Inside: Want to be a motivated mom but struggle to find the energy? Use these 5 things to get organized and be more productive in your daily life.
“But I donwanna!” My heart sank as I heard the familiar whine.
“It’s good for your health and sanity. You have to do it.” I said with conviction.
The whining continued, escalating towards a full-on tantrum. “But I’m tired and don’t feel good. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Only one problem. The whining wasn’t coming from my child.
The whining was coming from me.
How to Be a Motivated Mom…Even If You Don’t Feel Like It
Chances are, if you’re here looking to learn how to become a motivated mom, you identify with my struggle.
Some days I struggle really hard to find the motivation to work towards my goals. For years, I thought it was because there was something wrong with me.
I thought being unmotivated meant I was lazy or that I just didn’t care.
I felt this way for years…until I learned the habits to be a motivated mom…even on days when I don’t feel like it. (Who are we kidding, that’s most days!) 😉
There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t feel motivated. As moms, we’re so over-touched and over-scheduled that it can be hard to find motivation for anything else.
Here are the 5 things I do to get motivated to work on a big goal.
#1: Create a Vision
If you want to be a motivated mom, you first have to know what you’re motivated to accomplish.
Do you want to run a half marathon, declutter your spare bedroom or spend more quality time with your kids?
Sit down and allow yourself some time to dream. If you had an ideal day, what would you do? Who would you spend it with?
#2: Brain Dump
After you’ve created a vision for what you want your life to look like, grab a piece of paper. Write down everything you want to do to fulfill this vision.
I call this a brain dump because the goal is to get everything from your brain dumped out onto the paper.
If you want a clean home, your brain dump might include projects like “declutter office” or “organize the kitchen” or “go through the thousands of toys in the playroom”.
There’s no judgement at this point, no prioritizing. Just focus on getting all of the ideas from your head out onto the paper.
There is power in being able to see everything all at once. It makes it much easier to make decisions.
Once you have all your ideas down (don’t rush, spend at least 15 minutes on this), pick one project you’d like to work on first.
#3: Break it down
It can be overwhelming to look at a giant project. I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed by a project, I avoid it like the plague and end up making no progress on it. Which leads to increased anxiety.
And when I feel anxious, I feel impatient to get the thing done *right now*…but when I look at the project, I’m overwhelmed, so I avoid.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Instead of looking at a giant project all at once, break it down into small manageable tasks and focus on taking one step at a time.
There’s a quote by the ancient Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu that says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Even giant, nasty, overwhelming projects can be broken into small, manageable tasks.
How to Break Projects into Small, Manageable Tasks
When I’m looking at a giant project, I find it helpful to do another brain dump to write out all of the things that could be done or need to be done.
Then I break down those tasks until each of them takes no more than 15 minutes to complete.
Let’s say my goal is to declutter my office. I would start by writing out what needs to be done:
- Declutter desk.
- Declutter closet.
- Address unlabeled boxes in the middle of the floor.
- Go through the pile of random items stacked on the chair.
- Break down and recycle empty moving boxes.
And then break each part down until each task takes no more than 15 minutes:
- Sort through papers piled on top:
- Throw out trash.
- Shred private information.
- Create folder with papers to keep.
- Create organization for pens:
- Find a cup to use as a pen holder.
- Gather pens.
- Take a piece of scrap paper and test out pens to see which ones work.
- Throw out pens that don’t work.
- Put working pens into pen holder.
Do you see how easy it is to become a motivated mom when the tasks on your to-do list feel totally doable? (Even with a kid strapped to your leg. 😂)
#4: The 15-minute Trick to Become a Motivated Mom
Here’s where the magic starts.
I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to be a motivated mom. It’s something I work towards every day.
It is nearly impossible to force myself to work on something for hours at a time.
Let me correct that statement: it’s impossible for me to work on something I hate to do for hours at a time.
I’ll never be one of those moms who loves to spend one Saturday every month deep cleaning the house. If that’s your jam, power to you.
But for me, I’d rather do the fun things, like going to the playground, eating chocolate or mining for diamonds in Minecraft.
And hence, why I slumped to the point of living in absolute chaos.
So what do you do if you don’t feel motivated to do that thing you know you should do? 👉 The 15-minute trick.
How to Use the 15-Minute Trick to Become More Motivated
When I don’t feel like a motivated mom (which, let’s face it, is most of the time), I do this one little thing to trick my brain into feeling motivated.
Ready to learn what it is?
I set a timer for 15 minutes and I get to work.
It might not sound groundbreaking but I can tell you it’s life changing.
And let me tell you, the 15 minutes isn’t the important part. You can set the timer for 15, 10 or 5 minutes.
The goal is to find whatever small chunk of time that motivates you to get started.
Sometimes, you’ll find you get in the zone and feel motivated to keep going. Sometimes not. And that’s okay.
The goal is not to pound out a bunch of progress in one go.
The goal is to take tiny consistent steps over time.
You will see more progress by taking a tiny step every day for a year…than you will if you shoot for perfection, but give up after one month.
#5: Create a Weekly Plan
Once a week, sit down and take a look at your brain dumped list of all the things you’d like to do.
Pick out a couple of things to do that week, and here’s the important part: write them down on your schedule.
Even if the odds of you completing the things on your schedule is only 50%, the odds of completing them without a schedule are far lower.
We’re moms, and as such, we have a ton of things to think about and juggle at any one time.
Sit down once a week and plan out your schedule. Put everything in. Don’t rely on your brain to remember or hope for some free time to magically appear.
I personally love to use Google Calendar. Looking at the weekly calendar, I block out time based on what “hat” I’ll be wearing — mom, business owner, fitness warrior, etc. I schedule my chores as recurring tasks.
Learn more: Check out this post on time management for moms where I talk about how I “wear hats” to get more done.
Bonus: Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
And that brings us to my last tip for becoming a motivated mom.
Focus on progress, not perfection.
Perfection is a myth, it doesn’t exist. So when you shoot to obtain a goal of perfection, you will miss the mark every time.
We’re human, and as a result, we make mistakes. By focusing on progress, you allow yourself to celebrate all wins (even stinkin’ tiny ones).
And sometimes that feels like leaning into failure. Sometimes it feels like taking the next step before your ready.
Give yourself grace to make mistakes (because again, we’re all human). The only way you can avoid making mistakes is by not taking a step.
But by not taking a step, you unintentionally fall into regret. Is that the life you want?
Heck nah! So give yourself a pat on the back when you succeed and some stinkin’ grace when you fail.
Focus on taking tiny, consistent steps towards your goal. You got this!