How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

Psychological techniques to help you get more motivated

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Sean is a fact checker and researcher with experience in sociology and field research.

Psychological Factors That Influence Motivation

Motivation is critical to success, so it is easy to understand why this is such a hot topic in so many different fields. Experts are always looking for new ways to do everything from improving student motivation to increase the motivation to exercise.

There are plenty of theories and tips designed to help people get motivated, but some of the psychological factors that can influence motivation might surprise you. Did you know that visualizing success can backfire? Or that incentives can sometimes make people less motivated?

Check out just a few of the surprising things that can impact motivation.

Use Incentives Carefully

If someone already enjoys doing something, then it stands to reason that rewarding them for the behavior would make them like it even more, right? In many cases, the answer is actually no. Giving incentives for activities that people are already driven to perform can sometimes impair motivation.

Researchers have found that rewarding people for doing things that they are already intrinsically motivated to do can actually backfire.   Remember, intrinsic motivation arises from within the individual. It is essentially doing something for the pure enjoyment of it. Doing the task is its own reward.

In instances where children are rewarded for doing something they already enjoy, such as playing with a certain toy, their future motivation to engage in the activity actually decreases. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as the overjustification effect.  

So be cautious with rewards. Incentives can work well to increase motivation to engage in an activity that is otherwise unappealing, but over-dependence upon such rewards might actually end up decreasing motivation in some cases.

How Can You Use This Concept to Increase Motivation?

  • Use extrinsic rewards sparingly.
  • Rewards can be effective if the individual truly has no intrinsic interest in the activity.
  • Try an extrinsic reward during the initial learning period, but phase out these rewards as the learner become more interested in the activity.

Introduce Challenges

How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

When facing a task, which do you find more motivating – doing something easy that you’ve done a hundred times and could probably do in your sleep, or doing something that is within the realm of possibilities but requires learning something new or stretching your existing abilities? For many people, the first option might be the easiest, but the second more challenging option will probably sound more interesting and motivating.

If you are trying to increase your motivation to do something, like getting out of bed early for a run, breaking away from the same old routines and introducing new challenges can be an effective way to keep that motivational spark.

How can you make the most of this tendency? Challenge yourself. Sign up for a local marathon. Focus on improving your times or going just a little bit further than you usually do. No matter what your goal, adding incremental challenges can help you improve your skills, feel more motivated, and bring you one step closer to success.

Don’t Visualize Success

How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

One of the most common tips for getting motivated is to simply visualize success, yet research suggests that this might actually be counterproductive. The problem is that people often visualize themselves achieving their goals, but skip over visualizing all the effort that goes into making those goals a reality.

By imagining that you have achieved the desired goal, you’re actually depleting the amount of energy you have available to devote to accomplishing the task itself.

Previous research has shown that idealized fantasies about the future typically predict poor achievement, and more recent research has found that mentally indulging in such visualization saps available energy.  

So what does work?

  • Instead of imagining yourself suddenly successful, imagine all the steps it will take to achieve that success.
  • What challenges will you face? Knowing what you might encounter can make it easier to deal with when the time comes.
  • What strategies can you use to overcome those challenges? Planning ahead can leave you better prepared to overcome the difficulties you might face.

Remember those days when you would get up early to prepare to go to work and commute? Due to the pandemic, we all switched to remote working schedules; though it was beneficial at first, you may have started to feel the burnout from juggling both work and household responsibilities in one place. Now that workdays have started to feel monotonous, you’ve lost your motivation and your tasks have piled up. If you’re completely uninspired lately, here’s how you can make your days #SooFlavorfulSooDelightful again:

Even though it’s gonna hurt, acknowledge it

In the wise words of Mark Twain, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” So listen up: The first step towards moving on a slump is to simply recognize it. Stop fooling yourself into thinking that what you’re feeling is no biggie because the longer you do, the more likely you’d fall into burnout. And don’t feel bad about it. Contrary to what commercials or social media would have you believe, it’s just not possible to be motivated 24/7.

Spice things up with a little challenge

When you’ve been doing something for a long time, you get comfortable, and no, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes, comfort is exactly what causes the slump. If you think this is your problem, it’s time to level up. Ask for feedback from your superior or even volunteer to work on an exciting new project. Your comfort zone is killing your creativity, so step outta there!

