One topic that has always fascinated me is motivation. What is it? Where does it come from? Why are some individuals more motivated than others? While I was studying psychology in graduate school, this is one issue that continually captivated my attention.
I decided to write about motivation and inspiration because, quite honestly, I’ve been lacking in both of these departments lately. As a result, I’ve been reading various books on the topic. Nothing like a couple self-help books to get you back on track!
I think motivation and inspiration ebb and flow depending on what we have going on in our lives at the time, but I’ve found that once you lose whatever motivation/inspiration you once had, you begin to lose sight of goals, dreams and priorities. And let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that! So, here’s some ways to find motivation when your tank seems to be running on empty.
1. Determine if you are a morning or night person.
This may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of things, but believe me, knowing what part of the day you are most productive heavily influences your motivation level. Personally, I know I am definitely a morning person. After about 6 PM my desire to do anything but curl up on the couch with a good book and a glass of wine goes right out the window. Because I know this about myself, I schedule my day around it. This means working out, writing, running errands, etc. all happen for me in the wee hours of the morning when the rest of the world is probably dreaming.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night person, organize your time accordingly. By doing so you will get the most out of each day, which will ultimately leave you feeling energized and inspired to take on the next day and the next big task.
2. Determine where you feel most energized.
This might seem inconsequential, but knowing the environment in which you work best is an essential component to productivity. I actually have a cute home office set up at our apartment, but the poor little nook rarely gets any attention from it’s owner (yes, that’s me!). When I’m writing, reading, or searching for creative inspiration, this area just doesn’t do it for me. I’ve found that being in coffee shops are what inspire me most, so that’s typically where I do my work. Some people find their creative inspiration in nature, at the library or even on their couch. Wherever your place may be, go there with coffee in hand and get those creative juices flowing!
3. Find your tribe.
I read this quote as I was perusing Pinterest the other day:
“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.”
Well, if this isn’t the truest truth, I don’t know what is! In all seriousness, don’t be a chicken.
I’ve learned a whole lot in my twenties (we won’t go into all of that right now), but one thing that I’ve continually come back to is how much influence comes from the people we surround ourselves with.
Haven’t you ever noticed those times when you’re determined to eat healthy and then that one not-so-healthy friend comes along and before you know it you’re in the drive-thru line at Chick-fil-A? How about the times when you’re just feeling gosh darn elated to be alive, and then enters that super sombre, pessimistic family member who’s sole desire at that moment is to make everyone else feel the same way they do? We’ve all been there. We all have had people like this in our lives. The empowering part of these situations is realizing that we have control over who we spend our time with. You read that right – You can choose your people!
Now, I’m not saying you should go sabotage every friendship that involved a friend who ever suggested fast food for dinner, but I do think it’s important to really reflect on the people we spend our time with. These are the people that should be lifting us up, motivating and inspiring us to be our best selves and nothing less than that.
4. Give Yourself a Social Media Timeout
I know what you’re thinking – “What does social media have to do with motivation?” Simply put, a lot. Social media has A LOT to do with motivation. In fact, multiple studies have shown that social media exposure can lead to body dissatisfaction, depression, lowered self-esteem and negative mood. Exactly what we’re all looking for, right? While social media and technology can be such amazing resources for various aspects of our lives, over-doing it can have detrimental effects on our mental health.
I know I never feel fulfilled after browsing Instagram mindlessly for twenty minutes. Quite the contrary, actually. When I decided to get back into this blogging business, I constantly found myself in the never ending, never winning game of comparison. “I’ll never have that many followers, my content sucks, nobody wants to read what I have to write.” I could GO ON AND ON because this is what we do – We compare our lives to others and in return, we lose sight of what we set out to do. We just need to stop! I’m an advocate for social media, but not for stalking your coworkers’s sister inlaw’s best friend’s feed and getting down on yourself. Who needs those shenanigans!?
I blame my dad for my book worm-ness. And I shouldn’t say blame, because I am so grateful that I actually enjoy reading. There truly isn’t any other way I’d like to spend my evenings than getting lost in a good book that fills my soul and inspires me to do things, create things and live an out of the ordinary life. I’m currently working on a list of my favorite inspirational books, which I plan to share soon! But really, whether you’re reading a romantic novel, a self-help book or an instruction manual, what you’re actually doing is expanding your mind and your perspective. In my opinion, this is an invaluable way to spend your free time.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned for a list of these inspiring books I’ve been getting into lately. Cheers!