Progress in any sphere of life demands work and dedication. Whether you are an artist, an athlete, an entrepreneur, a chef, or in any other walk/phase of life, you need energy and motivation to keep yourself dedicated to what you are doing.
Most things in life take time to deliver meaningful results. This could be hours, days, years, or decades.
Motivation and energy are two different things, but they are not mutually exclusive. They are correlated, and improving one will help improve the other. There are several triggers to look out for to optimize your physical energy levels and strengthen your intrinsic motivation levels. Some of these underlying 'triggers' significantly impact the amount of energy or motivation you feel.
In this article, we go through some of the top life areas you should consider working on to drastically improve motivation and increase energy.
Start With Your Body
Without a solid and energetic body, achieving anything, even mental work, will be difficult. After all, the brain is also part of the physical body.
Rather than relying on artificial energy boosters that end with an enormous energy crash, here are a few things you can do to increase your natural energy in terms of quality and quantity.
1. Diet To Boost Energy Levels
Today, most people eat for pleasure. Only the very disciplined are able to stick to a diet that is actually nutritious and favorable for their health.
The average person will eat what they crave, or they will eat what is most conveniently available. In reality, one of the main reasons you are feeling tired all the time is that you aren't giving your body the fuel it needs to carry through the entire day.
Food is fuel for our system. Eating junk food, excessive amounts of salt and sugar, high-fat fast food, and prepackaged 'healthy' meals is not doing your body and mind any favors.
Having a balanced diet with the right amount of carbs, fats, and proteins is crucial. Supplementing your diet with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and essential oils is also vital for your overall well-being.
Healthy eating is the first step to building a better and more muscular body. If you enjoy snacking, and that's where you get a lot of your empty calories, consider healthier alternatives.
A bit of fruit, nuts, or even a protein bar can be a great quick pick-me-up and give you much better quality fuel.
Remember that you need to eat a healthy diet in the right portions at the right time. Eating a massive plate of steak and steamed vegetables once a day will not be enough. Poor eating habits play a significant role in poor sleep and mental health.
If you want more energy, drink more water.
Water plays a big role in our health and performance. Proper hydration is necessary for our body to carry out its various processes, and water itself is an element that our body needs for proper nourishment. As a rule of thumb, try drinking at least two liters of water daily.
If you have a more active lifestyle or you live in a hot region and lose a lot of water through sweat, you need to drink even more.
Water is a natural energy booster, and when you eat a good diet, it will help improve blood flow and get all those nutrients from your stomach to the areas of your body that need them the most.
If you consume too much caffeine, consider replacing some caffeinated drinks with non-caffeinated ones like green tea or flavored water. This way, you will get your fix for a hot drink, get more water, and reduce caffeine intake.
If you feel tired because you are suffering from a physical problem, disease, or ailment, that is completely normal and is to be expected. Even with a great diet, plenty of rest, and good water intake, you can't feel 100% when you are sick.
However, a good diet and a good amount of rest will drastically reduce the time it takes you to recover.
It's important that you keep an eye on your overall health and seek professional guidance if you aren't feeling 100%.
Ideally, you should be going in for a complete medical check-up every six months to ensure everything is as it should be, and if it isn't, you can get started with the necessary treatment as soon as possible.
Another core component of good health is sleep. You must give your body and mind enough time to rest and recover.
One of the leading causes of mental problems is sleep deprivation. Insufficient sleep will make you feel tired, drowsy, and lethargic throughout the day.
How much sleep you should get is subjective, but professionals recommend 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
However, sometimes you might need a bit more, or even a bit less, depending on how well-rested you were the previous day and how much energy you have. More than just getting enough hours, you need to be getting quality sleep.
You want consistent sleep patterns. That means going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day. If you can't fall asleep right away, that's alright. Get into bed a little early to compensate for the time it takes you to fall asleep.
If you struggle with low energy levels, try going for a walk or a run. Physical stimulation, whether cycling, cardio, weightlifting, swimming, hiking, or any other means, improves your mood, blood circulation and creates more energy in your body.
