It’s really weird how you can lose your drive and motivation for things you really love. Maybe your love for running feels like its fizzled out or your faith isn’t guiding your days at the moment. Heck, I have had a blogging dip of late and despite knowing I love it, I’ve still been struggling to do it.
Recently, I have found that a lot of things that I love or enjoy have sort of dropped off, and even though I know they bring me happiness, my drive and motivation to engage in such activities has just been sorta non-existent. For me, this is usually the case when I have had a change in routine, or, helpfully, if I have been keeping in the same routine for a while. Sometimes it might be affected by a particular event or stressful situation. But whatever the reason it is both easy and enjoyable to re-kindle your connection with the things you love.
Get inspired (again)
A helpful way to re-engage with whatever it is you feel you’ve lost is to make a list of all the reasons why you fell in love with it or started doing it in the first place. Maybe you took up running as a way to burn off work-place stress, or you became vegan because you really like piglets, or maybe you began reading every day because your celebrity role model mentioned they do the same. Whatever it is, remember why you started these things in the first place. With anything, once it becomes part of the everyday it runs the risk of being mundane or even worse, a chore. When this happens our instinct is to drop it or forget about it. Reminding yourself what inspired you in the first place can act as a sort of compass, and get you back on the right track with a new burst of motivation and excitement.
Thanks to the many developments within the modern world, we have access to countless amounts of information on anything we could ever want. While this can sometimes be a bit of an information overload, it can also be used to your advantage. Finding documentaries on Netflix, getting books out of the library or off amazon, looking up articles on Pinterest… There are so many ways to connect with the things you love and find other people who feel the same way. Sometimes all you need is to find a new source of information (or even revisit an old favourite) to transport you back to the mindset you were in when everything was new and exciting.
Make it a habit
This is especially relevant if a change of routine is the root of the disinterest. Allocating certain times or days for the activity you love makes you more likely to do it, and once you’ve done it a couple of times you may remember why you loved it so much in the first place! Furthermore, it creates a time and place for you to do the things you enjoy, which are often the first things to go from our schedules when the going gets tough.
Visual and physical reminders are a great way to get back into the swing of things. Whether its a note saying ‘go to spin class – you’ll feel better afterwards’ or leaving your easel and paints in a place where you’ll often see them. Setting reminders sends conscious and sub-conscious messages to your brain which will either jog your memory as to why you enjoy doing it, or make you more likely to just pick up the pencil or pout your swimming costume on and just get into it again!
Start from scratch
It’s often the case we don’t realise how much we love something until its gone. In some situations its just a waiting game. Especially with regards to creative hobbies, sometimes the only way is to wait for the inspiration to strike again, because that is something you just cannot force.
If you don’t feel this is the case for you, maybe it is time to go back to basics. Go a week eating only junk food to remind you why you started clean eating in the first place, or maybe you need to ask your parents to dog sit for a few days to make you realise just how much you love your morning walks with your Labrador. Even by going back to the beginning and reading just one paragraph, or doing just five press-ups at the gym can be enough to remind you why you do what you do.
Make a note of when you make time for the things you enjoy and how it makes you feel, and what is happening in your world at that time. That way, when a rut does rear its ugly head you have evidence from past you, informing you of how great you felt when you were going to church every Sunday despite working a full time job. If you back then could do it, what is stopping present you?
Know that its okay
Above all, the most important thing is that you don’t punish or resent yourself for not doing these things. Sometimes, hormones, illness and just general life get in the way, which is perfectly normal! Not feeling up to doing what you really love may be your mind and body’s way of telling you that you’re over-doing it, or just run down, and that is a good thing to. If that is the case, perhaps you need to look at what is zapping your time and energy and jeopardising the things you enjoy most, and that way you can begin to reclaim your time and reserve your energy for the things that truly matter to you.