Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where's My Motivation?

I have been lacking motivation lately in a serious a way. It's hit all aspects of my life but one area that has been hit the hardest is my desire to craft or work on my studio, which of course is not a good thing since my shop is starting to get stale. I figured that this was something that everyone suffers from time to time, whether it pertain to work, exercise, cleaning, etc. and thought a post about how to get your motivation back might be helpful. I scoured the net for hints and tips and decided to post a few of my faves (in no particular order).

1. Set one goal - Often when you are in a slump it could be that you just have too much going on. Trying to do too much can leave you unable to focus and you start lose motivation and energy. Set one goal to focus on at a time so you are not spreading yourself to thin and can dedicate your time and energy to one thing.
2. Find inspiration - Find others who have achieved what you want to do. Read blogs, books, magazines, google for sites that pertain to your goal. On a related note - carry a notebook with you at all times. Sometimes inspiration hits us at the most inopportune times and we don't want to miss an opportunity to jot that thought or sketch our latest idea. The notebook will also give you something to fall back on for those time when your motivation wanes, just flip through it and hopefully you will get some inspiration and motivation.
3. Get excited - Sounds kind of odd, it did to me when I first read it but it makes sense. When you are excited about what you are doing than you have lots of energy and motivation. So what are some ways to get excited about what you are doing? Start with the inspiration that you get from others and build on it. Share your ideas and foals with your partner, family, and friends. Visualize yourself being successful. Once you get excited continue doing things to keep that excitement going.

4. Get Support - Ask for help, join an online forum, talk to partner, call someone, doesn't matter who just tell them what's going on and just talking about it will help. Asking them for advice and for help in overcoming your slump is sure to give you the boost you need to find some motivation. Sometimes we all just need a good swift kick you know where to get ourselves in gear.
5. Do something! - As Nike would say "Just do it". Staring or constantly thinking about all the things you need to just adds stress and anxiety that keeps you in an unmotivated state. Start with something small, work through it and the sense of accomplishment should be enough to keep you going. Getting started can be the toughest part. Keep taking those small steps and down the road after a week or a month all those small steps will have added up to lots of progress and success.
6. Do nothing - Goes against the previous advice but sometimes we just need to clear our heads. Spend 15 minutes doing nothing but closing your eyes, relaxing, and concentrating on your breathing. I know that's tough to do and inevitably thoughts of all the stuff that you need to do will crowd your head and when they do recognize them and then let them go. This can work wonders for decreasing anxiety which will lead you to be able to tackle the progects ahead of you.
7. Get moving - Take a moving break. Take a walk, go to the gym, do some stretches. Your physical energy will hep get the mental energy flowing.
8. Create a deadline - Best motivators can be deadlines.I know this firsthand. If you don't have any deadlines looming create a self-imposed one. Or set a timer and challenge yourself to get something done in 15 or 30 minutes, after that time is up you should be motivated to keep going. If not at least you still got something done.

9. Take a vacation - Take a good long hard look at what you've been doing and where you are. Look closely at how much and how long you have been working and when the last time you took a break was. Everyone needs some downtime and what can be seen as lack of motivation is actually burn out. If you feel like that's where you are, take a vacation even if it's only for a few days. This break can help give you a fresh perspective and outlook.
10. Try something different - Maybe it's not lack of motivation that's the problem but boredom. Doing the same thing over and over again can get monotonous. We all need something to get our brain stimulated and challenged at times so try something different, a new technique or craft, anything except the same ol' same ol'.

Most importantly remember that lack of motivation happens to the best of us, no one is immune to it. Keep in mind that it's normal, will pass, and not to ever give up!


Julia said...

Great tips. I especially need to follow the first one and do only one thing at a time!

Arlene said...

Great post, Janzia! I can add one more idea - perhaps it fits within one of the list you mentioned. Join a challenge! That's what I have done. Of course I probably fall into the group that overcommits in general. LOL. However, being in a challenge (mine is to create 100 paintings or art journal pages in 100 days - OMG!), helps me focus on what I need to do first! Guess I'd better get to it!

Jazzy Jemz said...

What an excellent post! Very great tips. Motivation left the door a few days ago and now I feel re-energized to get to my sewing room and get it organized. Thanks!

Melissa said...

The cartoon in this post is too funny!