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A month has barely even rolled by in this new year…why am I already talking about ways to motivate yourself even if you don’t feel like making your goals happen?
While it seems like every single person online is making goals — hitting the gym, eating healthy, getting organized, starting their work-from-home businesses…you’re just plain tired.
You’re happy if you make it through the day without feeling like you want to go back to bed or rock yourself back and forth in a corner of the room.
If that’s how you’re feeling…know beyond a doubt that you’re not the only one.
It’s rough feeling positive about your goals 150% of the time.
Usually in response to those feelings overwhelm, it’s not unusual to hear a couple common phrases shared around on social media. Either:
- It’s okay you’re feeling that way, and it’s okay to give yourself a pass and ditch the plans. You’re perfectly imperfect, and that’s just life.
- Just get over yourself, push through it, make it happen, regardless of how you’re feeling.
But honestly, neither of those options are the answer.
They’re actually pretty detrimental to your goals.
The first one encourages you to give up your goals, to give yourself a hug, feel a little sorry for yourself, blame your circumstances a bit…and console yourself into feeling that because you’re doing your best and you’re just tired, you can shove your goals under the rug and move on just the way you are. And, frankly, you just end up stagnating.
You stay the same.
Another day, another week, another month…another year rolls by…
And you’re still doing the same thing, making the same goals…and never quite succeeding at them.
The second one caves to the #hustle mindset, where if you’re not working yourself to the bone to get your goals made, then you just aren’t working hard enough. So push through the pain, push through the exhaustion…and just work, work, work. Until finally your brain and your body just give out on you. And you’re at the point where you just can’t work anymore.
Clearly neither of these options give you favorable results. And both actually end up leading to the same problem: ultimately still discouraged because you aren’t making your goals happen.
So instead of repeating the cycle over and over again, let’s look at 10 ways you can motivate yourself when you just don’t feel like making your work-from-home goals happen.
1. Don’t wait until the first of the week to start on your goals.
How many times have you failed your goals the first day or two of the week…and then you feel like you’ve just blown it for the week? So you mentally prepare yourself to start up again next week, and then give yourself a pass for the rest of the week (show of hands who does that!).
While the idea of a new week does do wonders to help with a clean slate, it really kills any motivation left for the current week you’re on. And it leaves you feeling really down in the dumps.
Whether you’re feeling the slump Monday afternoon or Friday morning, there is still so much more time you CAN be working on your goals! Maybe it doesn’t mean you get as much done as you had hoped to. But that’s okay! As long as you are at least working on some part of your goal, you’re still getting something done.
Stop thinking of Mondays as being your fresh start, and start thinking of each day as a fresh start. And even more than that, start thinking of each part of your day as a new time to begin.
Your morning didn’t go as planned? That’s okay! You still have this afternoon and evening to make at least some headway on a project.
Learn to make right now a fresh start.
2. Make time to work out.
Wait, aren’t I supposed to be helping you find ways to help you accomplish goals…not add more to your list of things to do?
I’m making an exception on this list because working out is really that important. Now, I’m not saying you have to go join a gym and spend a few hours every day there. And I’m not saying you have to just love every minute of working out.
What I am encouraging you to do is to make it a point to focus on moving for at least 20 to 45 minutes a day (more if you’d like!).
You can join a gym, but there are a lot of other options: go for an up-tempo walk, rent exercise DVDs from the library, get workout videos on YouTube, join a fitness club (boxing, yoga, cycling, etc.), jump on the trampoline with your kids. You get the idea : )
Exercising gives your brain a chance to stop thinking all about work and focus on something else for a little bit. And it gives your eyes a break from staring at the computer screen. It also releases endorphins throughout your body, which makes your body actually feel good.
Beyond that, exercising is also just plain healthy for you. It’s important to take care of your body. After all, it is the only one you have to meet your goals with! ; )
3. Get enough sleep.
Skipping out on an hour or two of sleep is one of the easiest ways to get more time in your day and more stuff done, right?
For busy entrepreneurs, it’s easy to think we can power through on a few short hours of sleep every night. If we can skip some sleep now, we’ll be able to get more done.
But we’re actually hurting ourselves far more when we consistently miss out on sleep.