Right after a workout, you will undoubtedly be tired. But after a shower and a good meal, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to take on your tasks. A lot of people who suffer from low energy also maintain a very sedentary lifestyle.
Physical exercise is hard work. Being able to complete this challenging task at any time during your day gives you the energy and motivation to take on more tasks. Working out first thing in the morning gives you a productivity boost that you can carry through the rest of the day.
To make working out a bit more enjoyable, you can listen to some uplifting music or a podcast and think about what you have to do for the rest of the day.
We all need to relax, unwind, and do the things we enjoy every once in a while. However, the party life will take a toll on your body and mind if you let it get out of hand.
Stiff drinks, late night outs, poor-quality food, and other lifestyle habits like gambling or smoking are detrimental to your health, especially if you over-indulge.
A drink with dinner is fine, but drinking every night will take a toll on your body. The key is to have everything in moderation.
You should talk to a mental health professional if you are struggling with drug addiction or other behavioral problems like compulsive online shopping. In many cases, the person realizes they have a problem but struggles to find a solution.
They feel trapped in their behavior, and even though they want out, they can't find a way. Getting professional help can change your life.
There is no harm in enjoying yourself and taking a break now and then, but you need to be responsible about what you do and keep in mind how it will affect your overall health.
Climb the Mental Ladder
With the physical aspects of energy and motivation taken care of, you should also look at working on your mind. High achievers quite literally think differently.
They look at problems from different angles and have a different outlook on life. You can learn many of these things to put yourself in the right frame of mind.
1. Set Objectives
If you lack energy and motivation, chances are, you also lack goals and a clear vision. A lack of vision will keep you going around in circles day after day, month after month, year after year.
Your goals don't have to be to change the world; just a simple goal of working out every day is a great start! It might seem easy, but keeping that consistency can be very challenging.
You need to know what you want to do. It doesn't have to be perfect, and you might even change it down the line, but to start, you need that one thing to focus on. You can have multiple targets, but you need something to aim for.
Set priority levels for these things. For instance, working out and eating quality meals should be your highest priority if you want to change how you look this year.
You then need to exercise daily and eat according to your meal plan. You'll notice that as you focus on one thing and do it religiously, everything else will fall into place.
2. Define a Path
There is more than one way to achieve a given goal. You could go for a walk every day, but a more efficient strategy is to hire a personal trainer and work with them on your physical fitness.
A defined path will keep you more motivated than just an objective. You will know exactly what you need to do rather than just knowing roughly what you should do to reach your goal.
When you find a guide, a mentor, or a teacher, pounce on that opportunity because they will give you that defined path you need. Plus, you'll have someone who's done it as an example.
3. Educate Yourself
One of your most significant tools in developing energy and motivation is the ability to learn. Whether this is knowing about your diet, health, career, or anything else in life, if you can soak up more knowledge, you can move ahead faster.
Moreover, this will keep you motivated and energized as you learn about new things and see the bigger picture. There is always something out there that you can learn, and this is an excellent way to challenge yourself.
Reading a book is a great way to seek inspiration.
Reading about major figures from the past and present and learning about how different people cope with challenges will give you valuable tools to use in your own life, and you'll feel a little less isolated knowing everyone faces challenges.
4. Expect Failure
You will fail. It will probably happen quite a few times, and that's fine.
It's part of the process of learning. A failure shouldn't put you down, at least not permanently. There is no concrete way to prepare for failure other than to know it will come at some point in your life and be ready to move on from it.
You can tell yourself in your self-talk that a failure won't stop you from trying again. Success, in whatever domain, will always come after many failures.
If you lack motivation, read about successful people. You will almost always find several episodes of failure and many instances where they wanted to give up. Thankfully, they didn't, and neither should you!
Increasing motivation and energy is like filling up your car with fuel; it needs to be done relatively frequently for the car to operate properly.
Staying motivated and energized is something you actively have to do for yourself. It is a service you owe yourself.
With the ideas mentioned here, you will have the strategies you need to stay motivated and energetic. All that is left is for you to take the first step!