Stop feeling guilty for taking breaks

Anyone who’s been dealing with the WFH setup since the pandemic started knows that it can actually make it harder to rest. Not giving yourself time to pause, even for just a few minutes, is a quick way to give yourself burnout. You’re human — not a machine (and even machines need breaks too or they’ll malfunction!). Even though it seems like you’re drowning in work, cut yourself some slack and enjoy a few minutes away from your screen. Step outside, stretch, and grab an indulgent snack like Gardenia Muffins that’ll boost your energy with its real fruits and chocolate.

Shake it off!

When it feels like your brain has completely shut down and you just don’t have anything left to give, pop on your favorite song, turn up the volume, get on your feet, and just let it all out. Sitting at your desk for 7 to 15 hours (yes, that’s the actual average) isn’t gonna do you any good, and if you’re staring at nothing but your screen for that long, it’s no wonder you’re running out of creative juices! Just 3 minutes of flailing around to Taylor Swift while snacking on a pack of Gardenia Muffins and you’ll feel much better already.

Break things down

Intimidated by big goals? Break things down into smaller tasks — they feel more achievable and accomplishing them will make you feel super motivated, so you’ll end up accomplishing more! So grab your planner, start writing down checklists, and savor that delicious feeling of ticking off each task. Here’s one tip to give you the motivation to achieve these goals: reward yourself with a sweet pack of chocolate Gardenia Muffin at the end of the day. G?

Entertain your not-so-good-ideas

If you shoot down every single idea that doesn’t seem perfect, you know what you’ll end up with? Nothing, that’s what. Perfectionism isn’t your friend, so instead of listening to that little voice that keeps telling you what you’re doing wrong, play around with your so-called “bad” ideas for a little longer and see where it takes you. Who knows? You might even end up with something amazing.

For goodness’ sake, use your VLs!!

Listen carefully: Your. VLs. Are. Meant. To. Be. Used.

Even if you’re not going anywhere because of the pandemic, even if you have nothing planned, even if you don’t feel like you really “need” a break, use your vacation days. And don’t feel guilty about it — that’s what they’re meant for! And on your time off, stop checking your emails and let yourself do things that you actually enjoy.

Give yourself something to look forward to

Prepare to have your mind blown: If you don’t have any motivation, you can make your own. One of the best ways to feel inspired again is to have a reward waiting for you when you achieve a goal. It can be as simple as treating yourself to a DIY manicure at the end of the week, finally checking out that big purchase that’s been hanging out in your cart for months, or simply rewarding yourself with a moist Gardenia Muffin after a long day. And it’s easy to do just that.

How do you get over slumps and make your workdays #SooFlavorfulSooDelightful?

Don’t forget to grab your Gardenia Muffins in all 7-Eleven outlets in Luzon for only P25. It’s available in Chocolate, Banana choco, and Blueberry flavors! To know more about #GardeniaMuffins and their yummy treats, follow Gardenia Snack Treats and Gardenia Philippines on Facebook.

Psychological techniques to help you get more motivated

  • facebook
  • twitter

Sean is a fact checker and researcher with experience in sociology and field research.

Psychological Factors That Influence Motivation

Motivation is critical to success, so it is easy to understand why this is such a hot topic in so many different fields. Experts are always looking for new ways to do everything from improving student motivation to increase the motivation to exercise.

There are plenty of theories and tips designed to help people get motivated, but some of the psychological factors that can influence motivation might surprise you. Did you know that visualizing success can backfire? Or that incentives can sometimes make people less motivated?

Check out just a few of the surprising things that can impact motivation.

Use Incentives Carefully

If someone already enjoys doing something, then it stands to reason that rewarding them for the behavior would make them like it even more, right? In many cases, the answer is actually no. Giving incentives for activities that people are already driven to perform can sometimes impair motivation.

Researchers have found that rewarding people for doing things that they are already intrinsically motivated to do can actually backfire.   Remember, intrinsic motivation arises from within the individual. It is essentially doing something for the pure enjoyment of it. Doing the task is its own reward.

In instances where children are rewarded for doing something they already enjoy, such as playing with a certain toy, their future motivation to engage in the activity actually decreases. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as the overjustification effect.  

So be cautious with rewards. Incentives can work well to increase motivation to engage in an activity that is otherwise unappealing, but over-dependence upon such rewards might actually end up decreasing motivation in some cases.

How Can You Use This Concept to Increase Motivation?

