How do you Maintain and Regain Momentum?
It almost seems like yesterday when we were exchanging the niceties of “compliments of the new season,” heads held up high with an invigorated and renewed sense of passion to make the best of the New Year. With the passage of time, news headlines, life events and the rigor of making a living – it takes energy, determination and effort to consistently maintain the zeal and drive that we started out with at the beginning of the year. As you cross over into the second month of the year, what do you do when you still have the desire and interest but have started losing the incentive and motivation to pursue your biggest dreams and goals? What do you do when life has poked a hole in your willpower fuel tank? How do you recharge your depleted motivation when you feel like your back is constantly pushed against the wall?
Where did you lose it?
From social rejection, neglect of one’s physical needs, failure, loss, to exhaustion from making too many decisions – the average human being can only take so much and still remain driven or motivated to keep forging ahead. You may have embarked on something new at the beginning of the year which gave you the most exciting, energizing feeling in the world. You were possibly so fired up and couldn’t stop talking about it, at least for a while. Then, inevitably, you may have hit a plateau. Stagnation could have set in and you lost your drive. The important thing is to trace back your journey over the last few weeks and identify where you may have lost it. Was it something someone said? Could it have been the slow uptake of your idea by your intended beneficiaries? Did you lose the support that you counted on the most? Did you experience delays? Were you betrayed or rejected? Was the goal too ambitious and you fell under the pressure and fatigue of daily high level decisions? Were you pursuing something for the wrong reasons? Whatever the state of your current motivation level may be, you need to be able to reflect deeply in order to identify how and when your drive started to get depleted over time.
How do you regain drive and motivation?
Regaining your motivation involves a combination of combatting the sources of its depletion together with determination, courage and effort into taking the first step. So what is a possible first step? You could start by changing your view. This can relate to your current environment and surroundings that have become so uninspiring, making every day monotonous and mundane. It can be simple things like the location of your desk, working area, office aesthetics, home furniture re-arrangement or colour themes that have surrounded you from time immemorial. If you are a regular walker like me, you can change your route and appreciate new, fresh views along the way. As you change your physical views around you, it is very possible that your views and perspectives on life will also begin to shift. With a change of view, you will also need to change your attitude. As you once again garner the energy to envision your “finish line,” you can start working backward to determine what it will take to reach that point. Within the bigger goals you can begin to set small incremental goals for each stage of the process to help you stay focused and keep your mind alert. With a change of views and attitude, another area of change would be in your daily patterns. It was Tuli Kupferberg who wisely noted that, “When patterns are broken, new worlds can emerge.” When you have changed your views, attitudes and patterns, it is a good time to starting reviewing your priorities and taking note of the areas that may need to be re-arranged. In the past few weeks you may have just become so obsessed with your career or project perhaps and relegated important areas of your life such as family, your spiritual development or even neglected your vital social circles! You need to re-visit your priorities and effect changes where necessary. As you re-arrange the priorities in your life you will also need to change your thoughts concerning the things that you believe you can achieve and those things that have looked like impossibilities around you. Do you have the right quality of friends around you? Which contacts in your address book do you need to upgrade or delete completely?
Forced change of habit
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. If you’re not a hundred percent passionate about your work and generally unclear about your life purpose, then it is quite difficult to wake up every day feeling motivated. Not all these changes we have mentioned here are easy, they all require a forced change of habit. This can be made easier when we have a strong spiritual anchor and clarity of our life mission. Our unwillingness to change simply means that as we continue to do the same things we have been doing over the years, we should not expect our results to be any different. Change requires force, determination, discipline and some help from the individuals that you surround yourself with to sharpen the iron in your life. Who do you look up to? Are you deriving maximum benefits from your coach or mentor? Are they still relevant for where you are now and what you are pursuing in the future?