No doubt after a holiday or a few days off, it’s tough to jump back into a routine. Whether you have to back to work, school, or everyday responsibilities, here are some ideas about how to motivate yourself.

I Don’t Wanna Go…

Even as adults, we can fall so easily back into that space where we used to visit (or live) as teenagers. It’s the, “I don’t want to go back to school tomorrow!” angst we felt every Sunday night. Even if you loved school, there was still that low-level dread of returning to accountability.

Seeking Motivation

Motivation is the charge in your brain that compels you to take action. If you’re hungry, your brain will compel you to eat. If you want to fix your car, you might look for a YouTube tutorial. If you want to dance, you’ll put on some music.
Now the key is to find the motivation that helps you get to where you need to go tomorrow. Every action we take supplies us with a reward. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t do it. We always need an incentive to act.
You can start by deciding whether your motivation will be intrinsic or extrinsic. An intrinsic reward is something that makes us feel good inside (feeling proud, helpful, successful, acknowledged, full, etc.) An extrinsic reward would be an outside factor (a home, money, a scholarship. a promotion, good grades, etc.)

Giving Yourself a Pep Talk

Basically, you have to talk to yourself. You’ve got to work with one part of your brain to get another part (the motivation center) jazzed up.
When we were youngsters, our parents helped us find our reason for acting. We went to school because then we wouldn’t be grounded. (The motivation was freedom.) We went to Aunt Mary’s house because we knew she’d give us ice cream. We did chores because we earned a couple of bucks at the end of the week.
Notice, that as younger kids, most of our motivation was based on extrinsic reward. Every once in a while, we’d get a good grade so we could hear a parent tell us they were proud. But for the most part, the inner connection to being accountable doesn’t click-in until we’re teens or young adults.

From One Part of the Adult Brain to Another

Yes, finding motivation can be a tremendous challenge. But, if you want to move forward (which even means getting off the couch), you must be your own one-person pep-rally. Research has shown that if you anticipate a reward, the brain processes this into positive feelings. Let’s head in that direction…
In the matter of, let’s say, getting back to work after a long weekend, how can we achieve the motivation to do so? Here are some simplistic ideas that you can customize for yourself:

-Going to work gives you a paycheck that you use towards your shelter
-Going to work provides insurance so that you can get the medical care you need
-Going to work provides a model of good work ethic for your children
-Going to work gives you the opportunity to be around others
-Going to work gives you a feeling of accomplishment and usefulness
-Going to work gets you out of house and away from other responsibilities
-Going to work will help you afford that (sweater, movie ticket, vacation, etc.)
-Going to work provides you with an opportunity to work as a team player
-Going to work may provide you with better skills and eventually more income
-Going to work makes you appreciate the days you have off

Hopefully at least one of the above offered a bit of incentive. Just remember to always be your best. You will feel good inside, and your positive outlook will rub off on others. For more articles on motivation, family, and helpful tips, click here.