How to Change Anything when You Don't Feel Motivated

Why Bother?

While I'm known for interventions and solutions to some of the toughest problems families and teachers face with children grief, divorce, relocation and behavior, many people online don't know that I also work with adults.  Yup! While my life's work has focused on children and teens, you can't quite get children and teens without an adult that goes along with them.  I work with families, yes, but I also do the lion's share of consulting with adults.  I've done this for decades.  I'm often called upon to help them make changes that they'd rather not. Some changes are big and some are small.  Some change the trajectory of their lives forever. Today, I'm thinking about adults and was motivated to write this post. It all makes perfect sense because our happiness and well-being directly impacts the happiness and well-being of our families.  So, get your groove on and do something for YOU!

What Do You Need to Change?

What were your New Year's Resolutions?  Do you even remember?  Did they fall by the wayside? If you're like most people, you likely were going to work out, lose some weight or eat healthy.  (I'll be telling you more about this in a BIG way very soon.)  Maybe you were going to be a kinder, more gentle parent.  Both of those categories of CHANGE impact both YOU and your CHILDREN (as well as all of your other relationships) for the positive.  Changes of those sorts impact the entire family and have a ripple effect.

Maybe what you need to change isn't even remotely related to those two categories above. That doesn't much matter. What I'm about to share can help you change ANYTHING.

It's Not Too Late

Well, there's no time like the present! It is NOT too late for you to take action, make a change and achieve those goals you set for yourself a few months ago.  All you need to do is START.  And that can be the hardest part.  Nike's campaign, "Just Do It", is all you need to know.  Once you start, you are well on your way!

No Motivation 

People often say they have no motivation to make a change.  What they are really saying is that it is painful to change. "I don't want to stop doing things the way I've always done them.  It is comfortable and known to me and I keep falling back on it!"  Growth always hurts...just a little. And mostly in our heads (though if this change is about exercising you may have sore muscles, to be sure).  Step out of your comfort zone.

Motivation is Tricky

I've been a therapist for years.  I've been a human being my whole life.  Motivation is a tricky thing.  I fall prey to the same mind-games you do: "I don't feel like doing that!" "That's boring, I'd rather do this!" And so on.

We are highly motivated to do things that appeal to us.  Things that aren't so appealing, not so much!

Just Decide...One Thing

Well, what if for today, you stopped waiting for the motivation...and INSTEAD you just became more decisive?  That's right....DECIDE....that for TODAY you will do ONE thing that moves you closer to your goal (drink more water, hit the elliptical, speak with more compassion to your children, smile more, stress less, etc.)

Picking that ONE thing is really pretty easy.  Every couple of days, add a new thing to your list. If you need to take it more slowly, add in one new thing a week. Go at your own pace.  Trust your instincts. Before you know it, you'll be moving along the path to a new you. And those around you will benefit, too!

Build in Accountability 

Sometimes we need a little extra help to stay on track.  Find yourself an accountability partner. Shoot them an email or text at the end of the day:

Be completely honest with how you did

Share your successes

Share where you need to focus more energy

Share what you discovered about yourself during the day

Little by Little 

Little by little, you'll be moving away from the behaviors you want to leave behind and closer to your ideal self! And you know the funny thing? Once you start seeing results, you might just find that elusive motivation!

Where do you need to start?

RELATED POST: How I Ended My Love Affair with Carbs, Sugar and Caffeine 


Deborah McNelis said…
Excellent post Wendy! Our perception of self can begin to change when we take that one first step as you described. The repetition of doing something new becomes wired in our brain and ultimately does not require as much motivation. It just becomes the way we see and think about who we are.
naomi said…
It is very hard to do anything without being motivated. I think sometimes though if you do not feel like doing something and you don't have the right mindset then you should park it and do it an alternative time.
Wendy: I totally agree with your post. In order to be able to function as a family, all members need to be balanced. And the most important are the parents, otherwise, how could we support our children with all what they need to learn? We all grow at the same time. A woman becomes a mother until the baby is born. Both graduate the same day.
Hi Deborah,

You are so right! Habits that were once new become like second nature over time! Thanks for dropping by to comment!

Wendy =)
Hi Naomi,

I know it sure feels like that sometimes. In some cases, we need to "just do it" and find the motivation later! Take doing dishes for example...... =)
Dear Un abrazo,

I agree. Balance is key! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

Wendy =)

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