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Small “p” purpose

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COVID fatigue is real. Even as the economy slowly opens up, we are coming to terms with the fact that this virus will be affecting our lives for some time to come. The new normal, as it turns out, is a long road, not a short diversion. As we change and adapt, many of us are finding that the things we used to do that fired us up are falling short. That we’re less motivated to do things we used to be passionate about. This can leave you feeling lost and adrift – you might normally LOVE working out (reading books, cooking meals, building birdhouses, fill in the blank) but right now, you just…well…don’t want to. You may ask yourself, what the heck is happening to my purpose and drive?

The first thing to realize is that this is NORMAL. People often think they need to have some grand life purpose and all-encompassing WHY in order to move forward. If you have one, great! Good for you. If you don’t, you can make a decision based on what you have in front of you. Here are a few simple ways you can reconnect with your purpose, and rediscover why you loved (working out, reading, cooking, bird houses, etc.) in the first place:

1. Create a micro purpose. Your small “p” purpose can be temporary. If your goal is to get back to the gym on a consistent basis, choose a small “p” purpose that will get you excited to go. Maybe it’s about being with others and enjoying a sense of community. Maybe it’s about getting out of the house. Whatever it is, you can use micro purposes to motivate you.

2. Be aware when your purpose gets stale. Maybe you’re having trouble motivating yourself because your purpose is no longer working for you. It’s like cleaning out your closet. If you haven’t done it for a while, chances are good that some of those clothes really don’t suit you anymore. Things change. Life happens. Take the time to revisit your “why” and make a new one if the old one no longer fits.

3. Use small “p” purpose as a productivity tool. You can use small “p” purposes to motivate you for things you have trouble wanting to do, like cleaning your house. However, I do encourage you to consider how you frame it. Let’s say you hate housecleaning, and your purpose for housecleaning is so that you don’t live in a dirty house. Does that inspire you to pick up a rag and start cleaning? On the other hand, if your purpose for housecleaning is so that you can create a beautiful, welcoming place to live? Well maybe that helps motivate you, because you are creating something positive. It can change your attitude towards doing it.

What things keep you motivated? I’d love to hear from you!

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