Ever have one of those days where you just can’t seem to get yourself motivated to do anything? You’re not alone. I bet even Tony Robbins occasionally has one of those days. Whether it’s starting to exercise, or tackling a huge new project, sometimes, it’s just tough to get up and go. These motivational slumps are not to be confused with clinical depression, which requires intervention from a medical professional. I’m talking about those “blah” days that most of us face at one time or another.

While it sounds simple enough to “just do it,” sometimes, it’s just hard to get off your behind and get motivated. The following tricks can help you out of a slump.

Accept that there is an ebb and flow to life

Unless you’re the energizer bunny, it’s impossible to be motivated all the time. Motivation comes and goes, and simply accepting that it won’t go away permanently can be enough to get yourself out of your slump.

Start small

Don’t set goals that feel overwhelming. If you find it hard to get yourself motivated, you may be setting your expectations too high. Let’s use exercise as an example. If you haven’t been exercising, setting a goal of running a five mile race within a month is probably not going to get you started. Instead, set yourself an achievable goal of walking 10 minutes a day for a week.

Build on small successes

Once you’ve accomplished your small goal, build on it. Increase your walking time by 5 or 10 minutes each day. You will feel that you’ve accomplished something, and it will become easier to build on your success.

Seek support from others

Find people who share the same goals as you do. Create a team of motivational cheerleaders for yourself. When you’re in a slump, call on them to help you, but don’t forget to return the favor.

Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

Instead of thinking how hard something is, think about the benefits. Think about how much healthier and energetic you’ll feel if you exercise on a regular basis rather than the fact that you’d rather sit on your couch and watch TV.

Be kind to yourself

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not motivated all the time. Realize that sometimes, motivating yourself to accomplish a new goal means you’ll be stepping outside of your comfort zone, and that takes courage. Pat yourself on the back for even small steps toward your goal.

I can’t imagine that cats have trouble motivating themselves. They don’t think “I’m so tired! I don’t want to get up and chase that mouse today. Life is so hard!” Instead, they take a nap, and wake up refreshed and ready to get on with their day.

Do you have trouble motivating yourself? What has helped you?

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12 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: How to Motivate Yourself

  1. You said it’s not to be confused with clinical depression… but I can honestly say that these are very helpful, even for those with depression!! These are many of the same things that I’ve been taught while working on motivation in my treatment program.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to give some of my own feedback to any readers that may help anyone who ends up finding this post!!

    One MAJOR thing that I’m not seeing on this list is self care!!
    Getting up and doing something like making yourself cocoa, taking a nice bath, or even just doing something like brushing your teeth can actually leave you feeling quite refreshed and ready to tackle the world. It’s the number one way I get motivation when I’m in a particularly bad slump.

    Another thing is to think about the benefits you’ll get from doing the said thing. Doing that paperwork?? Great for your job!! Going out running?? That will make you healthier, and happier (thanks to the endorphins that exercise causes the release of). A personal project?? Think of how awesome it will be when it’s finished!!
    Sometimes getting caught up in the process of getting there can distract you from the end goal.

    Also… be the person your cat thinks you are!!<3

  2. next, yoga, I hear it can be fierce lol thank you so much Ingrid, Allegra and Ruby purrs right back 🙂

  3. These are great tips, Ingrid! I have a lot of trouble motivating myself to clean. That is probably the thing I struggle with most. I try to think about how nice it will be to have a clean space. The prospect of having friends over also motivates me. 🙂

  4. To breathe and not be in full anxiety and panic attacks I have to take medication, unfortunately after long term usage, depression, anger, and thoughts of suicide set in. AS long as I’m aware and remember that these are caused by the medication I take I’m. But after renting a house for 14 years, i started feeling able to go out to go for long walks, but the owner who promised me i could stay forever, lied and now i live in an apt. And I can’t handle the noise, the neighbours, I’ve pretty much giving up on everything, but much to my surprise i started meditading slowly just seeing nature and feeling only nature and a pale blue lake full of sparkles and i feel better eventually maybe I’ll find an exercise that I can do without bothering neighbours, going out is not an option, I suffer from agoraphobia and social phobia, my pills take care of the panic, but my outside time is very limited. So meditation which I never though I could do has really calmed my deep anger, and urges to end it all, besides I can’t I have 3 cats that i love…Anyway it’s a lot to share but if it helps anyone, at least knowing they’re not alone, maybe it will be worth sharing this. Thank you always Ingrid for your great posts

    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Lorraine. I love hearing that meditation has made a difference for you. I have a feeling your three cats are “healer cats” and in your life for a reason. I’m sending warm wishes and Allegra and Ruby are sending purrs!

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