By: Naomi Matlow
“But here is the surprising thing about motivation: it often comes after starting a new behavior, not before. Getting started is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.”
– James Clear
One of the key characteristics to living a meaningful life is a dedicated practice, whatever it may be. We’ve been sharing ours with each other in our Monthly Mastermind Community.
These days, when time itself often feels inconsequential, it’s a great time to develop new practices for yourself, whether it be daily journaling, a quiet moment of meditation, or a solo walk.
The concept of “deliberate practice” in cultivating an expertise in something has been highly researched. According to the Harvard Business Review, deliberate practice “entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all.”
We don’t need to develop expertise, but having small reachable and deliberate goals that we can actualize everyday is a great motivator, especially during these turbulent times.
The reality we are living in can have effects on our motivation and concentration abilities. You are not alone if you are experiencing demotivation these days. It is important to accept that none of us are at “peak output mode”, as the world seems to be operating in “peak uncertainty mode”. Therefore, establishing small daily goals, and making these goals a dedicated practice, is enriching and can be very helpful to our moods as well.
When our momentum feels stagnant, we can create small momentums for ourselves — new routines, and small ritual practices that can help us stay in the present — especially today when there is not a clear timeline to so many aspects of our lives.
One of our favorite writers, humorists, and adventurers at Unsettled, Brendan Leonard, aka Semi-Rad, recently shared his essay, “How to Win When There’s No Finish Line” which speaks directly to this uncertainty, demotivation, and malaise so many of us are feeling these days. Brendan shares so eloquently that especially when there is no timeline, all we can do is take it one day at a time.
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Similarly, psychologist Maggie Mulqueen wrote for NBC News regarding the discomfort of a patient of hers on their ability to deal with what feels like a neverending quarantine, “I urged them to stay focused on the present as the best way to cope.”
One journal entry at a time. One stretch at time. One email at a time. One meal at a time. One recognition of gratitude at a time. One motivation at a time. One day at a time. We will get through it together, while apart.