Brette Bliss cradling her face on her hands smiling with the captions "getting motivated", "How to make tiny changes in your life to get back the motivation you lost" and the url
Mental Health Series

Getting Motivated: How to Make Tiny Changes in Your Life to Get Back the Motivation You Lost

I have not posted in a while. I lost the motivation to write, edit, make images, and post. Everyday I thought, “you should write.” It only takes a few hours a week to create one post, why not just do it? The answer was simple, I didn’t want to. I lost my motivation.

As many people know, I am in a “postgrad slump.” I have graduated, I am no longer taking classes, I have outgrown my current part-time job, I am living paycheck to paycheck, and I am struggling to find a “big girl job” (in the words of my mother). I feel a complete loss of control in my life. I am financially limited and stressed about the timing of paying my bills and the other things I need (even though I have gotten really good at timing and cutting other costs like groceries). I feel like my future is entirely in the hands of those who are reading my resumes and cover letters (no matter how many jobs I apply for) and suddenly I am filled with time guilt; I have all the time in the world and I feel like I am wasting it. I have lost control of the things in my life I used to have more control over.

Losing motivation for me is almost always linked to lack or loss of control. The cycle goes like this: I feel trapped, I feel like I don’t have control over one or more things in my life, I get frustrated, I get tired of being frustrated, I become apathetic, I lose all motivation, I feel trapped, and the cycle goes on.

Usually, I am unaware of the cycle until I’ve gone through it a few times. Then I feel like I need to break the cycle, but it’s not easy to find motivation to break the cycle when the cycle is fueled by your nonexistent motivation. It’s hard to make major changes when you lack the motivation for even small changes.

The easiest way for me to find my motivation (or get my motivation back, because let’s face it, one does not find motivation; you have to make it yourself or push through regardless of whether you have the motivation or not) is to make small changes in my life and environment.

I have found that because control or lack of control is the cause of my lack of motivation, that restoring motivation requires me to gain control of something in my life. I achieve this by making small changes in my life. These tiny changes are enough to give me a little boost. Below are the three major categories I make tiny changes in to regain control and motivation.

Change Your Environment To Find Motivation

Making a small change in your environment can make a huge difference in your motivation. I usually do this by rearranging the furniture in my personal spaces. Moving my bed from one wall to another gives me a boost to make other small changes and those small changes add up and help me regain my motivation.

You can also do this by getting out of town (if you are financially able). Simply changing your scenery might change your perspective. This could be a trip to the next town over, a vacation, and maybe even moving. I always feel a little more excited about life and change after a day trip to the next town over the hill or a weekend trip to Grandma’s on the coast.

Regardless of your financial situation, you can always change your environment in some way. It could be as small as moving the pictures around in your bedroom to taking a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been before (although I think when you lack motivation, starting small is best). Don’t do anything drastic and ill informed because you are feeling desperate.

wall art gallery using gothic art
It’s not much, but I started a mini wall art gallery using the art I already had around the house and some pieces I got on sale at Michaels, and a printed and framed (google images) picture of Mary Bliss Parsons. I decorate like this year round throughout the house but putting it all in my room made my room a little more me

Change Your Appearance to Find Motivation

This one may feel a little out there for people who have a dedicated aesthetic or haven’t changed their appearance in years, especially when it comes from a chameleon like me, but I can’t tell you how easy it is to regain control in your life by starting with yourself.

Maybe theres a new hair style you want to try. Maybe you wear your hair in a pony tail every day and it’s time to start playing with your options. Maybe there are clothes in your closet you’ve never worn for any reason, now is the time to wear them (even if it’s just at home). Maybe you are stuck in a rut and have a uniform. While uniforms are easy, you might need to change yours up a bit. Dress up just to dress up. Wear makeup or don’t wear makeup. Do something different for a change.

Your appearance is the easiest thing to make small changes to, but it also takes the most bravery.

I have had major hair envy for Taylor Lashae’s french girl bob for years but one bad bangs experience made me decide that bangs weren’t for me in spite of the evidence over the years where I had bangs inadvertently (pixie grow out periods).  I decided that my small change was really going to be a big change and I gave in to my desire for the french gamine bob.  Before I even got the cut, I was excited to do other things. Just making the plan to get the cut gave me the motivation to do other things.

brette bliss sitting on a couch upside down arms outstretched and her legs in the air, her hair touches the floor
My “official” before photo
brette bliss sitting on a couch, her hair is short with bangs
My official official after photo

Make Plans to Find Motivation

Making plans, whether you stick to them or not, is a great way to get excited about yourself and the future, and it can make you feel a little more in control too. Sometimes I decide to move, so I look at apartments in the cities I am interested in (or cabins in small towns), look at maps, and plan how to move and what I wold take with me and what I would need. I have no intention to move to Paris, anytime soon that is ;). But making plans and something to get excited about gives me a little bit of motivation to do other things. I hesitated to put this one on though because this can easily make you lose motivation if you get excited about something you don’t intend to do or cannot do.

A remedy for that is to just make plans you intend to keep. Make plans to go on a hike with a friend and give yourself something to look forward to. Make dinner plans, or an appointment for a haircut, or make plans to binge watch a new show. Make real plans. I made an appointment to cut my hair and within an hour or so of making the appointment I gained the motivation to make more small changes and kick track my motivation for other things, like applying for jobs and writing.

You Can’t Wait for Motivation

You don’t just “find” motivation. Good things don’t come to those who wait, they come to those who take action. This is the same for motivation. You don’t get motivated by waiting for it to come back to. You get motivation by persisting in spite of what you feel  or making the changes necessary in your life for motivation to come naturally.

In the end, regaining control over the tiniest parts of your life can make a huge difference in your motivation and mental health. All you need is the bravery to do it.

I am a writer and like all writers, I love stories. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, blog and social posts, pictures, music; they all tell stories. My favorite stories are based in experiences. The human experience is truly magnificent and we all experience it differently. "Brette's Bliss" is a play on my name. I've spent most of my life worrying about whether I am happy or will be happy, and wondering if the meaning of my last name was something that would define my life or if I was simply overthinking it.  As I record my experiences, I learn more about myself and realize happiness is now, not in the past or in the future. This blog is where I share my experiences one story at a time to relive my joyful moments twice and encourage others to do the same. 

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