Just Not Feeling It
By: Josh O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian
Some days you just don’t feel it. The “it” being motivation, inspiration, vision, or excitement to do your homework, apply for a college, update your resume, train for a marathon, or read your book. Other days, you know what you want to say, you want to feel the weights push against your strength, have the gumption to dive into the world of Algebra 2 to reconcile equations, or know exactly what you want your presentation to say and do.
But the drag days, the days that impede you New Year’s resolutions, the days you don’t even want to tie your gym shoe strings, are the days you can prove to yourself you can push. Those days are chances to do just a little bit and make it count. They key is to not give up. Even if you don’t make the whole five miles, you went out and did it. You began your essay. You started the research and wrote a few notes. You didn’t let the lack of motivation or inspiration flatten you.
It’s hard to figure out what counts on those days. I’ve walked around my apartment not knowing what to do, not wanting to do anything, but feeling the drive that I need to do something. There are days of rest, and they are very important. But you have to decide you’re going to rest, otherwise, it’s just procrastination, and you don’t feel better from it. The decision to do one little thing can lead you to doing another little thing.
- Choose one little thing. Don’t look at the mountaintop. Just think about a little step.
- Tell yourself it’s okay. Encourage yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. You need you to be on your side.
- Push on. Now that you have your little step, and you said it’s okay to be little (which it is!), focus on that. Don’t get distracted by thinking about the things you’re not doing, that you don’t have motivation to do, or don’t know how to do. Get this done.
- Reflect. Smile. Nod your head. Think, “yep, I didn’t think anything would happen, but I did this. And this is good.” It is. You accomplished something, and it matters.
- Repeat — if you can. Somedays, you can’t. Somedays it doesn’t work. Somedays it took all day, or all your free time, just to decide to do the one little thing and focus on it.
Little victories make all the work worth the effort. That bit of effort builds your character. It makes you feel proud. It gets something done. On the days you don’t feel it, don’t fret. Make it a day for little things.
(Lots of thanks to Saaniyah for her blog and numbering format—steal good ideas!)Tags: advice, Josh O'Shea, motivation, teens