Motivation is a really hard thing to find.

If you have it then everything’s great. If you don’t, then finding the motivation to do the things that help you get motivation can seem pretty hard.

Since I came back from holiday (3 weeks ago! Hah!) I’m struggling to get into the swing of things. My progress on Weight Watchers has been virtually non existent since the middle of May. I have a million ideas, none of which I’ve done much with, frankly I’m probably avoiding them, and I generally feel a bit, well, meh.

Just, meh.

I asked for suggestions on twitter yesterday and apart from shouting at people in the street (thanks BananaFudgeStud) and tea and chocolate (courtesy of Charlotteart) no one seemed to have any suggestions, which suggests to me there’s a lot of us that could do with some help. So today I am sharing some ways to get your motivation back (seriously, if I took my own advice I’d run the world by next week.)

These are all tactics I have tried at various times. Sometimes they work, sometimes not, but they’re all worth a try for those times when unmotivated days start turning into unmotivated weeks and you’ve really lost your way.

  • Plan

This is a tactic I’m using to try and kick my weight loss back into action, though I’m thinking it’s time to start applying it to work a bit more too! Whether it’s a day ahead or a week ahead, grab a piece of paper and write down what you’re going to do.

For Weight Watchers this has involved trawling copies of the new Weight Watchers magazine (WW kindly sent me one and I liked it so much I went out and bought the next issue!) for recipes to make, buying the ingredients and writing down when I’m going to make them.  I hate throwing away food so this has kept me away from the takeaway menu.  I’ve also got a stock of low fat ready meals in the freezer so when I get home late I can eat one of those instead of ordering a pizza.

For work it could mean giving yourself at least one set task to finish each day, or it could mean planning your day down to the last hour. Whatever works for you it can give you back some purpose and help you feel you’ve acheived something.

  • Do Something Different

Sometimes a lack of motivation is down to feeling like you’re stuck in a rut.  You do the same things, day in, day out and get the same results.  The first time you do something; whether it’s driving a car, making a cake or sewing your own clothes; you get a little rush of pride and excitement.  The 50th time you do it it’s just routine, you expect it to work and there’s no excitement.

Doing something different can give you back that little rush of acheivement and help you get back the motivation in the rest of your life. It could be related to what you do, or something completely different. If you’re a dressmaker, try a more difficult pattern, or try making your own pattern, or try knitting.  Whatever, just something that you’ve never done before, it doesn’t need to be climbing a mountain to make you feel a sense of achievement.

  • Give Up

Really, if you can’t be bothered, just don’t.  Sitting there staring at your computer screen desperately trying to force yourself to find the motivation to reply to your emails is helping no one.  Turn on your out of office and go play in the garden instead.

Read a book, visit an exhibition, just go for a walk, just do ANYTHING rather that doing NOTHING.  That way at least you’ll get to the end of the day feeling guilty for skiving and having a nice time instead of like a massive failure for not acheiving anything, and you must just gain some inspiration along the way.

Note: If you’ve used this technique 5 days in a row then it might be time to try another tactic….

  • Set Some Goals

This might sound suspiciously like planning, but actually it’s more about the bigger picture. A lack of motivation might be because you’re wandering through life without feeling like you have any purpose. Try starting with a montly goal “By this time next month I will have……

Made £1000

lost half a stone

Set up a new blog

Finished that dress I started 6 months ago”

Write it down and stick it on the fridge /mirror/ fish tank.

Once you’ve set a goal then your daily planning can involve little steps to help you get there rather than feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do you can break it down into little steps.

  • Declutter and Reorganise

This is a tactic that can head dangerously close to procrastination, if you find yourself reorganising your stocking drawer when the problem was with writing an essay then it’s time to try something else!  It can, however,  also be a useful tool for making yourself feel organised and giving yourself a fresh start.

You could completely reorganise and declutter your work space, or something smaller might work.

Things to try:

Make a mood board – Whether it’s virtual or real it can help you focus your mind. Cut out or download photos and quotes that inspire you. Print it out, or put the finished product somewhere prominent.

Buy a Filofax or Diary – An exciting new toy for getting organised can suddenly make you feel like an organised and professional person again.

Print out a monthly calendar – Use exciting coloured pens to write in all the things you have to do and stick it on the wall. Admire your work, then proceed to ignore it just like you did your revision timetable, but with a renewed sense of purpose.

Frankly just writing all that down has given me a burst of energy and an urge to get things done.  I’m off to the seaside with the Glamour_ologist today to look at saucy postcards and eat ice cream, which I think is both the “giving up” and “do something different” tips rolled into one.

Have a fabulous weekend my lovely chicks and lets all start next week filled with vim, vigour and other things beginning with V (Vodka? Vicks? VINTAGE?!??)