I confess that I have felt COMPLETELY unmotivated to revisit my budget…. AND THIS IS WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING! When the pandemic hit, I spent a ton of money to keep my kids entertained while I moved my office home. And it was really easy to think “Well, since I don’t have to pay for baseball or jazzersize anymore… I’ve got cash for new lawn chairs and refinishing the deck.” Oh yeah. That list added up. A few days of sitting on my sun-soaked deck drinking a fancy cocktail (’cause we gotta enjoy SOME comforts during a pandemic, AMIRIGHT) and my motivation blew away with the breeze. Plus I probably just wanted to avoid actually LOOKING at how much I was spending. SO, if your BUDGET is lacking motivation, never fear! I have a gift for you!
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And now more on motivation…
The world as we knew it came to a grinding halt when the global pandemic hit earlier this year. Now that we are phasing back into more familiar ways of life, we may find ourselves reflecting on the first half of 2020. Some might have experienced the past few months as a time of relaxation and an opportunity to slow down. Others likely found that the reality of job loss, the uncertainty of income, or worries about the health of loved ones took up a lot of head space that could have otherwise been put towards embracing a more simple lifestyle.
Whether or not you’ve found last three months bearable, you likely are on common ground with the surmounting lack of motivation most people are experiencing. Finding motivation is not always an easy task, especially these days in the face of COVID-19… because we don’t know what to expect. Our regular routines and responsibilities have shifted. Our mindsets have changed. What used to be important might not be so much anymore.
I’ve got a bunch of strategies to find my way through a motivational slump. Here are a few of my favourites:
1. Don’t lose hope
Mind over matter, baby. Keep it simple. Good self care. Don’t overthink. And most importantly, don’t lose hope. The mind is a powerful thing, but it can be guided by YOU if you take control. Your subconscious may be saying “you’re soooo unmotivated… you can’t get through this slump…” which your body believes. Get RID of that negativity as soon as you notice it. Awareness gives you the POWER to forcefully change your thinking. Next time the overwhelming thought creeps into your mind that tries to convince you that you’ve not done enough or you’ve fallen behind, just smile and acknowledge that thought. Sure, it’s there… but it doesn’t have to rule you. It is important to remember that your thoughts can’t hurt you. Thank that thought for it’s point of view, and move on. Keep your eyes on the prize!
2. Keep a list
Even a small one. You don’t have to write a novel or an essay. But it is a heck of a lot easier to stay motivated when you write things down and free up your headspace for the task at hand. Categorize your tasks by importance. What do you NEED to get done? What do you WANT to get done? What will benefit you the most? It is also extremely satisfying to cross things off your list once completed. Whether it’s a daily or a weekly to-do list, writing stuff down allows your mind to focus on the present moment. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just make sure you put it somewhere that you’re gonna see it. Like, right in your face. On your mirror. On your keyboard. On your waffle… I don’t care. Just don’t lose it!
3. Focus on one task at a time
Keep your eyes on the prize. Believe it or not, science shows that humans are not the best at multitasking. This goes along with number 2 above. If you keep an up-to-date list of to-do items, then you will be able to put all your attention to one task at a time. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer than expected. Just make sure you finish one task before starting another. This will help to keep your mind satisfied and, most importantly, motivated. If you deplete yourself by trying to finish everything at once, your energy will slump and you’ll be frazzled because you spent all that time dragging everything out of the closet to organize, but are now tripping over it in the night and strewing your neatly organized piles of memorabilia from 15 years ago all over your taxes from 10 years ago and…. you get the picture.
4. Reward yourself
Finished that one simple task, even if it took all day? Reward yourself for a job well done. If you set small goals and allow yourself the freedom to relax after each task is completed, then your mind will be more willing to go to bat for you when you need it.
5. You’re doing the best you can.
Give yourself permission to relax. The hardest thing for us to do as humans is to simply be present with ourselves. Maybe you don’t feel like doing your tasks today, and that’s okay. You know you will be able to pick up where you left off later. Your mind will appreciate being treated with kindness especially in those times when all it wants to do is chill out and enjoy the moment. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Make sure you’re fulfilling your most important obligations and everything after that can wait.
We are living through a historical heyday. Our sense of normalcy will change as time goes by, and this level of simplicity that we may find ourselves in will not last forever. Enjoy the moment as much as you can. Finding motivation is much easier than staying motivated. It’s important to remember that humans are motivated creatures by nature… if we lack purpose, we slump. Remind yourself that it’s OKAY to have no motivation sometimes. Rest and recharge, and get back on the bandwagon!