  • Use extrinsic rewards sparingly.
  • Rewards can be effective if the individual truly has no intrinsic interest in the activity.
  • Try an extrinsic reward during the initial learning period, but phase out these rewards as the learner become more interested in the activity.

Introduce Challenges

How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

When facing a task, which do you find more motivating – doing something easy that you’ve done a hundred times and could probably do in your sleep, or doing something that is within the realm of possibilities but requires learning something new or stretching your existing abilities? For many people, the first option might be the easiest, but the second more challenging option will probably sound more interesting and motivating.

If you are trying to increase your motivation to do something, like getting out of bed early for a run, breaking away from the same old routines and introducing new challenges can be an effective way to keep that motivational spark.

How can you make the most of this tendency? Challenge yourself. Sign up for a local marathon. Focus on improving your times or going just a little bit further than you usually do. No matter what your goal, adding incremental challenges can help you improve your skills, feel more motivated, and bring you one step closer to success.

Don’t Visualize Success

How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

One of the most common tips for getting motivated is to simply visualize success, yet research suggests that this might actually be counterproductive. The problem is that people often visualize themselves achieving their goals, but skip over visualizing all the effort that goes into making those goals a reality.

By imagining that you have achieved the desired goal, you’re actually depleting the amount of energy you have available to devote to accomplishing the task itself.

Previous research has shown that idealized fantasies about the future typically predict poor achievement, and more recent research has found that mentally indulging in such visualization saps available energy.  

So what does work?

  • Instead of imagining yourself suddenly successful, imagine all the steps it will take to achieve that success.
  • What challenges will you face? Knowing what you might encounter can make it easier to deal with when the time comes.
  • What strategies can you use to overcome those challenges? Planning ahead can leave you better prepared to overcome the difficulties you might face.

“You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger.” – John C. Maxwell

When it comes to getting results, it takes motivation and ability.

Motivation makes things happen.

Where there’s no will, there’s no way. One of the best ways to improve your personal effectiveness is to master your motivation and find your drive.

If you can master motivation, you can deal with life’s setbacks, as well as inspire yourself to always find a way forward, and create new experiences for yourself, and follow your growth.

In this post, I’ll demystify motivation and give you the motivation tools that really work.

1. Connect to your values.

This is the ultimate secret. If you can connect the work you do to your values, even in small ways, you can change your game.

One of my values is learning and growth.

I find ways to grow my skills in any situation. For example, I don’t just “call back a customer.” I “win a raving fan.” I don’t just “do a task.” I “master my craft.” I don’t just “get something done.” I “learn something new.”

2. Find your WHY.

Figure out a compelling purpose. Turn this into a one-liner.

For example, when I fall off the horse, I remind myself I’m here to “make others great.” This gets me back on track, sharing the best of what I know.

3. Change your WHY.

Sometimes you’re doing things for the wrong reason. Are you doing that task to get it done, or to learn something new? Just shifting your why can light your fire.

4. Change your HOW.

You can instantly find your tasks more enjoyable by shifting from getting them done, to doing them right.

I think of it as mastering your craft. Make it artful.

Sometimes slower is better. Other times, the key is to make it a game and actually speed it up. You can set time limits and race against the clock. Changing your how can get you out of ruts and find new ways to escape the mundane.

5. Remember the feeling.

Flipping through your head movies and scenes is one of the fastest ways to change how you feel.

Remember the feeling. How did you feel during your first kiss? What about laying on the grass on a sunny day?

When you feel good, you find your motivation faster.

6. Shift to past, present or the future.

Sometimes you need to be here, now. Sometimes, the right here, right now sucks. The beauty of shifting tense is you can visualize a more compelling future, or remember a more enjoyable past.

At the same time, if you catch yourself dwelling on a painful past, get back to right here, right now, and find the joy in the moment.

You’ll improve your temporal skills with practice.

7. Find a meaningful metaphor.

Find a metaphor that fuels you. Maybe you’re the “Little Engine that Could.” Maybe you’re “in your element.”

The most powerful thing you can do is find a metaphor that connects to your values. This is why I turn my projects into “epic adventures.”

8. Take action.

Here’s a secret that once you know it, can change your life. Action often comes before motivation.

You simply start doing an activity and then your motivation kicks in. Nike was right with “Just do it.” For example, I don’t always look forward to my workout, but once I start, I find my flow.

