The last fortnight I have been sick, my grandma’s been in hospital, I am feeling a lot of self-loath regarding my fitness, unhealthy eating and personal emotional issues.
Some mornings, I don’t want to get out of bed. My goals and projects don’t excite me with the same enthusiasm – they make me feel exhausted – even thinking about them. It seems like I’ve been working on them forever, and I still have a long way to go.
One example is last Wednesday when I received my wages, every 2nd Wednesday I send $600 to my house deposit savings to buy my future home. Today, I realised I will require a $50,000 deposit to buy my first home without having to pay mortgage insurance. I am beginning to feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall. I’m not making progress – or I’m forcing myself onwards with gritted teeth, it’s going to be another 2-3 years before I accomplish this goal.
This feeling of beating my head against a brick wall is happening with all sorts of goals in different areas of my life:
- I am getting frustrated with myself about not training enough, mostly due to visiting my grandma in hospital of an afternoon after work, being extremely tried to get out of bed early due to stress and illness, or the ongoing rain in Brisbane outside where I perform my rides, runs and swims.
- I am struggling to find time to sit down and begin my next subject of study towards my Project Management course. When I arrive home its late at night, or I just want to sleep.
- My sudden choices of unhealthy eating in the last few weeks. I know the facts, the calories, the healthy and the unhealthy fats and sugars, I know that hot cross bun is REALLY unhealthy for me to eat. I have emotional-eating-guilt inside me every time, in my tummy. I can even notice a difference of “upset-ness” my stomach has when processing this unhealthy food, compared to clean healthy eating.
- My grandma, I won’t go into details about what is happening. I am very upset and worried about my grandma, mum, my brother, cousins and my Grandad. I have never experienced these types of emotions before in my life. I feel some days I have such a positive mindset that everything will be alright, other days I have spent it with watery eyes on the verge of crying. It’s been really hard the lasts few weeks, and I’m so glad I have a fantastic support network of family and friends to help me through this time.
- Personal Emotional issues that I will not share here in detail. They are taking their toll on me; my personality, and making myself feel that I’m more trouble than it’s worth for others to deal with. These emotions I haven’t experienced for 5 years, and in this time my mind had forgotten how emotionally terrible a time it was, and after a while I have remembered, I know how bad it is going to be this time around, if not worst.
However I need to begin feeling motivated and enthused when working towards my major goal, there’s bound to be a point where I just want to throw my hands in the air and quit if I don’t take action now.
Here’s what I will be doing:
Taking a Break
First off, I will be taking a break. Powering on through when things are grim can bring a certain masochistic satisfaction, but it’s often not a good way to get your motivation back. If you’re feeling exhausted, stressed out or miserable when you try to work on your goal, that’s a sign that you need to step back and have a rest.
I don’t mean that anyone should give up as soon as you feel any slight reluctance; you’d probably never accomplish anything if you did that. If you learn to recognize when you’re in need of a real break, you’ll give yourself a better chance of getting to your goal.
My break will be a weekend of relaxing my mind and body, regaining trust and confidence in myself, and enjoying a 4 day cruise out to sea with my mother and a few close girlfriends.
List Your Achievements
It’s easy to get demotivated when you feel that you’ve been working hard for a long time without any real results. I’ve sat down and listed what I’ve achieved so far. Don’t dismiss what you’ve already done as being “small” or “silly”. Simply getting started is an achievement.
What I’ve listed as achievements so far:
- Where am I now compared with a year ago? Safe secure job at the hospital with future promotion possibilities .
- Have I made measurable gains? I have lost 8 kg in the past year.
- Have I gained new skills? Gained my running ability back, completed a 5km run.
- Have I tried something for the first time? Completed 3 triathlon’s of different sizes and levels.
- Have I done something for my future? Saved $13,000 towards my future home, been overseas once, and have booked and paid for two overseas holidays for this year.
Listing what you’ve already achieved helps you to get back your motivation because it makes you focus on the distance you’ve already travelled. You’ve come this far: you know you can go further.
Look at the Bigger Picture
Next, I need to turn my attention to the big picture. When you’re slogging away on a long-term project, it’s easy to lose sight of the awesome goal that inspired you in the first place. The small actions that you take each day may seem insignificant – but when you look at them in the context of a week, a month or a year, you can see how they’ll build up.
Try to rediscover your original motivation. By thinking about the Bridge to Brisbane 5km, or wearing smaller clothes, or looking at the savings in my house deposit account, or having a chance at a promotion at work. Those are the things that will excite me and give myself the motivation I need for the day-to-day work.
Many people get a sense of energy and enthusiasm through sharing their goals with others. Pick a friend or relative who’s always encouraging, and chat to them about your plans. This is another good way to re-find the motivation that got you started towards a goal.
Work out the Next Step
A lack of motivation is often due to not knowing quite what to do next. Typically, I find that I become stuck because the forward path isn’t obvious. I think there’s no path at all, or I might have so many directions to choose from that I feel paralysed. Speak to a friend, they may have a different perspective and point out paths you could never imagine in a million years.
Looking at the big picture gives me the perspective I need to make a decision. In many cases, their won’t be one perfect route towards my goal. Find one step that you can take which would get you closer. Don’t worry about mapping out the whole path, often, your options will become clearer once you’ve made some further progress.
The final step to getting yourself motivated again is to take action. Put that next step into your diary, and make a real commitment to doing it. You won’t stay motivated if you make promises to yourself which you don’t keep.
I would like to thank the people in my life for all the words of support, hugs for comfit, and your love for me and my family xoxo
Mars on Life.