Staying Motivated When Life Gets In the Way

Every New Years Day you are encouraged to set our intentions, goals, or resolutions. Your motivational trend may start out inspired and excited. You are READY for this next year to be THE year of change and transformation. You buy a new planner. You might enroll at a gym, go grocery shopping, take up cycling, binge clean your closet, order new books, get in touch with out of state friends, you name it! As the winter months start to dwindle into Spring, life gets in the way. Unexpected heavy work loads all of a sudden make you feel exhausted, and you start prioritizing sleep or spending time with your family over that yoga class you tried. Your kids get stir crazy and you put off that little reading assignment you gave to yourself.  You realize that you are actually quite comfortable in your work routine, so why change it with a career change or promotion, increased work, or enroll in that program you've wanted to do all year? All of a sudden you haven't had a day off or practiced self care in a few months. Free time seems like it is Unicorn. Does this sound familiar? 

Life will always LIFE all over us. So how do we come back to that spark that we felt in January on New Years Day? What is it about that particular day that is any different than June 1st or July 1st? 

I am currently writing this blog post in July. Though I do not set particular resolutions each year, I am a huge advocate of goal and intention setting. Small or Big, setting realistic intentions and goals can set you up for success toward your larger goals and keep you motivated in the moments where life becomes too chaotic to handle. Also, it gives you permission to be OK with where you are at. 

I have/had particular goals with my coaching business this year. I was on a roll. I had my social media calendar planned out, workshops scheduled, ideas ready to go, and my intentions were pure to serve and help people be the best and brightest versions of themselves. And then something happened...I got pregnant and bought a house. 

My old perfectionist brain would have scoffed at these "excuses" and started laying on the guilt and shame until I wore it like a banner for all to see. With the changes happening to my body, during my little pockets of free time in the day where I used to be productive and in the flow, I found myself napping or eating. Blog posts started to slide. I started to doubt that I could keep my business up while adding another human being into the mix. I had to prioritize what NEEDED to get done instead of what I WANTED to get done. So what did I do? I focused on the things that were working and not on the things that weren't. I chose and needed to listen to my body, honor my goals, and adjust for this incredibly life-altering circumstance. Spoiler alert: everything is ok!

That's right folks-I CHANGED my yearly goals and "resolutions" halfway through the year. It felt amazing. And with my little secret of a human being growing inside of me, this was all internal work. I wasn't able to explain myself or make excuses for my business. I worked with my own coach, and I simply followed my path and took a different direction. What I found was more clarity, peace, time, and success. I had to prioritize the things that mattered for my goals, get clear with my core values, and therefore I got comfortable with the idea of NEW. New schedules, new classes, new workload, new clients, new workshop ideas, and new time management. 

The underlying root of it all was my intention for my business. I kept asking myself, WHY am I doing this? WHAT do I want out of all this? It's like I switched a contractor on my own internal house. And the foundation stayed the same. The house, bricks, and roof now look a little different, however the foundation kept me grounded, motivated, and inspired when life LIFED all over me. It probably would have been a lot easier to give up, wait until next year when I was inspired again, and start fresh. However, I made the choice to keep going because it was important to me. 

Here are some tips to stay motivated when you are stuck:

  1. Find your WHY and Core Values

    1. No matter what is happening externally, your internal compass will be the guiding force to make decisions or change route. If you have your WHY as to what is leading you toward your particular goals, you will feel grounded in moments of chaos. Even if your goals change, your underlying why will allow you to stay inspired and excited for the changes. Your Core Values are what will allow you to stay true to YOU, and those may fluctuate or change! No matter the lack of time, energy, resources, what values will keep you with your eyes on the prize?

  2. Set realistic expectations

    1. Did you set a resolution or goal because it was an aspiration or sounded good? Or does it align with your why and core values? Reevaluate your goals based on the realities of your life. Do you work 9-5 and feel exhausted at the end of the day? Maybe try getting up a little earlier within reason to work on your particular project or take that yoga class, rather than wait until 5pm when you'd rather be at home on the couch or with the kiddos. Make a plan that sets you up for success so that you feel excited and happy when you achieve your milestones, rather than frustrated when you can't seem to catch up to your routine. 

  3. Get Specific with Mini and Large Goals throughout the year

    1. If your big goal is "to get healthy" what does that look like for you? Is that gaining strength or muscle? Trying out a new meal-plan that supports your internal system? Finding a new workout that you love? Get specific. Maybe you start with mini goals trying one class a week. Or meal prep on Sunday night when you have gone grocery shopping and have the time. Once the mini goals start to become habit, you can then add more mini goals that are realistic and within reason, and measurable for you to track success. 

  4. Give yourself permission to be where you are

    1. Or as Elizabeth Gilbert would say...give yourself a permission slip. It is ok if you hit a few bumps in the road. If everything was smooth sailing, what would you have to work for? These challenges, roadblocks, and route changes all mold you to be who who you are in this moment. So please do yourself a favor and let go of the "shoulds" "coulds" and "what ifs" from your intentions in January. If you are feeling unmotivated, this is just a chance to get newly inspired for endless possibilities and get excited again! Allow the creative juices to flow with your own authentic spin. Enjoy where you are right now.

  5. Treat your efficiency and energy like currency

    1.  If your tactics toward your previous goals left you worn out with little to no results, it is time to reevaluate your efficiency or energy-levels.  Is there a particular goal that you spent all your time and motivation doing, however it left you with little time to focus on anything else? Spend a little bit of time focusing in on your productivity and work with true metrics to display your results. Is that project showing little result with too much energy and work? Or is the energy currency worth it because it just takes time? Use common sense. Maybe it is time to adjust or change direction to feel rejuvenated and re-inspired.

  6. Come back to the FUN

    1. Yes do the work, but have fun doing it! This creative process can either lead you into a dark hole, or it can make you shine brightly. Choose to not take yourself too seriously, and have some fun in the thick of the process. The prize is right here through this work. Try to reflect and enjoy it, rather than despair and find frustration.