Sunday Tittle Tattle: Total Demotivation

positivity and motivation

I’m not sure it was the best way to start my year, saying “b*llocks to resolutions“. I suppose I was trying to give myself a break, not be so hard on myself – I was attempting to put a stop to the continuous “must do better” voice inside my head that manages to infiltrate every part of my life.

My shunning of resolutions was a bit of a middle finger, also, to the plague of positivity posts that appear every New Year – people telling other people how to become positive, how to be more positive, how to avoid other people who aren’t positive, how to stay positive, how to make lists of everything that is positive. Call me a grumpy old cow, but sometimes I quite like to wallow in a bit of self-pity whilst eating all of the orange, strawberry, fudge and purple ones out of a large tin of Quality Street.

However – and I say this with a slightly sheepish look on my face – my “no resolutions, everything is fine the way it is” start to 2017 has backfired somewhat. I’ve never felt so demotivated! Perhaps it’s because I’m 36 weeks pregnant and can barely get out of a chair without a winching system in place, but I seriously cannot be bothered to do anything. My usual pizazz, which is always at a high ebb in January, is nowhere to be seen – my laptop has been stowed away in the tupperware cupboard (don’t ask) for over a week and my office is still strewn with bits of Christmas paper and all of the festive products that I didn’t have time to feature.

Yes it could be the “heavily pregnant” thing, getting in the way of my usual enthusiasm levels, but I also blame the fact that I didn’t do my resolutions. I’ve realised, over the past week, that my customary end-of-year list isn’t just a “what can I do better?” exercise, it’s a round-up of all that I’ve accomplished as well as things I didn’t get round to. And missing this annual appraisal has left me with my head buried in the sand, not knowing where an earth I am with work or family life, just plodding from day to day without any kind of direction or goal.

So I’m not backtracking (honest guv!) so much as adjusting my sentiments from last week’s post: I still don’t want to give myself the pressure of more things to do, I still don’t want to “appraise my strengths and weaknesses” or beat myself up over what I didn’t get done. No resolutions – that still stands. But I will be spending a few hours tomorrow writing out a list of what’s important to me, what makes me happy (apart from the obvious family stuff) and how I can make time to do it. Work-wise, I want the content I put out to be better, always, but to do this what has to go? What do I love writing about, what bores me? How can I streamline things so that I’m only ever writing or filming the most engaging or useful stuff? (You should see how many pointless post drafts I write, editing for hours before coming to the realisation that I’m just not interested in the product enough to feature it. Or videos that end up in trash after a whole day’s work because they’re not up to scratch! What a waste of valuable time.)

I’m hoping that this little think session will rid me of my terrible sense of demotivation. I know I’m feeling particularly angsty because Baby No2 is so close and I’m wondering what an earth it’ll be like trying to balance everything, but I’m sure that my slightly negative and nonchalant “b*llocks to this!” entry into 2017 didn’t help in terms of spurring me into action.

Tell me: do you know what I mean when I say that I need a sort of head-sorting session? Not a list of resolutions, but a clearing out of the needless anxieties and insecurities I carry about with me and the formation of a general kind of plan for the future? It’s bigger than resolutions, actually – it’s a total brain overhaul, and I think that I probably rely on it to be able to fit in everything I do and not have a weekly meltdown.

So tomorrow: brain overhaul. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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34 Comments

  1. January 8, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    Absolutely love your honesty. I find head sorting sessions crucial from time to time. It just puts everything into the right perspective and makes you feel that you’re not so bad after all.

    Dear Ruth, I think you’re nothing, but brilliant. And it’s perfectly fine to not feel ok from time to time.
    Lots of love xx
    Can’t wait for baby no 2

  2. Lisa P
    January 8, 2017 / 11:33 pm

    Be gentle on yourself! Every little thing you do makes me smile and say to myself “geez I just live this chick”…. “She improves my day every time I read her writing” .. Etc… Your body is expending every ounce of energy to finish cooking your new little angel. Sit back, relax, out your feet up and attempt to enjoy your last weeks with one toddler and nappies for one! You’re amazing…. Truly amazing!

  3. January 8, 2017 / 11:58 pm

    B*llocks to resolutions! I know exactly what you mean haha!

  4. Cath
    January 9, 2017 / 1:16 am

    Hang on in there, Ruth.

    Last week, I had two days of amazing productivity, and the rest of the week was a washout. And I’m not heavily pregnant. This is not a time for climbing Everest, or even making a plan for climbing Everest. Give yourself a break. I think fewer resolutions and more “take each day as it comes” might help.

