Why My motivation comes and goes and how to fix it

I just recently realized this when I started to be active again in pursuing my goals. It’s been a while since I last posted in my blog and then I realized what if I didn’t stop? What if I just keep on doing what I should do? What if I give it more time, what will possibly can happen in the future?

This struck when I was thinking about that. I realized that we have to step back and look at the bigger picture, and remind ourselves that it will take some time before we can actually go from where we really wanted to go. That sometimes it is just our lack of motivation that’s stopping us from where we wanted to go and all we have to do is rekindle those motivations again (yeah I know, easy said than done!).

After having those thoughts, this question pops out “Why my motivation comes and goes?” What can we do about it and after reading some articles it turns out that it is just normal! And these are the following reasons why it keeps us from achieving / accomplishing what we really wanted to do and the resolutions on how we can work on it (hope these help you):

1. Lack of focus

This is why we can’t accomplish all those tasks that we initially set for our goals. We are too busy being distracted with everything in our surroundings. Have you ever wondered how many hours you spent looking at your phone (try tracking it and you will be surprised on how many hours you wasted looking at other people’s lives… mine is around 17 hours. How about you? If you don’t know yours, try using some apps) you will then realize that that’s the hours you could supposedly used for other more important things.

As quoted from the Deep Work by Cal Newport:

“An interruption, even if short, delays the total time, required to complete a task by significant fraction..”

We are often lead from doing it to delaying it then eventually not doing it. That’s how critical that we have to be focus on what we are doing. I suggest the you read that book Deep Work by Cal Newport it gave me some insights on how critical that we should be focus on what we are doing.

The following are the solutions to resolve this issue:

Solutions:

A. Remove everything! – Just remove those phones, put it on a place where you can’t easily grab it. Set a time when you can only look at your phones or any mobile devices. If you are working on your laptops or desktops just close your browser or even close your internet if it is not really needed (Trust me this one will work wonders once you did it!!)

B. Remove yourself! – You don’t have to kill yourself on this one, but, what I’m telling you is you should remove yourself on a place that you know you will be distracted. Go to a quiet place and do your stuff. Don’t go out until you’ve finished it!. Remember, that it is often easier to change our environment than to change ourselves, by not being distracted.

The key here is to not fight with those distractions BUT TO AVOID THOSE DISTRACTIONS!

 

2. Overwhelmed

Remember how it feels when you were assigned to do a big task, a big project,  lead a team, thesis works, or even organize an event? Just way too overwhelming!! that often leads us from not really doing it or slowly killing our motivations.

If your goal is to become a millionaire by the age of 30 and you don’t know what to do and you’re not doing anything, wouldn’t you feel like DEmotivated? This is the thing that normally stops us from doing it and you know what? This is just normal for each of us. This is the design of our brain to avoid anything that he thought (our brain thought so) will harm us.

Our brain often lead us convincing that this is too much and maybe this won’t work for us or it won’t ever happen to us. However, the truth is, we can do something about it! We can all trick ourselves and regain those motivation that we loss. Here’s how it is:

Solutions:

A. Break it down – The way to accomplish those big projects are to just break-it-down. Divide those huge project into a smaller task that is easier to manage. You could also set some timeline for those smaller tasks. Remember this quote from Bud Wilkinson:

“Rome is never built in one day” 

You cannot do everything in just one day or in an instant, you have to follow the process of hardwork and perseverance. And the way to trick yourself is break it into smaller task, accomplishing little baby steps until you’ve reach it!

B. “1 Minute rule”This may vary (as I’ve also seen in other posts that it is just some seconds) but try this one. Just think that you will do it for 1 minute and you’re done. You will be surprised that as soon as you did it and get a hang of it, it is a lot more easier to keep on doing it. You just removed the friction from doing such task! 

Sometimes it is just our fear of starting it that hold us back from doing it. When you just felt that you’re okay doing it that’s the time that you keep on doing it until you’re done. You can also do this when you don’t want to try something that you know you have to (e.g., like speaking with anyone, doing your chores, or even your office works). Just remember, JUST DO IT FOR A MINUTE! Try it! let me know if this works for you too.

 

3. Lack of commitment / Accountability

How would it feel if a gun is pointing at your head right now and you have to do your pending task or else he will pull the trigger, how would you feel about it? Will you do it? I suppose you will!. Perhaps you will do it as soon as you can, even though it will take you a lot of time.

Sometime we often neglect things or those goals that we wanted to do, not because we don’t want it, but because we’re NOT COMMITTED ENOUGH IN DOING IT! 

I know you know someone who doesn’t finish their university but was able to become financially free. If not, you may know some youtube personalities who were nobody before but now living their dreams. This is the fact that they all don’t have any choice before but decided to keep on doing even nobody believes or trusts them. That’s the power of commitment that we often lack.

But don’t worry we all have the same cases, even them (those who’ve rose above all the odds). We just need to be more committed! (Again man! Easy said than done!… I know, I know.. just have a look at the list I’ve found below):

Solutions:

A. Accountability partner – You might have crossed this term before but this one is really powerful!!. This is why those who have partners (not necessarily some sort of relationship partner) working out tends to lose weight faster than those who do it alone. Sometimes knowing that there is someone at your side pushing you to do it makes you more motivated to do it. If you are accountable to anyone you will be more responsible in doing it. Look for someone you can trust and make him/her your accountability partner, speak your plans about your goals with them and you will surely be surprised what it means to have an accountability partner.

B. Tell your plans to others This sounds weird but the more you tell to others that you will do it gives you more chance of doing it. Why?? Simply because you are being committed to other people and you don’t want others to see you not doing it. This is also why people love posting things to social media as we always wanted to share about everything about ourselves. The moment that you’ve told everyone about it, you will feel this commitment to do it, you will feel more responsible in doing it and that gives you the accountability that you’re looking for.

