We all have days when things appear tougher than normal – unexpected delays, technical hitches, people proved unreliable, things suddenly break, you got turned down for something you had set your heart on, had a big row with someone etc etc. We can write off the odd day and just collapse into bed being relieved the day is over, but what happens if that one bad day sets you into a low mood the next day, and the next? How do you get into a positive mindset and get motivated again?
1. Give yourself permission – and a deadline!
Feel guilty because you can’t seem to shake off feeling low, and then that makes you feel even more down? Try acknowledging that you are feeling unmotivated and not in a positive frame of mind and identify the reasons why you feel this way, if you can. Then give yourself permission to be in that lower state of mind – but set a time limit on it… Maybe an hour? Half a day? The rest of the day? What amount of time are you going to give to knowingly feeling down?
Try it and see – does knowing there is going to be an end to this low state shorten the time you had “allowed” yourself to feel low? You may find that after you have given yourself permission to feel low you actually start feeling better more quickly. And if not, then try my next tip…
2. Align yourself and power up!
We’ve heard that music plays a big part in lifting our mood and getting us motivated but how many of us have actually put together a playlist that we can refer to in times of need? Whether it be uplifting, relaxing or even a meditation, a mood changing playlist should be part of everyone’s toolkit of things they can turn to in order to re-balance and restore equilibrium.
But let’s take it one step further – how about getting yourself a “Power” song and aligning yourself to a positive mood whenever you hear that song, from now on? Followed by playing the rest of your “Positivity Playlist”?
Action: Create your “Positivity Playlist” (yes, this is what you will name it!)
Set aside an hour (why not diarise it now?) when you won’t be interrupted and are likely in a positive mood. Pick ONE song that you already know instantly uplifts you, and play it. As you listen, smile, sing and dance if you want, stand tall with a positive stance, think about the happy memories this song reflects back to you. Feel into those memories, reliving them. If you are smiling your way through your “Power” song it will be hard to feel negative and down. If this isn’t working for you quite like this, then try another song. You will know when you find the right one! Continue and compile 10-20 songs; finish with your “Power” song again to end on a high note!
3. Procrastination kills motivation
Often we start feeling stuck and unable to move on for reasons that we may, or may not realise at the time, and this can lead to lack of movement – physically and mentally. Procrastination, daydreaming, avoidance, dithering, dawdling – call it what you want, but the art of doing nothing constructive for a reasonable period of time, when you are supposed to be moving towards a goal, is going to grind you to a halt for longer than you might expect. Today and for tomorrow – and until you get your motivation back, somehow. If this happens – time for a brain dump!
Action: Identify what you are not doing ie starting or finishing a project.
What are the fears behind this avoidance? And are they realistic, reasonable fears? Is it that you don’t have the time? Don’t think you have the skills? How can you overcome these fears – what steps do you need to take to be able to move past them? Are the rewards that will come from overcoming this avoidance high enough?
Often you “think” you really want to do something but if you aren’t getting started or stayed stuck part-way through, chances are your pain point to fix the issue isn’t strong enough or the end results aren’t alluring enough. What resources are missing? What do you need to adjust? What would help you move on? Or perhaps you just don’t want it enough after all, in which case, can you delete this item from your “TO DO” list and move on…?