Staying motivated is a challenge for EVERYONE I know.

Sure, we all have moments of momentum, but what happens when our momentum slows or comes to a screeching halt? Do you relinquish the power of motivation? Do you accept you just aren’t going to be productive? Do you give up hope of completing your tasks? Accomplishing your goals?

Here are some ways to get your butt in gear based on how human motivation works.

Situation 1: Waking up on the wrong side of bed.  Ever wake up in a bad mood?  If you don’t shake it, you will carry your unhappiness all day long like a backpack full of garbage.  Bad moods infect productivity, energy levels, and people around you.

What can I do?  Identify the intrinsic risks (e.g. disappointment in myself) and extrinsic risks (e.g. loss of respect from my coworkers) of staying in a bad mood.  Ask yourself if the risks are worth it.  If the answer is “no”, then pull yourself out of it by focusing on the benefits of being in a good mood like dealing with stress better and making better decisions.

Situation 2: Conflict. Ever deal your heels in and stand your ground? When you are in conflict your motivation might be rooted in ego or a desire to protect yourself.  In either case, your judgment will be clouded.

What can I do?  Stop trying to win or find a right and a wrong. Determine why resolution is beneficial to you AND the other person.  Once you know, use that to spark a peaceful and respectful outcome where you both get what you each need.

Situation 3: Micromanagement. Ever glad someone is looking over your shoulder? I have yet to meet a person who loves to be micromanaged.  You likely want to push back.

What can I do? Remind yourself that the only person you have control over is yourself!  You have a right to speak up for what you want and need – respectfully.  Determine specifically how more autonomy will help you to be more motivated.  Once you are clear on your motivation, share it with the micromanager and ask for their support.  (*This can also work for situations of heavy workloads.) 

Situation 4: Boredom.  Ever zone out from boredom? Whether it is a meeting or monotonous task, boredom correlates with low motivation.  Boredom is difficult for you to hide and it can be perceived as lack of commitment.

What can I do?  In this type of situation, it is important to look at the BIG picture.  Look past the now and think about the long term. For example, if a promotion to leadership is an extrinsic motivator of yours, know that showing interest can position you as a leader.   If gaining knowledge is an intrinsic motivator of yours, know that every situation is a learning opportunity.

The only way to become motivated is to get motivated! So, do it!

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it is determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” ~Mario Andretti