Many people don’t put in their best effort unless they have to. When was the last time you tried to skimp by and just do the bare minimum?
We’ve all been there and it probably won’t be the last time we battle with motivation.
I struggle with motivation when I don’t care about what I’m doing or when I lack interest. Sometimes my lack of effort comes when I am feeling drained of energy and am overwhelmed with responsibilities.
Either way, when I get in a funk I have to be intentional about giving my full effort and making the most of my experience.
So what can you do the next time you start getting negative and are struggling with enthusiasm and engagement?
Here are twenty tips to help you be at your best and make the most of each and every day.
1. Have a sense of humor and zest for living - There are times when we have to buckle down and take things seriously. Life can’t always be a joke. However, we also want to enjoy the moment and keep our sense of humor through the ups and downs. Do something fun today and really engage in it. Shake off your mistakes and accept your imperfections.
2. Figure out exactly what you want to do… and do it! - There are probably many things that you want to do that you believe you ”don’t have the time for.” Give yourself the pleasure of prioritizing your passions and interests. If you schedule pleasurable activities into your routine it will boost your mood and keep you feeling positive.
3. Become as informed and knowledgeable as possible – I’m sure you have heard that knowledge is power, but more importantly knowledge is freedom. Become a student of life and grow your competence. It will expand your perspective and illuminate new opportunities.
4. Assert yourself and ask for what you need – This may be easy in certain areas of your life, but I imagine there are areas where you don’t feel as comfortable being expressive and blunt. It may be with business, with family, or with your children. If you don’t ask you probably won’t get what you want. If you do ask, the worst that may happen is you hear a no.
5. Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings - Accept both your positive and negative feelings. Don’t try to resist or avoid you feelings. They are natural so have self-acceptance and then decide what the best course of action is. You can more easily move forward and get unstuck when you are able to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.
6. Believe in yourself and trust your intuition – Developing self-trust helps us to have the confidence to take risks and live more fully. Trust that you will make the right choices and that if you follow your intuition you will be provided with the answers you need.
7. Exercise and get moving whenever possible – If there is one domain of life that we should prioritize it’s exercise. If you want to be at your best make time for exercise. It is not only crucial for staying physically healthy and energized but is a major factor in optimal brain functioning.
8. Set small goals and accomplish them – If there is one thing that boosts confidence and self-efficacy it’s accomplishing goals. As we begin seeing success we will feel good about ourselves. Set small goals you can achieve and congratulate yourself as you move toward your goals.
9. Set specific dates to do what is important to you - If we aren’t intentional about how we spend time we can easily get caught up working longer hours or wasting time focusing on mindless activities like watching T.V. Schedule time to do what is most important to you. Do first things first as the late Steven Covey said.
10. Reach out and connect with others – When we are connected with others we are happier and more vibrant. Who can you reach out to today? Pick up the phone and call someone, or send a message to an old friend on Facebook whom you want to grow closer to.
11. Remember that life requires effort – Work at changing your problems and lifting a negative mood. When we accept that life isn’t always easy it immediately makes dealing with obstacles more reasonable. Things don’t seem as bad when we don’t always expect things to go well. Embrace challenges when they emerge
12. Be kind to yourself – You are the most important person to take care of. This includes mentally and physically. If you aren’t healthy you can’t help other people. Learn to forgive yourself and nurture your health and well-being having self-compassion.
13. Listen to others but follow your own music – Be willing to take advice from others and listen to their ideas. You may even want to seek feedback from trusted mentors and role-models. Ultimately though, follow your own views and convictions. Do what you believe is right and don’t be afraid to be different.
14. Don’t forget how to dream and practice often – If there is one thing that can help us live more fully it is to allow ourselves to dream and think big. It is easy to get stifled by the negativity of doubters, but allow yourself to hold on to your dreams. If you have enough faith you will accomplish anything.
15. Do nothing for once – Make time for relaxation and rest. Enjoy a nap or a soak in a hot tube. Getting rest and relaxation is an essential factor in being as productive as possible.
16. Do something adventurous and new – When things get dull and boring shake it up by trying something new or unusual. Open yourself to new possibilities and opportunities by having new experiences.
17. Count your blessings – Reflect on what you appreciate. Answer this question, “I am thankful for…” Be grateful for all that you have and expect good things to happen. Start by making a list of all the nice things that have happened to you and people who have helped you lately.
18. Practice prayer and meditation – Make time for quiet reflection. Give your mind a break to gain clarity and relaxation. Take at least 10 - 15 minutes each day to be present and just watch your breathe, and use this time for spiritual contemplation and reflection.
19. Drop energy wasters – We only have a limited amount of time each day, so using our energy and efforts to produce the most effective results is crucial. Figure out what your biggest energy and time wasters are so you can drop them. Replace these activities with something more productive.
20. Focus on your strengths and positive qualities – It’s exhausting to try and improve all the things we’re no good at. When you use your strengths you will be more productive and your mood will improve. List your top strengths and ways you can start using these more often.
Select the ideas that stand out to you the most, and begin making small changes. Try incorporating a couple of them into your daily routine this week and see how it makes you feel.
What other ideas do you have to help someone be at their best? How can we make the most of each day?