Welcome back! This time we’re continuing with our discussion of reasons why you might lack motivation – and how to overcome it. Read on…
If you’re feeling unmotivated, one of the first things you should do is take a look at your health habits. Specifically:
- What does your diet look like?
- Do you get enough sleep at night?
- Do you make time for exercise?
- Do you manage your stress levels and reduce them whenever possible?
I’m sure you’ve seen how these factors play a role in your motivation, even if on a small scale. For example, have you ever tried to concentrate on a big task when you’ve only received a few hours of sleep? It’s difficult… and you probably don’t feel like doing anything at all.
The same thing happens if you skip a meal. Your stomach is growling, you start getting a headache, maybe you start feeling irritable. Again, suddenly you don’t feel like working. And even if you force yourself, you put out low-quality work because all you can do is think about getting something to eat.
Obviously, these are all pretty extreme examples. But here’s the thing: You don’t have to pull a sleepless all-nighter or skip meals in order for these factors to affect your motivation. In other words, bad health habits on a smaller scale (but regular basis) can affect your motivation and productivity, too.
Let me give you an example…
Let’s say your diet consists mainly of sugary carbohydrates. Your meals may give you an initial boost. But a couple hours later you’ll crash… hard. And so you spend your entire day on a rollercoaster, where you have a sugar-induced energy boost followed by an awful crash. Trust me, riding that kind of rollercoaster day after day will take a toll on your productivity and motivation.
Below you’ll find a few health tips that will help you stay energetic and motivated to achieve your goals…
- Eat nutritious, balanced meals. Try to eat a balance of carbohydrates, protein and essential fatty acids (the good fats) at each meal. Avoid sugar, processed foods and packaged foods whenever possible. Examples of good foods include milk, cheese, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, lean meats (fish, chicken, etc).
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration tends to make people tired and even irritable. Have a glass of water with every meal as well as between meals and see if that doesn’t give you an energy boost.
- Sleep 8-10 hours every night. Different people have different sleep requirements. If you need an alarm to get up – or if you don’t feel refreshed when you get up – you’re probably not getting enough sleep.
- Reduce stress. Sometimes the best way to reduce stress is to just learn to say no. Make your health a priority over someone else’s requests.
- Exercise. You should exercise at least three times per week for about 20 to 30 minutes. This includes walking, jogging, playing sports, biking, swimming, lifting weights, hiking, using exercise machines… and anything else that gets you moving and gets your heart pumping.
- Avoid bad habits. This includes drugs like nicotine and alcohol. Consuming occasionally and in moderation is okay, but don’t make a habit out of it, because a hangover is a motivation killer.
Bottom line: Take care of yourself so that you have the energy you need to achieve your goals!
That’s it for this series of lessons on common factors that often result in a lack of motivation. Next time you’ll start learning ways to energize yourself and get fired up about your goals.