9. Link it to good feelings.

Find a way to link things to good feelings. For example, play your favorite song when you’re doing something you don’t like to do.

It has to be a song that makes you feel so great that it overshadows the pain of the task. It’s hard to tell yourself you don’t like something when it feels so good.

A similar approach is to find your theme song.

10. Impress yourself first.

This is how people like Peter Jackson or James Cameron or Stephenie Meyer inspire themselves. They make the movies or write the books that impress themselves first. They connect their passion to the work and they don’t depend on other people setting the bar. Their internal bar becomes their drive.

11. “CHOOSE” to.

If you tell yourself you “HAVE” to do this or you “MUST” do that or you “SHOULD” do this, you can weaken your motivation.

The power of choice and simply reframing your language to “CHOOSE” to can be incredibly empowering and exactly the motivating language you need to hear. Choose your words carefully and make them work for you.

12. Pair up.

This is one of my favorite ways to make something fun. One person’s painful task, is another’s pleasure. Pair up with somebody who complements your skill or who can mentor you and get you over the humps.

13. Change your question.

Sometimes you need to change your focus. To change your focus, change the question.

If you ask yourself what’s wrong with this situation, of course you’ll find things to complain about. Ask yourself what’s right about the situation and you can quickly find the positives and get your groove on.

14. Fix time for eating, sleeping and working out.

Sometimes your body or emotions are working against you because you’re not giving them a break or fueling them the right way.

One simple way to improve results here is to find a routine for eating, sleeping, and moving or working out that supports you.

15. Play to your strengths.

Spending too much time in your weaknesses wears you down. Spending more time in your strengths helps you renew your energy and find your flow.

Strengths are the place where you can grow your best. Find the things that you can do all day that you really enjoy and find excuses throughout your day to do more of that. Success builds on itself and this helps you build momentum.

Try out the motivation techniques to see what works for you.

At the end of the day, all motivation really comes down to self-motivation, and you get better at motivation by building your self-awareness.

Learn how to push your own buttons from the inside out.

Join over 210,000 readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

This piece originally appeared on Sources of Insight

Telling a depressed person to get motivated is like telling a rock to dance. You’ll get the same result.

It’s not because depressed people don’t want to get motivated. It’s because getting motivated is an overwhelming task when you’re depressed. Is motivation impossible? Definitely not. You just have to find a process that works for you.

There is a saying: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” But many depressed people can’t get out of bed, much less take a thousand-mile journey. For many sufferers, medication is the first step.

There are those who scoff at the idea of medication as an answer. But for those in a major clinical depression, life is a dark place full of pain, hopelessness and insecurity.

Sometimes the blame can be placed on brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters don’t work right, and brain chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine — your feel-good chemicals — often don’t go where they’re supposed to go. Medications deal with chemical imbalances. Find the right one, and you may feel more like your old self again. Because you feel better, getting motivated becomes a little easier.

A good therapist goes hand in hand with medication. One without the other is kind of a half-solution. By talking to a trained professional, you’ll feel better because you’re talking to someone who knows how to listen.

Good friends listen, sure, but don’t forego a therapist for a friend. Well-meaning friends may tell you to just get over it or to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. This results in a vicious cycle. You may feel worthless and stupid because you’re finding it hard to brush your teeth, much less pull yourself up by your bootstraps. This leads to a deepening depression, which leads to more “helpful” remarks, which leads to even more depression. Unfortunately, the thick, ugly scars of depression aren’t outwardly visible, and when your wounds aren’t visible, sympathy from your friends is hard to come by.

There’s a method used in Alcoholics Anonymous that works for some, and that’s acting as if something were already true. For example, every morning when you wake up, pop up with as much vigor as you can muster. Don’t give yourself time to dwell. Get dressed immediately. It can be for the gym or dog-walking or some other form of exercise. Or, get dressed to go to the mall, the bookstore, or the theater.

Just get dressed. Do your hair. Groom yourself attractively, and do it quickly. Don’t give yourself time to talk yourself out of it. In other words, act as if you feel great already and you know for a fact that you’re leaving the house and will have a good time. At the very least, getting dressed and looking decent can go a long way toward giving you a mental boost. It may even give you enough motivation actually to go to the gym and exercise, which is great for alleviating depression.

