Yes, big life goals are inspiring, but we all have those days when they feel far out of reach. Much like our emotions, our motivation may come and go. On days when it is dwindling, accomplishing the smaller steps that pave the way towards our goals may seem nearly impossible. Feeling dispirited, like you will never reach your goal? Questioning how your present daily life will bring you to your lifelong objectives?
Have you heard of “reframing” ?
Reframing as a mindset shifting tool?
Reframing is the practice of linking the smaller everyday tasks to the larger overarching goals you have established for yourself. The blockages we feel when we are in a state of demotivation can be unlocked when we realise the path we are paving to reach our goals. Our precious time and energy then find a purpose in all of the actions we undertake as they each contribute to the pursuit of the life we strive to build for ourselves.
Once smaller steps are linked to bigger goals, we can focus on seeing anything that falls in our way in a more positive and constructive light. Seeing blockages as challenges to be overcome, rather than a hard “no”, will set a constructive mindset thus supporting growth in all areas of our lives. Reframing obstacles ensures we are always seeing the bigger picture rather than staying focused on an isolated problem.
How can reframing bring back motivation?
All this time spent at home, and maybe in isolation, during the past few months may have led you to reexamine your life. You may have decided to make big changes and set inspiring goals to achieve a life more in tune with your desires. But big lasting changes involve a commitment to shift your lifestyle every single day, in other words a good amount of motivation. This may prove challenging when setbacks arise on your path to your newfound goals.
Change is not an easy undertaking, particularly when it involves a daily commitment. When motivation wanes, it is helpful to remind ourselves of why we embarked on this journey to begin with. You may explore what drives you: what gets you moving forward? You can look at the bigger picture: a life lived fully, a professional milestone, a personal accomplishment. Seeing the future in goals broken down into smaller steps and paved with rewards along the way can help reframe and bring motivation back.
Notice yourself getting demotivated by a situation? Challenge yourself to see it differently! Only you can overcome blockages, which in turn means growth and a step closer to your goals.
Approach each situation as an opportunity to perceive it, analyse it and draw conclusions from it differently. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What are the worst things that could have happened?
- What lesson have I learnt from this?
- What can I do differently the next time I find myself in this situation?
Helpful Habit: Remembering your achievements
Last week we explored how breathing could put you back into a state of present awareness, pulling our minds out of bleak scenarios and negative thoughts. This week’s exercise draws from your past experiences by remembering where you started and acknowledging past achievements to bring motivation back into your day.
Wanting to overachieve during your day can be the enemy of motivation. It is important to keep in mind that we are not machines and as such our levels of productivity or effectiveness cannot be the same everyday. In this context, everything you are doing each and every single day, regardless of how much or how little, is enough. It can be helpful to break down a particular project into smaller tasks and accomplish them one by one. Once you acknowledge the many small steps you have taken, it is much easier to be grateful for the progres you have already traveled.
Next time you feel like you have not achieved anything:
- Make a list of things you have done today, this week, this month or year.
- Reward yourself! Establish milestones, this can also be seen as a number of achievable tasks. This way of delaying the reward, particularly effective for those who struggle with self discipline, makes the prize just that much more meaningful. Once you reach each one these small objectives, celebrate your accomplishments.
- Fully enjoy your reward, whether it is a delicious cup of coffee or a two-day staycation.
If this topic resonates with you and you’d like to discuss this further, you can have a virtual cuppa with Sandra by clicking here.