    But what the f**k do I know? You do you. Much love, with brain-sorting and everything else.

  5. Samantha lavoie
    January 9, 2017 / 1:17 am

    Hi Ruth ! I’ve been following your blog since 2011, your posts are always great and you going to have 2 kids under 2 I totally think you should give yourself a break on the resolutions thing. Your stuff is always great because your always honest and down to earth. I do love your shopping posts. Those are my fav and your handbag posts.i don’t think you need a brain overhaul I think you just put to much pressure on yourself to do everything at 150%. Your mom day in the life blogs are awesome as well. I hope you feel better though !!! :)

  6. January 9, 2017 / 2:02 am

    Seems to me like you need a bit more organization into your life. You appear to feel daunted by the responsibilities of the new baby, plus handling everything else your already do. I’d look into some mental balance technique, and also some organizational books.

  7. Poorani
    January 9, 2017 / 2:36 am

    Give yourself some time. Don’t feel down. You are doing well having a baby and being pregnant at once. This might be tough now but try getting out for a small walk as often as you can. Just seeing people is therapeutic. This pregnancy and baby phase is quite tough I think but you’ll be past it soon. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Baby steps Ruth.

  8. Carla
    January 9, 2017 / 3:08 am

    Give yourself a break! You have worked hard this past year with great posts and fun to read content. I don’t believe in resolutions. They put way too much pressure on people. It is ok to be demotivated now and again. Creative juices ebb and flow, they can’t be running non stop!
    Not to mention 36 weeks preggers and a toddler at home. I am exhausted thinking about it;) You are doing enough just as you are, no need to add resolutions on top of all that.
    Happy 2017!!

  9. Virginia Villalobos
    January 9, 2017 / 4:52 am

    Lovely and bravely honest post today, Ruth, and the reason I keep coming back to your postings. You echoed my feelings to a tee regarding the “plague of positivity” so that made me laugh! It must be daunting to be on the verge of having two small children to raise and I am sure this is playing into your underlying anxiety about the future. Sometimes it brings comfort and a sense of security to “have a plan”, yet things seem to always sort themselves out, don’t they?

  10. Emma
    January 9, 2017 / 5:32 am

    Yes definitely! I don’t do resolutions but I do like to have a session at the end if my work year reviewing what I’ve achieved, what didn’t get done and then identify my top few priorities for the next year. I find it lets me switch off and have a decent head break from work but still feel I have a rough idea about what I’m going to do when I hit the desk again. On the personal front I also find those glorious slower days between Christmas and new year to be the best time to review, dream and plan with my husband. The kids have often settled down by that stage from the bickering and exhaustion of a busy year and lead up to Christmas (I’m in Oz so end of the school year for us) so we find ourselves with time to chat at length over a glass of wine. Without being able to do both of these things I don’t feel I hit the new year in the same place, so can totally relate.

  11. Hazel
    January 9, 2017 / 8:09 am

    You sound like you are doing fine! I wonder if a general problem we all have is that we think too much. We worry about achievements, goals, self-fulfilment when, in your case, being a Mum to a small child, soon to be two, running your own business, and doing it in the public eye is MASSIVELY FANTASTIC! My advice, were it sought, sould be to stay cool and be kind to yourself. I love your blog, by the way – I love it!

  12. January 9, 2017 / 8:34 am

    Brain overhaul sounds much scarier than New Years Goals. But I know what you mean, sometimes we do need a restart button, no matter the date. And it seems we are trained to push that button in January. What helped me a lot before baby number two arrived was to set mys lf a date after deliviery, about two months after due date, to do the reset. I figured by that time I would have an idea and before that I was at a loss anyway. Nothing prepares you for life with two kids, just like nothing prepares you for the changes one brings. Just relax until then and see how everything will work out once baby number two is there.

  13. Kate
    January 9, 2017 / 8:49 am

    Hi Ruth, I completely understand. Instead of resolutions, I appraise the four key areas of my life (work, relationships, health and ‘me’) and think of what has gone well and what I want to achieve in the coming year – personal goals I guess! Nothing is that crazy, it’s like a life MOT! Has worked well for the past 6 years! xx
    PS glad you’re back, I had wondered if baby #2 may have arrived early!

  14. Cassandra
    January 9, 2017 / 11:01 am

    Pure Ruth! Thank you for your honesty, that’s what we love your blog for.

