Personal development

How to Stay Motivated When You’re Tired and Short on Time (Or, Lessons from Motherhood)

Hey, hey, Courtney Sanders here, welcome to another episode of the Think and Grow Chick Podcast. Today we are talking about staying motivated. Yes, how to stay motivated when you ...

Hey, hey, Courtney Sanders here, welcome to another episode of the Think and Grow Chick Podcast. Today we are talking about staying motivated. Yes, how to stay motivated when you are tired, and you don’t have time. I was inspired to do this podcast for two reasons.

One, I’ve been doing a lot of “ask me anything” type posts on Instagram. As you all know, this is Instagram’s new cool feature where you can ask your audience questions. I am surprised by how many questions I am getting that are somewhat related to something like, “How do I stay motivated? How do I stay disciplined?” Or just getting yourself to do the actions you need to take in order to achieve the things you know you wanted to achieve.

Two, I definitely wanted to answer that question outright. But then also, I was inspired to do this because this is my life right now.

My son just had his three-months birthday not too long ago, so we are officially out of the first trimester. It has been a joy. It’s been great having a family, seeing my son every day. He’s so cute, y’all but I am tired. Oh, child, I am tired. Your girl is tired, and it’s nothing short of a miracle that I get anything done, let alone as much as I’m getting done.

But life doesn’t stop. Groceries still need to be bought. The house still needs to be cleaned, and there’s a lot of cleaning that I’m doing, because little babies, they pee and poop all over everything, which is crazy. But then I have my business to run.

I do marvel at how I get this done. Part of me asks myself that all the time, how I landed that deal, how I just recorded a podcast, how I’m making progress in this area, how I’m keeping up with my social media and all that.

On one hand, it’s  challenging. But on the other hand, I feel like motherhood has really activated some strengths in me that I didn’t even realize that I had. And the good news is, you don’t have to be a mother, and you don’t have to be a parent, in order to take advantage of them.

I wanted to do this podcast to give you some inspiration and some strategies that motherhood is forcing me to use right now, in order for me to stay on top of my goals, and to stay motivated to get the things I want to get done. Not just for myself, but for my family, my business and just what’s important to me in general.

So, let’s jump into it.

For the full audio, please check out the podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Notes from the Podcast:

5 Lessons or Strategies that Motherhood has really activated in me to help me stay motivated

1. Find a purpose bigger than myself.

I’ve always felt like I always had a bigger purpose, always been very mission-driven with what I’ve wanted to achieve. I find that that greater purpose is really keeping my motivation super high, even when I found myself really, really tired. Even when I am just stressed out, overwhelmed, or feeling like I don’t have time to do the things that I want to do.

What’s changed? Nothing really, except for my son. Our lifestyle hasn’t changed. I’m still running my business, the husband still works at his job. Everything else is the same, except for one teensy-weensy factor, particularly a new baby in the house, has amped my motivation in all areas.

Part of that is now I see how big the impact I can make if we stay diligent and tight in our finances could be. Not just through my son, but through his children and children’s children. Now I really understand what it means to create a legacy.  Our children are literally going to be the stewards of our dreams and beyond.

I did a live stream on Instagram recently and talked about why generational wealth is important. I talked about how having a son made me realize my own mortality. I’m not thinking about dying, but when I looked at my son, I realized that all of our kids are going to a place that we can’t literally go.

From a financial standpoint, this thought just really stirred in me more motivation to make sure that I do right by him, because I want him to have the opportunities I didn’t have nor did my parents and grandparents.

This mindset didn’t come until I had my son. I see a great purpose with what I am doing with my finances. I realized that we can change the trajectory of our family tree, just by getting our finances together.

Even if you don’t have kids, think about your communities that you are a part of. What are your spheres of influence? Where can you make a difference? Where can you make a change? Recognize that in some instance, the things that you do have to have an impact on those spheres of influence. If you’re just doing it for yourself, you’re going to find yourself really burned out.

2. Do what you have no choice but to do.

The thing about being a new mom, being tired, and being short on time, is that when you decide that you want to do something, you have to do it in a time that’s allotted to you because there is no other time. There is no other way.

