Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Seven Tips to Help You Get Motivated

Have you ever had one of those "I can't get motivated" days?

Today is definitely one of those days.

One of those days where my anxiety levels are high for no apparent reason.  One of those days that my muscles ache and I'm tired and I want to cry.  One of those days that it is raining snow, so it is grey and gloomy and snowy and slushy and slippery and wet, and inside my house is dull and dreary which causes me to focus on the carpet that has needed to be replaced since we moved in nine years ago and to remember the rooms that are in desperate need of decluttering in the basement.  So how do you move forward on a day like this?  How do you not give up and crawl back into bed?  Or eat more chocolate than is good for you?  Or drown yourself in numerous cups of coffee?

Here's a list of seven "getting motivated" tips to help when you just can't get moving.

#1 - HAVE A CHECKLIST


I know that I have said it before, but it is because I truly believe it.  When our minds are tired and our bodies are fatigued, we need someone to think for us.  Using the semi-dated Beautiful Life Management pages is a great help, but I even have a more in depth morning checklist than that.  When I have a morning like today, I can go to my checklist and be sure that I have done the most important things.  

Get up - check, morning prayers - check, drink water - hmmm, go fill water bottle and start - check, layout my clothes for tomorrow - check, make the bed - check, start laundry - check, but I need to switch it over...

And on it goes through my morning, reminding me to eat breakfast, figure out what is for lunch and supper, take care of the dog, exercise, read my Bible, do my daily housekeeping, etc.  Usually once I get started my motivation kicks in and I can keep going.

#2 - JUST FIVE MINUTES

But what if you can't seem to get started at all?? Sometimes, if I've gotten behind, I don't know where to begin because everything is upside down.  On days like that I set my timer for five minutes at a time and work through each room of the house in order.  Using small chunks of time I can tame the mess and give my brain breathing room.    It is amazing how much you can accomplish in five minutes!!  Other times, though, I just need to get off the couch and get moving, and the five minute timer helps me.  I'm not committing to finishing something, just starting it.  But a lot of times I will find that once I start I don't want to stop until the project is done.  Win / Win!

#3 - BRIGHTEN UP

On these gloomy days of winter especially, I need to brighten up my living space in order not to get lost in discouragement.  Some of my favorite things to do are to light a candle and have fresh flowers on the table.  Making a pretty table runner is on my list, too, as well as finding ways to add some brighter and softer colors to my wardrobe.

#4 - USE MUSIC THERAPY

Music can be energizing, relaxing, inspiring or defeating.  I love to listen to music as I go through my day.  While I am stitching I like to listen to quiet music with thoughtful words that will turn my mind heavenward.  I like happy music while I am working around the house to keep me moving.  Baby Beethoven is one of my favorites!  I definitely stay away from anything that sounds angry, sad or has too much of a beat as it will increase my anxiety levels rather than calm them.

#5 - GIVE YOURSELF A TRIPLE DOG DARE

Some online friends and I have developed this tactic to get ourselves moving when we find ourselves grounded.  A Triple Dog Dare - or TDD - is a list of the next three things that you are going to do.  The object is to not to anything else until those are accomplished, although that isn't always practical, but it is a fun way to narrow a long, overwhelming list down and make it doable.

#6 - DANGLE A CARROT

Not everyone responds to the idea of a reward for completing an unpleasant task, but I love to know that "I can listen to the Sense and Sensibility audiobook and stitch for an hour when I complete xxxx...".  Maybe your carrot will be a cup of coffee, a chapter of a book, or knitting a row on a blanket.  Use whatever works for you.  Extra points if that reward is something that you had on your list already!! :)

#7 - FOCUS ON PRAISE

Psalm 77 helps me when I find myself thinking that it is a horrible day and that I might as well not even bother trying.  The psalmist is sure that God has forgotten him.  He is depressed and anxious and troubled.  But then, in verse 10 he catches himself and reminds himself that it is only his weakness that makes him think that way.

"This is my infirmity, but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.  I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.  I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings."

My mind is weak, but He is strong.  My body is tired, but He is always working.  My heart is overwhelmed, but He is always in control.  Don't give up, friend!  

Well, this has been an encouraging article for me to write.  And I think that now I had better put my advice into practice and go light a candle, put on some music and start cleaning up the kitchen to get ready for lunch.  

Have a blessed day, friend!!

Tricia

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