  15. Danielle
    January 9, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    I think sorting out, acknowledging and giving names to our feelings is healthy as it allows us to process it and either let it go or manage it with awareness rather than a sickly feeling in our gut.
    As for lack of productivity, I can’t say for all Mum’s and I know how hard it must be for you right now because this is your livelihood but at the same time, something has got to give sometimes otherwise you will burn out.
    I get it I’m a perfectionist myself, i would spend hours and hours planning my lessons to perfection, giving up my personal time researching how to approach a difficult student or get the best out of a SEN or gifted student.
    I’m a stay at home mum now, a whole other world (very judged too) and sometimes harder as I don’t get to send them back after an awful hour or so for a new set! The tendency to perfectionism is difficult still with activities and classes and whether I’m doing ‘enough’ I have had to let go a lot especially after a extremely challenging pregnancy with my second daughter and my first being diagnosed with hypothyroidism at the same time. But to juggle the demands of your social media and blogging is hard enough without the demands of a newborn and a toddler.
    I do however think you will need to reframe your approach to the blog until the dust settles, the jump from one to two was and still is the hardest process I’ve ever done so don’t blame yourself if things don’t go perfectly and if you don’t manage things like you used to for a while. From experience you will need a coping mechanism for things not being ‘perfect’ but still being productive.
    It’s not throwing one thing out the door, or making ‘resolutions’ it’s stretching and rejigging our vision and approach to fit our changing life in a meaningful and healthy way.

  16. Ashley
    January 9, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    Screw resolutions. Just set a beautiful intention whenever the heck you feel so inclined. Such as when you are stuck in traffic take a deep breath and say I wish for everyone here to find peace today. Even if you are livid in traffic, even if your coffee is cold, I swear you will feel a bit better and it will set you up for some good feelings throughout the day. Sometimes I say today I would like to be a better partner, parent, and pet owner. I have been doing it for almost ten years now and it really has improved my life. When you have your second baby your first grows up in that moment. It was the first time I ever really witnessed “time” and it was humbling and astounding. Just creating a peaceful life where you can consciously be aware of time and the people in your life is a beautiful existence. Happy 2017!

  17. January 9, 2017 / 12:57 pm

    Ruth I am always amazed at how much you get done! Content every other day, looking after a toddler, meetings meetings meetings. (Even before bump. I don’t know how you even manage to brush your hair now). You inspire me to do more. Happy New Year! X

  18. Hayley
    January 9, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    It’s nice to be demotivated from time to time. There is so much pressure put on people to be productive that you nearly feel guilty if you have no inclination to be productive. I say just enjoy the feeling while it’s there, fighting it is going to exhaust you. It may also be your body’s way of preparing you for labour – every pregnancy is different. So long as you are keeping on top of the essentials, just let the rest fall into place.

  19. Gillian Pidler
    January 9, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    Ruth you seem to be one of those people that puts untold pressure on themselves to get everything done and sometimes at the cost of a sit down, feet up, smell the coffee kind of moment. I’ve heard you say before that you’re hard on yourself but you have only 4 weeks to go before the new little precious one arrives & you’re raising a toddler, newly on the move also!! Enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy, they’re precious moments & even more so when you have a little one that will no longer be the sole focus of your attention. So what if the Xmas paper is still lying in the office and this or that isn’t done. Do the most important stuff for your family and yourself and the rest will happen when you’re in a better frame of mind. Chances are you’ll have a nesting period and go nuts with it all anyway before baby arrives and if no, so what!!
    Enjoy Angelica as the only child while you can, rest as much as you can, pregnancy is hard work, & don’t sweat the small stuff. Getting excited for your new arrival!!

  20. Rebekka Hay
    January 9, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    Take it easy Ruth. We all tend to put way too much pressure on ourselves. Focus on you and the shorties first. But I agree, a review of accomplishments and realistic planning can be a great help to focus.
    One question for you though: could you maybe put the links to related posts and the end of your posts instead of sticking them in the middle? I find them a little distracting, as though someone is poking you whilst you try and read something. Personally I prefer to read the full article first and then see what related posts I may not have read yet. Much love!

  21. January 9, 2017 / 3:25 pm

    Take a deep breath! Ok? Now, all will be just fine. You will manage to get through this year. It’s incredible how when we think of possible problems we freak out, but when we’re actually there, facing the challenge, we manage to surpass it. And regarding your sluggish start of the year, believe me, I’m 24 and have 1 month and a half of exams ahead of me and I can’t even bother to get off of my pj’s. So for a “heavily pregnant” mum of a toddler to feel demotivated seems more than reasonable. Take care!

