With the new year comes new habits and new motivation. Last year I had a lot of plans that I had written down, and while I was being very disciplined about implementing them, life happened. In fact my life changed dramatically within the first month of the new year, last year. Now I am just taking it all one day at a time, but instead of drudgingly handling my business, like I was last year, I am finding renewed passion for what The Lord has placed right in front of me.
As I am writing this I am actually not feeling well at all. I’ve been dealing with bronchitis for the past three weeks which I think was brought on by adding a real evergreen wreath to my home, which after reading online isn’t a very good idea for someone who has allergies. So, finding my daily motivation hasn’t been easy, and I have learned when my daily goals are too many my motivation lacks. However, I have learned a few things about finding motivation even when I am not feeling well, or when life throws you a curve ball, we can still find our motivation to live.
In 2017 my blog will be taking a new direction as well. I have always posted devotionals, and I will continue to do that. But I am also going to write about the writing process, goals, motivation, college, journaling, and so much more. Usually I would start a new website for all these things, but hopefully whoever reads what I write will find what I post here useful, and most of all inspirational. My goal is to inspire you in every area of your life, especially your relationship with God.
Writing everyday has been one of the most difficult habits for me to form. This year I finally took my blog post planning offline with a blog post planner. So I outline my blog posts at night, and write them out here on my blog in the morning. At least that’s the plan for the new year. But finding the motivation to do so isn’t always easy. Often I wonder why I run away from the one thing that I am really sure about in this life, or the one thing that truly helps me to live, and process, my life?
This year is definitely going to be a year of routines for me. I have learned that small habits lead to motivation and daily purpose. I am not a very structured person, however, I am learning new ways to find structure without it feeling so boring or rigid. The small habits that I form do help me to feel motivated throughout the day even if I am not feeling all that great.
When we avoid our small daily habits we lose our focus and motivation. Starting college was not an easy thing to do, but it is a dream I’ve always had and it most definitely was a pressing that I feel God had placed on my heart. One daily habit I started implementing was reading for 30 minutes throughout the day. I have an alarm that tells me to read at certain times of the day. I had found that I can plan to read certain chapters for certain classes, however, thinking about reading an entire chapter in one day, or one sitting, truly overwhelmed me. So now I just commit to 30 minutes at certain times a day, it is a daily habit, and I get all my reading done for all of my classes done within a reasonable amount of time. Now that college is on break I have gotten away from my daily reading habit, however I do have “fun” books to read that I think I will start reading throughout the day when my reading alarms go off just so I can get back into the habit before school starts again.
Too much focus on what we want can make us lose motivation. Sometimes our focus is too much on where we are going, what we can get out of life or this new project, or even what kind of fulfillment it will bring us. For me I can be too focused on wanting to get my college degree than I am about being a good student, or doing the work that is even required to achieve that degree.
Everything in life is a process and if we are always focused on what we want we won’t enjoy the process, nor will we be motivated to the daily work that is required in order to achieve our goals in life.
Stress comes when we lose our focus. SO often we focus on the events, people, judgements, criticism, and negativity while none of this offers any sort of motivation or help in our lives.
Yes, sometimes we need to step away from the people who judge us, complain about us behind our backs, or who criticize every decision that we make. But we also need to step away from being the complaining judgmental person who criticizes everything other people do, too.
It’s amazing how finding my daily motivation has actually taught me many lessons about grace, having fun, and living in the moment.
Here are 5 ways to regain your daily motivation when you’ve spent too much time focusing on the wrong things:
- Shift your perspective – what you do is a gift to others. For me I have to change my perspective on my writing. Instead of thinking of my writing as something as an outlet to simply express my opinion, which is dangerous because when I use it to express my opinion I tend to focus on the things that cause me to lose my motivation in the first place. I need to shift my perspective and think about how I can use my writing to make a positive contribution to the world. I try to write from a standpoint of giving someone a gift, or some encouragement. I want to live my life giving instead of always thinking about what I can get, or by thinking of ways I can boost my own ego.
- Self-care is something we do to maintain our motivation. Earlier I had mentioned that I have “fun” books to read. While in school sticking to my daily reading habit started to get boring towards the end of the semester. I remember one day not wanting to read and I kept feeling this urge to pick up one of my “fun” books to read instead. To me that just didn’t make sense because I didn’t want to read, at all. But I went ahead and read one of my books that was not school related and it helped to motivate me to read my book for school. Self-care doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It can simply be something to break up the routine of life. In that moment for me it was reading a book other than the one I needed to read in that moment. I was avoiding my “fun” books because I thought I would be wasting time and I felt I should read the mandatory books before having any “fun” reading. But self-care always gives us more time because we live a daily life of being more motivated than if it’s just work and no rest or play. Even though we try to stick to our daily habits, we can be flexible. When it was time for me to read, I just read a different book. I have also found having 2 days throughout the week where I can break away from routines and habits help me to feel a lot more motivated throughout the week, too.
- Procrastinating vs. self-care. There is a difference between procrastinating and self-care. Just this morning I was procrastinating sticking to my new morning writing habit. As I was scrolling through Pinterest I knew it wasn’t self-care because I was motivated to write. Some might say it’s writer’s block, but it’s not, I think it is truly just self-doubt. When I procrastinate I am literally just doubting myself. When it comes to that point the only thing I can do is just start without having the pressure of finishing. This is when focusing on those small habits help. Doing one small habit at a time helps us to move past our self-doubt, or procrastination.
- Don’t get lost in the events that are out of your control. Too much focus on what’s going wrong can make us use up our energy on things we can’t control. This is so easy to do given our connected world and the news that we are bombarded with, we focus on so much that is out of our control. I like to focus on my daily habits because they are the things I can control, for the most part. Writing is how I combat a lot of the hatred that exists in the world. Sometimes I can be quick to criticize people for not doing enough, and I even criticize myself for not being able to “change the world.” We all want to make the world a better place, and sometimes the best way we can do that is with the life that God has already given us. Life is sad and tragic sometimes, and when we get lost in thinking about how sad and tragic it is then we will begin to believe that it is always sad and tragic, but it’s not always like this. Even in the tragic and sad moments we have an opportunity to be giving, kind, gracious, and loving. Even though we may not have a choice as to what happens to us in this life, we always have a choice on how we are going to live our lives every single day.
- Focusing on today helps us to make the best of every day. Such a small task and yet it is so difficult to do sometimes. Focusing on today doesn’t mean we aren’t planning for the future. It simply means we have a direction to go in our life and every day we are making small steps towards reaching that goal. Our daily actions need to be something where if we never reach our goal they still made a difference in our life, and most importantly they made a positive impact on the lives of those around us. We always talk about how it’s not about the destination but it’s about the journey. The biggest impact, and the most motivation you will find will be in focusing on today.
One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 20:26, it says:
but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
I think this scripture sums it up perfectly, when we lose our motivation we need to just focus on what it means to serve God and others.
P.S. As my gift to you, please feel free to download the Matthew 20:26 scripture image I designed for my etsy shop: Matthew 20:26 Scripture Image Print
Our faith begins with what we know and believe about God. Our faith will carry us how far we are willing to let it take us. Faith is a choice and we need to begin by choosing to believe in Jesus and His power to move mountains, heal the sick, and save us from all our sins through His sacrifice on the cross.