Every practitioner – every human being – gets sluggish now and then. No matter how genuinely inspired we are by our mission, no matter how much genuine passion burns inside, our energy will inevitably take a dip, and with it sometimes our motivation, self-confidence, clarity of mind, and creativity.
Living at an optimal level takes work and vigilance. It’s OK to crumple to the ground – as long as you get back up.
But that’s the tricky part, isn’t it?
Here are ten ideas that help me get my groove back when I feel it slipping away. The quicker I put one or more of these into action, the quicker I regain my momentum (and the longer I sustain it):
- Picture it.
- Turn in early.
- Bedtime meditation.
- Get up early and exercise.
- Breakfast of champions.
- See the success.
- Leverage your smartphone.
- Reward yourself.
- Get inspired.
1. Picture it.
OK, so you don’t want to feel this way. You wish you felt different. How do you want to feel? What would that look like? If you were feeling that way, what would you be doing? Joe Jackson once sang that “you can’t get what you want ‘til you know what you want.” That’s more than half the battle. Picture it.
2. Turn in early.
Low energy? Fine. Your body and mind might actually need extra rest. Rather than taking that rest in the form of wasting hours of your daylight hours doing nothing productive, discipline yourself to go to bed early every night for a week, or until you feel yourself lighting up again.
3. Bedtime meditation.
Make the last few minutes before bedtime peaceful ones. Step away from the TV, set aside your phone, and meditation. The simplest way to meditate is to simply try to keep an empty mind. But it shouldn’t feel like a struggle. I promise you: you will think. Welcome each thought, then imagine it gently blowing away like clouds into the distance. Meditation can help you sleep better, keep your emotions on a more even keel, bring you creative inspirations and so much more.
4. Get up early and exercise.
Even a short 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity can vanquish depression and bring calm and clarity to your mind – and if you do it first thing in the morning, it has lasting effects throughout the day. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Go for a walk first thing tomorrow morning and see how it feels.
5. Breakfast of champions.
I’m not going to give you dietary advice and tell you what to eat in the morning – you can do that kind of research on your own. However, I do believe you should eat in the morning. Food is energy. Skipping breakfast is akin to trying to drive a car with an empty gas tank. It just doesn’t make sense, and it can’t be helping you when you’re feeling “blah”.
6. See the success.
OK, so maybe you’re not as productive as you’d like to be. Acknowledging that is good, so you can make a change – but wallowing in it or beating yourself up over it will get you nowhere. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t get done, notice what you did and give yourself a pat on the back.
Our worlds are full of things that could keep us busy – but one could stay busy for a lifetime and in the final analysis, never have reached their goals or lived their dreams. That’s why it’s important to have priorities. Get clear on what’s most important, work on those things, and let the rest fall away. I recommend mapping out your priorities on a weekly basis. I usually do this on Sunday night. I ask myself – what am I going to do this week to move closer to my goals? A game plan keeps us on track and makes us more effective.
8. Leverage your smartphone.
Almost everyone has a smartphone device that’s capable of delivering pop-up reminders. Once you have your goals in place for the week, using your reminders function can be a great way of prompting you to do high-priority activities.
9. Reward yourself.
Decide ahead of time how you’ll reward yourself for meeting all of your weekly goals. You might even use an image that represents your reward as your smartphone wallpaper to help keep your eye on the prize.
10. Get Inspired.
Listen to an inspiring audiobook or podcast. This is something you can do no matter how beat-down you feel. However, it’s also something you can do while also doing something else, like exercising or commuting. As you regain your get-up-and-go, consider multi-tasking with some motivational teachings in your ear.
A slip in energy or motivation can happen to anyone. The difference between the world’s most successful people and everyone else is that winners pick themselves up again – every time. It’s not always easy, but these ten tips can give you the boost you need. Try one or more to get out of a rut. Make habits of them to make yourself rut-proof.