If you’re not at the gym phase yet, however, walk the dog, or go into the yard and pull weeds for 20 minutes a day (assuming it’s spring or summer). This gives you the added benefit of sunshine. According to research, 20 minutes of sun a day will lift your mood. If it’s winter and you live in a cold climate, invest in a light box, which simulates full-spectrum sunlight.

Even if you can’t find the motivation to do anything, don’t berate yourself for it. You’re up and ready for the day, aren’t you? Do only what you can do, and let go of major expectations. If you brushed your teeth, that’s positive. Don’t be hard on yourself, or getting motivated to do anything becomes another chore to be avoided.

Depression whispers bad things in your ear about your capabilities. We hear, “You can’t do anything right. Look at the mess you’ve made of your life. Why aren’t you further along in your career? Why don’t you have a career at your age?” By consciously replacing the words on these soundtracks with positive words, we’ll be able to change our way of thinking. The brain is able to create new neural pathways. Change your way of thinking over a period of time, and a new neural pathway is created.

Use positive thoughts about yourself to create new neural pathways. Over time, the old, bad, unused pathways wither, die and fall off, much like the branches on an old tree. With some determination to stay on the positive path, you create a new soundtrack, which is filled with hope, giving you more motivation to keep stepping forward.

The same premise applies to self-talk in the mirror. Whenever you see yourself in the mirror, say something positive about yourself. Some people carry flashcards to remind themselves of their good traits when they’re feeling particularly down. This is a behavioral psychology method to get you to replace bad thoughts with good ones. Before long you are reminded of all the wonderful things that you have to offer, and you are motivated enough to take another step in the healing process toward rejoining the world.

Socialization is important. Make a standing appointment to have a friend or family member pick you up to go out. This way you’re held accountable to someone else. If there are no friends or family members available, don’t use that as an excuse. Going to the bookstore and people-watching in the coffeeshop is preferable to sitting home alone. Who knows? You may make a new friend. That is certainly motivating.

Give yourself credit for progress made, even if it seems tiny. Set small goals. Do what you can handle and nothing more. Are there seven loads of laundry to fold? Tell yourself you’ll fold laundry for five minutes, then do it. You’ll be surprised by how accomplishing one thing you said you were going to do can boost your spirits and motivate you.

By the same token, don’t set yourself up to fail by telling yourself you’re going to do something you know you can’t do. Because, when you do fail, your motivation to move forward stops. Try doing only one thing at a time, a little bit at a time. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there — each success makes it easier to stay motivated for the next step in your journey to feeling good about yourself.

Many people struggle with depression; you’re not alone. Take that first step. Find what works for you, and the motivation to continue forward will come. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.

Last medically reviewed on December 22, 2014

How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

Sometimes you just feel beige. Do you know what I mean? You’ve hit a rut and are looking for ways to get out of a slump, but you’re so deep in it the whole worlds gone beige. The restaurants you love all start tasting the same, you’re the only one not laughing while out with friends, your goals seem meh, and your job feels like something out of the opening scenes of Fight Club, where you just can’t take it anymore. That’s when it hits you: You need to shake things up. You have to get moving, get learning and thinking, in order to change this trajectory your life is currently on. But while you can barely summon the will to cook off the covers in the morning, reinventing your whole life can feel like a tall order. But shaking yourself out of a life slump doesn’t need to be this huge undertaking. Rather, it’s just a matter of taking a series of baby steps that will eventually lead you to your “aha” moment. You don’t have to take intimidating leaps and bounds — small, every day moves are allowed, too. So if you’re one of the many that feel like they’ve hit a life slump, here are seven tips for you.

1. Take All The “Fluff” Out Of Your Calendar

When you feel like you’re in a slump and the whole world is just crap, don’t over-burden yourself with an unnecesarily full calendar. Forcing yourself to go out to happy hours, networking events, and book clubs will only force you to continue to fake-smile through the whole thing and wish you were home, where there’s no people.

Instead, bow out of all the “fluff” RSVPs in your calendar and take the alone time to figure out what triggered your slump in the first place. Only then can you build a game plan to change it.

According to Melissa Pierce, life coach and Forbes contributor, “The first thing I do when I’m in a slump is remove the unnecessary from my calendar. I postpone coffee dates and errands until I can get some perspective on what I’m waiting for exactly. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this is not idleness or avoidance—it’s reassessment. ” You officially have permission to turn yourself into a shut-in. No start pinpointing the beginning of this rut.

