Are you still feeling the vitality of your New Year’s Resolutions? Or, are you losing motivation? Here’s how to stay on course…
We are almost two thirds through January and the first month of the New Year. Each New Year we seem to expect our lives to turn to new things and sometimes even a new you. Are you still feeling that way? In mid-January, most people misplace their new year’s resolution zeal and give up on that new perspective at the first signs of lagging motivation. Motivational slumps show up soon after we get started with excitement and possibility and yet there are ways through these slumps that happen. You can continue on the course you set out to conquer.
There are many things we do on a daily basis that don’t require a feeling of motivation. We regularly accomplish these without motivational push. This might be because we have ingrained it as a habit, or perhaps our family depends on us or even that we are paid for the task. Whatever the reason we do something, it’s clear that we can accomplish tasks both big and small without the energetic push of motivation once they become regular fixtures in our days. But what reinforcing the new things or learning about a new you?
Being motivated helps us enormously when taking on new challenges. Remember how easy your new challenge seemed at the start? You just knew you could climb that mountain!
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!
And so, you are off on a fabulous journey, certain you will make the changes intend. Yet, two or three weeks later the elixir of enthusiasm we took wears off and we fall into a malaise; even back into the bad habits we dreamed of conquering.
When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
While motivation can ebb and flow, there are techniques to help you find the grit needed to stay the course. Grit gives us the means to remain focused and continue on course to those Great Places we imagine. So, let’s get on our way!
Losing our motivation, being in a slump, feels nasty. As Seuss says, it’s no fun. And it is most important not to take those feelings and use them to condemn yourself as fatally flawed or lacking the critical success factor. Such judgement prolongs any slump and misdirects your energy toward negative outcomes. Notice. Are you unfairly judging your lack of motivation? Simply acknowledge ebbing motivation as a usual part of any commitment process helps. That’s first now let’s look at 5 things that will help you stay on track and win the challenge.
1. Acknowledge Reality – Unlike the ostrich, simply stick your head in the sand is not a solid coping tactic. You cannot deny reality exists. You may want to reach your goal but have you really committed to it? Acknowledging your true commitment will allow you to make further progress on the steps you must take.
In mid-January, when you lose your mojo and want to quit you are far from alone. Of course, you might simply need a break, or a day off from your journey. That may help but, when you have lost your will to power through there is something else to do and that something is acknowledging this loss of zeal and face the facts.
So, you might acknowledge and appreciate that the slump is bringing something new to your attention. After all it might be as simple as you don’t have enough specifics in your goal to keep you going. Or, you might also consider that this slump is a challenge. Will you make this change or go the distance to reach your goal? Do you really mean it? Motivation is quite personal and so ask yourself if you are really going the distance right now or if perhaps there is something else to be done first.
This step is critical to motivation and a component of the Vital Life “Vitality Gulf Exercise”. You can ask us more about this exercise that supports you; acknowledging the reality of where you came from, where you are now, and where you are heading next.
The magic of humanity is that we can reach for a vision of the future as opposed to simply living with our circumstances. It is likely this vision or ideal is far from where exist right now. Big goals or challenges create big gulfs. Accepting where we are right now prevents the gulf from seeming impossible to bridge. Picture this. You are on one side of a canyon, wanting to be on the other side. The gulf between the sides seems vast. Acknowledging the edge where you stand now with the tools you have gathered along the way offers you the possibility of building a bridge to the other side. Acknowledging where you are right now is a strong step toward knowing what it will realistically take to get to the other side where you want to be.
2. Accept Where You Are – Allowing how you are feeling right now prevents the negative feelings from hijacking our intention from its positive direction. Feeling low or mopey will never take us where we want to go yet those feelings need acceptance to dissipate. Feelings unacknowledged and unaccepted will take us in a different direction from the one that we most desire. There is no getting around it. Allow those not so great feelings to be, for now. No slump will last forever. The mopey feelings will pass away just as your initial motivation did…if you let them go. Please don’t hang on to the agony…look for solutions and support.
3. Seek Support – So quickly, reach out to someone for support. You’ll be amazed how much difference support helps you hold firmly on the course you set for the New Year. Open up to others, recognizing that everyone has been in this place at different points in their lives and can help you to focus on the goal rather than the slump.
When you feel down, you can feel like a failure, you feel like things are never going to get better. You want to hide your failure away. Even though you know that positive things do happen, in a slump they disappear from view, much as you might wish to disappear. Good things can and will happen to you again. Getting support, a partner to work at your goal along with you, will do more to move you toward your goal than sharing and venting your woes.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. ~Jim Rohn
Ask for support from others who will help you move ahead in a positive direction. Ask for help from the people who can offer the positive movement you most need at the time.
4. Reach for Positive Energy (positive energy creates momentum in the right direction) – You had that kind of energy initially and can get it back. Surround yourself with uplifting news and people not the media news of the day. Consider what will help you move forward. You may feel totally stuck and at low ebb. Well that old adage, “move a muscle, change a thought” works if you do indeed move. Go for a walk. Get up and stretch. Do a few pushups or downward dogs. Get your blood flowing and do anything that will shift the momentary energy in your world. Even small actions can make you feel better.
Shifting your energy through even small steps will lead you to take further actions. Further supportive actions that shock your system are good. A single action can be a big move out of a rut that is keeping you comfortably ensconced in your malaise.
· Are you a serious person? Make laughter a priority for a few days.
· A night owl? Try waking up early for a week and see what changes.
· Often online and on your phone? Try a digital detox and read a book.
You might quite like the changes you make after a while despite not being able to see them from inside your slump right now.
5. Generate Gratitude by Helping Someone – The power of gratitude is immense and motivation closely follows gratitude. Contribute, make a difference for another and find gratitude for what you have and where you are. Helping someone else is an effective way to change your entire mood; getting outside yourself and your woes. While it may seem counterintuitive to seek out even more to do when you are feeling challenged, the rewards are motivational. And motivation is your missing link. After spending some time helping someone else (not necessarily related to your own challenge), you’ll be refreshed and ready to get going on your own stuff. It works, every single time!
Please don’t give in to what might seem inevitable. You were motivated to make a change, to reach out for what you truly desire. The ebb of motivation may be real but it doesn’t need to determine your future. Reset your thoughts and feelings to strive and thrive.
The “Vitalign System” assists you through the slumps that come with taking on big goals and challenges. Ask us about the “Rapid Reset” or the “Vitality Gulf” transformational exercises that support the alignment of your thoughts and feelings; freeing you up to reach your dreams despite the dreaded mid-January slump.
Today’s Reset Reminder:
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”