You know that feeling when you’re looking at your to-do list, but instead of feeling ready to rock and check off those boxes, you just feel sort of “meh” instead of marvelous? I hate that feeling. Uninspired, unmotivated, uninterested. My first instinct is usually “Give it a minute or two, I’ll get my mojo back!” My second instinct is, “Ahh, forget all of this!” And my third instinct is, “Come on, Nicole, just force yourself to do it!” The problem is none of these actually work.
So what do you do to move from stale to sparked instead? Try these 12 questions to get you back on track.
Instead of wasting time and precious energy trying to force yourself into it or berating yourself for not being more motivated, first try learning from what you’re experiencing. Do some exploring about the situation or task that you’re feeling uninspired about:
- What has changed that’s making you feel meh instead of marvelous about this?
- What has stayed the same that may be making you feel less than excited about this?
- If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about it, what would you change first?
You’re likely to find some clues in your answers to these. Some may be within your control to change and some may not, but keep going and add some personal exploration:
- What else is going on outside this situation or task that may be draining you?
- How are your personal energy reserves?
- When was the last time you refueled yourself and really restored your energy? Did it bring your personal battery level all the way back up to 100%?
- What do you need that you haven’t been getting/giving to yourself?
After you’ve gleaned some info from these two sets of inquiries, it’s time to move into action. Figure out your best next steps based on what comes out of answering these questions:
- Does this situation need to be addressed or does this task need to be completed right now? Can you delegate it to your future self to complete later?
- Whether it does or doesn’t need to be dealt with immediately, consider the energy with which you want to move forward. What’s the “vibe” of your next few steps? How do you want it to feel?
- Once you’ve determined how you want to feel, what is one thing you can do to generate that feeling? Jam out to a killer playlist so you feel energized and powerful? Fold and put away a load of laundry or clear out some emails so you feel productive? Tidy up your workspace so you feel organized? Connect with a friend so you feel more joyful? Do some meditation or relax to some calming music so you feel more peaceful? Help yourself generate the vibe you’re hoping for.
- Get your action steps ready. Break your task or situation into the smallest steps possible. Even just the act of doing this will give your brain a “win” to celebrate & you’ll immediately feel more momentum. If you’ve decided it can wait, clearly identify what you’re going to do instead & get ready to do that!
- Now, go do whatever it is you’ve determined is what’s going to happen next. Challenge yourself to be fully present in it. Pay attention to how it’s feeling and what cues you’re getting. To adapt a saying from one of my former mentors, “Be the ultimate student of your own situation.”
Keep learning, keep adapting, keep shifting that energy, and most importantly – keep proceeding in a way that feels best for you!