I‘ve got a confession to make. I’ve been waiting impatiently for the change in seasons. So I can go outside and do certain things which are best done outdoors. Like dye fabrics, go for walks on the beach, and learn how to ride a bike (that’s right, I’m among the 6% of adults in America who don’t know how to ride a bike).
But as the season changes and the opportunity to do some of the cool things I want to do arrives, I’m also faced with this challenge. How do I continue being motivated to keep doing the stuff I was doing before the season change.
Whether you have young children whose routines change when school is out, or you’re retiring from a lifelong career, or it’s simply time for you to go on a vacation, we all face one kind of season change or the other in our lifetime.
Motivation Does Not Stay Constant
And the truth is our motivation changes too. It changes with the venue, our personal belief systems, the project we’re working on and the conditions at hand.
What do you do to stay motivated working on things you were working on before the season of your life changed?
Forming habits is important to achieving your goals. But when the seasons of your life change, your habits are also impacted. For example, suppose your habit is to go out for a run before you drive your kids to school every morning. Then when school is out, the trigger for that habit is removed.
I don’t want to pretend to have all the answers on how to stay motivated when the seasons of your life change. Because I don’t.
What I do know is this. If it’s something that’s important to you and you want to return to later, this is what you’ll want to know.
It’s easier to bear the inconvenience of fitting this project in your new schedule than it is to later realize you’ve completely lost your motivation to get it done.
When the seasons of your life change, getting motivated to continue doing something that you used to easily do before can become difficult. When you switch from an old project to new activities, your motivation to return to the old projects is likely to suffer.
Activity Fuels Motivation
This is because our motivation is fueled by our activity. The more you work on something, the more motivated you are to see it succeed.
When you start taking time away from a project, you’re also taking motivation away from the project.
So, the best thing to do to ensure that you’re still motivated when kids are back to school or whatever season change you face is this. Keep working on the projects you were working on when the season change occurred.
By all means, you can scale it down but don’t can it completely. If you completely stop engaging in this endeavor, when it’s time to start again, you’ll have the same challenges as someone who’s starting from the scratch.
Starting is always harder than finishing. And when you’ve already overcome that hump you don’t want to lose your advantage. Because you know too well the pain of getting started.
Before we talk about how to stay motivated, let’s pause for just a second. If you’re enjoying this article on motivation, then you’ll probably find my other writing on making time for your creative projects useful. Download a copy of my free ebook on shaving time for your creative projects and receive my weekly notes.
To Stay Motivated, Keep Active
The best way to keep yourself motivated to continue where you left off on your projects is to keep working on them.
For example, if you used to sketch 30 minutes every day but can’t do that anymore more due to lifestyle changes, don’t stop the practice completely. Try sketching 5 minutes a day three times a week instead.
Think of it this way. When you’re truly motivated, “it is easier to bear the inconvenience of action than the pain of remaining the same. It becomes more painful to not do the work than to actually do it” ~ James Clear
And that’s how motivated I am to learn to ride a bike as an adult. Because at this point, I’ll rather endure the embarrassment of falling off a bike and scraping my knees than the “pain” of not being able to go on bike rides with my kids.
In the meantime, I’ll continue working on my creative projects, albeit not as aggressively as before.
How motivated are you? Will you keep taking action so you don’t lose what motivation you’ve already got?
Get ACCESS TO CLARA'S LIBRARY OF RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS, MAKERS & CREATORS
Also published on Medium.