“How to find motivation” is a question I get asked often, and was a question I typed and googled the hell out of in the past.
I used to get crazy trying to find ways to get motivated and then remain motivated for prolonged periods back in college. But I realised it is a very unreliable fella, this motivation!
What I have now been focusing on instead is creating systems that work for me. I believe the system, routines and life we create is supposed to work for us. We are not supposed to work for it!
It isn’t supposed to be difficult to follow a routine/system. If you are struggling, you are creating the wrong system. Maybe that system works for someone else, but doesn’t for you.
This is truly an art and a lifelong practice to keep creating and altering our systems/routines to suit our constantly changing selves.
And yes, this process of ongoingly reviewing and realigning your systems/routines can feel difficult initially when you are just setting out to explore this world. One cause of that difficulty I have observed is that the person creating the system feels frustrated that ‘they’ failed when they are having to make some changes in the system. They feel that ‘they’ couldn’t follow the system. This mindset can really drain out a tonne of your energy if you are wanting to create systems that work for you. This mindset will just rip you off of all the joy and creativity and curiosity of the ongoing process of building systems.
It is key to understand that when a system isn’t working, it is not your fault. You are not less or small or incapable or lazy or whatever other reducing adjective you feel you are—NO. You have a life, and that life has seasons/phases, and a good system is one that expects those ebbs and flows as a normal occurrence. A good system considers breaks, rest period, room for error etc as the standard and not an anomaly. A large part of my work as a Creativity Coach is helping people identify who they are, what their needs are, and how to create a sustainable system that serves their needs.
Systems and routines help in forming muscle memory. Your body just starts to do a certain thing at a certain time then. You don’t have to face decision fatigue then nor keep waiting for the unreliable guest— motivation. Of course you need regular check-ins to see if the system needs any alterations. This can be done by either setting up monthly meetings on the calendar with your own self to take a stalk of how things have been going, and figuring out if you wish to make any changes. If doing it by yourself isn’t working effectively for you at the start, having these review meetings along with a friend or a coach can help bring in more structure, accountability and ease.
Creating systems can help with almost anything—including but not limited to writing, exercising, reading, painting, studying, etc. And I’m here to support you along the way, while I myself smoothly sail through some systems and have a bumpy ride on some others.
Some reflective questions for you to journal:
1. Am I looking for motivation to do something? Yes/No?
2. What is it that I want to do but unable to?
3. Do I really want to do what I say I want to do? If yes, let me list all the reasons why I want to do it.
4. Why might I be struggling to get to doing what I really want to do? Let me list all possible reasons.
5. Can I create the very simplest tiniest system to get started with what I want to do in a way that seems like least resistance to me?
6. Set a weekly/monthly reminder on your calendar to check in whether the system is working for you or if you’d like to make some changes.
P.S.—If you wish to have me as your creativity coach, I’m currently taking bookings for Oct. You can schedule a complimentary 15min Discovery call to understand if we’d be a right fit for each other.