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Lacking Motivation To Makeover? Try These 6 Tips!

What is UP my friends and fellow busy bees. If you receive my Friday Furniture Focus newsletter then you know that I have been leaning hard into the spring vibes lately and all of the renewal that comes with that and the nicer weather making an appearance after the long, cold Canadian winter. Cleaning, organizing, getting things knocked off of my To Do list and getting super motivated and productive with my furniture makeovers have been realities for me over the last few weeks.

Thank god, because to be honest, the couple weeks (or, let’s get real, MONTHS) before that… that wasn’t really the case. The first quarter of this year I was feeling like I was totally in hibernation mode and wasn’t super motivated or able to accomplish a ton of furniture. A big part of that was getting the puppy and the sleep deprivation and adaptation to a new routine and way of living, but like, I’m not so precious to not know that people don’t get puppies literally every day and continue to live productive, normal lives so.. That excuse really only goes so far. But let me tell you, boy did I milk it!

The reality is, there’s just points in time or season where we don’t inherently feel that drive to flip furniture, or do whatever else it is that we need to get done to be productive. And that’s totally normal, and totally fine. However, if you need to kick your ass into gear, I wanted to do a blog today that goes over some questions that you can ask yourself or strategies you can implement to see if they work for you to get you out of that slump or overall feeling of, what I have coined, “feeling blehh”. Innovative, I know.

The first thing I like to do once I recognize that I’m in that headspace or haven’t been as productive as of late, is to take stock of the things in my life and try to do some detective work to figure out what’s different compared to normal. This can help to sometimes identify where that motivation block may be – have I not been sleeping well? Have I been eating really shitty lately and maybe I just need to up my veggie intake or get back on my supplement regimen? Have I not been working out consistently like I know I should be, because I feel incredibly energized when I do so and get so much more accomplished? Maybe there’s been a lot of social events and things like that filling up my calendar lately and I haven’t been recharging like I need to, so that’s making me feel depleted? Or, alternatively, sometimes I find that I actually end up getting more done the busier I am because I just have to whip through the things on my list so things get accomplished much more quickly… so do I maybe need to fill up my calendar a bit more in order to give myself a kick in the ass?

If there’s nothing on the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional or nutritional front that seems to be contributing to it, then maybe look at the work you’re putting off in general and see if there’s a motivation block there. Is there maybe a barrier you’ve run into on your project so you don’t want to try and tackle it for fear of messing it up because it’s something you’ve never dealt with before? Does it require some research and you’re too distracted by your phone to sit down and actually do what you need to do to find the answer for how to move forward?

If that’s not the case, then zoom out a bit and take a look at where you are working on said project. Have you been a Sloppy Sally lately and stopped sticking you to your organization system for your supplies and so the workshop is a fucking disaster? I know for me, the environment I’m in is a total reflection of what is going on in my life and in my head and so when I walk into a space that looks unkempt and chaotic, that is a surefire way for me to want to turn riiight around and walk right back out. Because I just know I’m either going to be cramped when working or won’t be able to find anything that I’m looking for, OR I will just half-heartedly work on the piece while trying to slowly put things back into their place and essentially just half-ass both of those tasks.

In that case, what would be far more productive for me and the type of person I am is to stop, forget about the furniture makeover for a second and just focus on putting things back where they’re supposed to go, sweeping up and getting everything into good working order before turning my attention back to what I need to do. That way, I’ll be able to breathe and just feel more at peace with the space I’m in. I also find cleaning and organizing very therapeutic so sometimes I just need to take that time and space to do that in order to clear my head and be able to concentrate on what I need to do.

