“Power Plus” against January Blues (2): How to Motivate Ourselves

In reality, we see the supposedly snowy white January in deepest gray. The period of holidays is over and there is no other sight. Indeed, there is hardly anything that people look forward to. Everyone is short of money after all the gifts and travel expenses. So it looks like a bad time to make the annual revised “good intentions” come true. Right? No. Read part two of the to-do’s against the “January Blues”.

By Jens Kügler

I, you, your staff––all of us: What can we do to motivate us right now? Here are some ways to do so.

Push-start yourself like a car. Think about the car which needs your help to get out of the snowy parking space. Move your mind like it. And for some time, fade out all doubts, negative thoughts and devaluing feedbacks. Everything negative slows down. Put on blinders––it’s not always bad––and focus on everything positive about you and your work. Maybe for a week, maybe two––and you will be mentally on top again and able to even cope with setbacks and losing streaks.

Paint yourself a picture of your aim in your mind. How would you look like in the mirror with twenty pounds less? How will the product that you will or have to complete in two or three weeks look and feel like? Imagine the project and the work result just figuratively rather than abstractly. Images create emotions. Emotions set free energies.

Build up pressure and “canalize” it. Do you know the secret key note of all people who are not always and excessively staying on task? It’s something you might describe as “pressure creates work” and explains why we like to hang behind at the beginning of a project and toil hard when the end of it comes near. If you know it, you maybe also share the moments of time pressure and deadlines creating motivational moments. Why is it so? Because we gain speed and self confidence with each and every hurdle that we successfully master. Therefore, it may be advisable to wait to start until the pressure is slowly noticeable––and divide the working range in small, achievable milestones.

Create some competition between you and your colleagues. Try to see a bit of a role model in those colleagues of you who are usually motivated and––in your view––successful. Compete with them. Exchange information on achievements and get carried away. Have you already achieved what your colleague still has to? Keep it up!

Celebrate each success. Act––in your way––like the “beast in the goal”: Klaus Thomforde. The successful former Bundesliga soccer goalkeeper of FC St. Pauli enthusiastically clenched his fists after every ball that he kept and carried out gestures that resembled the cheers of scorers. Every success, no matter how small, is an achievement for which we should reward ourselves. The clenched fist has the power of suggestion. It is associated with endorphins. So do it like Klaus, the “beast in the goal!”

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