Do you ever find yourself in a slump, lacking enthusiasm for your job, your workouts or your family obligations?

Strawberry passion

If you are like me, you may find yourself with a to do list that grows. Unless it has a deadline, it doesn’t get done. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it is frustrating.

Kick starting motivation can be difficult.

One way to do this is to invest time in a completely different passion. Ignore your to-do list for a day or two and focus on something you love to do.

My passion pick? Gardening.

The past few weeks have been quite warm and mostly sunny. Paul redid the deck, and I got into our garden.

This year was a different type of gardening. The first two springs in our house I reshaped the front garden, discovered what poison ivy was, weeded and divided plants.

This spring I felt like the garden would let me be more creative. The weeding wasn’t as cumbersome. Moving plants was a choice, not a necessity. Even the fruit and veggie garden was more choice. The 3rd-year strawberries are lush and finally producing fruit, and the raspberries are under control. I added things we eat, and not just things that are easy to grow: broccoli, lettuce, tomato and basil, and I just planted spaghetti squash, cucumber, cantaloupe and watermelon.

It is inspiring to see plants flourish with minimal effort. It feels like every small step I take produces a great result.

And that is how my passion pick motivates me to get back to my to-do list.

Expend energy to get more energy

When I work hard in the garden, sweating and feeling sore muscles at the end of the day (I didn’t yet mention the 9 loads of mulch I spread throughout the yard), I have more energy to do other things.

Take action on your passion to create more free time

By spending two or three hours immersed in an activity where results come from something you love to do, you free your mind from the bind of that list. It creates a psychological freedom to sit and drink iced tea (or a martini) on the new deck.

Focus in one area creates focus in another

When I was pregnant and all my thoughts and feelings were focused on the tiny human growing inside me, I wanted to give birth to new surroundings too. One focus expanded to other areas – painting, sorting, cleaning.

Likewise with gardening. Intense work to create beautiful landscape expanded my focus. I focused on my eating and exercise – “weeding” my body, in a way, from winter habits. I now spend focused time each week writing again and expanding my business.

Take your mind off problems – to see solutions

When I concentrated on activities I enjoyed, I suddenly saw what I wasn’t doing right. I got a business coach to help me maintain my focus and to create some accountability while I kick-started my motivation again. (Pooja targets just what I need, and she has laser listening and feedback skills, in case you are looking for a good coach.)

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Sometimes we have so many tasks to complete that we can’t possibly see a way past it. If someone suggests you do just one more thing, you may feel overwhelmed. However, if that suggestion is an activity that your heart calls you to do, carve out a few hours to do it.

If you enjoy pottery painting but haven’t done it in a while, go be creative! Paint! If you have always wanted to try zumba, get on it! If woodworking or tennis used to be your thing, jump right in.

Your passion will reward you with clarity, focus and energy.

What do you love to do that you haven’t “had time” to do for a while? Other than your to-do list, what is stopping you?

Let me know how it goes – I’d love to share in your stumbles and successes.

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