We come across many responsibilities everyday that we aren’t exactly thrilled to do. Whether it is waiting in rush hour traffic to get to and from work, waking up early to complete that workout we promised ourselves we would, or making snacks late at night for our kids’ classroom (break and bake cookies are okay, right?), duties take energy. Fact is, we are never going to be thrilled to do all the tasks that make up our everyday life. But, with that being said, we still have to complete them and complete them well. If you are like me and wish you could channel your “Energizer Bunny” multiple times per day, then let these simple steps help you get closer to finding the motivation and energy you need. So take control and get in the driver’s seat of your motivation!
Leverage your emotions… One of the biggest mistakes that we constantly make is pairing our actions with the wrong emotions. Emotions are extremely powerful tools that are widely over-utilized or under-utilized and often at the wrong time and place. Before entering into a task, check to make sure your emotion matches the situation. For instance, how many of you get into your car after work, hear the traffic alert, and immediately become angry? I know, I do. However, anger does not facilitate your drive home and only makes things worse. This is because we are not internally motivated to drive in rush hour traffic (and if you are, lucky you). There are very few things in this world that we are internally motivated to do. You know if you are internally motivated to do a task if nobody has to tell you to do it, you receive enjoyment in doing it, and it just intrinsically makes up a large part of who you are as a person. This could be spending time with friends and family members, doing a certain sport you have always enjoyed, or listening to music or cooking. Whatever it is, you love doing it and you could do it all the time. The emotion for something like this could look something like joy, pride, or happiness. The emotion matches the action for you. But, what if it is an action that we don’t necessarily like? The best way to increase your motivation is to take control of your emotion. For the driving in traffic example, channel the emotion of being calm and composed instead of angry and frustrated. Say this emotion to yourself over and over as a reminder to “be calm” or “be composed.” In addition, tie an internal motivator to the drive such as listening to your favorite new artist, an audio book, or speaking with an important person in your life (hands-free of course!).
Don’t be afraid of your nerves…One of the biggest distractors of motivation is nerves. When we are anxious, afraid, or simply uneasy to do something, we often lack the motivation to do it. If we are nervous for that 5K race we signed up for months ago due to peer pressure at the office, then we are less likely to put in the work to train for it. Why? Nervousness is coded as a bad emotion in our brains and something we should shy away from and avoid at all costs. I know plenty of people who get very nervous before a performance, whether it is the sport or working world, who are upset with themselves for feeling that way. If you want to increase your motivation, embrace those nerves, leverage the nerves for the correct emotion, and tackle the performance.
Utilize your energy…So if the Energizer Bunny isn’t on standby, you will need to revitalize yourself on your own. Energy is closely tied with motivation. Think about it, we are nearly always energized to do our favorite things that we are internally motivated to do. If lacking on energy, try one or more of these four methods: take in caffeine, get in a quick power nap, try taking a few deep breaths, or quickly do something you internally love to do. All of these will hopefully jolt your energy to complete the task that you haven’t exactly been looking forward to.
So remember, when you are lacking in motivation, leverage your emotions, embrace the nerves, and utilize your energy in the most efficient manner!