New Year's Day has come and gone, but that doesn't mean those resolutions have to go away!
Many people look to the coming of the New Year as a sign of hope and change; the notion that is in an opportunity to achieve your goals. Whether your intention is to lose weight, learn a new skill, volunteer more, or read bestsellers, reaching your objective takes one word and one word only: motivation!
But what happens when people can’t get motivated? Some attribute their lack of success to circumstances out of their control and disruptions in life. Picking yourself back up and dusting off is never easy, but with knowledge and planning, you can hold onto your motivation and ride it all the way down the glorious path of success.
So, without any further adieu, allow us to walk you down that path!
1. Get organized.
Prioritizing and planning are key when it comes to keeping your motivation strong. Sure, you can write out what you want to accomplish easily enough. But, while you do, make sure to be specific in defining exactly how will you get to your goals, prioritize your actions, and create a balance.
Here's a general formula you can follow:
1. Break down each goal into manageable steps
2. Research how to get started on each step
3. Prioritize each of these steps by importance, urgency, and duration (i.e. short term to long term)
4. Set an estimated time frame for completion
2. Get rid of distractions.
Social media, text messages, and looking up random things on the internet have one thing in common: they are all distractions! If you are reading this with no distractions, then huge kudos to you! Those who have stopped reading to check their social media feed, reply to your friend’s texts, or search for a recipe for bundt cake you weren’t looking for. Well, like all of us have done before, you might have wasted a bit of time.
Do your best to minimize these distractions. Start by turning off notifications on your phone/laptop and set a timer for "focus time." A strategy that we use at Zone is called the "Pomodoro technique." All you have to do is set a timer to work for 25 minutes, then you earn a 5 minute (timed!) break. It really is that easy.
Also, make sure to tell your friends that you are busy and will get back to them ASAP (don't worry, they will understand). You can then put your devices away to avoid temptation, or turn them to "Do Not Disturb" mode to minimize notifications. If you do not want to go that far, you can turn your screens to black and white move to make them less tempting to look at and be distracted by!
3. Find your happy place.
Creating a serene and ideal environment ensures full optimization when it comes to getting stuff done. Unfortunately, studies show that it can be hard to be productive at home. How many times have you caught yourself saying, I will get this done, I will not fall asleep on the couch, I will not turn on Netflix, or I will not put this off… Only to do just that?
If you are like most people, the answer is many times! Help yourself out, and get out of the house. If you don’t know where to go, then look up new places to go to. Coffeeshops, bakeries, heck, many diners have WiFi.
Of course, if you choose to stay at home, recognize your problem areas. This refers to any room in the house that may be considered a gateway to distractions, like that living room with that pesky television calling your name.
4. Be present! Don't jump to conclusions.
Sometimes our minds get the best of us, crafting stories of worst case scenarios before we have even started. Give yourself the gift of possibility by opening your mind to the chance of a different and positive outcome. Even if you make a mistake or face a setback, it’s not the end; you can get back on track. Keep taking the small steps. Don’t tear yourself down before you get started or if you get off track. When the inevitable voice of doubt creeps in, challenge and fight those negative thoughts. You can take away the power those “no’s” and “I can’t do this” have over you. Affirm yourself, take a stand, and say you are enough. And if you do fail, like everyone does from time to time, forgive yourself and get back to work.
Repeat over and over.
5. Imagine your ideal future.
Imagination. It’s a powerful thing. Imagination can powerfully direct our mental energy towards manifesting our ideal happiness, but it can also take us to the dark side of dashed hopes and dreams. As I said before: DO NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS!
Instead, ask yourself again what you would like to accomplish and visualize how the results would look to you. If envisioning one possible outcome is difficult, then write it out so you have something to look back at. Writing is not your thing? Then create a vision board! Each image you choose should fuel your ambitions of creating a better future for yourself. There are plenty of methods out there, find one to keep your motivation and imagination in good spirits. If you need some help getting started, then read this article by Make A Vision Board!
6. Remind yourself of the reason behind your goals.
Along the way of making changes in your life there comes an inevitable point of exhaustion that makes you question, “Why am I still doing this,” or , “Nothing is changing. What’s the point?”
Change doesn't happen overnight. It takes commitment and discipline, and you will have to withstand slumps, discomfort, and bouts of fatigue. Remind yourself of WHAT you are working towards and WHY by placing sticky notes with inspirational words for yourself on the fridge, desk, or anywhere in your house can boost your morale. Jot down “I am” statements following with a positive and affirming word.
Some of our favorites to help you get started:
I am enough.
I am strong.
I am on the right path.
I am grateful for who I am and who I can be.
I am capable.
I am not alone.
I am worth it.
7. Have fun with it.
Routines can be dull and downright draining, but they don’t have to be. Easier said than done, right? Well, it can be if you’re willing to put the effort in changing things up. Try researching alternatives you can implement into your plans. A change to your routine will do you a world of good, even if it is a tiny change.
Shave ten minutes off your workout to do extra stretching? Go ahead, you can afford to spare those ten minutes to finish early. Want to find new ways to display your creative side but don’t know where to look? Try sketching or creative writing. You can settle into a routine, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
8. Have a fight song.
Everyone has a fight song. You may not know yours but you almost certainly have one. Your fight song is a song that gives you strength, purpose, and optimism all in one shot. Even the cliches like Eye Of The Tiger or We Are The Champions can inspire the best in you.
Personally, my fight song is Third Eye by Florence + The Machine. If you’ve never listened to the song, then look it up and be amazed. The lyrics, “I’m the same, I’m the same, I’m try’na change,” repeated over and over again assure me that no matter what I set out to do, I am making the effort to take risks and make changes (even if I don’t succeed). Find your fight song, focus on the lyrics and see what you can draw from the words.
So what have we gained after reading these tips? Giving up: BAD! Keeping motivated and working for the best: GOOD! Apply some of these tips to anything you have going on in your life. Only you can stoke the fires of motivation and keep the flames burning, so don’t let anything snuff that out!
Have you tried any of these tips? Do you have any tips you want to add to the list? We'd love to hear them! Sound off in the comments below.