Lacking Motivation and How to Get Back on Track

Feeling tired? Out of energy? Do things not seem to “click” anymore?  Maybe you’re considering signing up to a yoga class, committing to a new training schedule, getting your life organised or simply trying to complete everyday life admin.  You find you have extra time on your hands as a result of lockdown restrictions.  Yet, your high hopes and plans, however, come to nothing.  Somehow you never get round to starting, and you are left with one big, uncomfortable big question: “why am I feeling like this?” 

Let’s break this common scenario down and view it from a range of angles.

A saying I find myself using again and again with client is: “the only asset you have is your mind!”  Our brain is our most important organ, divided into two parts: the conscious and subconscious.  The conscious mind is concerned with the here-and-now and present awareness.  That includes logical thinking, planning, what’s happening around us, impulse control and short-term memory.  Imagine you’re having a conversation with someone else: you’re present with and to them.  You are using your conscious mind to interact with them.

The subconscious mind is the training mind, collecting data ever the day you were born. It’s influenced by the environment you are surrounded by.  We can call it the “habit mind”. All your life experiences and life events are stored in there. If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, the details and memories from that event are stored within your subconscious mind, even if you can’t recall details with your conscious mind. Your subconscious remembers, and you may experience flashbacks as a result. This can lead to depression, PTSD or other mental health conditions.

Once you fall asleep, your conscious mind goes off-line. Your subconscious mind, however, never sleeps. It thrives during sleep, informing dreams.   

This is a simple explanation of how our mind works.  Having a sense of the power of the conscious and sub conscious minds means we are in a better pace to understand why we can find it hard at times to motivate ourselves. 

So, how can you make a positive change when you’ve lost motivation? 

We all lose motivation sometimes.  It’s a normal human response to stress.  Poor motivation can be a feature of many physical and mental health conditions that can leave us physically, mentally, and emotionally tired.

Of course, how we feel is impacted by our circumstances.  However, no matter what situation we find ourself in. we can benefit from self-help tools and techniques when we feel low.  The amazing thing is – your mind can work on whatever task you give it!   Our thinking affects our emotions and our emotions impact our behaviour.  Changing your thinking can change your emotions and your behaviours.

You may want to go for a walk.  Yet, somehow you lack motivation and confidence to just go for it.  Let’s consider some tips that can make a real difference to your motivation levels, how you feel and what you choose to do:

  1. Take a cool/cold shower to really feel alive. The cold water activates your nervous system and stimulates happy hormones.  Cold shows can act as a natural antidepressant!
  1. Overthinking can lead to the formation of negative, inaccurate, conclusions about ourselves.  If and when you catch yourself overthinking: get out, go running, shake those negative thoughts away and get some fresh air.
  1. Stop living in the past or future.  That means putting a stop to thoughts that revolve around what you could’ve done better.  Thoughts that tell you that you’re not good enough to make a difference and you won’t achieve your goals.  You belong to here and now.  Be present. That helps you to connect with the things around you and build the positive future you desire
  1. Ask for help from your GP or a Psychotherapist: people you can trust.  This allows you to access professional help and support that can really make a difference when you lack motivation.  
  1. Plan for the next day.  Write things down, and stick to your plan.  Having some simple goals in mind for each day can help to motivate you.   
  1. Practice affirmations before you go to bed and in the morning.  Affirmations are potent negative thought busters and can really help you to embrace self-positivity.
  1. Keep a journal.  Expressing yourself can be helpful a journal is a great place to write your thoughts and emotions.  You can experience feeling heard, almost like somebody is there for you.
  1. Set goals –  daily, weekly or annually.  Keep them simple and clear.  Having a goal to accomplish motivates you and helps your mood too. You become positive and have a plan to work on.  
  1. Practice self-love: loving yourself is a challenging task!  But if we can’t love ourselves, we can’t love anybody.  Be kind to you, spoil yourself – go on that vacation you always wanted to: you deserve it!  Making yourself feel good and appreciated should always be your top priority. 
  1. Start a new course.  What hobby would you like to develop?  Starting a course that you’re passionate about will help you connect with other people who share the same passion.  You’ll be learning and developing whilst enjoying your experience.

The Power of your Subconscious Mind! And How to Make it Thrive.

I love talking about the subconscious mind, or the “habit mind”.  The good news is we all have the power to change our mindset and behaviours by being aware of how to use the power of the habit mind.  We can think of the subconscious as a “treasure organ” that we humans are gifted with.  

The subconscious has the power to help us tackle our original question:  how do I get back on track when I lack motivation? 

Humans, are comfortable creatures who don’t like change.  It can take lots of effort to do something new.  How many times have you planned to do a task but then decided to “do it later”?  It gets left till tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes!?

My guess is, you’ve done that at least 100 times!  That’s because you are trained to do that subconsciously!  If you go to bed with negative thoughts, you are likely to wake up in the morning with the same thoughts because that’s what you give to your subconscious mind to digest: negative thoughts! So, try this before you go to bed next time: first of all, quieten your mind with 20 minutes of meditation, then plan your next day.  That might include building in a morning gratitude practice, followed by 30 – 40 minutes running before a fantastic breakfast!  Leave a note on your mirror or write a letter with “good-morning sunshine” as the first line.  Your subconscious will drink it this positivity, and in the morning, you’ll be more positive and committed to your tasks.  Practice this new habit with a determined mind until your subconscious mind adopts it as a habit.  You’ll end up doing it without even thinking anymore!

Decide on your own plan, and create your own motivation plan for your sub-conscious.  Give a try for a month, and reap the benefits.