It happens to the best of us. We go to bed with bog dreams of the monstrous amount of things we will accomplish the next day. We wake up and whether, by design or happenstance, we find ourselves stuck and unable to motivate.

It is an interesting paradox because, on the one hand, we know that it is good to stay motivated. Work out (even if you don't feel like it) do the things we need to do, even if there is a complete and utter lack of motivation. Accomplish the goals that we set forth for ourselves regardless of the little or no driving force behind the task.

However, there is the flip side. The voice that says "do you need to do it if it doesn't bring you joy?" or "by resting I am engaging in self-care" which is also critically important.

So which is it? Which mantra do we live by when we are faced with the overwhelming feeling of doing nothing, being lazy, and sitting there scrolling our phones all the while beating ourselves up for not doing anything.

Is there a right answer? Should we always just get up and complete our tasks? Should we not succumb to the urge to do nothing? How do we decide?

I have been on both sides enough to understand the quandary. Although there might not be a right answer, maybe we can gain perspective by looking at it in the following way.

I would suggest that if you are needing a "self-care" or "mental health" day then you take one, but schedule it. Do not let it be the bi-product of a lack of motivation or else you could spend the day mentally agonizing over all the things you are not doing. If you are in need of some restorative care, make a plan, mark the day, and give in knowing that this was planned and is critical to your success.

On the other side, if it is not a planned day and your motivation is just not present, try re-framing the day. If you have multiple things to do that day but they seem overwhelming, try just picking one task to complete. You do not need to cross everything else off your list to be successful. Just one task can help with the feelings of accomplishment. Often, they also have the effect of "getting the ball rolling" and once the task is done, you find some small amount of motivation to maybe accomplish another. Regardless, it is a small victory because you did overcome your lack of motivation to complete a task.

Those days that are hard, they should not be viewed in black and white. It is not complete all tasks or no task. It is not a win or loss. It is ok to not do it all and still be happy and satisfied with doing something. Because, at the end of the day, one step towards the finish line is better than remaining seated at the starting line.

Be kind and good to yourself.

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