Wednesday, February 12, 2014

7 ways to motivate yourself when you're running on empty

To be honest, I sort of pulled this post idea out of thin air because I started to feel guilty about the fact that we're nearly halfway through February and I haven't blogged since January.

I generally hear from a lot of people who are seeking motivation and encouragement to follow their dreams or simply get through their week without wallowing in self-hatred or ruining their relationships with others. I understand that need for motivation and encouragement because I frequently seek it myself.

Although I'm certainly no expert on motivational techniques, the following ideas usually work for me when I feel like sitting around and doing nothing all day:

1. Make a conscious decision to show up for yourself.

You don't have to be super perfect or super successful at whatever you're doing, whether it's writing an article or planning a trip. All you have to do is be willing to show up, regardless of the results you cultivate. If you don't show up for yourself, nothing will happen. If you do, you'll get somewhere. It might not be exactly where you want to be, but it's better than nothing.

2. Read this. (Shameless plug)

I wrote this post a year ago. Today's topic reminded me of it.

3. Take a break.

Don't overwhelm yourself. If your brain is fried or you feel like slamming your face against a brick wall, it's time to take a break. It's okay to step away from whatever you're doing long enough to eat, bathe, take a walk, or watch a few episodes of your favorite show. Chances are, you will feel more refreshed when you return.

4. Turn off all distractions.

Turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. Turn off your music. Stop reading the pointless celebrity gossip stories that are trending on Yahoo. Stop checking your Twitter and Facebook every five minutes. If you're trying to get something done, distractions will make it nearly impossible.     

5. Start small. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed by a task or conflict, remember to start small. You're not Superman (or Wonder Woman). Take baby steps, and don't expect yourself to accomplish everything in one fell swoop.   

6. Check in with yourself.  

If you have zero motivation to do something, it's a good idea to ask yourself why you're even doing it. There are some things you simply don't have to do. The next time you're stressing out over a lack of motivation to do something, ask yourself, "Is this something that absolutely has to be done?" If the answer is no, don't do it. What a relief!

7. Be okay with not being okay. 

You will have days where you just hate everything and feel uncomfortably discouraged. There's no magic formula or cure for these days. We all have them sometimes. If you beat yourself up for having a bad day, you will only feel worse. Sometimes all you need is a little self-compassion and a reminder that tomorrow might be better.

<3 Madison


  1. Journey of a soul searcher aka Madison Sonnier How do u overcome those days when u waken up and think "hey there's more to life than all this"

    1. It's difficult to sum up how I feel/react to those days in a single blog comment. I guess I just actively search for what's missing and take it from there. I try to stay self-aware, and if something feels like it's missing from my life, I take steps to find whatever it is.

      For example, I currently feel like I lack direction in my career and frequently wonder if I'm cut out for my chosen line of work. All I know is that I'm passionate about writing and I don't think I would be truly happy doing anything else. So although I don't know where it's all leading, I know that being passionate is a good start. I try to use my passion and knowledge to motivate myself into finding direction and coming up with new ideas.

      Good luck to you on your journey!

  2. Maybe just Maybe Journey of a Soul searcher aka Madison Sonnier needs to go on a Journey (sorry for the cheeky pun) to a nice warm climate for some R & R in order to take ur mind of writing for a week or two.