Saturday, 31 July 2021

Finding the model railway mojo

Over the past few months I've lost interest in model railways. I don't read as much or watch Youtube train layout videos. My layout in the garage languishes despite the bottom deck being completely functional and operational (OK, it is often 4 degrees Celsius in there but that's no excuse!). Conversing with other railway modellers has diminshed markedly. Ripping up the layout and housing the cars sounds like a very good option indeed.

  Finding the right levers to bring back motivation can be difficult

Recently, I did some research for work on motivation in the workplace. As I read a wide array of articles, there were some common themes that nagged away at me as I passed by the garage door each day. These themes were as follows:

  • Being bored with your routine
  • The sense that the job is all too much 
  • Not being satisfied with what you’ve done
  • Comparing yourself to others 
  • Feeling stressed about what you’re doing

Now for a hobby, these themes are pretty counterintuitive. The purpose of a hobby is to alleviate all of those motivation killers. But motivation does lapse from time to time and we need a way to get our mojo back. How to bring the "hobby" back to being a "hobby"?

If I review my readings on motivation again, I get the following answers:
  • Remind yourself of the purpose and reset your focus if you have to
  • Check your environment (i.e. change or improve your environment)
  • Get back to small tasks instead of focusing on the grand outcome
  • Similarly, it's the doing not the end in itself that makes the hobby so interesting 
  • Realise there is an ebb and flow in what we do (i.e. don't be too hard on yourself)
  • Celebrate what you've already achieved
  • Start something new to find new motivation that can remind you what it feels like
I'll report back next month to see how things are going.


  1. Brad, I'm sure we all go through many emotions in life and if it means giving model railways a rest for a while so be it. I'm sure the feeling will come back after your first visit to the next(???) model rail exhibition. I often felt recharged on coming home from an exhibition. And I agree 4C degrees does not make for model rail operation.

  2. Brad

    I have found that action has to happen before motivation turns up. the idea is to just start something, preferably something that you want to do not something that you have to do. You can do the 'have to jobs' once motivation has set in.

    Ray P