I don’t now about you, but whenever I read one of those cringe-worthy ‘motivational quotes’ imploring me to invest in myself today in order to reap some bountiful harvest tomorrow, I fester a little inside. 

Yep, if I plant that seed today, I might well gather some harvest or other but tbh, this is all a little abstract for me. What exactly IS this metaphorical seed? What if you are just not feeling it? It’s cold, you’re tired, hungry, bored and quite frankly, lacking motivation – the drive to actually get up and do something that might make you feel better. It’s not a harvest I’m after, but a little more motivation!

Being human, motivation, like most things, will wax and wane throughout the year. However this time of year it can hit us a little harder. Less daylight means it’s more challenging to get out after work, go to the gym, walk the dog, start a tax return, finish a tax return! The list goes on. All I want to do is binge on Silent Witness and sleep, but I really do have others things to get done.

On a psychological level, doing less or doing nothing can lead to reduced mood and unfortunately feed in to the cycle of depression. How many times have you dreaded the thought of going out somewhere but when you made yourself go, felt so much better for it? Or you had to be dragged out for a walk, to the gym or bike ride and felt epic after doing it? (OK, maybe ‘epic’ is stretching it a bit, but you see my point?)

If you have hit a bit of a slump recently and just don’t seem to have any get up and go, then don’t give yourself a hard time. Instead work out what it is that you, a.would like to do, and, b.need to do. Do not bite off more than you can chew, just a few things. Write them down or pop them in your phone notes. This is your PLAN.

Here’s the best bit…expect not to feel any motivation to do them at all once you first start. Expect there to be a motivation time delay!

Start on the first task, even if you do not FEEL like doing it. Complete it. Work out when you can schedule in the next thing. Complete it.

What you are doing here is GOING WITH THE PLAN AND NOT THE MOOD.

The goal is that by ‘doing’ you will start to develop your motivation and if you were also feeling low, it will hopefully increase your mood. 

Please feel free to contribute below if you have any other ideas about motivation.

If you are feeling depressed and have been struggling with day-to-day tasks for a while, please do see your GP who can offer advice about help and support, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You can access CBT through the NHS or privately. If you are finding it hard to do this on your own, please ask someone to go along with you or help you to refer yourself online.