SOMEDAY IS A DISEASE THAT WILL TAKE YOUR DREAMS TO THE GRAVE WITH YOU," - Tim Ferriss
The last week has brought beautiful weather that makes me want to stay outside all day. The cool, crisp air somehow brings feelings of a new beginning for me, a fresh start, despite it being closer to an end of year.
Unfortunately, the weather doesn't last, and the motivation to stay outside and get out in the public doesn't either.
For others, it isn' the Fall that brings this feeling--the one of hope, light, and excitement--the giddiness to get up in the morning and feel the cool air trace along your cheeks. Even so, you can relate to the feeling. But what happens when, like everything else, it doesn't last?
Sometimes loss of motivation stems from underlying depression or crippling anxiety that tells you all the things to worry about. Other times, you just don't "feel" like getting out or leaving your bed. If you're not clinically depressed and maybe just finding yourself more unmotivated and sluggish, here are a few ways to gain the motivation back, make moves in your daily routine, and continue to be productive through being outside, getting things done, doing fun activities in the community, or meeting up with friends.
ON YOUR MARK
If you've ever been on a track and ran a race as a middle or high schooler, or maybe you've watched the Olympians do it by the comfort of your couch, you know the procedure to running a race. The guys with the guns signaling to start yell, "On your mark! Get set!" and then proceed to shoot their gun straight in the air symbolizing "Go!".
Even if we're not running a race in our daily lives, we can still apply the same technique. "On your mark" means get ready. Get your feet set. Know where you are going. Get your mind right.
To get out of bed, to get off your couch, and start doing something, set an alarm with what time you want that activity to end. Set your alarm for an hour from when you start watching TV, say, and then force yourself to get up after. If we allow ourselves to sit there for hours, WE WILL! You can also make plans by calling a restaurant for a reservation, telling your friends what time you'll meet them, etc., by having some accountability. If you're EXPECTED to be somewhere, you will likely make it happen. If you're not, you, like me, may find yourself 4 hours later and a whole season of Friends completed on Netflix...for the third day in a row.
Put your shoes on. Fix your hair. Fix your face. Put your bra on--yes, I know you.. Whatever it is you need to do to get "ready" to move. If you spend time convincing yourself or telling yourself "5 more minutes", you're giving yourself 4.5 extra minutes to talk yourself out of it. If you want to go to the gym at 5am, sleep in your gym clothes. If you want to go out with your friends after work but don't feel like it, go straight to the restaurant instead of going home. If you want to do research and write instead of watch TV, unplug your TV. This step is about making it easier for yourself because the next one is to actually do the thing.
When you hear "Go" in a race, you run. When you tell yourself the word "Go" in your head, you do the thing. Do whatever it is you've been feeling unmotivated to do, don't want to do, or know you should do. Sometimes we feel like we don't want to get out of bed, off the couch, out of the house. I know. If that's you, I urge you to just "Go". Go out of the room you are in. Get out of the house. Go sit out on the porch. Go for a walk. Go on a drive around the block. Get out of the current space or environment that is inhibiting you and put yourself in a different one. If you can, get out in nature.
As you read this, you may be reading from your couch. Or your bed. Or your dining room table. Or maybe lying next to your kid in his or her bed, if you feel stuck, lethargic, unmotivated, frumpy, grungy, sad...on your mark, get set, go.
Robin Helget, LSCSW
Millennial Therapist | Life Coach
Therapist. Millennial. Social Worker. Dog Mom. Friend. Sister. Empath. INFJ. Lover of ice cream.