In many respects, motherhood has taken a lot of…I don’t want to say it’s taken a lot of choices away from me because I can still do things. But when I say take away choices, I mean that sometimes when we are thinking about a particular goal or something that we want to accomplish, there’s lots of different ways to get it done, lots of choice of how we do it, or the illusion of choice.

But because my life is so full right now,  my time and energy are so short and limited, I find that I can get things done but I can only do that through a very narrow window, or through a very specific way. Meaning, there is no other specific way to get it done.

It has to be done this way. It has to be done at this time. In other words, I have to do it in a way where I don’t have a choice to do it any other way. It is, what it is. I can’t afford to procrastinate. And if I got to do it only at a time that he’s napping, I have no choice but to do it right away because I don’t know if he’s going to wake up anytime soon.

I think that this concept is interesting, this idea that you will do what you have no choice but to do because a lot of us are already doing this, we just don’t realize it. Subtly, we engineer our circumstances so that we have no choice but to do the things we do in the way that we do them already, meaning how our jobs are situated. Right?

We engineer situations all the time, we just don’t do it consciously. We get mad not to have the freedom and the choice or the ability to create the experiences we want to create. We think that our life has been limited in this way. No, your life has not been limited. You made certain choices, decisions so that now your only options are what they are.

3. Don’t give yourself time to think.

Just as you want to engineer your life and your situation so that you will do what you have no choice but to do, in that, don’t give yourself time to think.

I used to think about stuff all the time, pontificate about things, go back and forth,and have a little doubt about this and that. I call somebody up, ask what they thought about for most of the mundane things. It would be days before I would pull the trigger and make a decision on something. Now, because of motherhood, I find myself doing it.

It’s almost robotic, especially at night when I am tired and I got only 45 minutes in the evening or at 11 pm to record a podcast because that’s when he’s going to sleep for the day. I don’t sit at the computer and think if I really want to record the podcast, or go to bed or do things tomorrow.

No, I don’t think about it at all. I just take advantage of the time that is available to me, when it’s available to me, because I know that I might not have any other time. As a mom, you have to adopt this mindset. But you don’t have to be a mom to adopt this mindset.

Honestly, procrastination in a way is kind of prideful, because it assumes that you have more time in the future. None of us know that we have more time in the future. None of us know that we’re even going to wake up tomorrow, which is one thing.

Procrastination is not good because it assumes time that you don’t know that you have. All you have is today, right now. If you have a moment, don’t wait until you feel motivated. If there’s time, don’t use the time to think. Use the time to do. Don’t ask yourself any questions. Don’t belabor the point, or ask other people, or whatever. Just get up and do what you gotta do. Don’t give yourself time to think.

4. Follow the feelings you want, not the feelings you have.

This is a big one. So many of us when we get to a place where we don’t feel like it, we act as if we physically can’t take action. A lot of us will end up not taking the action that we said ahead of time that we wanted to take, because we don’t feel like it. Right?

I used to do that as well. I would make all these plans, but when it came up to that time, I just physically don’t want to do it because I don’t feel like it. Here’s the crazy thing. In motherhood, you don’t feel like doing stuff all the time. I’m always tired. I never feel like cooking dinner. I never feel like recording a podcast. I never feel like answering emails.

The only thing I ever feel like consistently is going upstairs and taking a nap. I always feel like taking a nap. But guess what, I rarely take a nap. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Come on, when the baby sleeps, there’s like about a thousand and one other things that I gotta do.  It’s just the season that I’m in, in my life right now. But because I never feel like doing the things that I know I need to do in order to get done, it’s miraculous how I’m still able to do them anyway, right.

Guess what, you can take action, even when you don’t feel like it. Trust me. From somebody who doesn’t feel like doing 90% of the things that I do, I do them because now motherhood has taught me not to rely on my feelings. When you’re in a space where you never feel like doing anything, nothing would get done if you always follow your feelings.