2. Take It One Goal At A Time

While some might think that a slump is the outcome of having no direction in life, it could also come about because you’re firing on way too many cylinders. Going at a 110 percent all the time can cause some serious burnout, and burnout can slide you headfirst into a rut. So to counteract that mistake, promise yourself that you’ll just take it one goal at a time. Give yourself some breathing room.

Lifestyle writer Brian Lee at Lifehack explained, “You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely.” Plus side: By allowing yourself to focus on just one major goal at a time, you’ll let yourself enjoy the process of meeting it, too.

3. Change Just One Part Of Your Routine Per Day

If your slump has more to do with being stuck in an endless cycle of sameness day after day, year after year, then mix things up. Vow to change one part of your routine, every day. Buy tulips on the way back from work, try a barre class, go to the restaurant across the street from your usual haunt, call up that one friend you see once every six months. Whatever it is, with this change-up let yourself sample all the different sides of life. You might just find something that clicks with you and helps you snap out of it.

Entrepreneur writer Richard Feloni at Business Insider elaborates, “Just make it one easy thing each day. Wake up an hour early to read a novel. Get lunch with a coworker you don’t know well. Go for a jog after work.” After all, little things can lead to big changes.

4. Consume All The Inspiration And Motivation You Can Get Your Hands On

When feeling stuck, make sure you surround yourself with inspiring, motivational things to help you get excited about life and everything you can achieve. Leave the realness and darkness of the world at the door — your main goal here is to learn and see all the amazing, beautiful things people achieved and created in the subjects you’re interested in and are apart of.

Business writer Chris Winfield at entrepreneur site Inc, recommended, “Read, watch, and listen to things that are going to uplift you, not depress you.” Consume things that will trigger your creativity, ambitions, and competitiveness.

5. Surround Yourself With Your Goal

Remember in Tip #2 when we talked about taking it one goal at a time? Well to motivate yourself, make that goal become all-consuming. Lee shared, “When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me.” Get your hands on pieces that will make you want to dive right into your ambitions — read articles about your industry, follow people who’ve achieved your dreams and talk about their journeys, borrow books crammed with tips on how to make that particular goal a reality. Surround yourself with your goal, and take serious strides in achieving it.

6. Do Something Radically Different

Try to shock yourself out of your slump by trying to do something radically different from your regular routine once a week. Start learning a language and go to meetup groups that practice in coffee shops, take up Shakespeare, start learning the guitar, wallpaper a room in your house, start a new class — just get out of your same old same old.

Winfield suggested, “What are you going to do right now? Start really small. The whole point is to just do something. Something that will make you feel better. Start right now.” No more waiting!

7. Be Grateful For The Slump

While it might feel annoying while you’re in it, you should actually feel grateful for the slump. It alerted you that something is missing in your life and that you’ve been coasting for too long.

Winfield pointed out, “What can be learned from this slump? What is it telling you? How is it helping you to change. Be thankful for the lessons it is teaching you.” So rather than cursing it, be glad it shook you out of a too-comfortable routine.

Who knows on what kind of cool journey it will lead you down?

Remember those days when you would get up early to prepare to go to work and commute? Due to the pandemic, we all switched to remote working schedules; though it was beneficial at first, you may have started to feel the burnout from juggling both work and household responsibilities in one place. Now that workdays have started to feel monotonous, you’ve lost your motivation and your tasks have piled up. If you’re completely uninspired lately, here’s how you can make your days #SooFlavorfulSooDelightful again:

Even though it’s gonna hurt, acknowledge it

In the wise words of Mark Twain, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” So listen up: The first step towards moving on a slump is to simply recognize it. Stop fooling yourself into thinking that what you’re feeling is no biggie because the longer you do, the more likely you’d fall into burnout. And don’t feel bad about it. Contrary to what commercials or social media would have you believe, it’s just not possible to be motivated 24/7.

Spice things up with a little challenge

When you’ve been doing something for a long time, you get comfortable, and no, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes, comfort is exactly what causes the slump. If you think this is your problem, it’s time to level up. Ask for feedback from your superior or even volunteer to work on an exciting new project. Your comfort zone is killing your creativity, so step outta there!

