Week 19: Do not shower for three days.

I had a down moment yesterday. I was sitting behind a computer on campus thinking of what I could do next, as I had 20 minutes to spare. “Writing your blog post that was due LAST Saturday would be somewhat nice!” I thought to myself. Following that I opened up the page to write my post and felt instantly unmotivated to even write a single line. Was I supposed to apologise? But I told myself I would never do that. Have I still been having fun with writing this blog? Do I really want to think of something to write at least 500 words again? I thought of my friend who after a short post was disappointed and was awaiting a lecture on how you should overcome your fears. But actually didn’t feel like writing anything motivational at all? I was feeling really negative about the whole blog and probably also the project.

But then I looked around me onto the empty space that is our Student Association space while Norah Jones was singing gently out of the speakers and I remembered something a person said two days ago. During a committee meeting (that I was actually not supposed to be at), the treasurer person was analysing the trend of how people at the beginning of the term are extroverted and motivated but then towards the end the motivation is lost and people tend to be introverted and not willing to leave their comfy warm houses. Remembering that hit me and the rebellious part of me did not want to give in to some trend and lose motivation!

 It is the sad truth that we tend to be much more motivated and determined at the beginning of any period but lose those positive features along the way. Be it a new term, a new year, a new project, a new diet or a new plan, at the beginning we are so excited about things and we tell ourselves that this time the determination is going to stick around for a longer period. But the truth is that we lose our motivation and get tired of things and want something “new” to refresh ourselves. 

Simple example: Think of when you have to write an essay. You start off with the Introduction and give it a lot of thought, because you want to do your best. You even look words up and change your sentences around to see what sounds best. You go on towards the main block and your willingness to look things up decreases. You don’t try to change sentences around anymore, maybe you fix little details. When you reach the conclusion you practically just write a draft and leave it be. Do you still want to read over it in depth? Probably not. (Obviously everyone is different and this might not apply to everyone.) The thing is that we feel like that during our lives as well. We succumb to this trend. And the trend persists every time there is a beginning of something.

We tell ourselves that we need a break to recharge our batteries, to think things over and make new plans. At this precise moment I am actually hitting this phase really hard. I have two days left of the term and I just can’t wait to go back home for the holidays to recover from my “tiredness”, to start the new year with refreshing new ideas, to find the energy to start revising. The question is if it really helps ad if we can keep going like that? What if at some point you will not have the opportunity to recharge you batteries? What can help us to stay motivated without taking a break?

Well one thing that is known to keep people motivated is rewards. After getting the satisfaction of achieving something, you get a push of motivation again. But sometimes the rewards are far away and lose their importance. So what can we do now?
Simple: CHANGE YOUR MINDSET! As I just realised, I just got motivated to write this post by a simple change of mind, by the fact that I didn’t want to follow a trend and become a “loser”. And usually the only way to get motivated again, is to just get up and to do it! This is going to be the message for this challenge!

Now back on track to the challenges. Not showering for three days was relatively harder than other challenges. I was happy I could wash my hair again and I probably took the longest shower then. Actually writing this makes me want to jump in the shower again. In context of what I wrote before this (and me desperately imagining a link between the two), not showering could be a sign of us losing our motivation. I know for myself that not bothering about my looks is something that happens when I am losing motivation. I just throw random clothes at myself in the morning and rather stay in bed for another half an hour than taking a shower. My hair can go on like that for another day, right?

To conclude I would say that fixing these little signs actually help you to keep your motivation. It is a paradox as you need the motivation in first place to do those things. But thinking at a small step is easier than thinking about the big final project. Give yourself the only task to just get out of bed and the rest will hopefully come naturally. Note to self.

 Sorry for the lack of pictures and the amount of text. And thank you Janis for inspiring this post. (doubt that you will read this.)

 M.

 

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