Can you motivate yourself?
Motivation isn’t just a mental game. Your body will tell you what you need. Your diet, getting enough sleep, and other factors can directly impact your ability to achieve your goals. Lack of motivation is caused by many things, and you need to figure out what is causing yours. Is it a health issue, related to sleep or diet, or perhaps a social problem you’re experiencing? Here are a few ideas to help you stay motivated.
Exercising regularly (and continually taking it up a notch) can make everything else you need to do feel less difficult. I have learned from trainers that it’s best to exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 day a week. Everyone can find a half hour for this form of self-care. It’s ok to start slow. While watching TV, take a few minutes to stretch. (See my workout sheet for more info.)
I find that 20 to 30 minutes of exercise helps give me both physical and mental relief. Any type of physically demanding activity will have this effect and will feel easier over time. With this in mind, keep pushing yourself little by little to lift heavier, move farther, go faster, or stretch deeper. The more you exercise your physical body, the better! Exercise helps with mental clarity.
Feeling a little hungry can be good for motivation. It’s a physical signal to your brain, telling you to eat, so that you can continue to work. The first thing you want is carbs, right? Like a granola bar or chocolate bar. But wait – if you choose a liquid snack, like a smoothie or juice, you get instant fuel. Drinking is faster than eating, and is also processed faster by your body. Try to avoid eating big or fat-filled meals right before you need to be productive. If your hunger distracts you, grab a small snack like a banana, apple, or cucumber to take the edge off.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can make everything seem harder. Lack of sleep reduces the supply of energy to the brain. This can impact your focus at work and your ability to achieve your goals. Not having enough rest affects your mental stamina, which reduces your ability to perform well at any task. Even just being aware of your drowsiness can affect your motivation, but a little physical activity can help you bounce back. Stretch, stand up, and move your body. To power though, just remind yourself that you have the skills to be successful.