Don’t follow the feelings you have, which is tired, unmotivated and you don’t want to do it, blah, blah, blah. Follow the feelings you want. Do you want to feel refreshed? Do you want to feel healthy and satiated by the food that you eat? Do you want to feel proud of yourself for what you put out online, or in social media, or in your business, or whatever? Do you want to feel like you are in charge of your life?

If you want to feel like those things, then take action and create that feeling. But don’t limit yourself to the, “Oh I can’t take action because I don’t feel like it.” Well take it from one mom over here, I never feel like it. But miraculously I’m still able to get things done, so motherhood has been really good in training myself in that. I would encourage you to train yourself, even if you’re not a mom.

5. Go where there’s grace.

This is the biggest thing I’ve learned. I was just journaling about this the other day. Motherhood truly has taught me what grace really, really is. There’s a lot of ways that people define grace, but I define grace as just something you don’t deserve. The unmerited favor, particularly the unmerited favor of God.

I have amazing friends who have done things for us, came over and cleaned, cooked for us, given us toys and different things. Then also just spiritually, I just feel like sometimes I find myself doing things that naturally I should not be able to do. I should be too tired to be able to accomplish this, but miraculously I’m accomplishing it. Or I didn’t get any sleep last night, and my mind is frazzled, but miraculously I’m really sharp on this conference call, and I’m landing this brand deal. How is that happening?

I recognize that there is grace in that. God is good. There is grace. A lot of time I find myself buoyed or lifted up by forces that are not of my own strength. It’s either other people who are doing things for me or honestly just God who is just lifting me up in these times. So I’m a big believer that you want to go where there’s grace and do the things that you have the grace to do. It changes season to season.

Sometimes you have more grace to do something in one area that you didn’t have previously, but you have it now. That could be because God is calling you to that area right now. I think a lot of times we get so focused on what we want to do. We never tap in on a spiritual sense and ask God, “Hey, what do you want me to do?” All of us were created with a purpose, and that purpose goes beyond just our careers, or business, or whatever. All of us were created with specific purposes, I should say, multiple.

You have a specific purpose in every area of your life. There’s purpose for motherhood, for marriage, a purpose for my business. There’s a purpose for my finances, for my health, relationships with family, etc.. So there’s a specific thing that God wants me to accomplish and there’s a specific way to accomplish that.

I find that when I get in prayer, and I tap into that, and I ask and I do what I’m supposed to be doing, the way that I’m supposed to be doing it, I find that there is this supernatural grace and favor.

I believe that I am receiving this grace, not because I’m special, or nobody else can get it. I’m receiving it because I have been very keen through my pregnancy and these early months of being a new mom, really keen on every day like, “Yo God, what’s the plan? What are we doing today? What do you want me to do?” So because of that, I am receiving favor, because I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s what I mean by going with grace.

Look at your life, and be honest with yourself. Is there still grace there? If there’s not, then go where the grace is. If you find that you’re doing something and it feels an uphill battle, you’re beating your head against the wall. Nothing you try is working out. There are no breakthroughs whatsoever. That means that there is no grace in that particular area of your life.

You gotta be real. Ask yourself, “Is there grace here? Am I doing what God would have me do? Am I doing it in the way that God would have me do it?” If the answer is no, go where the grace is. Ask, “Okay God, what would you have me do? Where should I be operating? In what way should I be operating?” You will find that you will do less work. But you will get more results, and it will just be amazing. I mean, I have seen that time and time again over the last three months of being a mom. It’s been kind of miraculous. Not kind of, it is miraculous!

When you do that, God will place people, and opportunities, and resources that you could not have gotten on your own. It will just come to you, because you are in the right place at the right time, and you were doing what you are supposed to be doing. You don’t have to be a mom in order to take advantage of that, so go where the grace is.

So again, the five lessons, strategies, and tips, that I’ve learned from motherhood that have helped me stay motivated when I’m tired and short on time.

  1. Finding a purpose bigger than yourself.
    2. Do what you have no choice but to do.
    3. Do not give yourself time to think.
    4. Follow the feelings you want, not the feelings you have.
    5. Go where there is grace.

I hope this was encouraging to you. Take these lessons to heart, and I will see you in the next podcast.

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