“If you believe it’ll work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you don’t believe it will work out, you’ll see obstacles” – Wayne Dyer
Have you been struggling to motivate yourself?
Do you have a “to-do” list that you never quite finish?
Do you feel guilty because you haven’t achieved what you wanted to?
Are you hard on yourself?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, don’t feel alone! Many people are feeling this way especially since the emergence of the Corona Virus and lockdowns.
A useful way to get motivated
That’s why I have put this useful guide together to help you make the start you have been planning but haven’t quite managed yet.
Let’s get to it!
Some initial thoughts:
1) The key to changing how you feel is by changing what you do! You may think ‘oh I will do it when I feel like it’, however behavioural activation theory suggests that you should carry out a task whether you feel like it or not!
Remember that the FEELING COMES AFTERWARDS (accomplishment, pride, motivation, confidence).
2) Changes in life can lead to depression/low mood, but the way in which you try to cope may lead you to feel more unhappy. Certain behaviours may maintain unhappiness and stress e.g. isolating yourself from others in case they realise you are low mood may actually make you feel isolated and feed into making your mood lower.
3) Sometimes, we need to force ourselves to start and the motivation comes once you have begun. Our brains aren’t wired for being out of our comfort zone. We are designed to avoid threat and stay in comfort but this won’t help you get where you want to be.
The 5 minute rule
Try the 5 minute rule – tell yourself you will do just 5 minutes. You might find that once you start, you find it easier to continue. If you only do 5 minutes – it’s still a step in the right direction. The next time – tell yourself 10 minutes until you find you can naturally extend and do more.
4) Structure and schedule relevant activities that follow a plan, NOT mood. For instance, going to cookery/gym class on Wednesday as you scheduled even if do not feel up to it, give it a try anyway!
5) Change is easier when starting small. Start small and work your way up to bigger tasks.
6) Before the task (especially harder tasks) identify possible obstacles that may be a challenge. Be creative with your problem solving!
7) Collect evidence from carrying out activities. What affect does carrying out a task have on your mood in comparison to staying inside/isolating yourself in your room? When you notice that you feel better – this encourages you to do more of the same.
8) Don’t just talk, actually do it! Behavioural activation is all about the actual carrying out of an activity.
Think of GOYA = Get Off Your Ass