Motivation? What motivation?

The good news about 2014 so far is that I have actually been pretty successful with my resolution not to worry so much about things like blog stats. The numbers have been at an all-time low lately but I’ve just been able to shrug it off. I’ve also not been stressing out of my mind and pestering all my friends for ideas about what to write, or frantically trying to squeeze writing a post into my busy schedule. If I miss a day, I miss a day. No big deal.

These would all be good things that is, if they were the result of a more relaxed attitude to blogging. Unfortunately I’ve come to the conclusion that what they are is the result of a complete and utter lack of motivation. I don’t know whether it’s a case of the January blues or my seemingly never-ending dental problems but I just can’t seem to muster up the energy to care much about blogging at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still really enjoying reading other people’s blogs and my wishlist is already out of control with book recommendations I’ve had from other bloggers but this time last month, I would look at other blogs and they would inspire me to come up with posts of my own. I’d see a linky post and think how fun it would be to take part. But now…

Sadly this lack of motivation also seems to be creeping into other parts of my life as well. In the run-up to Christmas and over the holiday period, my half-marathon training really took a bit of a hit – partly due to an intense period at work, partly due to holiday preparations/celebrations and partly because there were times the weather was so bad it would’ve been dangerous to even leave the house let alone drive down to the gym. (I did actually see people out running but to be honest whenever I see people running outside in truly terrible weather I am inclined to seriously doubt their sanity!) In the past I would always force myself to increase the distance of my runs or the speed I was running at, even if I was tired, but for the last wee while I’ve struggled to even do the minimum and the fastest I’ve moved was when the run finished and I was racing to get out of there, and go home! Or when I’ve been running to catch the train in the morning with 2 seconds to spare.

Starting the blog was one of the highlights of last year and I’ve loved being part of the blogging community so I’m hoping this is just a temporary blip brought on by the fact that the holidays are over and I actually have to workΒ  rather than just lie around in my pyjamas, deciding what to stuff my face with next while I read my Christmas book haul. I’m also hoping to get my groove back fitness-wiseΒ  – I worked really hard to build it up last year and I’d hate to throw all that away in favour of rehearsing for participation in the Biggest Loser.

So because all of you are such lovely, kind and wise people, I’m turning to you for any help or advice you can give on overcoming either a blogging slump or a fitness one! Do you have any tips for re-igniting my motivation? Have you experienced similar slumps? Are you fighting a case of the holiday blues too? Let me know and hopefully by sharing we can give ourselves a collective, electronic kick up the backside and be ready to get going, full-steam ahead, for a fun-filled year of blogging!

 

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38 thoughts on “Motivation? What motivation?

  1. I’ve been feeling a bit like this too lately. I think it’s just the bad weather we’ve been having and the fact that it’s an extra long month!! But I was thinking and I reckon for you it’s probably just that the thrill of starting something new is beginning to wear off – think of it as a relationship, you are leaving the new exciting stage and entering the comfortable stage :). Sometimes a bit of a change can help boost motivation – maybe a movie or running post?

    Hope this helps, but just remember you are doing great! Keep it up πŸ™‚

    • Thinking of the blog as a relationship! I like it! lol I think the weather and the general January blues certainly aren’t helping but I really do need to sit down and think about how to mix things up a bit! I do like my movies! Thanks, Suzie! πŸ™‚

  2. Honestly, the best thing to when you feel in blogging slump (in my opinion) is to not fight it. Take a break — a real break — it can be a few days or a few weeks whatever you need and don’t worry about the blog at all. Use the time to do all the other things you’ve been wanting to do. Having that space and time usually leads to a point where you think to yourself “hey, I really miss blogging” or you have a thought or idea or read a book you really want to share and then it’s much easier to get back in the groove when you’ve regained that excitement. In my experience, trying to force myself to blog or get motivated completely backfires! For me, blogging less often overall has also helped me keep my blog going at all. Trying to post every day or even every other day is just way too much for me and it’s not the kind of blogging experience I want. That kind of pressure on is a fast way to burn out. So if that is something you might want to try, when you have a week where you have a lot of ideas or motivation, you can write up posts and keep a few at the ready for when you hit a bit of a lull again. Just my two cents!

