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Meredith Haberfeld Fox News

April 2010

By Brooke Eaton

5 Ways to Regain Motivation at Work

Lacking love for your work? Our experts tell you how to bounce back.

The alarm clock goes off and the last thing you want to do is get up and head into the office. You can’t remember the last time you enjoyed a project or felt inspired by the work you were doing and your company shows zero appreciation. But in this economy, few can afford to up and quit in hopes of finding their dream job. And in reality, the experts say that is no solution. Rather, work performance and deserved recognition begin with the way you look at your job. Look to yourself to regain the energy you once had, and most likely, everything else will begin to fall in line.

Solution 1: Give 110 Percent for 60 Days
Executive coach, Meredith Haberfeld, advises her clients to extend themselves at the office for two months, and see how they feel afterwards. She says:

Connect being motivated with going above and beyond at work. It’s like someone who wants to go to the gym but hates working out. Exercise five days a week for two months and after you’ll say to yourself, ‘now I feel like jogging today.’ At work, give 110 percent for 60 days and you’ll be shocked at the results. People lacking motivation often feel like it’s not the right job and the company does not value them. But give 110% for two months and the company will start to look different.

Thinking about how much you dislike your job and talking about it do nothing. You need to be on a parallel track of what you’re doing about it. So while you dedicate yourself for those 60 days, do the following in tandem:

A) Formulate an exit plan by erecting a vision of what you would love to do next.
B) Create a plan for what would impress you most at the job you have.

Solution 2: Work to Impress Yourself
“Usually we’ll do just enough to impress someone else, but if you do it to impress yourself a huge resource opens up,” Haberfeld says. She compares it to the type of feeling you have after running a mile when you’ve been a walker your whole life. “It might be uncomfortable while you’re doing it and we might try to talk ourselves out of it by thinking ‘nobody is recognizing me.’ But work to impress yourself without regard for what’s happening outside of everyone else.”

Solution 3: Lose the ‘Tude
The job will start looking up when you start thinking more positively. “If something goes wrong, people use it as an excuse to start doing a bad job.,” says Alan Fried, an executive career coach and founder of Career Intervention. “If we don’t get that raise we’re pissed off at the company and it’s a recipe for disaster. But we don’t have to change the job to change the situation. Look for what you like about your work.” Ask yourself the following questions:

-What do I like doing most and how do I spend most of my time at my job?
-What makes me come alive?
-What am I good at?
-What do my boss and colleagues do right?
-When I first came to the job, what was it like?

“Our thinking becomes habitual and we need to break that habit,” Fried says. “Ask yourself, ‘If I could create the perfect situation, what would it look like?'” He goes on to stress the importance of a positive attitude. “If there are two people up for a promotion and one is more qualified and the other is more enthusiastic, 85 percent of the time the more enthusiastic person will get the promotion,” he says. “Enthusiasm is energy you can’t buy. Anyone would rather have that than someone is merely showing up for a paycheck.”

Solution 4: Surround Yourself with Positivity
“It’s really hard to succeed if you spend most of your time with unhappy people,” says Fried. “We’ll adapt to what’s around us. Look at Madonna, she moves to England and gets an English accent.” In addition to relationships at the office, Fried says workspaces can impact your mood. He tells clients to observe the way certain people set up their environments, taking note of their screensavers, plants, colors and clutter. “Some people are wired to have stacks of clutter, but when you walk into an office and see that, how does that make you feel? Does that give you energy or take energy away? How can you make your office work for you? If someone has a cluttered desk, where else is that clutter showing up in their life?”

Solution 5: Exercise
Lastly, life outside of work can play a big role in your performance on the job. Haberfeld emphasizes the importance of staying active. She says:

Exercise and food have a lot more to do with happiness than we think. When you’re not exercising your mood, attitude and energy suffer. Exercise moderately for four days a week and you’ll be surprised to see the impact it has on your work performance and your work relationships.

Fried emphasizes the importance of a well-rounded lifestyle. “People get so stuck on ‘what do I do for a living’ and thinking that getting that job will solve all of their problems,” he says. “The truth is having relationships, fun and health is what will make you fulfilled. You see the top athletes like Phelps, Armstrong and Federer in interviews talking about their success and they usually talk about what happens off the field the visualization, the attitude and the people around them.”