But here’s three quick tips to help you rekindle it… or at least, get the stuff done that you’re feeling guilty about neglecting.
Why do I say that? Well…
Why do you need motivation?
You don’t need motivation to get stuff done. You need something even greater, especially during tough seasons like this one (COVID-19 lock-down in the midst of death, loss and grief). My motivation is at an all-time low. No Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. That’s been postponed. No outdoor season (until August, apparently). But even that is looking less and less likely with continuing restrictions and the number of deaths in the UK and globally remaining high. We don’t even have track or pit access. Currently, I’m a long jumper who doesn’t jump. Well, I do, but just not into a sand pit.
With so much change and uncertainty, what’s the point of training? What’s the point of doing the thing you keep putting off ‘for lack of motivation’?
Well…that’s the first key. Find your point; find your why. Why do you need or want to do this thing? And why do you feel guilty for not doing it? And why are you reading this post about lost motivation…why do you need to find your motivation again?
For me… the Olympic Games have been postponed, not cancelled. My why – I still have to be in the shape of my life in 16 months’ time.
The outdoor season may still take place. There is always hope. So I have to train as if I will be competing in a few months.
And ultimately, I am becoming increasingly passionate about inspiring and equipping others to live their best lives. So, if I am not able to push myself to do what I must to live with excellence, then how can I encourage others? (Thank you, readers for being my accountability and motivation!)
What’s your why?
 Motivation is a Myth
Yes, you read that right. Motivation is a myth. The type that you can lose and then pick up at the drop of a hat is anyway!
“When motivation is equated with feelings, it is bound to come and go. In contrast, commitment is behaviourally based, and utilising the skills of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), athletes can engage in productive behaviour, regardless of what they are feeling (or thinking).”Mindfulness & Acceptance in Sport (How to Help Athletes Perform and Thrive under Pressure) by Henriksen, Hansen and Larsen.
Basically, re-frame your definition of motivation. Or choose commitment over motivation, particularly if your motivation is tied to wavering emotions, a feeling of this thing would be ‘nice to have’ or attached to an outcome that has perhaps been removed for now, e.g. no Olympics this year! Crap happens. What then? Keep going!
“Commitment acknowledges that the journey will be messy, painful and difficult – and therefore, commitment is necessary to live a valued life.”Mindfulness & Acceptance in Sport (How to Help Athletes Perform and Thrive under Pressure) by Henriksen, Hansen and Larsen.
Choose commitment which is process-driven, logical and value-based.
Commitment values process. It says: here are the building blocks to success and this is what I will do everyday to achieve this. That’s the language of commitment. Whether or not the Olympics is on this year or next, my training sessions remain in my schedule with the same level of commitment and focus as before.
Commitment values logic over emotions. If you are committed to losing weight, for example, the slice of chocolate cake may feel good in the moment, but logically, if it doesn’t align with your calorific intake goal for the day, it doesn’t make sense and therefore, you can commit to choosing a healthier snack.
Commitment values values. One of my values is ‘excellence’. If I skip training sessions, binge-eat and spend all my day watching Netflix, that wouldn’t align with this value. I may not be motivated to workout, sit at my desk completing business tasks or read a book that day, but my commitment to excellence is a great stabiliser when I start to drift too deep into my emotions and lose my way. Hopefully you, too can define some values to correct your course when your motivation starts to wane.
Finally, to wrap up the motivation myth tip, I want to leave you with a simple statement you can make anytime you feel yourself pulling away from your commitment(s):
Don’t ask yourself, ‘shall I do this?’; tell yourself, ‘I AM doing this.’
Your commitment is a statement of fact; don’t question it.
 Choose ONE Thing
Maybe you don’t have anything to work towards. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or maybe your big dream hasn’t been postponed – it’s been cancelled indefinitely! In this case, I’d still suggest you find your why. Your why may be your children, your spouse, your side hustle or… you! (You are enough!) Whatever the case, do one thing each day to ensure you are making the most of the life you have for yourself or others.
Ask yourself, what one thing can I do today to feel like my day has been a success/ to feel satisfied with my day / to make the most of my life?
Find your one thing each day. Sometimes, that’s all we can do to ensure we can smile and feel accomplished at the end of each day.
Your one thing can be a 15-minute walk around the block, making yourself a healthy meal, calling a friend, reading a book or getting to bed before midnight. It can be as small or as large as you like. It may take 5 minutes or all day. Whatever it is, at the end of the day, I hope it leaves you with a smile on your face and excited for the next day ahead.
 Set a Schedule
A few weeks ago, I created a schedule to help me adjust to a new rhythm of life during this COVID-19 Lockdown season. So much had changed, but I knew that my values remained the same.
Excellence, optimism, love. These are just three of my values. But I knew that if I chose to only focus on my ONE THING – training for the long jump – each day, that would not be a healthy way to live.
We are holistic humans – mind, body, spirit, soul.
So, we need to act like it. I’m often protecting my body – watching what I eat, when and for how long I sleep and how I exercise. But that’s about it.
What about my mind, spirit and soul?
Well, I’d easily neglect those without scheduling time to grow and flourish in each of these areas. So, with a God-spark of inspiration, another acronym-based worksheet was created!
And now I am back on track, nurturing all of me, not just one or two parts.
For example, the first letter C is to ‘Create’.
Creation draws from my spirit and soul; when I use my creativity, I feel strengthened from the inside-out because I am expressing what’s locked within me and releasing it!Tweet
Creativity is colourful. It’s fun. It’s a beautiful and unique expression of the creator. So, that’s why to ‘create’ is a key part of the CLIMBERS framework to ensure each day or week is as life-giving, holistic and fulfilling as possible.
If you liked that thought, check out the six other letters to help you remain (or become) centred and holistically healthy during your lock-down.
I hope you enjoy the journal.
Stay healthy & happy,