Stop feeling guilty for taking breaks

Anyone who’s been dealing with the WFH setup since the pandemic started knows that it can actually make it harder to rest. Not giving yourself time to pause, even for just a few minutes, is a quick way to give yourself burnout. You’re human — not a machine (and even machines need breaks too or they’ll malfunction!). Even though it seems like you’re drowning in work, cut yourself some slack and enjoy a few minutes away from your screen. Step outside, stretch, and grab an indulgent snack like Gardenia Muffins that’ll boost your energy with its real fruits and chocolate.

Shake it off!

When it feels like your brain has completely shut down and you just don’t have anything left to give, pop on your favorite song, turn up the volume, get on your feet, and just let it all out. Sitting at your desk for 7 to 15 hours (yes, that’s the actual average) isn’t gonna do you any good, and if you’re staring at nothing but your screen for that long, it’s no wonder you’re running out of creative juices! Just 3 minutes of flailing around to Taylor Swift while snacking on a pack of Gardenia Muffins and you’ll feel much better already.

Break things down

Intimidated by big goals? Break things down into smaller tasks — they feel more achievable and accomplishing them will make you feel super motivated, so you’ll end up accomplishing more! So grab your planner, start writing down checklists, and savor that delicious feeling of ticking off each task. Here’s one tip to give you the motivation to achieve these goals: reward yourself with a sweet pack of chocolate Gardenia Muffin at the end of the day. G?

Entertain your not-so-good-ideas

If you shoot down every single idea that doesn’t seem perfect, you know what you’ll end up with? Nothing, that’s what. Perfectionism isn’t your friend, so instead of listening to that little voice that keeps telling you what you’re doing wrong, play around with your so-called “bad” ideas for a little longer and see where it takes you. Who knows? You might even end up with something amazing.

For goodness’ sake, use your VLs!!

Listen carefully: Your. VLs. Are. Meant. To. Be. Used.

Even if you’re not going anywhere because of the pandemic, even if you have nothing planned, even if you don’t feel like you really “need” a break, use your vacation days. And don’t feel guilty about it — that’s what they’re meant for! And on your time off, stop checking your emails and let yourself do things that you actually enjoy.

Give yourself something to look forward to

Prepare to have your mind blown: If you don’t have any motivation, you can make your own. One of the best ways to feel inspired again is to have a reward waiting for you when you achieve a goal. It can be as simple as treating yourself to a DIY manicure at the end of the week, finally checking out that big purchase that’s been hanging out in your cart for months, or simply rewarding yourself with a moist Gardenia Muffin after a long day. And it’s easy to do just that.

How do you get over slumps and make your workdays #SooFlavorfulSooDelightful?

Don’t forget to grab your Gardenia Muffins in all 7-Eleven outlets in Luzon for only P25. It’s available in Chocolate, Banana choco, and Blueberry flavors! To know more about #GardeniaMuffins and their yummy treats, follow Gardenia Snack Treats and Gardenia Philippines on Facebook.

All of us can feel unmotivated. But it’s not hopeless: With some small steps — baby ones, in fact — you can make progress toward positive change.

“I was wondering if you could do a piece on why it can be hard for someone to change direction and start taking control of their life. I have to say I’m in this boat and advice on getting out of my slump would be great.” — Roy C. Carlson

Does this sound familiar?

When we fall out of the habit of healthy behaviors, due to illness or injury or just the busyness of life, it’s hard to get started again. Here are 15 tips to help you break out of your slump.

