Mindfulness and motivation go hand in hand when you’re working toward anything, or even just trying to live life fully as opposed to being stuck in survival mode. Mindfulness can help you conquer anxiety, fear, and depression, while motivation – especially the kind that simmers instead of exploding and then vanishing – can help you to achieve what you want to achieve. However, this motivation has to last… and that’s where the tricky part comes in. How do you keep yourself motivated and encouraged mindfully and consistently?
Luckily for us, mindfulness practices have been shown to naturally increase focus, motivation, and creativity without a lot of effort or time on your part. Amazing, right? Well, we sure think so =). Your mindfulness practice will not only help you, but it will help your entire team, at the very least because you will be more patient, compassionate, and collaborative with them. If you can get your entire team or company to embrace mindfulness practices, your work and company will become a force to be reckoned with… in the best ways possible, no less!
7 Short Mindful Motivation Exercises
1. Motivational Meditation. Instead of only focusing on your breathing when you meditate, focus on one specific word or phrase while you sit. If you’re having trouble completing a certain project, you might focus on the phrase, “I will finish this project this week (or whatever amount of time is reasonable but slightly challenging).” If you’re meditating without anything specific in mind, you may choose to focus on one word or phrase such as, “Focus,” “Abundance,” or, “I have all the energy I need to get things done today.” This will help you to begin programming your subconscious mind to be more effective, efficient, creative, and focused.
2. Musical Motivation. Music can be a powerful tool to help you get just about anything done, so find the music that motivates you to get going. You may even have two or three different types of music you like to listen to for specific tasks; for example, if you’re writing but get distracted by song lyrics, you may choose to listen to electronic instrumental, classical, or movie soundtrack music without words. Each person may have their own idea about what kind of music to listen to for which task, but if you want to get everyone to feel happier almost immediately, blast a fun, up-beat song in the entire office and have everyone get up and do something physical. They can dance, yell, laugh, wiggle, do jumping jacks, whatever… as long as people get on their feet for five minutes and reset their physiology.
3. Expert Motivation. The motivational and personal development genres are full of amazing books that inspire, motivate, teach, and were specifically written to help people. You can easily find short videos on YouTube; I recommend finding 3-5 channels you enjoy watching and that connect with your inner values and make you feel inspired. You can also find videos or podcasts on iTunes or various websites. For some, Ted Talks are inspirational and motivational fodder as well, and you can find many of those on YouTube as well as on the Ted Talks website. Last but not least, there are a number of authors who have put their audio books on YouTube for everyone to benefit from. The amount of inspiring and motivational content is amazing, and you don’t even have to spend any money to benefit from it.
4. Do Something Different. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, blah, unmotivated, and dredging through the tasks you’re working on more slowly than usual, it might just be time to take a step back for a little while. This could be something as simple as meditating for two minutes, or you could take an hour or two and go for a walk, clean the house, or go to the gym. No matter what you decide to do with this time, be present in the moment and make it a point not to think about your project at all. If you do start thinking about it, guide your thoughts gently back to what you’re doing right now.
5. Seek Out Guided Meditation. There are free resources out there such as guided meditation that is specifically designed for certain things. For example, a guided meditation for relaxation and easing stress may not be the same as a guided meditation for motivation or organization. Look around, find one you like, and use it for a week to begin seeing the effects more obviously. If you find that it no longer works as well or you’d like to “move up,” then find a new one =). You may need to do some exploring to find the meditations that work best for you and your unique life or situation, so have fun with it. When it begins to impact your life, you won’t regret it!
6. Appreciation Motivation. Choose to focus not on the end goal, but on the journey there. This helps to amplify the seemingly “little” steps into separate adventures, so to speak, each with its own unique challenges, lessons, and growth potential. By paying closer attention to the individual steps (or smaller milestones), you subconsciously give more focus to it and do better work. If you combine this with meditation, you will find that each day becomes more and more enjoyable and productive.
7. Frustration Motivation. This sounds counterintuitive, but frustration can be a valuable tool to help point you in the right direction when you run into obstacles. If you find yourself more frustrated with what you’re doing than not, it may be time to switch gears, overhaul your method, or ask around to see if your frustration is shared so the team can solve the problem together.
No matter who you are or what your mission is, remember that you have the power to motivate yourself, calm yourself, or stress yourself out. Though this is easier said than done in the moment (especially if frustration has begun building up), you can take a minute before reacting and choose to stay calm or just come back to it later. “Let me get back to you on that,” is a much better response than anything negative or reactive, so keep leading mindfully… even on days when you’re not feeling your best. And what if you slip up? Forgive yourself and let it go. Move on. Keep moving.
Need some help with your mindfulness practice? The Mindful Moments can certainly help!
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