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Do you remember how many times you’ve started a project with a surge of excitement, only to see it fade after a few days? This high-low transition in a person’s enthusiasm sometimes leads to depression, and causes most people to give up quickly.
Why do people lose motivation in the first place?
If you want to get your motivation back, you have to understand how your emotions work. The typical pattern of the human psyche is filled with peaks and valleys, high points and low points. When you write a resolution or tackle a new project, you’re filled with so much optimism about the benefits and rewards you will get. While this surge of motivation is a good thing because it gets you going, it’s only temporary. In most cases, it will wear off as soon as you realize the loopholes in your grand scheme.
Regain your motivation in 3 easy steps
- Use the 15 minute rule to control your motivation swings. People’s moods often sap their motivation. How many times do you remember saying “I’m not in the mood” or “I really don’t feel like doing it”? If you succumb to your mood swings, you’ll hardly accomplish anything. To fight this feeling, practice the 15-minute rule. So if you need to do something, but you don’t feel up to the task, you should try doing it anyway for at least 15 minutes. In most cases, 15 minutes of doing your task will give you enough momentum and motivation to keep going. If it doesn’t work, try step 2.
- Re-examine your strategies and sources of motivation. Now that you’re not as motivated, and the 15 minute rule isn’t enough to keep you going again, it’s time for you to re-evaluate your plans. When you started your project, there’s a big chance that you were “blinded” by the sheer possibilities of your idea that you didn’t see the pitfalls of your plan, or maybe you set your expectations too high. Instead of giving up completely, you should find solutions to the difficulties you experienced and set better, more realistic expectations. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around. Figure out another way to get pass it.
- Don’t stop now. Follow one success with another success. A lot of people often become complacent after they get a short taste of victory; they take a break, relax or reward themselves. Yes there’s nothing wrong with this, however, doing this will “stop you in your tracks” instead of helping you “keep the ball rolling”. Succeeding in a particular task will give you a fresh surge of motivation and energy to keep going, so you should take advantage of this by taking another step. Keep going, you can always reward yourself later. The longer you keep going, the bigger the reward you will reap.
Losing and regaining your motivation is part of the normal cycle of life. Everyone experiences this at some point. You should recongise that this is normal, and use this turning point to understand your emotions and make it work for you. Follow these 3 steps whenever you find yourself stuck or feeling down.