The following is a copy of my recent guest post at MotivateThyself.com.
Ever have those days where you’re sitting on the couch with the TV remote in your hand going over the same tired channels again and again while you’re thinking, “Okay, I really need to get motivated!”? Has your life fallen into and endless routine of sameness where one day blurs into the next? Do you think about how just a few years ago, you were motivated, energized and very active but you don’t know how to get it back?
For some reason, many people, at one time or another, seem to innocuously slip into the no-motivation zone while their attention is somewhere else. We suddenly wake up and realize that we have no ambition anymore. Why? While there are a million reasons for this, you don’t need to know them all before taking steps to get your motivation groove back. Here’s a list of 12 motivation tricks that can give you the jolt you need to snap out of your sleep-walking life.
- Start a new relationship. You don’t have to replace your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, but simply starting a new relationship with a new and interesting person with whom you have a lot in common can add some spice to your week and move you out of the doldrums. Go somewhere new and strike up a conversation. It works!
- Pick up a new hobby. This is especially nice if you can involve a friend–perhaps a new friend! Also, if you have children, a spouse or significant other, start together and enjoy each other’s company. Picking up a new hobby or reconnecting with an old one can jazz you up and substantially boost your level of motivation.
- Work out! Yes, I know this idea may hurt, at first, but if you don’t overwhelm yourself, in a very short amount of time, you’ll begin to feel like a million bucks. Grab a friend, set a goal, and hold each other accountable. Working out with a friend is a great motivator and so is losing weight and looking better. Don’t focus on what you’ll be losing (free time, excuses to be lazy), focus on what you’ll gain (feeling better, looking great). If you take exercise seriously, the gains you make in your energy level, your confidence, and your motivation will skyrocket.
- Eat more fruits and veggies: Like exercise, if you can incorporate even a modest improvement in your eating habits, your psyche will turbo-charge your body and you’ll feel more motivated to take on new challenges.
- Get inspired! Seek and explore inspirational teachers, coaches and people. Perhaps you need a life coach to get you inspired. Maybe you need a good book like the quotes of Abraham Lincoln, or Martin Luther King, Jr. Maybe finding some new music that has great energy is just the thing. Have coffee with someone who is very optimistic and ask what inspires her. Start or find a local group of people who get together once a week to talk about how to get inspired. Very often, looking for inspiration in the company of like-minded people will intensify the results. Whatever your source, finding a way to get inspired is a great way to quickly get your motivation muscles moving.
- Teach someone a new skill. Find someone who is looking to learn a skill in which you are an expert. Spend some time teaching him. The reciprocity and motivation will flow both ways.
- Have some fun. Sometimes we get into motivation a rut because we haven’t done anything fun for a while. Break out of your routine by participating in a fun activity. Go bowling, hiking or play putt-putt golf; find people to play board games with; go sight-seeing or antique shopping; play laser-tag, go roller-skating or bungee-jumping; spend the day at the zoo; visit a museum you’ve always wanted to go to. Make a list and do something fun!
- Sleep more. If you’re running on four or five hours of sleep each night, not only will you feel lethargic, but your brain chemistry will be all out of whack. The brain regulates feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. The simple act of getting enough sleep can balance out these chemicals and increase them to their natural levels. This, alone, could restore your normal level of motivation.
- Laugh out loud. Laughter is one of the best ways to quickly enhance your mood and electrify your motivation. Make a run to the video store and rent a few good comedies. Then, while your mood is all bubbly, go out and have some fun (see item 7) or call someone and make him laugh.
- Set a meaningful goal. In the back of your mind, there is probably something you’ve always wanted to do, be or have. Set a goal to practice or start working toward your objective. Then take some action right away. When you’re done, decide on when you’re going to come back to it so you can keep moving forward. Nothing motivates like a meaningful goal and regular progress toward it.
- Discover a cause. Sometimes in life we become uninspired because we’ve stopped moving forward. But finding a cause that we connect with such as building houses for charity, providing drinking water in depressed villages, giving coats to homeless people, or anything that gives your life more purpose while helping others can totally rock your world! Get involved and volunteer to help! Who wouldn’t feel motivated by doing something like that?
- Motivate another person. One of the absolute best ways to get your own motivation groove on is to motivate another person. Seeing the other person getting totally excited and enthusiastic causes a mirror response in your body. You feel great for helping to motivate another person and suddenly you feel motivated too. And now you’re ready to take on the world.