3 Tips to boost your Midlife Motivation!

motivation Jan 14, 2021

How did you start your day........?  

  • Check your cell phone while brushing your teeth?
  • Made coffee, tea or smoothie while packing kids lunch, unload the dishwasher and cleaned the cats litter box?
  • 7 minute exercise on You Tube while listening to an audiobook on motivation?
  • Getting dressed while loading the washer and feeding the dogs?
  • Read a book or joined a bible study?
  • Practiced self-care or volunteered?

Sound like an overload of questions, right!  As Jim Rohn mentioned: 

“Motivation is what get you started; Habit is what keeps you going.”

What motivated you to do all these things?

  • family
  • habit
  • guilt
  • routine
  • passion or purpose

How do you keep yourself motivated? Or even better, where do you start to connect with your inner motivation, or find the energy to getting back to your purpose and passion that seem like a lot of work?

Many of us have fallen into daily repetitive habits. According to scientists, “habits emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort”.  In the long term, how do we benefit from our repetitive habitual tendencies?  When our lives get busier and more complex our habits increase.  Because of this we often feel overwhelmed and demotivated. 

It’s like being slowly suffocated by an elephant in the room. 

This is how one of my clients described it to me during one of our sessions. She was in a seven week preparation period to relocate back home but was overwhelmed with everything she needed to get done. The idea of going back to her home country, starting a new season overwhelmed her. After being an expat mom for more than 15 years, raising three kids, seeing them off to college and now an empty nester. She frequently found herself falling back into her old routine and had a real hard time getting motivated to begin, or even change her daily routine (habits). After years of caring for her loved ones, dedicating her time, love and support to there well being.  She found herself in a new season but unintentionally kept living in the previous season.  She lost her umpf (motivation) to change her habits. 

It's like knowing it's summer, but you keep on wearing your winter jacket and boots. 

What can you do to get your UMPF back? 

Let's look at 3 tips / techniques you can use to get your umpf back.  

1. Self-Awareness technique

Becoming more self-aware is the first step in many aspects of personal growth and to initiate change. The technique helps you become aware of what needs to be done vs. what is being done out of habit. The benefits of self-awareness allows you to see yourself and your circumstances more clearly, improve your decision-making, confidence, creativity and your ability to manage your emotions.

You can ask yourself various questions, for example;

  • “When am I at my best?”
  • “What situations make me feel terrible, and what do they have in common?”
  • “What is working well in my life today?”
  • "What do you think you could never, ever give up?

One of the best ways, I've found, to gain a better understanding of the self is the practice of asking and answering questions. Contemplating these questions helps you to gain a better understanding of yourself and your circumstances. 

2. "What if" technique

We all have the tendency to ask the what if questions. For most that could bring up negative emotions and put you on a path of regret, guilt and negativity. At times, we all fall in the trap of focusing on what we've lost instead on what we will gain. Let's turn the outcome of the what if questions to focus on how you will benefit from it.  This time, ask yourself ones that help you imagine a positive future. For example:

  • What if I choose to pursue my dream job? 
  • What if I can do it? 
  • What if I'm good enough?
  • What if midlife is fun?

Positive “what-if” questions provide possibilities. They give you a way to see a potential future that is one you want. Allow your “what-if” questions to help you change your focus and mindset. 

3. Replacement technique

So, you've got the self-awareness and what if under the belt. Now it's time to take action. Replacing your habit pattern with a new goal / habit that is suitable to your current situation and that you look forward to. Don’t dwell on the reasons why you failed to accomplish the goal. Instead, acknowledge all those small steps on your journey that went well because that is what truly matters. Start with 

  • identify habits that now longer serve you
  • identify new habits 
  • choose one you want to start with
  • leave space for when "life happens" and eliminate the word "failure" from your vocabulary
  • have fun

In addition to replacing the habit and maintaining motivation, include an accountability partner. Having a trustworthy person you can count on is precious.  Establishing a solid support system when getting your umpf back is well worth the effort.  This support system could include, but not limited to

  • close friend
  • support group
  • professional coach
  • partner or family member

Whatever your choice is, all these people have the same role and one goal in common – to help you get motivated so that you overcome your slump.

I love the book by Charles Duhigg. 

“Habits can be changed, if we understand how they work” – Charles Duhigg.

In his book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg refers to “The Habit Loop”.  

“This process within our brains is a three-step loop. 

First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit it use.

Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional.

Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future”  “Cue – Routine – Reward”

Change your life; change your habits.

Know that you are not alone, support and understanding is just around the corner. Embrace the new season in your life, you might be very pleasantly surprised!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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