortest days of the year. But winter is far from over. People expect to have all kinds of energy to put forward into new year’s resolutions, but that energy quickly drains or never even shows up in the first place.

Its January. Its winter. It’s still dark. Many people are hungover and lethargic from the excess and indulgence of the holidays. The flu is going around. Work piled up while you were away. Its not necessarily a pretty picture or an easy time.

How do you motivate yourself? How do you move from dreams and to-do lists to actually taking action?

Get out a piece of paper and fill in 3 columns:

1) Necessary, required:

2) I should, supposed to:

3) Excited about:

If you are low on energy, then rule out doing anything in column 2 and focus on column 3. That will help spark energy. Once you get your energetic fire burning, your motivation will grow.

Are there parts or aspects to the to-do list that can be deleted? If you want to eat more veggies - you don’t have to slave over the kitchen every day. Try green smoothies, batch cooking or buying cooked veggies at the natural grocery store deli. Eating healthier has to happen in small, manageable steps. You can’t expect yourself to become a master chef with extra hours in the day. Many people are industriously wanting to start a committed exercise program. Consider deleting cardio and focusing on weights. Or deleting the gym and start with walking (that deletes drive time to the gym too!)

What can get delegated? If you start the laundry, put someone else in charge of folding and putting away. If you cook, someone else cleans up. Take an inventory – are you doing things that aren’t actually your responsibility? Stop enabling people by doing their work for them.

If your goal last year was to exercise 4-5 x a week and you didn’t follow through, MAKE SMALLER GOALS! How often did you exercise last year? Once a week? Okay, then this year’s goal is to exercise 6 x a month. Build up. Start small.

Start the day’s tasks with something you are excited about. You’ll fly through it without resistance and the momentum will carry you further.

Get clear with yourself about your working style. When is your brain the sharpest? Most creative? Plan your tasks accordingly. Save the mundane or mindless tasks for just before breaks or the end of the day.

Take real breaks. Not half-hearted ones. Lay on the floor, stare at the ceiling. Truly do nothing.

Set a timer for 50 min blocks, then take 10 min breaks.

Reduce distractions. Close down social media. Re-train yourself to focus for 50 minutes at a time. Everything else can wait.

If there is something that needs to get done but you are dragging your feet – save it towards the end of the work day and commit to only doing it for 50 minutes.

Hemingway would write all day long in cafes, and he would end his day when he knew exactly what was coming next. He didn’t stop writing when he was done with a thought, he stopped writing mid-thought so that it would be easy to pick up again tomorrow.

Stop fighting yourself and digging your heels about things that are actually important to you. Maybe your current self doesn’t want to go to the gym, but your future self will be thrilled about it. Realize the things that you truly want for yourself, listen to that inner voice that is calling you towards your future. What do you need to do to nurture that future self? Being in resistance or self-sabotage is instantly draining.

You are always saying yes to yourself. Yes to staying the same or yes to growing and evolving. Find your personal power by listening deeply inside. Go past the constant automatic chatter of the mind, go deeper inside and find the quiet voice of wisdom that gently guides you moment by moment. That is the voice to say YES to. This voice of wisdom is completely attuned to your unique needs and personal destiny.

How do YOU motivate? I’d love to hear what works for you!

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