Creative Summer Week 10 – Keep up the Motivation

Welcome to week 10 of Creative Summer!

There is still plenty of time left in the summer to get going on your creative projects. If you’ve struggled to find time or have been distracted by other things or had the misfortune to be ill, it’s alright.

There are still plenty of summer days to fill with creative expression.

It can be hard to keep the creative fires burning for an extended period of time like a summer. Perhaps you started off strong but fell off. It’s understandable and natural. The important thing is to pick back up and go back as quickly as you can.

Or maybe you are like me and got off to a very slow start. I have been making slow improvements after getting ill in March. I push myself in an effort to regain my energy. It’s tiring and I can’t do as much as I want to.

I still don’t have the energy I used to, but it’s improved, and I have managed to build excitement for my coming creative projects.

This is an important step. Even when we aren’t able to do our creative practices and projects, we can still work on our mindset for it.

We do this by build emotional and mental energy. It’s a practice in itself. And we really need to have that energy available to us to help us make the most of our creative time.

I have talked to many people that have things they really want to do but aren’t able to do them for various reasons. Often we use excuses to cover ourselves. They are often very good excuses, very believable. Usually it’s the case that we could find the time and energy if we really wanted to. If it was important.

Of course there are situations that are just beyond our control. However, people in these situations are the ones willing to sacrifice or to do what they can to squeeze out even 5 minutes for creative time. These people I truly admire because I’m usually in the other group that makes excuses rather than get to work.

So, I use a few tools to help me and other people increase their mental and emotional energy for something they want to do. They really do help, but they are not one-time fixes. They need to be repeated to work.

Build excitement

Learning to build excitement is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You can use it on anything, even things you don’t want to do.

It’s really simple.

  • Tell yourself you are excited
  • Tell yourself you are looking forward to doing it
  • Tell yourself how glad you will be to be making progress
  • And think of the benefits to doing the thing

Notice I don’t focus on the outcome. That’s sets you up for disappointment. Being excited about something is not about the result, it’s about the doing. The action itself, the process. It’s much harder to be disappointed.

And I always decouple the excitement from disappointment. It can’t be avoided sometimes. But disappointment has nothing to do with the excitement you create.

Tell myself I want to do something

This is another great skill to have because it’s generally useful.

When something you have trouble motivating yourself, work on telling yourself you really want to do something. Not just once, but repeatedly.

It steadily pulls your mind in that direction. And eventually, you will believe it. Then it makes taking action far easier.

Future Pacing

This is a new type of tool I’ve learned. Basically, you tell yourself you will do something. It might not happen right now, but in the near future.

And same as the other tools, you have to repeat it. This is really a visioning shortcut. As you say the words, you see yourself doing something. Enough times, and you will do the thing.

Give it a try. It really does work. And remember, that to keep yourself doing the thing, you have to keep repeating these words to yourself.

These three tools will work. They will help you keep yourself motivated. So keep building your emotional and mental strength as part of your Creative Summer.