I’ve never been a morning person. In high school, when my dad came into my room to wake me, I’d throw pillows at him. I used to set my alarm early enough that I could snooze it four times before getting up. I never talked to people before I had at least one cup of coffee in me, and even then, I was mean. I hated mornings. I hated leaving the warm comfort of my bed. A month ago, I was still sleeping through alarms or snoozing them all morning. Now, I wake up two hours before my workday starts to get to the gym and have matcha made before logging in. I get excited for my 6am alarm and my morning workout. I get giddy thinking about the matcha I enjoy as I log into work. I took something I thought I could never do and made it a consistent reality, and you can too.
Have you ever had a goal you really wanted to accomplish but you couldn’t get yourself to do the work? Have you ever wanted to make a change but felt too lethargic? Or overwhelmed? It happens to the best of us, but it isn’t an unsurmountable roadblock. With these few simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding the motivation to achieve your goals.
1. Find your “why.” Without a reason to do something, you won’t have any motivation to do it. My aversion to waking up early had me working out on my lunch breaks or after work. I knew waking up early to work out worked out well for other people and would probably be more convenient for me, but without a real reason that felt aligned with what I want, I had no reason to try to wake up earlier. I tried countless times to get into this routine without a “why,” but without a reason that resonated with me, I failed every time. I didn’t succeed at getting myself out of bed earlier until I found a “why” that made sense for me. I hate a crowded gym and was sick of starting my day with work immediately. I wanted a routine to ease me into my day before having to log in. I didn’t do it because it worked for other people. I did it because I found reasons it worked for ME. I found my “why.” Wondering how to find yours? Try journaling about what you want. What goals or desires feel like they’re yours? What do you want because someone told you that you should want it?
2. Make it realistic. Humans are notoriously bad at change. We thrive in familiarity and comfort, so when it comes to being motivated to make a change, it’s in our nature to resist that change. It’s just how we’re wired. Yet when we try to make some sort of change to our lives, we always go big, due to our desire for instant gratification. It works for a day or two, but then we realize how large and unrealistic the change is in our lives. We miss our familiar routine, so we ditch the change and fall back into what feels comfortable. The best remedy for this? Taking it slow. Instead of waking up three hours earlier than normal, try starting with waking up fifteen minutes earlier. Instead of cutting out all sweets and carbs, try cutting that pint of ice cream you eat every night. Start with small, easy adjustments and build upon those changes slowly.
3. Listen to your intuition. Even the smallest changes aren’t always going to work. Sometimes, you have trouble sleeping and need an extra hour in the morning. Sometimes you have a long day and want to enjoy a big bowl of ice cream. Sometimes you’re mentally drained and you can’t handle sitting down to write or work on homework. The best way to find the motivation when you need it is to listen to yourself when you need a break. Let your goals and routines be intuitive. When you honor your needs, you prevent burnout, and no burnout means more motivation!
Motivation is a tricky thing, but if done right, you can make it easy. Just remember to focus on what works for you.
Feature image by Artem Kovalev from Unsplash