Commit Not to Quit – Motivation Tips for Wintertime
Well, we are a month into a new year and the holiday season is behind us for another 9 months. Whew!!!
For most of us, we are back to our “normal” lives and the daily grind. For some, the children are back to school and have homework to keep them busy each night.
Hopefully, our sleep patterns have returned back to what they were before the holidays and there are no more goodies to snack on in the office. With life returning to its normal routine, we would think that we would feel more refreshed without all the holiday extras.
This may not be for some of us. This may be the time of the year where you feel more sluggish and find it difficult to sustain motivation and energy to follow through with our New Year’s resolutions or even everyday tasks.
Ways to Maintain Our Motivation and New Year’s Resolutions
1. Reassess to be Realistic
Ask yourself: Did I bite off more than I can chew? Is it realistic? If you find out the resolution is too much, then you need to redefine your goals to be doable and realistic.
If the goal is realistic, then you need to remind yourself why you made the resolution. Or, maybe you have been working really hard on the resolution and have not given yourself a rest time away from the task. A day off from the resolution is just like taking a day off from work to rest.
2. Have a Conversation with Yourself.
Why is it that the conversations that we have with ourselves (in our head) can contribute to a lack of follow through with the task? A lot of times we are telling ourselves excuses about why we don’t have to do the task.
For example, we make excuses like:
- “I will watch this one last episode and then I’ll workout.” (4 episodes later and you are still telling yourself that).
- “I can miss just one day.” (again, 4 days later saying the same thing).
- “I have to vacuum before I can go to the gym.”
- “How come it is so hard for me but not everyone else?”
Knowing our excuses can provide us with helpful information. When we start these conversations with ourselves (yes, it is perfectly fine to talk to yourself), we can use them as alarm signals that we are heading into our lazy mode.
We can develop disputing statements to counteract these excuses. For example, if we tell ourselves: “I will work out after this episode,” we can dispute this by saying “It will be more enjoyable to watch the episode after I work out.” This is giving us a reward for doing the task. Remember, we enjoy activities more when we do not have nagging thoughts about accomplishing tasks.
3. Change Your Environment to Fit Your Goal.
Another way to increase motivation is to change our environments that are compatible with success.
Some examples of these can be:
- If you are trying to eat more healthy snacks, do not bring unhealthy snacks into the home.
- If you have difficulty getting yourself to the gym, do not pour yourself your morning coffee until after you have worked out.
Also, have a partner to share these experiences with. There have been many mornings I have woken up and did not want to run, but I knew my running partner would be waiting for me and I did not want him to run alone. Other people can hold us accountable which increases motivation.
4. Make Sure You Are Getting Adequate Sleep.
Sleep can be very important and set up a healthy sleeping environment is important. The room should be dark, cool, and quiet. We should not have a television in our rooms because at times our bedrooms can become our family rooms.
I know many of you are saying “Really!!!” Sorry, I did not make the rules on this one. Talk to Mother Nature. The light from televisions can prevent our bodies from preparing itself for sleep.
5. Add to Your Motivation With a Mantra.
Motivation is not something that life owes us or gives to us willingly. We have to sometimes create our motivation. Creating a mantra can help us lead ourselves to success. A mantra that I have for myself is “I commit not to quit.”
We also can use a technique called resourcing. This is when we visualize a time in the past when we overcame a lack of motivation and created success. Emotions are associated with this successful outcome. We can sit with this emotion to help create motivation within us.
Remember, sometimes we don’t have to have the motivation to accomplish tasks but can accomplish tasks anyway. With some of my client’s I tell them I’m not motivated to pick up my dog’s poop, but I do it anyways.
Good luck to you all!!!!
Original Published Date: Jan 22, 2016
Revised Date: Jan. 24, 2020
These blogs were written by members of the CHI Health Behavioral Care team.