You might find that some days you open your laptop and crack on, raring to go. Other days, you have to force yourself off the couch to reach for the remote control. Sound familiar?
That’s because motivation isn’t constant.
There’s a handy model I like to keep in mind when I’ve fallen off the wagon and already broken my healthy eating new year’s resolution, or whatever it might be.
Phase 1: The Hype
Before starting something new, you may feel unmotivated, nervous and somewhat skeptical that you’re going to stick with it this time. But once you get started and into the groove of things, your motivation typically goes through the roof (you should’ve seen how much salad I ate during the first week of Jan!)
Peak 1: The Honeymoon
Your motivation has reached an all-time high. You’re bossing and can’t understand why you didn’t do this sooner, it feels good and you’re on track. There’s no way back now! You’ve got this!
This peak lasts for a few weeks. Or days. Or hours. Until the plummet.
Phase 2: The Plummet:
The honeymoon is well and truly over. Reality sets in and your motivation starts to decrease, which is totally normal. Until the dreaded lapse.
Trough 1: The lapse
The lapse feels rubbish. This is where a lot of people get stuck and negative thoughts creep in…”I’m a failure”, “I’ll never be able to do this”, “I knew this would happen”.
However, the lapse is where we have the greatest ability to learn, grow and get stronger (lemons into lemonade).
Phase 3 – Infinity and Beyond: The slips and surges
After your first lapse, you’ll experience motivational highs and lows well into the future. This is normal and to be expected. That’s because motivation isn’t constant. It ebbs and flows. So try not to get too discouraged when you slip as a surge is right around the corner.
It’s perfectly reasonable, and a normal response, that these peaks and troughs in motivation may feel even more pronounced and frequent right now, with the extra pressures we’re all under. So it can help to work with a coach to help you manage these and get help to ensure you don’t stay in a trough for too long.
For support and exploratory conversations tackling feelings of demotivation, coaching is a thought-provoking, transformational and at times challenging experience. You will see your world in a whole new light, which in turn will lead you to think differently and take action. You can read more about the coaching opportunities I offer here.
You may also find my upcoming workshop with Lucy Gower useful – together we will be exploring how to move from living in a fog and feeling demotivated; to being focused and uplifted, thinking creatively and overcoming challenges. The session is for anyone who is responsible for leading and motivating a team, and who would like to build their resilience and creative problem solving skills – find out more here.