In one of my journals I keep a running list of ideas for blog posts, podcasts, etc. I add an idea to the list every day. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes I look back on what I wrote and think “why on earth would I want to do anything with that?”
Some days I sit down to write a post and already know what I’m going to write about, but on other days I pull out my journal and flip through some of those ideas. I think of it as banking my motivation to write. Once I have an idea, it takes very little for me to write a post. It’s getting the idea that can be the challenge. When I note at least seven ideas every week, it’s usually not a problem for me to write my two posts a week.
There are often things that we don’t want to do in the moment. Some things we can’t put off without some pretty near-term consequences (doing the dishes, getting gas for your car, filing your taxes), and others that you can put off really forever, but could lead to big regrets later on (starting that podcast, exercising, going back to school, changing jobs, traveling when it’s safe again to do so).
People often put off things in both of these groups because they say they lack motivation, and we’re waiting for it to magically arrive. It won’t. Sometimes you have to drag it into your home / office / gym. Sometimes you need to bank it.
Want to be a writer, but can’t find the motivation to write? Write something every day, even if it’s just an idea for a blog post, a part of your novel, a memory for your memoir.
Needs to do some of those mundane tasks? Make a quick list of the benefits of doing them and the consequences of not. Be really clear and think not only short-term, but long term in terms of the benefits and consequences. When you feel like you’re lacking motivation, pull your list out.
This can work for big things like changing jobs, going back to school, ending a relationship, taking a trip and other such major decisions. Make a list of the short-term and long-term benefits and consequences of making your decision. Notice I didn’t say taking any action beyond that, but what’s going to happen if you don’t even decide to do or not to do what you’re considering.
Life happens. It doesn’t wait for you to feel motivated. It doesn’t wait for you to feel like getting out of your chair. It doesn’t wait for you to buy a new journal or suitcase. It doesn’t wait for inspiration to strike. Life happens and if you just let it, it will pass you by, with others making those decisions for you, often not to your liking.
Life happens so you have to make motivation happen too.