Hands down, one of the most challenging aspects of being in business is sustaining our inspiration and motivation. Life has a natural ebb and flow, but it’s the ebb that can get us into trouble if we let it linger too long.
You may not be able to control the unexpected challenges that come your way. But you can put tools, tips and suggestions in place to deal with the bad news, the blahs and the loss of enthusiasm we all experience from time to time — and get your mojo back.
Editor’s note: watch a video featuring the top 10 ways to renew your spirit and get your mojo back.
How to Get Your Mojo Back
Get moving! This is especially important for those who have sedentary jobs.
Physical activity is a proven way to change your mood and attitude, not to mention physical appearance and fitness.
According to one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sedentary behavior increases our chances of getting a disease or a condition that will kill us prematurely, even if we exercise. Sitting is the new smoking.
Adopt an exercise routine, park farther away, walk the mall, take the stairs, and get up and move around during the day. Use a pedometer or step counter, and work your way up to the 10,000 steps a day that some health professionals advocate.
Focus on Positive Affirmations
Take a few moments before blasting into the day to focus on a positive thought, intention or idea. It establishes an effective mindset for the rest of the day.
Go to any bookstore, find some meditation books recommended for beginners, and get started. Or subscribe to one of the many websites that deliver daily affirmations right to your inbox!
Get Enough Sleep and Hydrate
Most of working America is sleep starved, trying to juggle family and work. It is suggested to get at least eight hours of sleep and drink eight glasses of water daily. Lack of sleep and hydration can drain our energy and motivation. When we get run down is when we can get sick.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible. Try to eat foods that boost energy naturally and give you stamina. Avoid the quick sugar shot. It is usually followed by an energy crash that makes you feel worse.
The right foods, at the right time of day, can make a big difference in our productivity and mood. Seek out power foods that boost business abilities, such as apples, walnuts and green tea.
Remind Yourself of Successes
Some people have a tendency to focus on the negative. If that sounds like you, try to break yourself of that bad habit by consciously focusing on recent successes. They don’t need to be huge successes — it’s more about the little daily successes. Remind yourself of a recent job well done or accomplishment.
When you allocate more of your mindshare to thinking about success, you feel more successful.
Adopt this trick that some people use: set a large clear jar on your desk. Add a marble or a dried bean to it each time you experience a win or achieve a goal. As it fills up over the weeks and months, you will be energized by ‘seeing’ your successes.
Go out and meet people. Or reach out to someone you haven’t talked with recently. With social media, Skype, mobile phones and texting, staying connected is easier than ever.
Avoid Negative Nellies
People who are downers will drag you down. You know them as soon as they walk into a room. Avoid them. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting ‘glass half full’ types. Their energy and positive attitude will rub off on you.
We all have natural ebb and flow cycles of energy and motivation. Part of being human is allowing ourselves to be where we are, but making a conscious effort to move ourselves out of these lapses in enthusiasm as soon as we can.
Throw yourself completely into the activity at hand. The more attention you put toward whatever you are doing, the less attention you will give to your worries.
Engage in a Hobby
Regardless of what your hobby is — be it painting, playing the guitar, crafts, playing basketball, creative writing or cooking — engage in it regularly. Hobbies allow us to be happy, joyful and get away from stressors that demotivate us. Some people actually find a way to turn their hobby into a business.
Change Your Look
Nothing can motivate you and get your mojo back faster than a makeover or an upstyle. A new hair cut and color, or some new clothes can not only change your attitude but others’ perceptions of you.
Whether you are young and just starting out, older and starting to fight some age bias, or in the sweet spot for your career — looking sharp, stylish and professional can influence people’s impression of you. First impressions are lasting impressions, so look awesome.
Plan a Getaway Near Water
Go on a day trip or long weekend near the beach or a lake. Large bodies of water generate negative ions. Negative ions are invisible molecules we inhale. They are believed to increase levels of serotonin in our bodies, helping to alleviate depression and increase our daytime energy.
Find Business Allies
Seek out and find like-minded people who share your values, ideas and philosophy. They will surround you with positive energy and support. They can be from your local Chamber of Commerce, industry organizations, or Web communities like LinkedIn Groups.
Take Care of The Whole You
Taking care of your “whole person” and refreshing your body, mind and spirit is a growing trend, as different generations want different things from their careers. Try taking up yoga, tai chi or Pilates. Or simply schedule and take a real vacation, without work.
Go through your stuff: closets, drawers, desk and garage. Clean up, throw out or give away. It is a freeing feeling.
De-clutter your workspace, including your email inbox. Make sure your daily routine is efficient and productive.
Cut back on commitments that take time away from family or hobbies that give you enjoyment.
Take a Class
Give your brain a workout. Take a low-cost or no-cost class offered through cities, counties or schools. There is something for every interest or fascination: music, art, writing, travel, cooking, hobbies, history, business, family or crafts.
Start A Journal
It’s amazing what comes out when you let your creative juices flow and just write. Get a special notebook, or start a private blog. Make it your creative, freestyle writing place. Spend some quiet time nurturing your creativity through writing.
Improve Time Management
We all have the same number of hours, but why is it that some people seem to have more time for family and hobbies, or get more done in the workday? It boils down to how you organize your day, prioritize activities and manage your time.
Plan out your daily and weekly schedule. Block out time for work, family, friends, fun and you.
If you need help, get a time management app or book, such as David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.”
The best way to keep things on track is to notice when they start to change. Pay attention to whether your output is slipping, you’re responding to messages late, or you’re missing deadlines. Making small tweaks and adjustments can get you back on track. Then you won’t have to make dramatic changes down the road.
Go ahead — think of something that makes you smile or laugh. Finding the humor in life is the healthiest way to live it. Besides, people enjoy being around fun people.
Take Up a Sport
If you have been wanting to take on a new sport, find people and groups to start the process with. Be persistent and make the commitment. This can be a BIG game changer in anyone’s motivation, as the journey becomes the most important accomplishment. The “getting started” and commitment will transform you.
We should all be kinder to ourselves. Reward yourself when you achieve a goal or something good happens in your business. Small daily wins lead to big wins. It’s cumulative. Reward yourself with a new blouse, an extra hour of sleep or scheduling lunch with an old friend. And don’t feel guilty. Enjoy it.
Finally, remember that most of us have more ability to control our energy levels, enthusiasm and motivation than we may realize. Don’t strive for perfect work-life balance or perfect happiness. You’ll just become frustrated when you can’t obtain them.
Instead, make daily choices. Take action everyday. Your mood will follow. Your spirit will feel renewed and you’ll soon get your mojo back.