The average adult needs about 7-8 hours of sleep a day. Getting less than that can lead to a lot of problems like lack of attention and focus and unable to solve problems and stay organized. Definitely key factors needed to function well when you’re working
Beyond that though, a lack of sleep can lead to health issues like getting sick more often and more easily. Beyond that, it can also lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, even heart attack and stroke.
And not enough sleep can also lead to depression, which most definitely affects how you feel about making your goals happen.
(Just so you know I’m not making things up, you can read more here!)
Taking care of your brain’s and your body’s health isn’t just an option when it comes to making your goals happen — it’s imperative!
This next point isn’t going to make myself many friends. But it needs to be said…
4. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard other work-from-home hopefuls talk about how hard it is to get started working from home — their schedule is too packed, their kids are too noisy, their husband isn’t on board 100%. They are too tired or too distracted. They don’t have enough skills or enough connections.
The list goes on and on.
Now, it is important to take a realistic approach to the challenges you have. Because many times the challenges are very much real. They may not be other people’s challenges, but to you, they are — and that’s what makes them valid to you. And I’m not saying you should deny the difficulties you do have (because if you ignore the challenges, how are you supposed to face and overcome them?!).
There’s a difference between been a realist and feeling sorry for yourself. A realist is able to look at the issue, realize there are both both positive and negatives to the situation, and then deal with the challenges.
Sitting in a state of feeling sorry for yourself zaps all your energy right out of you. It becomes all consuming, really. It makes you feel depressed, unmotivated. It changes your mood, changes your perspective.
And it spends wastes valuable time you could instead be using to face your challenges and tackle your goals.
I can’t tell you the amount of time I spend on a weekly basis encouraging people to stop focusing on all the “woe is me” feels and instead focus on realizing their struggles and overcoming them to meet their goals.
You may feel unqualified to work from home and get down in the dumps about it — but instead of sitting there upset about it, start thinking about how you can fix that problem you’re sad about.
Sad you don’t have the skills people would want to pay you for? Start looking for ways you CAN get skills people will pay you for!
Sad you’re not getting clients? Start finding other ways to market yourself or refine the techniques you’re already using!
Sad you don’t have enough time to on any of the projects you want to? Start making ways you can carve out even 30 minutes to work on a goal.
Get the point? Instead of poking our toes in the mud and refusing to look up at the sunshine, start figuring out ways to overcome your challenges and meet your goals.
After all, would a goal be a goal if you didn’t have to work some to get there?
5. Spend time with like-minded people.
One of the best ways to not feel sorry for yourself and to get yourself motivated is to hang around fellow work-from-home people!
We are a compilation of those we spend the most time around. So if you make a point to surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you, you will always be encouraged and motivated to keep working on your goals.
You can be encouraged by seeing others who are at the same point in their careers as you are and know you aren’t alone! And you can be super motivated by seeing others who have grown their businesses and are successful!
You can brainstorm and bounce ideas around with each other. Encourage each other. Support each other. Recommend each other to others.
It’s an awesome feeling to be surrounded by other work-from-home people and know we aren’t alone!
Good ways to find others is to join work-from-home Facebook groups. Facebook has hundreds of thousands of groups, all different sizes and emphases, so you can be pretty sure you’ll find one that you’re looking for.
If you’re wanting to get out of the house some and interact in person, you definitely want to see if you can find local meetups. Check Facebook Groups, the NextDoor app, or Meetup to see if there are any local groups already organized in your area. And if not, consider creating one yourself!
6. Focus on your priority for the day.
I’m a huge fan of having a tasklist for each day — and not just because I love checking things off for a sense of accomplishment. It’s because a tasklist allows you to take your goals and outline them into actionable tasks you need to do each day to make your daily goal happen.
You can just have a tasklist with what you need to do, or you can even break it down into time blocks, and work on each task at the time you’ve slotted for it.
While you’re making your tasklist for the day, think about what your one or two major priorities for the day is. If nothing else where to get done but you still got those one or two items checked off your list, you would know you had spent your day well.
They don’t have to be huge priorities either. It can be something as simple as 1) contacting two potential clients and 2) getting to bed by 10:00.
Then when you’re making your schedule for the day, you plan everything around those two priorities. Of course, you work hard to make sure everything else on your tasklist gets done! But if something comes up during the day or you just start feeling rundown and tired, you at least got your priorities done.
Then you can still consider that day a success. And that feels pretty amazing.
