I read an article recently about employers and teachers expecting a second round of productivity to rev up after summer ends, almost like a second New Year. For children, they’ve had the summer off and understand the new beginning of a school year. For many adults, they’ve taken a little time off to spend with their families or enjoy the summer in different cities and should have had the chance to rejuvenate themselves. Psychologically, we try so badly to find a time that feels like a reset from the constant day-to-day responsibilities that never stop quite long enough for us to truly catch our breath. Whether that’s a new year, a new month, or even a Sunday of self care – we tend to need an official fresh start in order to tackle our to-do’s. If I want to get things done and do them well, I find it takes constant reminders of what my end goals are. Because New Year or not…….. I’m tired.
Just because it’s a New Year, new start, or new week, doesn’t mean I feel like diving back into major work projects that I was dreading dealing with earlier. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to have the urge to jump out of bed at 5 am to go to the gym, or to stay up past midnight working on the book you said you were going to write. A break does not mean you come back eager to do the work. A new day doesn’t mean you’ll feel like that day is the day to be excellent. When we need motivation most, it’s no where to be found. We scroll aimlessly on Instagram or Twitter for hours looking for the perfect words to resonate with us enough that we jump up and finally get going on whatever we’ve been putting off. We try and dig it up and just can’t, or we feel it for a short period of time and then it fades as quickly as it came.
So where does motivation come from? And how can we restart it daily so that we take care of everything we not only need to, but want to? For me, it begins with keeping the promises that I’ve made to myself; from doing what I told myself that I was going to do. It’s comes from the vision that I have for my life, for my career, for my body, for my family and our future. It’s driven by who I see myself as in five or ten years when I close my eyes and imagine my life. If you close your eyes and see the person you want to be in the future, can you honestly say that you’re doing what it’s going to take to become her? When we’re the person making promises to ourselves, we have to hold ourselves accountable to ensure that we don’t let ourselves down or even worse, stay in the same spot.
Do we have to go the extra mile at the office, on the treadmill, or in our aspirations? We don’t. But when you realize that you are the one responsible for maintaining your mood, your work ethic, and the level of respect you have for yourself, you’ll begin to muster up the motivation you’ve always needed out of nowhere. Will there be days that you’re drained, doubtful, or discouraged? Absolutely. But it’s up to US to show up for ourselves everyday and to do what we promised even when we don’t feel like it as a way to maintain our level of self respect. Commit to showing up for yourself on a daily basis, even in small ways and watch your productivity shift.