The ZenHabits Blog on Motivation and Getting Out of a Slump

Zen Habits recently posted an interesting article on getting motivated, getting out of a slump. The 16 action steps were: (the text below is from ZenHabits, edited for length and so that I am not blatantly copying absolutely everything! 😉 )

  1. Focus on One Goal . . . if you are trying to do two or more goals at once . . . It’s not possible . . . choose One Goal, for now, and focus on it completely . . . You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
  2. Find inspiration. Inspiration . . . comes from others who have achieved . . . or who are currently doing it . . . Google [your] goal, and read success stories.
  3. Get excited. . . . it starts with inspiration . . . but you have to take that excitement and build on it . . . talking to . . . others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in [your] head) . . . [and then] carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.
  4. Build anticipation. . . . don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan . . . by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
  5. Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator . . . A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.
  6. Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly . . . hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
  7. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true.
  8. Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone . . . Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.
  9. Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below), and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.
  10. Stick with it . . . don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump.
  11. Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps . . .
  12. Build on small successes. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step . . . With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress . . .
  13. Read about it daily. When [you] lose motivation . . . just read a book or blog about [your] goal . . . For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about.
  14. Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email [ZenHabits]. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom . . . just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help.
  15. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties . . . instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it . . . instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.
  16. Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this . . .”

As always on ZenHabits, the points above were interspersed with engaging anecdotes. For example, on point 6:

. . . when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it . . .

Check out the original post and other posts on the ZenHabits blog. It’s got some great things to say.

One Response to The ZenHabits Blog on Motivation and Getting Out of a Slump
  1. poodlekrazee
    November 30, 2007 | 9:03 PM

    I have just read your recent article on passing along kindnesses and how we need more of that in our world today.
    I echo your opinions and thank you for bouying me up in my quest to make my own as well as other's lives just a little bit better.
    I am a baby boomer and have watched things change over the years-some of them not for the better! Your list of reasons why you feel things are different these days is right on.
    I have always tried to "be the change you want to see in this world". Of course, I cannot make a monumental change in the world by myself but I can begin the dominoe effect as often as I can and make things better for some of the world. If, by doing just that, we have changed the life of just one person, then it has all been worth it and we have been good and faithful servants.
    I firmly believe and have taught my children, that what you give out, comes back. It really works!! (If you work it…)
    I would like to ask you for an ebook. I guarantee that it will be paid forward ten-fold. I love treating others kindly and with respect-believe it or not, it's fun!!
    Thank you so very much for all of the help and positive upliftment that you so freely give to others that you do not know. That is your share of making the world a kinder and more positive place.
    Norma

The ZenHabits Blog on Motivation and Getting Out of a Slump

Zen Habits recently posted an interesting article on getting motivated, getting out of a slump. The 16 action steps were: (the text below is from ZenHabits, edited for length and so that I am not blatantly copying absolutely everything! 😉 )

  1. Focus on One Goal . . . if you are trying to do two or more goals at once . . . It’s not possible . . . choose One Goal, for now, and focus on it completely . . . You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
  2. Find inspiration. Inspiration . . . comes from others who have achieved . . . or who are currently doing it . . . Google [your] goal, and read success stories.
  3. Get excited. . . . it starts with inspiration . . . but you have to take that excitement and build on it . . . talking to . . . others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in [your] head) . . . [and then] carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.
  4. Build anticipation. . . . don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan . . . by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
  5. Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator . . . A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.
  6. Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly . . . hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
  7. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true.
  8. Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone . . . Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.
  9. Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below), and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.
  10. Stick with it . . . don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump.
  11. Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps . . .
  12. Build on small successes. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step . . . With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress . . .
  13. Read about it daily. When [you] lose motivation . . . just read a book or blog about [your] goal . . . For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about.
  14. Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email [ZenHabits]. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom . . . just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help.
  15. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties . . . instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it . . . instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.
  16. Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this . . .”

As always on ZenHabits, the points above were interspersed with engaging anecdotes. For example, on point 6:

. . . when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it . . .

Check out the original post and other posts on the ZenHabits blog. It’s got some great things to say.

One Response to The ZenHabits Blog on Motivation and Getting Out of a Slump
  1. poodlekrazee
    November 30, 2007 | 9:03 PM

    I have just read your recent article on passing along kindnesses and how we need more of that in our world today.
    I echo your opinions and thank you for bouying me up in my quest to make my own as well as other's lives just a little bit better.
    I am a baby boomer and have watched things change over the years-some of them not for the better! Your list of reasons why you feel things are different these days is right on.
    I have always tried to "be the change you want to see in this world". Of course, I cannot make a monumental change in the world by myself but I can begin the dominoe effect as often as I can and make things better for some of the world. If, by doing just that, we have changed the life of just one person, then it has all been worth it and we have been good and faithful servants.
    I firmly believe and have taught my children, that what you give out, comes back. It really works!! (If you work it…)
    I would like to ask you for an ebook. I guarantee that it will be paid forward ten-fold. I love treating others kindly and with respect-believe it or not, it's fun!!
    Thank you so very much for all of the help and positive upliftment that you so freely give to others that you do not know. That is your share of making the world a kinder and more positive place.
    Norma