    • I think I will definitely cut down on the number of posts I do, at least until I get more motivation, and can maybe stockpile some posts to schedule, like you suggest. I was trying to do every other day before Christmas and there were times it was pretty stressful!

      I think you’re right and a break might be in order too, at least from writing posts, then I can relax and will be more likely to get inspired. I don’t suppose inspiration is going to strike by trying to force it! Thanks for the tips!

  3. I agree with the above–it’s totally OK to take a break! Hopefully, you’re blogging for fun and enjoyment–it’s not a class or a job with a set schedule. If it starts feeling like a chore, that’s a sure sign that a break is in order. I also find that, rather than trying to post every day, I try to set some time aside to just explore lots of other blogs, and comment on them if I have something relevant to add to the conversation–that usually gives me some inspiration when I hit a wall.

    • Yeah, I think a break is definitely in order, even if just for a few days. I like the idea of taking time to concentrate on reading other blogs, and commenting, if I have something to add, on them too.

  4. I actually just did a post today on “sustainable blogging”…essentially saying to take breaks when you need them, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The community will still be here when you’re feeling more motivated. I hope you’re feeling better about things, soon! In the meantime, do what makes you happy…whether it’s reading, playing SIMS3 (that’s me), or whatever else it might be.

  5. I have run a dozen marathons and from time-to-time have found myself in the doldrums even when I’m in peak form. No idea why it happens, but it does. One thing that can help is mixing up your training schedule. For instance, one time I was running a lot like 5 days a week (40+ miles) and I reached a plateau. My race times weren’t improving, either. So I dialed back the days I ran to twice during the week (shorter runs) and one long run on the weekend and surprise — my times improved. I looked more forward to each run, and I think just mixing it up really helped. How often are you running? Gym? Outside? Sometimes a simple change in environment can also spur motivation.

    • I’m very impressed! A dozen marathons? Wow! I run 3 times a week and go to pilates once a week. When I was doing well, I’d do one gentle run, one speed session and a long run at weekends but at the moment they’re all gentle ones. Really need to shake it up again and get new tunes to run too! The weather is really bad right now so until it picks up I’ll be in the gym.

      • Is there someone you can ‘run with’ at the gym? Perhaps find two treadmills that are away from the others so you can chat without disturbing anyone? Maybe that’ll help get you through the gentle runs. Also, instead of speed workouts, maybe try switching the treadmill to a steep incline? I loathe speed workouts and run hills (albeit not very speedily) instead when the weather is nice. Usually about a week after, jogging the same distance is easier.

      • None of my other friends like to run and to be honest I quite like having the time to myself to clear my head but I might try switching up the incline. Hopefully getting more variety in there will help. And I really hated doing the speed workouts too! Thanks for the tips!

  6. I confess that I have not read the comments above just the post so if I repeat anyone I am sorry. I think life is full of changes and “slumps” but the point of it all is do what makes you happy. Life is too short not too. I used to be a HUGE runner over years my knees cannot take it anymore then children came. I found that although I missed running I found a new love in walking with my daughter and yoga. Yoga is a great fitness tool that can be with others in a great surrounding or by yourself in your warm home. We live in the mountains so the air is thinner up here so in the cold it is hard to run as well. Maybe when my children get older and my knee feels better my passion will be back for running. As for the blogging I love just focusing on life, forget about the post then when you come up with something GREAT you will be back and happy inspired and in love with it again. Life is full of changes, my interest have changed I just find something else to fill it. Point of all this live your life and care not things will always fall in place for the better. Happiness is key. Great post hope my rant helped in some way……

    • Thanks for stopping by and the advice! There’s a lot going on in my real life at the moment so I think taking a break to deal with that and try to get some relaxation in will hopefully help to refresh my motivation and get me engaged with both blogging and running again!

  7. I’ve been de-motivated too. I think it’s post holidays, weather and just being tired. I wrote a list of goals to catch up on some blogging but made it realistic for my life right now at 3 days a week.

