Keeping motivated through tough times (Get Going)

This training plan is all about keeping motivated in tough times.

It lasts 12 weeks and through it you’ll be working on different focus areas in 2 week sprints. It’ll take you 30 minutes to get going now, and then 30-40 minutes to create your plan at the start of each 2 week sprint.

Oh, and some effort and commitment to follow your plan during that sprint.

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What's happening right now?

Some days you love your job. You’re really fired up, motivated and ready to go. You know you’re doing a great job – you’re efficient and focused – and you’re getting results. You’ve got a spring in your step coming to work and life is good.

Other times you couldn’t feel more different. It’s usually when things are challenging – there’s lots of change happening, you’re overloaded or things aren’t going well. At these times, your motivation can suffer. It can feel hard to get motivated or energised and your performance suffers.

Why it’s happening

For starters, it’s not unusual. It happens a lot and it typically happens because:

  • We’re in a changing world. Stuff happens day to day that affects our workload, how we feel and how well we can realistically do our job. Our motivation can suffer unless we’re ready for that.
  • Of other people’s actions. What people do – and don’t do – can affect our motivation. Their actions can affect how we feel about what we’re doing, how well we’re doing it and what value it has.
  • We think our motivation is beyond our control. We think it’s someone else’s job to motivate us. It’s not – it’s ours. That belief gets in the way of us making sure we’re doing all we can to keep motivated.

Your choices

You could choose to do nothing. That’ll take no time or effort and the problem might get better on its own.

However, that’s pretty unlikely. So the other option is to do something about it.

That’ll take some time and effort now and through the next 12 weeks, everyday. If you do choose this, you can expect to:

  • Be more productive and engaged in your work more of the time
  • Feel in control and in charge of your destiny
  • Be as ready as you can be to do your best, every day
  • Feel like you’re winning, no matter the conditions

Performance is a game of choices and now it’s up to you. Do nothing and hope or commit to getting better.

Dan's story

Dan has worked in the insurance sector for 20 years and he loves his job. But in the past couple of years, Dan has struggled a bit. There was a major restructure 18 months ago which didn’t go well and Dan was left to lead and support his team as best he could at a time despite not really knowing what was going on. His boss didn’t help much – she seemed to spend most of her time unfairly criticising him.

Dan was feeling pretty demotivated by all this. He felt like he couldn’t do his job properly and he knew he was starting not to care about how well he was doing things. He also knew he wasn’t doing a great job at leading others and he didn’t like feeling that way.

So he tried out this training plan. He learned how to take control of his motivation. He accepted the conditions he was in and cracked on with doing what he could do, and not worrying about the other stuff. His change in attitude and behaviour had a real impact on the team – he was supporting and leading them better and it set the tone for the whole team.

Dan feels much more in control of his motivation now. He knows that conditions will never be perfect but he can do loads to make sure he’s as motivated, energized and productive as possible. Still hates beetroot though.

Ready to get going?

If you’re ready to get better, you better get going.

Start off by setting some goals.

1. Get a starting point.

Rate yourself for where you are right now. You’re familiar with the idea of a scale of 1-10 where 1 is total rubbish and 10 is that it’s as good as it can get.

2.  Set a target.

Using the same high tech scale, set yourself a target for where you want to be on this. Choose a number that feels like a bit of a stretch and achievable with a bit of hard work in 12 weeks but is still realistic.

3. Think about the people who need to know that you’re using this tool

Tell them what you’re doing. That way they can support you and won’t think you’re just being weird.

Now get cracking!

You’re ready to crack on with your training plan!

You’ll be working in 2 week sprints over the next 12 weeks on stuff that will really make a difference – read How it works if you haven’t already. For this plan, you’ll spend weeks 1 to 10 working on these 5 most effective things to do:

Week 1 – 2: Understand what motivates you

Week 3 – 4: Prioritise and take control

Week 5 – 6: Fuel your confidence

Week 7 – 8: Get connected

Week 9 – 10: Control the controllables

It’s important to work through them in this order.

In each 2 week sprint, you learn what to do and how, through an example plan we’ve prepared. For this plan, the example is that of keeping your motivation high through restructure and change.

You then create your own plan. Just download, print out and complete the blank plan provided. You can use ideas from the example plan or not – but follow the same principles.

In weeks 11 and 12, you’ll be putting all the good stuff you’ve learned and done in these 5 areas together. You’ll be guided through this when the time comes, so don’t worry about that for now.