Motivation Is Created

I shared on Instagram recently, that over the past several years, I’ve come to enjoy (or at least appreciate) and embrace winter.

As a child, winter was an incredible time of year. I remember one particular year when we had two full weeks of snow days, immediately following Christmas break. It felt like the entire month was full of sled riding, baking cookies, building snowman, and watching movies with my sisters.

 
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Then as an adult… I started to dread those cold months, every year. Scraping ice off my car. Driving in snow. Just dealing with being cold could set me on edge.

January in particular seems to be a struggle for most people. Strange right? It’s January, the month of a new year, full of motivation, resolutions, excitement.

The problem is, that motivation typically lasts about 7-10 days at the most. On average, only about 65% of people even make it past the first month, with 80% fizzling out by the second week of February.

As much as I hate to admit it, I too was falling into a bad mindset this January. It was out of the “norm” for me, but I was in a funk and regardless of what goals I put on paper, I couldn’t get out of it.

 
Meme about January lasting forever
 

I started the month of January on vacation, and while a break with a week of sleeping in was absolutely necessary for my body and mind, I had a hard time getting out of the routine I had created. You know how they say you need a vacation from vacation? That’s exactly how I was feeling.

Even as a work from home mom, I still try to wake up by 5 each morning, 6 at the latest. I’m a morning person through and through and I find myself not only most productive early in the day, but it’s also the best chance for me to sneak a workout in before my daughter wakes up and take 45 minutes to myself to shower and get ready.

Without this routine, I felt lost, and to be honest, pretty grumpy. Every morning I had fallen into the trap of “I don’t have anywhere to be, so I don’t really have to get out of bed.” That turned into a negative morning, which turned into a pretty negative day. As it turns out, one extra hour of sleep actually wasn’t benefitting me at all. Who would have thought?

I was desperate to get back to feeling like myself. To learn to embrace winter again, and feel the excitement of a beautiful snowy day, and all that came with it.

Working from home has its usual challenges. Working from home in the winter with two dogs, a 5-year old, and a wood burner to maintain is time consuming in addition to that and needs a positive mindset to handle whatever challenges might come.

That’s when I discovered Mel Robbins.

I had heard of Mel’s 5-second rule before and immediately dismissed it as silly. I didn’t have a problem with staying motivated. I was always too busy with managing a job, a family, and a business to worry about “lack of motivation.” I HAD to get things done.

The truth is, we all go through periods where we find ourselves in a negative mindset, lacking motivation. The strength lies in finding a way out of it.

“I tried something simple and it changed my life. The next morning, when the alarm rang, instead of laying there thinking about all my problems, I started counting. Backwards….. 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1.

The change was instant. Looking back it all makes sense. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 helped me close the gap between thinking and doing. And just by taking action, my confidence grew.

- Mel Robbins

Living in a state that sees a white winter, I’ve learned that we have to embrace the beauty of this season. Imagine wishing away three to five months of your life every single year? Winter can be a perfect time to slow down and rest. To escape the hustle and bustle of life throughout the warm months. It can also be a time when we fall into a lull, a negative place and struggle to get out.

To reset your mindset and motivation this month:

Remember that motivation is created, not found

  • Taking action is motivation

  • Starting is the hardest part, just take that first baby step

  • Find a motivating cue (the 5-second rule, a music playlist, etc.)

Accountability

  • Be honest with yourself and call yourself out on the funk you’re in

  • Find an accountability buddy who can help continue to push you

Embrace Your Personality

  • As an Enneagram 4, I use my personality traits as a tool to help me understand why I’m struggling

  • My key motivator, is maintaining certain moods and taking care of emotional needs first. Knowing my motivators allows me to understand why I was struggling with having a late morning. I never had to chance to care for myself before caring for others.

  • At my best: I’m able to transform experiences into something valuable. - Enneagram Institute
    I knew using the 5-second rule, I could use my few weeks as a reminder of why I need routine and how valuable self-care is.

  • At my worst: I’m angry at myself and unable to function. - Enneagram Institute
    I was able to use this to remind myself that having a bad start to my morning did not have to impact my entire day. I did not “fail.” I just needed to take a step back and regroup.


We all have moments when we need to regroup, recharge, and reset our life or routines. Whether that’s January for you or it’s September. Give yourself grace. Don’t get caught up in acknowledging the time you’ve wasted or struggled through. Find your motivator and reset. Use the 5 second rule to just take action and get it done. Life is entirely too short to feel unhappy and uninspired.