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7 Ways to Win Back Your Motivation

Karen Katzenbach

You know those days when everything goes right? You hit every green light on your commute. Your boss decides to cut your workload by 24%, just because. Your spouse has dinner ready when you get home. Your kids all decide to go to bed 1/2 hour before their bedtimes without a fight. You know what that’s like, right?  Yeah, neither do I either.

Truth is, life is messy. And some days are a lot messier than others. It can go from the distracting (where are my keys?) to the devastating (you’re saying all three kids need braces?). And you have to deal with it. Those are the times when it’s easy to lose motivation and skip your workout, or reach for a dinner of frozen snacks and wine.

But there are other ways to pump up your motivation when the going gets tough! Try these out before you reach for the pizza rolls and chardonnay.

  1. Find the humor

Jerry Seinfeld made a career of finding humor in the mundane. If he could have a 9 year run on TV with a show about nothing, then your 2 hour meltdown could garner a season’s worth of comedy. Rewrite the script in your head so you turn your tears of frustration into tears of joy. Seriously (or not so seriously) how many of the moments in life that you thought were so devastating turn out to be funny when you look back? (I’m talking about that gigantic zit you got the day before prom when you thought your life was over!). Just knowing that time and distance will turn your present day stress into a funny story can take a lot of the sting away.

  1. Let it out

Remember in college when the student council would organize Primal Screams during exam week? It worked. Get outside and let your frustration go, or grab a pillow and unleash your inner beast. Holding in or bottling it your struggle only gives it more power. Let it out and get rid of it for good. Focus that frustration and banish it to the dark corners of the universe.

  1. Turn up the tunes

You know you have that power song — the one that always makes you feel good and strong and ready to take on the world. Whether it’s Aretha or Metallica or Queen Bey, crank it up or sing along. Get moving and dance, and watch your mood turn around. With the right soundtrack, you can conquer any challenge life throws your way.

  1. Recite your mantra

It’s good to have a phrase that brings you back in touch with your true power. If you can tie that phrase to your “ultimate why,” all the better. Let’s say your why for getting healthy is to be confident and live a life full of adventure. Then, your mantra could be something like “I am powerful and meet all challenges”  or “With challenge comes change. With change comes possibility.” Have this on hand and repeat it when those trying times come around.

  1. Walk away

… literally. A nice long walk by yourself or with a loved one is a great way to remove yourself from the stress and refocus your mind. Giving yourself some time and space to regroup usually makes the drama seem less dramatic.

  1. Let go

It seems simple. But we spend an awful lot of time worrying about things we can’t control. There are some things that are simply out of your control and making peace with this idea is necessary for you to move on.

  1. Talk it out

Bend someone’s ear. Your spouse, a trusted friend, that Justin Bieber poster you have taped to the inside of your closet door. Heck, you can even talk to yourself in a pinch. (No judgment). Just getting your feelings out and expressed does wonders for your inner calm. Do this in a positive, productive way for some relief and insight. Just don’t let it turn into a full on rant and rave.

Life is going to get messy, but that doesn’t mean you crash-and-burn. A momentary challenge can’t undo the work you’ve done. Pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and work through it. This is how you build resilience, so that next time life throws you a curveball, you can say, “I’ve got this.”