Ways to motivate yourself

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Sardis Lake, Oklahoma
Sardis Lake, Oklahoma

We all struggle from lack of motivation at times.  Whether you’re struggling with a lack of motivation right now or just looking for ways to be more motivated, you’ll find something useful here.  I tend to be a pretty passionate person and I always have something in life that I am passionate about.  Or almost always.  A couple days ago I became aware of this feeling I’d been having for a few days.  I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I didn’t want to do anything.  This may initially sound like depression, but it lacked the feelings of sadness, the pessimistic thinking and thoughts of whether or not life was worth living.  Pure and simple, I just had no motivation.

So, I Googled ‘How to get Motivated’.  Google knows everything!  Below are the techniques and concepts that I found that were the most helpful to me.  But first, Part 1 of my poem on motivation.  (Part 2 is at the bottom of this post.)

Part 1: Unmotivated

I feel so unmotivated
Everything seems so overrated
I think I’ll just lie in bed
Maybe there’s something wrong with my head

I don’t want to watch TV
I don’t really want to be me
I don’t want to go for a walk
And I really don’t want to talk

I don’t want to clean or to cook
And I don’t want to read a book
I don’t want to go shopping at the store
I really don’t want to do anything anymore

I’m not tired enough to sleep
I’m not even sad enough to weep
I just have a case of the blues
But worse than that, like times two

I don’t want to live like this, what to do?
Look for ways to fix it and implement a few
Surely somebody else has been here before
So I’ll look on Google to learn more

Motivation and Feelings

It’s important to note that motivation has to do with how we feel.  This isn’t about how to accomplish things.  This is about changing how we feel so that we want to accomplish things.  We accomplish more when we feel positive.  Personally, I love it when I feel motivated.  There is nothing like feeling passionate and fired up for some goal or project that I am working on.

Having reasons to want to do something aren’t enough.  We all have reasons to exercise: health, happiness, stress-relief, looking good, etc.  Those reasons aren’t enough to get us up off our bottoms and into the gym.

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself

1. Music

One of the quickest ways to change how we feel is to listen to music.  Listening to an upbeat song can bring about those positive feelings that make us feel motivated.  This worked like a charm for me when I was feeling unmotivated.  I plugged my phone into my speakers, out on my favorite playlist and felt more motivated washing the dishes than I’d felt all week.

2. Reading Blogs or Books

Reading a blog or book by somebody that has done what we want to is a great way to get motivated.  As I write this, I am preparing to move into my van and hit the road full-time.  When I realized I was feeling unmotivated, I wasn’t even excited about my upcoming travels.  Thirty minutes of poking around some travel blogs for some full-time RVers and I was again psyched about my plans.

3. Visualization

Spend time thinking about how great the results will be.  This may sound silly, but lately I’ve been walking around my house having imaginary conversations with people I’m going to meet on the road where I have a beaming smile and am telling them how much I love my life traveling around the country.

4. Pictures or Reminders

Pictures or saying posted around the house or office can be good reminders of what we want to work for.  I changed the background on my phone to be a picture of my RV parked by a lake from one of my previous trips.  Every time I see it, I feel excited about hitting the road.

5. Track Your Progress

This is a great way to stay motivated.  Obviously it doesn’t work so well if you haven’t started on something yet, but once you get going, nothing is more motivating than seeing your progress!  For some goals, before and after pictures are a great way to track progress.  For others, you can make a list of things that you have accomplished.

RV parked by the lake
Living on the Lake! This is the picture I put on my phone.  You can see Hoppy and pals chillin’ on the chair.

Part 2: Remotivated

Motivation has to do with how you feel
Change your mood and you’re better able to deal
Turn on the speakers and listen to a good song
You’ll start to feel better before very long

Figure out what your goal is and then go look
For a magazine, a blog, a podcast or a book
About this thing that you want to do
Pretty soon you’ll want to follow through

Figure out the path you need to take
And imagine success with each step you make
Think of where you want to go
Imagine the feeling of the afterglow
(What we think is more real than we know)

Post a reminder- a picture or a note
And perhaps add a motivational quote
Then get started and find a way to track
So you’ll see your progress when you look back

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