How to Recover Motivation
Finishing tasks is a challenge, the idea of starting something new, no matter how small it is, even if it’s in my own home is unbearable, does this sound familiar?! Experiencing motivation loss or a lack of inspiration to participate in anything can be contributed to a number of factors. However, the easiest route to overcoming this is by firstly doing something you want to do.
When energy levels are low, there is no enthusiasm
When energy levels are low, there is no enthusiasm present and struggling to find motive or reason then motivation is generally re-routed to indulge in something effortless like food or entertainment. This can contribute to making the issue even worse, as you have found something pleasurable to mask the lack of motivation. A key point to recovering motivation is to pinpoint what is causing the underlying lack of motivation.
Leval, Danziger and Pesso (2010) interestingly proposed a study within a prison setting that on average the judges granted parole to around 60 percent of prisoners’ right after the judge had eaten a meal. They found that right after breakfast and lunch the chances of getting paroled were at their highest. However immediately prior to a meal the rate of approval crept down, before a meal the judges granted parole to about 20 percent of those appearing before them. The less glucose in judges’ bodies, the less willing they were to make the active choice of setting a person free and accepting the consequences. This study shows the link between motivation, decision making and diet. A poor or lack of diet or appetite can contribute to low motivation, and can be an example of how an underlying cause will impact on people’s decision making and motivation.
Neglecting physical needs
To continue this example further when leading a busy life, it can be very easy to skip breakfast and/or lunch, then finding yourself in a position where it’s difficult to get much done because of a lack of necessary glucose to help our cognition. Neglecting physical needs can deplete motivation so it’s crucial to keep track of any neglect so it can be corrected. A tip to help overcome this is to complete a daily personal record and see if there are any common trends through the day. If there are, recovering your motivation may be as simple as eating breakfast and getting enough water.
From this personal record we can discover if this motivation problem is a recent change or one that has been going on for a long time. It can also help to establish if motivation is lost, or just misplaced! This very personal answer helps to narrow down the list of underlying causes. Leahy (2013) suggests that from a professionals’ point of view immediate questions would be asked such as, why do you feel like this, why now, what may help, what has changed? These are not questions only the trained mind can ask; these are opportunities that individuals can explore themselves and discover reasons from a personal perspective.
Recovering motivation is a combination of challenging the sources of its reduction and convincing yourself into taking the initial steps towards your goal. An example can be given via an interview setting where rejection is given, this social rejection may impact on your negative feelings and in turn lowering motivation. However to combat this it can be beneficial to note what caused the rejection, what can I do differently next time, did I prepare well enough for this situation. This tip can add goals to the situation itself rather than focussing on the motivation to continue. By adjusting the ways you correct an issue, for example asking for feedback for the reason for rejection. Learning from this can help with motivation for similar future events.
It may seem obvious but another tip to recovering motivation is making decisions around something you really want to do. When it comes to decision making, it can challenging to manage every decision even if you are not suffering with low motivation. However, Leahy (2013) suggests another way to above this problem is to create a to do list of decisions rather than tasks so you’ll know what needs to be decided throughout the day.
The snow ball effect
By doing something you want to do can help increase motivation as you can rely on past experiences and the pleasures you received previously. Initially doing something small, very small, that needs to be done around the home, or that has been put off will require only five minutes of time. This snow ball effect can create a chemical reaction that encourages positive thoughts, reactions and satisfaction. The following day a slightly bigger task can be completed which increases that positive feedback. By seeing the accomplishments and how little effort they take, this will impact on having to make these decisions in the future. By realizing this progress and the enjoyment you receive you will shortly be searching for it at home, or out in the community.
* BAGC 6
Leahy, R.L (2013) BA., Ph.D. 5 Ways to Regain Motivation
Leval, J., Danziger, S & Pesso, L.A (2010) Columbia and Ben-Guron Universities looked at 1,112 judicial ruling over the course of 10 months concerning prisoner paroles.