  22. Ciara
    January 9, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    As someone who has just had my second baby, I now FANTASISE about the days when it was just me and the toddler. Not wishing to scaremonger so much as implore you to make the utter most of these comparatively carefree days before chaos ensues! I’d like to add that I’m utterly besotted with my new baby but if I thought I was busy before….!!

    Too long, didn’t read?:

  23. January 9, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    Motivation is a real bugger sometimes. Especially when it feels like the world has gone to hell in a handbasket.

  24. Deepti
    January 9, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Dear Ruth, I am 39 weeks and feel exactly like you do. I love your blog especially as I feel you represent a woman that belongs to todays’ world. After much thought I decided 2017 was going to be a year of completing all unfinished business (work and emotional). There is always a sense of accomplishment when things get done. And besides one can use everyday of the year to be a better person!

  25. Liv
    January 9, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    Ruth, you sound exhausted, and it’s been a very busy year. As the others have mentioned – give yourself a break! It’s totally fine to feel this way. We love you that’s why we read your blog. Just focus on you & Bub. I promise you we’ll all still be waiting here in a few months when you are ready to dazzle us once more…. Take care of yourself. Xox

  26. Sandie
    January 9, 2017 / 9:45 pm

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean about Head Sorting sessions! I think this is very common these days especially living, working, commuting, socialising in a hectic, competitive, technology driven world (technology is supposed to make life easier and save you time, right? So why do I spend far too long wasting precious time gazing at my phone, iPad, laptop and then wonder why I am always late! Or tired! Or both!)
    I find that dedicating half an hour a day to – Stop Relax Breathe – does help to step back a little, take the pressure off for a few moments. Put things into perspective, think, chill.
    Good luck, and please know that your blogs are truly brilliant, so refreshing, honest and entertaining. Thank you!

  27. deb
    January 9, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    Yes, Tupperware and laptops go together. Maybe BFF’s.

  28. Gillian Whitcombe
    January 10, 2017 / 2:36 am

    Yes, totally! I also tried to avoid lofty goals this year, except I did blog that I wanted to become more badass at work and in my personal life… which promptly made me have anxiety attacks when i tried to do even tiny things outside my comfort zone! Great stuff, life goal. Thanks.
    Do what you need to do – and also, maybe hire a cleaning lady for a few hours to get Christmas tidied away while you lounge in your chair?

  29. Charlotte
    January 10, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    If we lived in a magical world, then I would want a Pensieve from Harry Potter to put all my unwanted memories/feelings into (when Dumbledore siphons out key memories of his brain when it’s overloaded). I don’t do resolutions either, I just want to keep going with what my main goals were from last year, enormous and slightly overwhelming but easier when I know it can be broken down into small steps.
    Don’t be hard on yourself & take care xxxx

  30. January 10, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    Love your outlook on things! I have chosen not to set myself New Year Resolutions but to instead think about what I want to achieve by the end of the year. xx

  31. ann
    January 11, 2017 / 9:07 am

    Wow. You are really hard on yourself. You are 36 weeks pregnant! That is license to do nothing if ever one existed. Enjoy it, it doesn’t last. Once you have two, you will wonder what in hell you were so worried about it over. Just enjoy! Sleep and eat and do nothing as much as you possibly can. Be kind to yourself and you’ll be back at it soon enough.

  32. Annica
    January 11, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    Another grumpy old cow over here. ;)
    Haven´t done any kind of resolutions ever.

    But as I get older I realize how important it is to set your priorities right, especially when time is limited.
    I think it´s good to have some sort of plan, but not in the “you HAVE TO DO / ACHIVE…” way.
    More like things I want to do, places I want to visit etc.

    Hope the brain overhaul went well! =)

  33. Ingela Wahlgren
    January 11, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    We all have slumps, that’s ok.

    Today I had a reason to look through my entire work calendar for 2016 and it made me realise how much I had done and accomplished during the year and that really made me feel happy and proud. I think we often don’t do that, we never take stock of what we have actually managed to get done, instead we just focus on what could be done better. Both are important, of course, this was just a friendly reminder that you are are already doing a great job with both career and home life. :)

  34. Dee B
    January 12, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    Hi, I’d offer to come and help organise your office only I’m in a different country and you might worry about strangers on the internet offering to come to your house! It would be a great distraction from my own mess. Do what makes you happy, resolutions, semi-resolutions, mental clear out, whatever you want to call it. Your honesty is so lovely and we get all this lovely advice and insightful writing for free, lucky us!! Which is why I’d love to offer to help – but we’re back to the crazy internet person worry ha ha! But that’s the kind of support you have out here from the people in your computer.

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