Finding My Motivation: How Do You Stay on Track?

I move at a snail’s pace in the morning so getting my daughter to daycare and then driving to work can sometimes be challenging. Okay – a lot of times. I try not to complain too much because, really, I don’t know anyone who likes getting up in the morning.

Early mornings feel like a battle but once I’m over that hump and I’m at work doing my thing, my mood elevates significantly. I have the best job in the world. Getting there is the hardest part.

This week I’ve felt a resurgence of my motivation. I’ve been painting and writing poetry every day and I get excited when I think about all the possibilities and opportunities for writers and artists. 

But possibilities and opportunities quickly vanish if you’re not willing to work for them. It’s time to be honest about my time and effort. Sure, this week has gone well so far, but for the past month or so I haven’t been doing as much as I’d like. I was swallowed whole by a nasty mental and physical funk. 

How do you recover?

Are you good at giving yourself a kick in the butt when needed?

Do you let yourself rest? Do you give yourself grace? 

Better question – how do you know when to give yourself grace rather than a kick in the butt?

Of course, I know you need to rest when you don’t feel well, but there are also times when I feel I should be pushing myself and I’m not. 

I have a sense of guilt because I feel sometimes I am too comfortable with my excuses. Why is it so hard to start something but once you’re doing it, you’re totally fine? Why is it sometimes so hard to get off the couch and shut off the TV? I know it’s important to relax but I spend a lot of time wondering what else I could have done with my time.

Can you relate?

I have a lot of ups and downs with my mental health so when I’m feeling productive I have to take advantage of it because who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow. 

When I have a busy day and get a lot accomplished, I feel really good. It usually has a really positive effect on my mental health. I wish I felt that way every day.

Even though I want to accomplish a lot, there will always be something. Life interferes and you’re never 100 percent. All I can do is learn and adapt. That’s a tough realization. It feels sad but in a way, it is also a relief. I don’t have to be 100 percent. I’m getting older and perfection doesn’t exist anyway.

How do you stay on track? Is it possible? Is staying on track even a thing?

With all the ups and downs in life maybe it makes more sense to “go with the flow” rather than “stay on track.” 

How do you feel about this? Do you feel guilty when you relax? Do you call yourself out when you’re making excuses? How do you find your motivation? Do you hate mornings as much as I do?



    Norman Vincent Peale said “I can get more done in 11 months than in 12.” For me that’s one part of the answer: give yourself permission for real time off. I’m seven years retired now, from a professional job where your head is always full of work 24/7. (I had to put on a backpack and truly get away for a week or two in order to totally relax and refocus.) In retirement all those things I wanted to do had to compete with all my defenses to keep work out and protect sanity. It’s taken several years to re-create myself.

  2. brightmoon says

    Yeah , I agree , working non stop on anything isntgood even if you love doing it. You’ll burn out .

  3. says

    I have a small bottle of rage sitting on my night table. There’s also a bunch of despair tablets. To get going in the morning, I was down some despair with a shot of rage, put my pants on, and get busy.
    I retired in 2018 and I’m busier than ever, mostly because being busy keeps me from having to stare into the nothingness.

  4. John Morales says

    A different perspective: one only needs motivation to do things one would not otherwise be inclined to do. Fair enough if those things are needful, not so wise otherwise.

    So. For me, easier to go with the flow.

  5. StevoR says

    I can relate. Absolutlely NOT a morning person and often wake up feeling tired and go to bed and can’t sleep becoz that’s how my body and mind “work” – for certain values thereof.

    1) How do you recover?

    Slowly and badly?

    2) Are you good at giving yourself a kick in the butt when needed?

    Not really.

    3) Do you let yourself rest? Do you give yourself grace? Better question – how do you know when to give yourself grace rather than a kick in the butt?

    Depends. Sometimes I have to let myself rest. Dunno. Grace is an odd choice of word in my view here. I do my best but I also find myself struggling at times. More and more really.

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