    Be kind to yourself and do what makes you happy. (Sounds cheesy but I meant it sincerely.). πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ I think being realistic is the key. There’s a lot going on for me right now on top of the usual post holiday blues so it’s probably not the best time to be trying to be creative. Hopefully a short break to relax and focus on other things will help!

  8. From the number of responses here, I’d say you found a great topic. Guess we all feel we are writing into a big black hole sometimes (at times I’ve thought of changing the name of my blog to the No Comment bookbunch), and it’s nice to get feedback or at least some hits. But when the numbers go down, I just remember that most times I’m just writing for myself anyway – and it’s a bonus to get others interested. Hang in there and write when you feel the urge – we are all out here – whether or not it’s obvious by the stats.

    • Thanks, that is true. We choose to blog because we want to and I enjoy writing the posts so that should be enough. Hopefully taking a break will help inspiration to come and I’ll feel more engaged with it again!

  9. I agree with everyone above who said that it’s okay to take a break — and give yourself a break, pressure-wise. Don’t feel that you have to always post new pieces on your blog. Sounds like you really are doing a lot… and also with the dental stuff, that can effect how you feel about other parts of your life too (spoken from experience!). I’ve definitely had ups and downs with motivation, in terms of blogging and everything else, and usually I just try to ride it out until I get a new burst of energy. As for the fitness slump — I’ve been in one for years, and am desperately seeking the motivation to do what I know I need to do, which is force myself to change my daily schedule and actually make time for the gym!

    • Yes, the dental issues certainly aren’t helping! They’ve been dragging on for 6 weeks! It’s good to know that everyone has blogging slumps and that they can come out the other side. Hopefully when everything settles down I’ll feel more motivated about it. It is so hard to get into a gym routine isn’t it? Hopefully we’ll both get more fitness motivation soon!

  10. I think the best piece of advice I could give is..don’t care about stats. I know how hard it is when you start out but I used to worry about them..and now I don’t. I just post if and when I want to..am able to. Or have anything I feel is worth saying or reviewing! πŸ™‚

  11. I think it is the post-holiday thing and January is such a long and cold month… I noticed that I hardly had any comments on my last couple of blog posts and thought “Oh, no! People are getting bored with me already!” I think it’s best not to worry about it and take things at your own pace. There will be months when you will have tons of ideas and post a lot and others when things will be slower. This seems like a pretty normal time to have a “slow period.” I hope that the dental issues will soon be resolved and you’ll be feeling better soon πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, I am feeling better for having taken a blogging break and I’ve got a big dental appointment this evening so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good news and to be back blogging again very soon! πŸ™‚

  12. Come up with some easy post topics that you can do weekly. For instance, on Monday – post a pic of the book you’re reading and ask what we’re reading. And then on Thursdays, insert a quote that you like from the book you’re reading. Just like that you have 2 posts per week that are quick to write and valuable.

  13. I was really sad to see this and I sincerely hope you’re feeling better now.

    Are January blues real? If they are, maybe I’m having the same problem. I’m finding it hard to be motivated about anything at all but work. It feels like a bit of torture to do much of anything at the moment.

    A HALF MARATHON?
    I have to commend you for working toward that. I have a dream to do it one day, but my lungs are bad (as is my body and its general lack of wanting to do anything physical). I still have hopes for one day.
    As for motivation on how to trudge forward through the muck and whatnot, I have no suggestions past remembering why you were doing all the things you were doing – the motivation behind it all, and all the hard work you’ve already put in.

    As I said, I really do hope you’re feeling better now. If you’re not, then I really (REALLY) hope you start to feel better soon.

    • Thanks! I think there can be the January blues at times but at the moment, I think, my main issue is my recurring dental issues. It’s been dragging on for 7 weeks now and I basically have the dentist stumped so I’m not exactly feeling my best! Fingers crossed it’s over soon! Hopefully you’re able to overcome your motivation problems soon too!

  14. Pingback: Top 10 Reasons I love being a blogger/reader | Confessions of a Book Ninja

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