Tips to get motivated in difficult times

Home Column Tips to get motivated in difficult times

get motivatedBy Lizbeth Calandrino You’re not lazy, you just need to get motivated. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to in speaking with business owners and personal friends that I had not spoken to in months. Several shared that they couldn’t seem to get motivated. In fact, they described themselves as “lazy.” I was shocked! I hadn’t called anyone I would consider lazy. In fact, most were quite accomplished. These are people with good businesses and normally upbeat.

So I asked myself, what’s going on? Many reported being sick or had close friends who were ill or had passed away. Indeed, life is drastically different now compared to where we were this time last year, and they were not feeling in control. Many also told me they expressed uncertainty about the coming months ahead. Would their good business continue? Should they get the COVID-19 vaccine? Even if business were going well, what could they depend on?

Living with the pandemic and civil unrest has been frightening as well as losing loved ones. At some point we all feel self doubt and anxiety when we can’t get things going. (One of the business owners shared that she felt her business gave her some control over her life but beyond business, she felt down in the dumps. She also added that her business wasn’t feeling very exciting.)

So what can you do to get out of this funk? Here are some tips that you might find helpful:

  1. Stop telling yourself you’re being lazy. This will only lead you down the path of more self doubt.
  2. Change your environment—if you can. Plan a walk daily and get out of the house and get back to nature. I have been walking with a small group of people for the last eight months. It has helped my outlook, and I built wonderful new friendships along the way. We go out at the unholy hour of 5:30 a.m., in the dark, but we all feel stronger because of it.
  3. Keep a journal and fill it with inspirational quotes. Read these daily or several times during the day. Disclosure: I used to cut inspirational quotes and cartoons out of magazines and keep them in a journal. I also added my own ideas that made me laugh and feel better. Doing this on a regular basis will help change your outlook.
  4. Turn off the bad news! Unless you make your living promoting doom and gloom, don’t listen to it. Instead, read some motivating blogs or listen to upbeat podcasts or start recording your own podcasts. I have been interviewing motivational speakers for the last five months. Newsflash: yes, it really helps.
  5. Try meditating to find peace and balance. I have a short meditation exercise on my Fitbit that I use during the day. It’s only two minutes long, but it changes my mental state. I actually coach a flooring installer who sends me his meditation readings and ideas.
  6. Expand your circle. Go online, follow people or join a group of motivating people. Do this with regularity and it’s likely you will be inspired to get going.

We are all motivated by something, so it’s important to figure out what it is. If you’re having trouble, talk with some positive friends and ask what gets them moving when they’re in a rut. Reach out to people who are inspiring and start some productive conversations. You might even consider taking a course or two. There are plenty of short, inexpensive online classes that will help change your emotional state.


Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Jan. 25/Feb. 1, 2021

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