  1. Choose one goal. If you’re in a slump, you may be trying to do too much. It is harder to maintain energy and focus — the two most important things for accomplishing something — if you are working on more than one goal at a time. Choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely.
  1. Find inspiration. Look for inspiration in others who have achieved what you want to achieve or who are working on the same goal as you. Find success stories on blogs, in books, or through a web search.
  1. Get excited. This sounds obvious, but if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about your goal. Try talking to friends and family members and visualizing how your life would be different if you achieved your goal.
  1. Build anticipation. It may sound counterintuitive, but this tip really works: Don’t start working on your goal right away. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your start date. Mark it on the calendar and look forward to that date. In the meantime, follow some of the steps below.
  1. Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words — Exercise 15 minutes a day! — and post it around your house, in your car, and at work. Big reminders about your goal will keep you focused and excited. Including a picture related to your goal also helps.
  1. Commit publicly. None of us want to look bad in front of others, so we tend to make extra effort to follow through on something we’ve announced publicly. Commit to your goal by telling your friends, coworkers, and family, and promising to give regular progress updates.
  1. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to come true. Try sending yourself reminders to do one small thing to further your goal every day.
  1. Get support. There are many people who share your goal. Find them, either in the real world or online, and use them for support and accountability.
  1. Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation comes and goes like the tide. But realize it never disappears completely. If you stick it out, your motivation will come back.
  1. Stick with it. Even if you aren’t feeling motivated today, or this week, don’t give up. Think of your goal as a long journey and your slump as a little bump in the road. You can’t give up every time you hit a little bump. Ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.
  1. Start small. You may be thinking too big. If you want to start exercising, start with baby steps — even just a few minutes a day is enough to build a routine. Once you’ve done a few minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15 or 20 minutes.
  1. Read about it daily. When you feel your motivation waning, read a book or blog about your goal. It will inspire and reinvigorate you. Read about your goal every day if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.
  1. Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Join an online forum. Call a friend or family member. Talking about it with someone else will help.
  1. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. It’s easy to focus on how hard a goal is to achieve, but try to consider the positives. Instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, for example, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run.
  1. Squash negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Recognize negative self-talk as what may be causing your slump. Spend a few days becoming aware of negative thoughts. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts and replacing them with a positive thought. Instead of thinking, “This is too hard,” think, “I can do this!”

How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

How to increase motivation when you’re in a slump

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to stay positive and motivated?

Perhaps you’re not getting the results you expected for your goals.

Or maybe you’re getting results, just not the celebratory kind or magnitude you expected.

Perhaps you’ve been trying to achieve a certain goal for a while now and everything is simply taking longer than you thought it would.

Under these common circumstances it’s perfectly understandable that your patience might be beginning to wear a bit thin

And surely you won’t give up on your goals (after all, quitters never win). But, again, it’s definitely understandable if the roaring enthusiasm you once had for them is slowly dwindling.Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Because the truth is that almost ALL worthy goals and dreams take longer to bring into fruition than we initially expect (which means everyone experiences dwindling motivation after sustained work, at some point or another).

But, as long as you stick with your plans and goals – and remain true to yourself – your dreams WILL come into fruition.

That’s why it’s so important that you don’t give up. But to actually stick with it you’re going to need to keep yourself motivated.

So, the question becomes: How on earth do you stay motivated after you’ve been working toward your goals for a while, yet still haven’t actually achieved them?

Here are 3 surefire ways to keep your motivation high, even during those dreadful slump periods where you’re ready to call it quits:

1. Be honest with yourself

Now’s the time to take stock of your efforts so far.

  • What has actually worked up until now?
  • What’s giving good results?
  • What’s giving no results?
  • What’s giving results that you’re not really happy with because you think these results are too small?
  • What can be done to improve or increase currently working results?
  • What are some new methods or approaches for achieving your desired goals that you haven’t tried yet?

Write down the answers to these questions. Doing so will give you some much-needed clarity (and some surprising, newly invigorated motivation).

More importantly, taking stock of your efforts so far will show you what you should do more of, what you should stop doing for now (or do less of), and what new, unchartered approaches are available to you moving forward.

2. Switch it up

If motivation’s dwindling, one thing you can do is step back and take some time away from what you’ve been doing for a while.

Often, the clarity we need is obscured by constant action…meaning that sometimes, the only way to get the clarity you need to move forward is by doing the counterintuitive thing: Taking a break.

And while you’re at it, during your break do something you know you’re really good at and always successful at. This will give you the confidence boost (and motivation boost) you crave when it comes time to revisit your long-term goals.

3. Remember, everything happens for your benefit

Often, when things aren’t going exactly as we planned (meaning our way) we feel frustrated, angry, sad, or hurt and motivation decreases accordingly. That’s why it’s key to remember during these times that everything that happens in our lives usually serves an ultimately positive purpose.

The world is not out to get you…if anything the world is fully supportive of your desire to succeed. And the fact that you have that desire to succeed means something (because a lot of people don’t have it at all).

Just because things are panning out differently than we might expect doesn’t mean they’re worse (often they’re actually better).

Keeping this in mind will give you the strength, courage, and creativity you need as you go for your goals and dreams…whatever they may be.

Now it’s your turn: What often deflates your motivation and what do you do to regain it when that happens?

Share in the comments below!