Having Trouble Staying Motivated?

This week we discuss tips & tricks on how to get you motivated. More importantly we get down to the real foundation about what motivation really means for the way you live your life & future.

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Motivation is fleeting. We all struggle with it. Even your coaches/trainers/teachers fail to feel motivated at the best of times.One way you can create more motivation in your life is to take action. Action creates energy and energy creates momentum. You have to take responsibility in your scheduling (see last week’s topic) and set up routines.An example I used with my kids as they were growing up is to stack up wins before breakfast. Who am I fooling, I still do this for myself daily and although they are 13 & 15 and set their own alarms, I can still hear music playing in their rooms as they wake up 🙂 Why stack wins? Because the action of completing items on your morning routine list creates endorphins and momentum in feeling successful as your day begins. This builds confidence in your self esteem even before you walk out the door. And who doesn’t want to leave their house every morning feeling like a superhero! 
Here’s an example of how we set up our day for success:1-Plan out your morning routine the night before. We would make up a play list the night before with song that our kids choose. This is important as the music would set the mood for their morning. The words, beat and style mean something to them and therefore give them a feeling of independence, confidence and happiness as they opened their eyes. No alarms, just music playing throughout the house. It’s their morning routine without interruption from us.What would your ideal morning look like? Do you want your coffee brewed first thing? A shower? Do you want to pick out your clothes and pack your gym bag the night before so its less stress in the morning? Take 5 minutes to imagine it the night before and the set into motion a plan of action.
2-Set your pace for the day. We would and still do use 3 songs to get up, get dressed, make your bed and have your back pack ready by the door before coming to the breakfast table. The simple actions of completing these tasks add up in building momentum in how you preceive success throughout your day. You are using the songs instead of a clock to set your pace, feeling less stressed and more focused on the task at hand. Enjoying picking out your clothes, making your bed as a responsibility to helping each other keep the house tidy and caring for your personal space, and double-checking that you have everything ready in your back pack for your daily tasks.When considering setting your pace for the day, how much time do you need to be fully prepared for your day? Are you cutting things too close by not waking up a little earlier? Are there certain sounds, music, smells, lighting that make you feel more alert and less stressed as you start your day? I use a sunrise alarm clock in the dark months of winter so when I wake up, the sunlight makes me feel energized, instead of stumbling around in the dark looking for the light switch.
3-Set your expectations for the day so there is less chance for failure. Over breakfast we discuss our day. We don’t start with a list of demands and to -do’s. Instead we ask what you have planned for your day and what you would like to do after school/work once we all regroup at home. This sets up everyones expectations and responsibilities but also opens up the opportunity to ask for help and migrates hurt feelings. An example of this would be if I have a packed day of clients and running around to do. I have made my family aware of my tight schedule, a schedule I choose so I can help provide for their well being, but I’m going to need help. So I pre-ask for help that morning in walking the dogs once they return for school. This sets up my support and their expectations upon returning. Instead of us all returning home exhausted from our day and then a surprise chore sprung on them. Of course there are times where your day does not go as planned. But by mapping our a rough draft, you are building better tools in which to navigate your responsibilities. Then if things go off you can make a lateral shift or forgo the items that can wait. This method has proven to be less stressful and more motivating as you are still able to stay focus and feel successful even if you miss certain things throughout your day. Surprisingly it also opens the door for more important and sometimes surprising discussions with your loved ones that you might have never had.Whether you live alone or with others, try to touch base with others that will be involved in your day at the very beginning. Have a chat about how everyone’s morning is going and what their day looks like. I guarantee everyone will start to care little more about each other and offer support. After all the best way to build team motivation is to put yourself in each others shoes.
4-Build physical activity into your day. We all know that being active is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies and minds. But did you know just how much?Exercise:Improves your memory and brain function for all age groupsProtects against many chronic diseasesAid in weight managementLower blood pressure and improve heart healthImprove your quality of sleepReduce feelings of anxiety and depressionImproves joint pain and stiffnessMaintains muscle strength and balanceIncreases your life spanNow I understand not everyone has the same schedule or can make it to a gym regularly, but that is no excuse not to move your body for at least 15 mins a day. Last week I talked about how my shift work emergency nurse would dance in the lunch room while waiting for her food to warm up. This provided her body and mind with a much needed boost of energy, but also became infectious to those around her. Soon other ER staff started to join in and voila now you have a great Movement Snack for all and an awesome boost of motivation to go back to work with a spring in your step that will no doubt effect how you do your job and treat others through your day.

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