7. Reassess your priorities.
If you’re like me, you’re probably a little type A. You fill your daily task lists up because you have a million things to do and you want to be (and feel!) productive. Sometimes your one or two priorities you pick for the day end up being some pretty big, time-consuming, brain-encompassing tasks. And you want to finish it alllllll.
Or sometimes your one or two priorities for the day start becoming four or five…or seven. And before you know it, you’re back in the same boat of everything’s a priority and you’re barely keeping your head above water.
If that starts happening. Or if your one or two priorities you’ve picking for your days start being too much, it’s time to reassess your priorities. Honestly think about how long they will take or how much brain power you will need to invest to get them done.
And then reschedule so you can be sure to get them done during the day.
8. Step away for 15 to 20 minutes (or more!).
Sometimes we’re so stressed about everything we have to do that even when our eyes start to cross or we’re getting a migraine, we still don’t let ourselves take a break. And then we start making crazy typos and the sentences we’re writing don’t even make sense. Or you’ve had to reread the same paragraph a dozen times…and still can’t figure out what it’s trying to say.
Step away for 15, 20 minutes.
If you’re getting to the point where you can’t concentrate properly, you need a break. You’re actually wasting more time having to redo everything you’re working on, or you’re working far more slowly than you usually would just because you’re tired. So step away!
Give your eyes a break from staring at the screen, and your brain a break from having to process. Go for a walk, do the dishes, throw in a load from your unending laundry pile — something that makes you feel productive but doesn’t require you to focus.
Or if you’re someone who can take a power nap, set a timer and close your eyes! You’ll wake up, able to concentrate so much better.
If you’re feeling out of energy, it’s okay to step away for a morning or afternoon. It really is! If it helps you come back ready to go, focused and energized, then it’s going to be so worth the extra time you took.
While it may seem like you’re taking away from work time, you’re actually saving yourself time by allowing yourself to work more efficiently when you get back. And you won’t feel so overwhelmed or frustrated either.
9. Download my (free) guide, 27 ways to get things done, even when you’re swamped.
Not to brag or anything, but it’s pretty helpful! : ) Plus it’s completely free — click here to download it!
It’s packed with ways to help you stay focused and, well, get stuff done! Sometimes we get unmotivated just because we’re so overwhelmed with everything we have to do — and we freeze up. So implementing these ideas can help you start knocking your tasklist out.
10. Look at your why.
Determining your why is the very first thing I talk about inside Ditching the Water Cooler. Because it’s the foundation to your business. It’s what gives you direction and motivation from the very start…all the way through to a booming, successful business.
You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Otherwise it can become pointless.
And when you’re
- tired and unmotivated.
- wanting to give up and go back to your 9-to-5.
- thinking you’re never going to make this work. (The list of things we say when we’re exhausted and ready to give up goes on and on…)
You need to look back at your why. And remember, YEP, this is why I’m doing this. This is why it’s worth it. And this is why I can’t give up.
Why do you want to work from home?
- To be with your kids as they’re growing up and not miss any of the important milestones you would if you had to work 40+ hours a week
- To get out of debt
- Have extra spending money for vacations or a new car or a nicer house
- Not worry about living paycheck to paycheck
- Take care of an ill relative
- Not worry about having to rely on a disability check
- Never having a cap on your income
- Freedom to work whenever, wherever you want
- Never having to worry about a dress code again
- Not having to pay for gas and waste time on stressful commutes
The list can go on and on with all the reasons people choose to work from home!
What’s your why?
Think about it! And then write it down and keep it where you’ll see it often. To remind you, when you’re frustrated and tired…why you’re doing what you’re doing.
And then, whatever you do, don’t give up.
You decided on your why for a reason. Because it’s important to you. Because it’s worth working for. And it’s worth not giving up on.
That doesn’t mean push yourself until you’re ready to give up. And it doesn’t mean consoling yourself that giving up is okay because you’re just tired.
What it does mean is you take a balanced approach. Give yourself room to breath. Give yourself grace on the days when you are having a harder time. Think through your priorities, rework them if you have to. Talk about your goals. Remember your why.
And then take a deep breath and know…
…you’ve got this!
I want to hear from you!
Which of these 10 ways are you going to try to make your goals happen, even when you’re having a bad day?
Do you have other tips you use to get yourself motivated to work on your work-from-home goals?
Let me know in the comments below!