If you’re feeling decidedly less than motivated, take heart in knowing you’re far from alone. The middle of the year brings the perfect storm of holidays being but a distant memory (and the next yet to hit even the planning stages), performance reviews and decidedly subpar weather. Here are some simple strategies to help you navigate your way through the mid-year blahs - and reignite some excitement into your psyche.
Understand the ‘enemy’
Central to motivation is being interested in your goals – it is impossible to sustain interest in your day to day tasks if your long and short term goals no longer hold your interest, says Alex Kingsmill, Director, Upstairs Coaching Consultancy.
A great start to the mid-year mental refresh is to sit down and assess where you are at, where you are going – and what role your current job plays in this trajectory. If this exercise reveals little interest in what you’re currently doing, nor any benefit for your future, it may be time to consider a shake-up.
A great start to the mid-year mental refresh is to sit down and assess where you are at, where you are going, and what role your current job plays in this trajectory.
Motivation also relies heavily on a belief that you're able to achieve it, Alex says. “Even if you’re interested in your goal, if you think you have no hope of achieving it, you will lose motivation, and fast,” she says.
Perhaps, for example, you’re working your way towards a more creative role in your industry, but you remember your fifth-grade teacher saying you were terrible at writing. Or you want to move into middle management, but you spent your childhood being told you’re not much of a people-person. “If your self-belief isn’t there, you could well be subconsciously dragging your feet – and are unlikely to be feeling filled with enthusiasm,” Alex says.
If you suspect self-belief may be holding you back, a career coach, HR manager or psychologist can help you build an objective understanding of your skill set, and challenge confidence busting self-doubts.
Reset the goal posts
Slumps can also occur when you’ve been working towards a goal for a while, and you’re feeling fatigued – leaving you tired with a loss of focus and confidence, says Alex. “If you’ve been working on a goal for a while without an opportunity to replenish your reserves, you will eventually fall into a slump,” she says.
The first thing to do is take a short break to replenish your energy levels. Choose activities that you love, that make you feel good, and commit some time and energy to them. Then return to the original goal and see if you're still interested in it. “If not, tweak the existing goal, or choose a new one altogether,” Alex says.
Stay on top of your health
Don’t underestimate the role of a healthy diet and plenty of exercise when it comes to pumping up your motivation. Soups and smoothies are great for the time poor, and can be prepacked and placed in the freezer for busy times – and lunchtime walks in the fresh air are brilliant for getting the blood flowing.
Put these simple tricks to work, and you’ll have a renewed spring in your step in no time.