 

4. You’re lost on track

Sometimes we just have to admit to ourselves that we all don’t know what we’re doing. You have to remind yourself that everyone is encountering this, this is sometimes caused by the fear of unknown or the lack of progress. But always remember this quote from Darren Harden:

“You only need to take a series of tiny steps, consistently, over time, to radically improve your life.”

Sometimes you felt that nothing’s happening but actually it is just part of the progress that you’re already experiencing it is just that you can’t see it yet. Have you heard about the A million and a double-a-penny-a-day story? It is just about the consistency and at some point-in-time all the smalls steps you did consistently will pay-off and that will be the one that you’ve ever dreamed of. Here’s what you can do:

Solutions:

A. Step back! – Try to step back and look at the bigger picture of what’s happening. Look at the other people who have experienced what you are experiencing and you will be surprised that everything we are experiencing is just normal. We often neglect the fact that while others are sleeping we are all working hard towards our goals and that’s SOMETHING! You are progressing already all you have to do is have a bigger picture of what you’re doing that at some point in time all the time spent and frustrations that you had will bear the fruit the you have ever dreamed of. Always remind yourself of the the analogy of the A million and a double-a-penny-a-day story

B. Track it!One of the best way to reach your goal is through journaling. We often caught ourselves mindlessly wasting our time with the things that really don’t matter with us. And that’s how journaling works, this keeps us reminded on what are aspirations and goals that we have to focus on. You can check this post if you wanted to know more about journaling.

Look at the benefits of journaling and try it for yourself, you will be amazed how it will work for you.

 

5. No-urgency leading to “Procrastination”

These one of the considered killer of all dreams that people has. Procrastination leads you to “Tomorrowland” and the “Later paradise”, these are the things that stops us from doing it now. This is the reason that if your dream is to be a millionaire and you don’t set a timeline for that then that will always be a dream.

If you have those goals, and DO NOT HAVE ANY TIMELINE you will surely set it aside until it is too late for you to do it. This is somewhat related with what I mentioned above when a gun has been pointed at your head and you don’t have any choice but to do it. Well… that creates a heck of the urgency that you need! This is the easiest way for you to fix this issue.

Solutions:

A. Have a timeline – The simplest way is to have a TIMELINE, you can never finish anything if don’t have any plan as to when will you finish it. The timeline gives you the urgency that you need for you to accomplish it. Researchers have coined a term related to this and that’s the Parkinson’s Law. Check it how it really works.

It tells us that a task can be completed depending on the time allotted for it. Thus, if the timeline for that is 20 years then you will most likely finish it within 20 years (that’s quite an exaggeration but really depends on the nature of the task, but, that’s how the Parkinson’s Law works). Now set the timeline for everything and see how it changes the game!

B. Just do it! – If there is no set timeline the best time to do it is now. Follow the 2 minute rule and start doing it now and you will really have those motivations that you have dreamed of when you procrastinated last week.  See also some tips on how you can manage that procrastinations that you are always experiencing.

 

(Just a small break before we go on the next one, I realized that it is not really about the motivations, sometimes motivation acts only as an ignition for you to START the action but at the end of the it is all about you DOING IT… see I’m almost at the last part!!)

 

6. That task doesn’t give you any value (Does it answers your “Why?”)

This is your “why?”. At the end of the day we are powered by our internal intentions and motives to do something even it is outside our own comfort zones. Sometimes your “Why?” of doing the things is not really clear with you. Possible, you don’t have the clarity yet. You have to step back and have the clarity, why it really matters to you and why you have to do it, and after that, that’s the time that things will make sense to you.

We, people, are often victims of our environment that we only do things because that’s the norm or because that’s we are told to, but when you started asking this, everything might change:

“Why am I doing this?”

“Why this matters to me?”

“Why do I have to keep on pushing?”

If those questions show you the same answer, then it might be the answer to your “why?”.

Try this to remind yourself on the reasons why you’re doing it:

Solution:

A. Goal board – On any part of your room place a board that list down your goals (it should be placed where you usually see it). That will keep you reminded on why you are doing things. Often times we are too busy on the things that doesn’t really matter to us that we ended-up not doing it. But once we are constantly reminded on why we do things that we are doing, everything suddenly changes. This is simply understanding or knowing the value of what we are doing.

 

7. Burn-out!

After all the stuffs that I read related to this topics, this one crosses my mind. Maybe we,  often times, are rushing a lot of things, giving more than what we can that we often forgot to take it easy. That the lack of motivation that I’ve list down above may not be the real reason but because it is just we are tired and needs some little break. We have to understand what’s Burnout really is.

According to Merriam-Webster, Burnout is defined as:

“exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration”

All what we can do it about this is to slow down, we have to take a break and step back, look at all the things we did (not on the results but all the efforts and the time that we dedicated) and have this perspective that someday at some point in time we will be at the situations/place that we all dreamed of. Burnout sometimes can also be one way of our body saying to us that we need some rest.

Conclusion

Losing our motivation is sometimes caused by a series of problems or issues that we need to understand, often times, we just have to step back and understand why such things occur. I hope I have helped you understand it more and helped you on how you can solve those issues that you and I might currently experiencing now.

The following are the blogs that I’ve also created that can help you in achieving your goals:

  1. The easiest way to reach your goals!
  2. 14 Motivating quotes to achieve success
  3. 3 Practical steps to achieve any goals
  4. 5 Significant benefits of having a journal
  5. 5 Tips on how to fight procrastination

 

One more thing, if you know other things that let you regain or helped you have your motivations. Comment down below and share it! We all can benefit from that!

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