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Last Updated on April 22, 2020

Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It

Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It

How often do you get started on a project, full of enthusiasm, then slowly feel yourself losing motivation?

The work that you used to look forward to starts to feel like a chore.

You wonder why you’re even bothering.

You might give up on the project all together.

Perhaps you take a new job that’s full of challenges, but quickly lose interest and hand in your notice?

Maybe you start taking up a hobby you’ve always wanted to do, but quit after a couple of weeks?

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If you’re struggling with motivation, you’re not alone.

Read on to find out why you’re not motivated, and what you can do to fix it.

Don’t rely on quick fixes to get motivated.

There is a way to get your motivation back – for good.

We’re talking about long-term fixes, not short-term remedies like taking a break, listening to motivational songs, or downing energy drinks. While these strategies might work for a while, they’re nowhere near as effective as finding long-lasting motivation.

Do you want to struggle through each project, gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to get the work done? Or would you rather tap into endless motivation that doesn’t feel like a huge effort?

If you truly want to learn how to stay motivated, you need to understand what drives you – and what you really don’t care about.

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Read on to find out how.

Maybe you experience some common symptoms of lost motivation too.

Wondering if your motivation has taken a hit lately? See if any of these common symptoms sound familiar.

Being bored with your routine.

Tired of doing the same old thing, day in, day out? Sick of your job, or your big project, or your schoolwork? Looking for ways to avoid what you’re meant to be doing? Feeling sick and tired of whatever you’re doing is a sign that your motivation is dwindling.

Feeling like you can’t make a difference.

Maybe you started on a project full of hope and enthusiasm, looking forward to changing the world with your contributions. If that feeling has left you, and you feel like what you’re doing is pointless of meaningless, it’s time to act.

Not being satisfied with what you’ve done.

Are you a perfectionist? Trying to be perfect is a common cause of motivation loss, because it just isn’t possible. Many of us are afraid to try new things or complete projects, thinking, “Why bother? I know it won’t be good enough.” Instead, we should focus on trying our best.

Feeling stressed about what you’re doing.

Do you regularly feel stressed and overwhelmed by your workload? When your work is causing you worry, you’re more likely to avoid it, which creates a vicious cycle or stress and motivation loss.

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Comparing yourself to others.

“We’re the same age, but he’s so much more successful than me.” This kind of comparison is a quick way to destroy your motivation for whatever you’re doing. Stop trying to be better than others, and focus on being the best version of yourself instead.

Little do we know that there’re three hidden motivation killers.

Lacking purpose

If you don’t care about what you’re doing, you won’t be motivated. Fact. Find meaning in what you’re doing, or change your focus to something you do care about.

Setting unrealistic targets

Setting impossibly high goals and failing to reach them will make you want to give up, fast. Instead, set achievable targets and enjoy the satisfaction of achieving many small goals – they’ll soon add up.

Trying to please everyone

It’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time. Focus on your purpose, and do what you think is right – don’t try to change yourself to appeal to others.

Here’s how to stay motivated 100% of the time.

Ready to learn the secret to staying motivated for the rest of your life?

Here’s what you need to do, in four simple steps.

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  1. Identify a clear purpose. Make it something you really, truly care about.
  2. Set measurable, achievable goals. Set yourself up to succeed with clear goals that you know you can meet.
  3. Be ambitious. Don’t set goals too low – have faith in yourself and what you can achieve.
  4. Think beyond yourself. Motivation only lasts so long when we’re focused solely on ourselves. Think about how your mission will help others, and you’ll tap into a new well of motivation. This is how Elon Must maintain his endless motivation – he believes he has a responsibility to the human race.[1]

Got a job you hate, and feel like these steps don’t apply? It’s been shown that the desire to provide for others, like your family or partner, can boost motivation even when you don’t find meaning in your job. [2]

Find a purpose that you truly believe in, and you’ll never struggle with motivation again.

If you feel like giving up, this is what you need to know: 8 Things To Do When You Want To Give Up

Featured photo credit: Andrea Leopardi via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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