To accomplish great things, we must not only act,
but also dream;not only plan, but also believe ~ Anatole France
STUCK! BORED! SPINNING YOUR WHEELS?
Call it what you want, we all know the feeling. Those down days, when you feel flat, listless, blocked and uninspired.
Wouldn’t it be great, when you sink into that space, to know that you can get yourself out of it and into an optimal state quickly and easily?
Well here are 17 strategies you can use to do just that.
1. Plan To Succeed
Without a doubt, the first step of any successful life or venture is to take time for careful planning. We all know the quote
If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.
It’s true that life can be busy and it can seem incredibly difficult to make the time to plan, however planning is your road-map for success and like it or not it’s crucial. It may seem like a chore but when you realize how easy it is to get distracted from both your immediate and long term plans and goals I’m certain that you will agree that it is time as it is well invested.
The first thing you need to decide on is what you want to accomplish. Your starting point will be to make a list of end goals and then break those big goals into smaller steps to make the process more manageable. Once that has been achieved it can be helpful to put these goals into a time-line or a mind map as this will help you to visualize the steps needed to get where you want to go.
Now you meet to make a list of “whys.”
Having a reason “why” behind your goals will add positive emotion to the equation. Emotion brings energy and momentum to your goals and will help you get them clearer in your mind. The more you understand and connect with your “why” the better your chances of through and success.
Set your time and date.
Some people like to put a date by each small goal which is a good idea, however a word of warning, most people over estimate what can be achieved in a month but under estimate what can be achieved in a year – so be flexible in your approach to timing – and if you miss a deadline simply reevaluate your time line and keep going.
Monitor your progress.
Keeping track of how you are doing is really important to maintaining your energy and commitment. As you complete each task make sure that you circle or star it so you can easily map your progress. Remember, life is not a race to the finish line – enjoy the journey and take the time you need along the way to refine and redefine your outcomes as you need to.
2. Eliminate Negativity
There will always be people who will want to scupper you and upset your plans. This is just a fact of life so you had better get used to it now. You won’t be able to eliminate them all, however you can reduce the impact they have on your success.
The first step is to understand that they are not motivated by the things you are motivated by, so don’t take their negativity or disbelief personally. Their attitude is a refection of their mindset – not your ability to to achieve or acquire something.
So, in the face of a negative world how do you eliminate negativity?
The first thing is to opt out of as much of the news media as you possibly can. This is because news media is full of negativity and hyped up drama, and if you want to lead a positive life, then its important to get out of the habit of plugging into it.
Seven years ago I went on a news media fast. I stopped reading newspapers and news magazines and cut myself off from TV news broadcasts. I was inspired by a TED talk to try this for 30 days. Over that time I discovered how good it felt not to be programmed with fear, stress, drama and worry that I have continued ever since.
Trust me, if something is really important then you social networks will be buzzing with it and you will know what and when to tune into to keep up to date.
3. Eat a More Nutritious Diet
Another way to eliminate negative energy is to eat (and enjoy) a diet that is as free of toxins, sugar, and refined foods as you can. Getting rid of empty calories and noxious chemicals will really improve your mental clarity and focus and give you more energy.
Opt for foods that are in their natural state. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. Minimize consumption of grains and dairy – and make them your last meal of the day. Be sure to drink plenty of freshly filtered and chemical free water every day.
Not convinced. Watch this fascinating video to see what really happens in your body when you eat.
4.Clean Up and De-Clutter Your Life
When you eliminate clutter from your life, you eliminate clutter from your mind.
Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes
a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it.~ Robert Brault
I recommend that you schedule time each day to manage and maintain both your living and work-space. Dirt and clutter are a distraction, and when surrounded with extraneous stuff your mind is not free to focus on the essential tasks amd processes that really matter – the ones that get you closer to your goals every day.
5. Get More Exercise
Most people simply do not get enough exercise. Physical exercise strengthens your mind and your body. It improves flexibility and blood flow, works of stress, decreases fatigue and boosts mental clarity. Obviously if you have been a couch potato or out of action for a while you will need to reintegrate exercise gradually and build up your strength and stamina over time.
So how much do you need? Well this will vary from person to person but conventional wisdom says 30 minutes per day of physical activity will keep you healthy. From my own experience I would recommend that you choose a range of exercise and sports ranging from Yoga and Pilates to running or tennis – pick activities that you enjoy, try something new once in a while and vary them each day. This will ensure that you do not get bored and quit your exercise program.and yes, taking the dog to the park does count.
