January Blues: Motivation, Motivation, Where for Art Thou Motivation?

Posted January 14, 2015 in Latest News & Insights

Is it just me, or does January generally suck the life out of your motivation? My birthday is in January, so you’d think it would be a month I’d look forward to. In fact, tons of awesome people I know are born in January…it should be an all-out party for me! It’s the new year, fresh starts, new beginnings! So why does it always feel like a lunch bag letdown? Is it a holiday hangover? After a couple of weeks of suspending reality with tinsel and turkey, January looms before us with to-do lists and targets. Ground zero all over again. What can we do when we’re in a motivation funk to get back on track? Here are a few things that I’m trying. Would love to hear your suggestions too:

  1. Watch cat videos… Start here.  Or try anything else that lightens your mood and makes you laugh. As we all know, laughter release positive endorphins which will help your motivation. (it helped me stop procrastinating on writing this blog!)
  2. Get moving… go for a run, a walk, a jog…sweat it out. Or watch a video about walking, running and sweating it out. Exercise releases positive endorphins too.  So does dancing. I defy you to not tap your toes to this funky beat. (Yes, it’s playing as I type…smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy).
  3. Phone a friend… all of us know that one person who is like an energizer bunny on crack. Get that person on the phone and get them to give you a swift kick-in-the-pants type pep talk.
  4. Lean in to your low energy… they say what you resist persists.  So, instead of resisting your low motivation funk what about giving yourself permission to embrace it? Take this time to do all those little tasks that take little thought… filing, cleaning out your inbasket, playing Solitaire. Of course, don’t do this all day or else you’ll be in big trouble… but if you can put off bigger projects or more important work when you’re in a low energy mood, why not?  Come back to them when you’re in a better head space.
  5. Plug in to others energy… where do you get energy in your job? I get mine from helping our members and talking to senior leaders about our work. When I’m in a low energy funk, I try to make sure I don’t have too many days in a row where I’m not interacting with those people. What do you need to put into your daily agenda that brings you positive energy?

Those are my thoughts.  What are yours? Having low motivation can happen even when you’re in a job you love (like I do). Engagement and enthusiasm will always ebb and flow.  What matters – particularly as leaders – is what we do to shore ourselves up and navigate these gaps in motivation. Your team looks to you to set the energy tone. Make sure you’re doing what you need to do to bring the right one into this new year.

Happy leading!


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