To really enjoy life, achieve more, have success, feel a sense of fulfilment, we really need to make sure our day to day motivation is high. I'm not talking about the bouncing off walls type of motivation, but the type that helps us achieve our day to day goals easily and enjoyably.
So what's the key? well, I'm sure if you ask 10 people what's important to keep them motivated, they'll likely give a number of answers, but here is what I've seen and learned from many years of coaching clients. Here, in my view, is the most important question...
Are you in a good place?
I don't mean are you in a warm office with a comfortable chair (well that could help too!) But, how are you mentally and physically? Here's the thing, if you are suffering from work stress, burnout, brain fog, overwhelm, physical tiredness or ill health, then no matter how determined you are, your motivation will suffer, wether its at home at work or even the ability to socialise or partake in a hobby.
So, lets assume that a coaching client comes to me with clear well defined goals, yet their motivation is lacking, here is what I think and ask about their physical self.
Ask the question, are you getting decent nutrition? Our bodies, like machines, need to be looked after, it never fails to amaze when people spend hundreds or thousands servicing their cars, buying premium fuel, and then get lunch at a motorway service station or a van that delivers to their place of work. Our bodies and brain require good nutrition and water for optimum performance. Having regular meals or healthy snacks keeps our blood sugar stable and energy levels balanced.
Are you getting adequate sleep? Now, don’t just say “I can get by on 5 or 6 hours”, we are not talking about “getting by” but thriving here! Sleep is one of the most important areas for health and motivation. In studies, scientists are seeing that the brain actually detoxifies itself during sleep. There is also a growing link between poor sleep and dementia. I’m sure we can all remember a time where we may have had a couple or restless nights and suffered at work the next day.
Are you getting regular recovery breaks during the day and week? Our bodies work best when we have healthy stress and then rest. Working on projects for example is healthy stress, exercise is healthy stress, challenging yourself mentally like learning a new language is a healthy stress. But for it to be effective, we must rest and recover, a top athlete focuses on his or her recovery as much as the physical training.
The points above btw have a huge effect on the the brain and therefor energy and motivation.
Ok, so are you in a good place mentally? Here are some questions I might ask a client.
Do you have a feeling of overwhelm? Ie not knowing where to start or what is a priority? Are you feeling that there are simply too many things for you to handle?
Are you having trouble “getting going”? Ie is it hard to get up early and look forward to doing those tasks?
Are you over reacting to seemingly insignificant issues? Are simply tasks beginning to frustrate you?
Any of the above could have a major impact on your motivation, happiness and ability to active your goals and long term, your health.
Here is an example.
I was recently working with a client who said her energy and motivation levels were pretty poor. It was clear that she was pretty overwhelmed with all the tasks that she was responsible for as well.
After looking at her typical week, ! saw that she was only having one full day off every 2 weeks! She had convinced herself that the couple of half days off that she would have in 7 days were adequate, they clearly weren’t! It took a little while to convince her that by having more recovery days off that she would be more productive and happier. After 3 weeks of the new routine, she was back motivated, happier and achieving more.
Collaboration is my favourite word, people collaborating can achieve great things, people who run “solo” will likely face more challenges, challenges that last longer, can be stressful and unhealthy and running "Solo" can be a lonely place too. Collaborating creates an energy, gives answers and a strategy to help you get into that “Good place”
We all have different skills sets, some people are natural mangers, designers, coaches or engineers for example. We can’t be all things. Sometimes we need the skillset of another person to help us to get back on track and boost our motivation, wether it's a nutritionist, a personal fitness trainer or a performance coach.
I Hope writing this article helps in some way to improve your motivation.
Mind Performance Coach