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Lost your get up and go? Here’s how to get motivated again


By Niamh Ennis
08th Jan 2022
Lost your get up and go? Here’s how to get motivated again

I’ve lost my get up and go. It got up and went. Here's how to get motivated again.

January can feel like a month of Mondays. This time of year can be hard as you ease your way into a new year, leaving behind one of chaos and uncertainty, still unsure as to what this year holds for you. You could be forgiven for feeling more than a little flat. Let’s be honest, traditionally January can be a very long month when you are constantly struggling with a lack of feeling motivated and everyone is telling you to do more, be more, start over, begin again, change and all you want to do is just curl up and hide.

So, what can you do to pick yourself up and reconnect with that spark of motivation inside you?

Well, to start, you need to recognise that for you to feel motivated or inspired requires you first of all to be courageous. You must be brave enough to accept that you are not perfect, that you are in fact a work in progress, and each step forward that you take is a step towards improvement and growth. This also demands patience and a need to relinquish your tendency to find quick-fix solutions.

Where is it in your life that you are feeling demotivated and what do you believe is causing this? Because something is.

Goals that don’t belong to you

It might seem timely to look at the goals and intentions that you attach yourself to, especially at this time of year, but the truth is that we are so heavily influenced by what we believe we ‘should’ want, desire and crave that we very often forget to stop and ask ‘just what is it that I truly want for myself?’

The best way of knowing if a goal is truly yours, or if it in fact belongs to somebody else, is to observe just how your body physically responds when you think about each goal. If your body, and your breathing, in particular, show symptoms of constriction and tightness, then that’s a pretty good indication that this goal does not belong to you.

You might want to revisit these and notice what are the stories underneath each goal. Is this something you know other people ‘want for you’ or expect of you? Is this something you have been conditioned to believe could make you happy? Equally, notice what gives you flutters, what excites you and what sparks joy in you and then promise to replicate that feeling in all of your goals. Your body always knows the answer – so start listening to it.

An absence of clarity

When you think about your goals, are you very clear on what each of these, in their finished form, looks like? Do you know what is your absolute desired outcome for each goal?

When you haven’t thought about the detail behind each goal, and you aren’t confident in articulating exactly what it is you wish for, this ambiguity will make your chances of attaining it highly unlikely. So, think about all aspects of the goal, describe just how it will make you feel when you have it, visualise every element of it throwing all the detail you can at it. This will make it more real and definitely more achievable.

Love of the familiar

We all prefer what’s most familiar. We feel safer knowing what we have, and where we are, and this leads us to avoiding having to go somewhere unfamiliar. Unconsciously then, these goals simply become more about us just recreating what’s familiar to us, than us pushing ourselves towards expanding into new territory where our new goals reside. Our love of what’s familiar paralyses us and demotivates and the truth is that we often don’t even see it happening.

If you’re familiar with Thomas Jefferson’s quote, “if you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done” you’ll understand this. Try and get comfortable with all of the detail around what it is you want. Become familiar with it and feel more at ease, as you move towards having something you’ve never had and being someone, you’ve never been. That’s real motivation!

A conflict of values

When the things that you do, and the way you behave, match your values, life is usually so much better because you’re more satisfied with the direction it is going and therefore more content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness and can leave feeling motivated a struggle.

When you know your own values, you can use them to make decisions about how to live your life. A simple way to start thinking about what your values might be is to ask yourself ‘what matters most to me right now?’ Whatever answers you come up with is the key to reactivating your way to feeling motivated. Remember that your values change and what matters most to you changes as you evolve, so it follows that what motivates or excites you will also change.

To give you context, these last two years have changed all of us. A pandemic will do that! What matters most to you now, I would guarantee, is very different to what mattered to you before all of this began. The opposite of being demotivated is, of course, feeling inspired and energised, but please don’t see this as being the only measure of your success. It is important that, in this first month of this year, you find your own pace and focus on what feels right for you. Ignore the “up and at ‘em” brigade; there are twelve long months ahead for you, and if you start slowly, get your foundation correct, feeling motivated to grow and improve will come, when it’s ready, and most importantly when you are ready.

You were never meant to do this business of life alone so don’t be a hero. Go where you feel most inspired, be with the people who energise you, ask for help, seek guidance and remember that the very first step towards reaching somewhere new is deciding that you’re not going to stay where you are.

Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading Transformation Coach, Writer and Host of  TOUGH LOVE ENERGY™ Podcast. She’s known for her practical solutions to life’s challenges and her ability to tell you not what you want to hear but always what you need. Niamh is currently accepting applications for her 2022 The RESET for Change 3 Month 1:1 Private Coaching Programme. Find her on Instagram @1niamhennis or niamhennis.com.