Use these techniques as the driving force to help kick-start you into action, even when you don’t feel like it:
#1 Adjust your expectations
When you’re low on energy and interest, it helps to think about how you can streamline your obligations. The idea is to focus on and feel good about what you can accomplish instead of beating yourself up for what you can’t get done. Sometimes we have to adjust our energy output according to what is on our plate and it may be required to pare down your have-to list. Settle on something that is easy enough to get over the hump of inertia and build momentum.
#2 Reward yourself
Once you have figured out your small goal, write it down. When you accomplish it, be sure to praise yourself. Learning thrives on reward, says psychologist Dan Bilsker, PhD. “Reward is like the fertilizer applied to a plant.” Keep a simple to-do list of tasks to accomplish—and then reward yourself for getting things done.
#3 Make goals meaningful
Keeping goals as meaningful and immediate as possible helps us stay motivated. For example, it’s well-known that exercise releases feel good chemicals called endorphins. Research has found that taking a little time right after you exercise to recognize and appreciate that positive feeling makes you more motivated to exercise again.
#4 Be proactive
Setting up mechanisms to guide your behavior can relieve some of the need to call on flat-out motivation. One way to keep momentum going is to look ahead and make commitments—whether to yourself or to others—that give you a reason to get out of bed or out the door. Take it one step further and ask yourself this: If you have an activity or task you want to accomplish, what can you do to make it as easy as possible to get started?
#5 Set triggers
Prompts—reminders to do something we already intend to do—can have surprising power to guide our actions. Setting out your exercise clothes is a kind of prompt. Sticky notes on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator door serve the same function, as do alerts programmed into your phone calendar.
Read the full article, “Finding Motivation Even Through the Apathy of Depression”
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