Another approach that almost always works for me to get my shit in order and get me back on the right track when I’m feeling unmotivated or overwhelmed or whatever the feeling may be that’s keeping me back from getting my work done is to make a list. I am a HUGE list gal, I have sticky notes and notepads throughout my house so they’re always available when needed to get the thoughts out of my head and on paper before I forget them so that I can get everything done that I need to. I find it really helps to free up mental energy for me, because instead of having to continually think about some task or appointment or whatever it may be that I need to remember (since I have an absolutely horrific memory these days). Writing everything down also helps me to take a second to really think about and focus on what I need to get accomplished so sometimes I end up remember other things while I am in the midst of writing that list that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise thought about until I inevitably was reminded of the thing by my husband who was like “you got that thing done, right?” or I find myself in a situation that’s reminding me of what I was supposed to remember to do, like when I sit down to go pee and look over at the empty roll beside me and go like “oh yeah, I needed to get toilet paper yesterday. Great!”

So the list method is truly one of my required lifelines that helps keep me on track. If I have everything that I need to do written out in a list, I can way more easily group the things together that need to get done that make sense like all the errands, all the things online, etc etc. It helps me to make a game plan or a plan of action way more than my stupid little brain ever could, AND it’s super helpful because if I ever find myself in a lull in my day or sitting around about to open up TikTok or some other time-sucking useless task, I can instead turn to my list and be like, “alright, what else can I get started on and knock off the list?”

Another really common motivation block that I have heard from a few of my coaching and consulting clients is comparison paralysis. And this is one that often isn’t super apparent to us, but just kind of eats away at us internally until it essentially leaves us feeling unmotivated and overall just pretty shitty about ourselves and/or our work. It’s this idea of being on social media and seeing all of these amazing furniture painters and refinishers and content creators doing amazing projects and getting beautiful, flawless results that they seem to be whipping out super quickly and easily and they’re not running into the barriers or bumps in the road that you seem to be with your pieces– or at least, they aren’t sharing those publicly. So then internally you start to feel crappy because you’re inherently comparing yourself and your success and your pieces to those people which leaves you feeling lesser than and unmotivated to move forward because, essentially, what’s the point if you won’t live up to them?

Again, this is one that you might not realize has been slowly creeping up on you, so it could be something that you need to do some reflection on before you come to the conclusion that this is happening. This is one reason why journaling can be a great strategy to help you to discover what’s going on with you internally. And if you do come to realize that you may have fallen prey to a comparison paralysis, then a social media break or limiting your screen time or scrolling time may be in order. And remember, my dear lovely friends, that comparison is the thief of joy and social media is never quite as it seems. So.. grain of salt.

Another question that you might need to ask yourself if you find yourself feeling blehhh and unmotivated and unable to jump into the projects that you feel you need to be, is to ask yourself: am I burnt out? Or am I potentially nearing the point of burnout?

It’s something that I don’t think we ask ourselves often enough, just in general, as humans we always like to be constantly producing and accomplishing and completing things and being go go go. But we don’t often take the time to reflect on how we’re feeling and what need to get us back to being our normal selves– and sometimes, that requires nothingness. Some time to relax, recharge, replenish and revive yourself. If you think that’s what you need, then consider this me giving you permission to do so. Take the time, do it right and don’t do a semi-break where you’re still turned on to work halfway and so you aren’t actually taking the break that you need.. Do it right the first time and you’ll be back at it in no time.

And sometimes what you may need is not a break altogether from all things furniture refinishing and business and whatnot, but you might just need some time out of the workshop physically doing makeovers themselves. If that’s the case, then by all means, take the time. But consider that you could use this down time wisely even if you aren’t actually making over any pieces but you also still want to be working and be productive. Here’s a few ideas for what you could use that time to do, which might be things that are on your higher-level To Do list but you never get around to doing them or set aside the time to do so:

  • Build a website or revamp yours if you already have one;

  • Work on setting up systems in your business to automate tasks and save you time and energy;

  • Do some receipt tracking that you’ve been putting off that will help save you time come tax season;

  • Batch create some content or use existing content that you have to prep various videos and other types of content using those same clips– remember, work smart not hard;

  • You could do some networking, either with other refinishers or other businesses in your area or elsewhere that could potentially turn into business relationships or partnerships down the line; or

  • If you need to do something with your hands, re-organize the workshop or your supplies and take stock of what you have so you know what you’ll need to order more of soon. There are tons of possibilities for ways for you to still move the needle forward on your furniture flipping business or side hustle without actually having to do any furniture flipping in that moment!