6. Your Body’s Posture Matters
Years ago I overheard someone say
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then posture is the window to health.
Bad posture creates stress, tension and pain in your body over time. Very few of us have great posture as we spend way too much time hunched over our desks and computers. I can attest to the discomfort of pinched nerves and muscle spasms and anyone that struggles with back or neck ache or carpal tunnel will tell you what a distraction it is.
There are plenty of methods for improving and maintaining proper posture with all the health and welling advantages it brings. Personally I addressed my posture problems from the top down and the bottom up – cranial osteopathy and podiatry were my starting point. What about you? (tell us about it in the comments section below)
7. Get Good Quality Sleep
Sleep is such an important component is a personal success and happiness that I can’t stress the point enough. Good sleep is the foundation for good physical, mental and emotional health. Sleep refreshes and relaxes your brain (and mind) and it is the time when the body rejuvenates itself and you mind is at tits most creative.
It’s a special subject in its own right, so I have added a link a post on why good quality sleep is so important to your heath, and also a fascinating video on the link between obesity sleep and weight loss . These will give you more quality information on sleep than I can write about here.
Tip: I recommend that you keep a dream journal or tape recorder beside your bed, so that if you wake from a dream, or have a flash of inspiration you you can capture the thought and take action on it later.
8. Practice Meditation Regularly
What is Meditation?
I consider meditation to be a form of prayer and a vehicle through which we are able to access higher states of consciousness and connection. When you meditate your brain produces frequencies (brain waves) that allow for deep states of relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation.
Meditation encompasses a variety of practices that are somewhat different, while holding to the basic principles of consideration and quiet thought to bring about a state of rumination. Various types of meditation that are commonly practices include transcendental meditation, prayer, Zen meditation, Taoist meditation, mindfulness meditation, and Buddhist meditation. Some methods of meditation may require the body being absolutely still or to be moved with controlled deliberation, while other types allow for free movement of the body. While the methods are different, the end goal of all types of meditation lead to a mind that is quieted and free from stress by the use of quiet contemplation and reflection. ~ Project Meditation
There are a number of ways to learn to meditate and many different methods you can try. A quick and effective method for beginners can be seen in this video (three minute meditation).
As meditation fundamentally alters your brain waves you can achieve similar results quickly and easily, and get the benefits without years of practice, by utilizing brain wave entrainment tools such as binaural beats. I recommend that you check out the amazing benefits of binaural beats in our article (binaural beats)
9. Affirmations And The Power of Directive Thinking
Research has shown that we have between 45,000 and 51,000 thoughts a day. That’s about 150 to 300 thoughts a minute. Research has also shown that for most people 80% of those thoughts are negative or mundane.
Affirmations are a brief, positive, and repetitive statement used to help focus your thoughts. They are a very useful tool that will act to remind and refocus your mind on what you choose to think about. Many people interested in the Law Of Attraction use them to attract and bring desired outcomes into their life.
When you create an affirmation statement make sure that the thought is positive, precise, and in the present tense. Repeat your affirmations throughout the day to yourself and aloud when possible. There is some evidence that the most effective time of day to work with your affirmations is on waking and before going to sleep. I would add that repeating them several times a day is also a great antidote to unproductive and worry-wort thinking.
Tip: Write your affirmations down on small credit card sized cards and carry them with you.
10. Get a Dose of Daily Inspiration
Motivational quotes are great way to get boost of inspiration for your day! Each quote is a reminder that you have the power to create and change your life for the better.
Some quotes you find will come from famous people and some from unknown authors, but each is an opportunity to broaden and change your perspectives. You can learn and grow in an unhurried way a few words at a time.
Whatever your primary focus or goals, I suggest you take a little time to dig out some motivational quotes that are a great fit for you. Write them down, and just as with your affirmation cards keep them with you and look at them often to allow that wisdom and motivation to embed itself deep into your subconscious mind.
11. Use Your Mind’s Eye With Visualization
One of my favorite quotes comes from Napoleon Hill and his book Think and Grow Rich. Hill says:
What the mind can conceive, and believe, it can achieve.
This quote embodies the idea and benefits of visualization in one short sentence.
