How to Stay Motivated When You’re in a Slump

I had a conversation with my neighbour recently. He’s usually on the go every day early in the morning until early evening, despite having been retired for over ten years. But right now, he’s in a bit of a slump.

He’s staying in bed until 11am and struggling to find the motivation to do anything.

And it got me thinking. We all have times when we can’t muster up the energy to accomplish something, so how do we break out of that and push forward even when the going gets tough?

“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”

Napoleon Hill

Find inspiration

Read books, magazines, blogs and quotes — whatever gets your creative juices flowing and inspires you to take action. Listen to uplifting podcasts and adopt positive affirmations.

Look to others who have already achieved what you’re looking to accomplish, , even if it’s as simple as cleaning the house, and follow their lead.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Start small

If you’re having difficulty getting started, it’s probably because you’re overwhelmed with the enormity of what you want to achieve. For example, you might want to do an intense cardio work-out 3 times a week. That’s a pretty big ask. Start with baby steps by doing 5 minutes instead.

Going all in is more likely to lead to failure and disappointment. Make it manageable and build on it until it becomes a habit that sticks.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Mark Twain

Keep yourself accountable

I have a love-hate relationship with accountability but it’s absolutely vital in achieving your goals.

When I first started writing my novel earlier this year, I decided not to tell anyone because I didn’t want to ‘put pressure on myself’ — which was absolute rubbish. Really, I didn’t want to hold myself accountable.

Not only have I now told my family and friends, I’ve also written about it here, so there’s no turning back. If everyone knows about your goal, you’re much more likely to stick with it, even if it’s just to ‘save face’.

“Most goals people set are not achieved because they are not held accountable for them. When goals are made in private they tend to fall off because people stop being motivated, stop focusing and stop prioritizing.”

Bola Onada Sokunbi

Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

If you’re in a slump, you’re most likely thinking negatively. Monitor and become aware of those thoughts and then slowly start to re-frame them into positive ones.

For example, replace ‘I can’t’ with ‘I can’ and instead of thinking about the difficulties around what you want to do, think about the benefits and what you’ll get out of it. Really visualise how you’ll feel at the end of it and soon this will translate into the energy you need to move forward.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

When you change the quality of your thinking, you change the quality of your life.

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