Another tactic that I find really helpful when I need to get my motivation juices flowing is to look back on my past work and accomplishments or words from my followers and past clients to really get me going. It helps to remind me why I do what I do, the impact I have on others and just generally gives me a little dopamine rush– which, sometimes, is all you need.

I use Google Drive to store and organize all of my documents and photos and whatnot so I just have a folder in these called Feeling Inspired and whenever I get a sweet message or email from one of you about my work, the podcast, feedback from a client about a piece I did for them or something that I did or said that motivated or inspired you, I take a screenshot and pop it in there for when I need it.

I first adopted this practice back when I used to work in social services as a case worker and when I would get a kind message from a client of mine basically saying thank you for helping them or how I made an impact on their lives or whatever, I would print it and put it in a notebook that I kept. And essentially, I would do the same thing as I do now. On days when I was feeling tired or maybe a little burnt out or annoyed with the work because it was difficult work that I was doing with high acuity clients, I would just refer back to the notebook to give me that squeeze of motivation juice that I needed and a reminder of why I was doing that work and how, even if it didn’t feel like it was paying off in that moment, that eventually it would positively impact someone’s life and that was what it was all about.

So if you don’t already do this and you find that you’re the kind of person that can get really inspired and motivated by those external forces or reminders, then I would recommend you start! Like I said, it doesn’t have to be any convoluted system or anything, you can even just take screenshots and keep them in your photo library. But I find when I can’t find that motivation internally within myself, sometimes looking to those external forces is what can help me to get over that hump and back into myself.

If you are someone who finds that those external forces are the thing that help to get you feeling accountable and motivated to move forward, then might I also make a suggestion? It coulddddd really benefit you to sign up for one of the BusyBees in Business Strategy Sessions that I’m now offering to help you get your side hustle or business to where you want it to be. These complimentary 1-on-1 coaching and consulting sessions will be posted on the podcast so that others can learn from the same things you may be struggling with or a challenge you’re currently working through, and we will come up with a plan of action that you can take with you and implement immediately to start seeing the changes you’re looking for. Knowledge is power, so sharing these real life examples will be so helpful for other busy bees out there who are currently experiencing something similar. So you can sign up for a BusyBees in Business Strategy Session here and make sure you do so quickly because spots have been filling up fast for the first round of sessions that I will be offering!

And my final tip or recommendation for addressing this lack of motivation or energy you’re feeling to do your furniture makeovers is to remember one very important thing: motivation is an emotion, not a thing or an action. You feel motivated, and in order to feel it, usually you need to just… start. Whatever it is you need to do. Then that action creates the feeling or the emotion of motivation within you once you start seeing things getting done and seeing your To Do list dwindle.

That’s why on the days I hit the gym, I feel like I can tackle the world and get so much accomplished. Because I have the energy due to having taken action, gotten my ass to the gym, and created the motivation to continue on by having a productive day. It’s also why motivation experts and other people with titles that I can’t think of currently recommend making your bed first thing in the morning when you get up – it’s not because a made bed feels cozier to get into at the end of the night, it’s not because it looks nicer in your room, it’s because that’s the first thing in your day that you can do, that you can accomplish, and start your day off already being productive so that you feel that motivation to keep your energy flowing in that direction. So essentially, my tip here is that sometimes you need to just push through and get started, and trust that the rest will follow as it should.

And something you may not know about me… I love little motivational messages. They literally always get me fired up, and I keep a running list of ones that are especially catchy or speak to me in the Notes app on my phone. So I’m going to end every blog post with one of those that I have noted down over the years, in hopes that you leave our time here each week feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way that week.

So this week’s Mel’s motivational message is: Put yourself on your To Do list.

Alright, that’s it for now, I appreciate your time, and I’ll catch you guys next week!

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