To conceive a thought means that you see it in your mind’s eye. When you empower that thought with positive emotion it can propel you forward and motivate you to take action. They are the fuel in the engine that drives you where you want to go. Thus the thought becomes tangible reality.
Visualization is a simple process. This is how to do it:
- Create a picture in your mind of the outcome you desire.
- Take time to build the image (or movie) and add as much detail as you can.
- Focus on the way it looks, the way it smells, the people things and animals that surround you.
- Become utterly familiar with your creation.
- Then begin to feel all of the emotions that would be attached to you being in that place.
- Step into it as if you are walking into a movie set
- Now play out your part as if it is happening now.
- Go back to this place and enjoy it as often as you can until you have created your desired outcome.
Tip: You might even want to keep a vision board, or pictures associated with the things you want in life, so that you can look at them every day in gaining motivation.
12. Make a Day Planner or Get-It-Done List
I don’t know about you but when I take a trip or go on vacation I like to make a to-do list or mini plan to help me remember all of the important things I need to remember, or remember do get done, before I leave town.
One way that I have incorporated this method into everyday life has been to to create a day planner and “get-it-done” list every evening before I go to bed. I have used this day-planning technique to successfully prepare my mind for the next days work. Writing my tasks down in priority order gives me a effective blueprint for my day. It saves me time and let’s me hit the ground running. And it’s a great boost to my mental clarity and productivity.
Obviously your day-planner does not need to be etched in stone. It makes sense to be flexible, so give yourself the option each morning to review what you wrote the night before and tweak the list if there are additional priorities that need to get done.
Planners and get-it-done lists will help keep you focused and motivated as you gain a great sense of accomplishment as each item is completed and checked off your list. Whats more, if you don’t get through the list on the day, you simply carry the remaining items forward to the next day seamlessly. No sweat!
13. Phone a Friend
There is nothing like connecting with an old friend to bring out the best in both of you. Reliving all the best times, if even over the phone, is energising and fun. Sharing and laughing are a great combination that lifts and boost your mood. So, who do you want to reach out and connect with today?
14. Get Yourself a Makeover
If you really want to boost your motivation go for a makeover.
A makeover will usually enhance your self-esteem, and make you feel more confident and special. It’s simple and easy to try out a different hairstyle or lipstick, buy new clothes, get a different perfume and brighten up your accessories (show me a woman who doesn’t love new shoes and a handbag!).
Try it and see.
15. Keep a Journal
A journal is a wonderful tool for monitoring and recording your progress. It is great for getting and staying motivated over time. I once had a writing coach who would regularly say
If it is worth doing it is worth writing down.
The truth is this is a great addition to the idea of the day-planner. Having a journal helps you to de-brief from your day. I find it helps me assess whats working or what’s not, and to be responsible for how I have invested and spent my time.
I like to journal like this. First I clear my mind and get out my get-it-done list for the day, comparing what I got done to what was one the list. Next I write down any challenges or accomplishments that I experienced throughout the day. I then build my day-planner for the next day.
It only takes 5 to 15 minutes per day do write down your struggles, successes and accomplishments. You will get such benefit as you chronicle where you have been, what it has taken you to get here and how much your have learnt and grown since your journey started.
16. Rest, Reward and Recuperation
Taking a proper vacation allows you time to reflect and rejuvenate.
I and many people I know have had a tendency to work for too long without taking decent time off. The result is that we all get dull and our minds go blunt. A change of scene stimulates the senses and get’s the creative juices going. It is fertiliser for the mind. Its great to see folk come back after a couple of weeks off full of renewed energy and ready to sprout new ideas.
So, when was the last time took a real break?
17. Cultivate an Attitude of Expectation!
Without great expectations it can be a challenge to focus on the future in a positive and buoyant way. Cultivating great expectations helps to subdue the inner voices of self-doubt, and transforms negativity and pessimism, into enthusiasm, confidence and an optimistic attitude to life.
Once you do a few of the things discussed in this article on a regular basis, you will begin to see improvements across all aspects of your life. Motivation is a habit that requires practice. So, make it a priority to take better care of your mind, body, feelings and your dreams. Be brave and daring about what you want out of life because life is shorter than you think, and you deserve to get the most out of it.
What do you think?
Do you have anything you want to add to this article? Let’s talk about it.
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