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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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