How To Stay Motivated
Don’t put off that mammoth task
How many times have you built a task up in your mind to be huge and unmanageable, then when you finally work up the energy to tackle it, it’s far easier than you thought? It happens to the best of us… a lot! If you have something that you’ve been putting off, try giving it your all for 10-15 minutes. Commit fully for this short period and at the very least you’ll know what you’re dealing with, and at the most you’ll be well on your way to handling it.
If your ideas are stagnating and you can’t figure out how to progress, maybe your body is stagnating too. Stand up, stretch, go for a walk. A little movement can make a big difference in helping you refocus.
If it’s not possible to move about physically, try mental movement. If you’re struggling with a task, try moving your mind to something completely different for 10 minutes, then come back with fresh eyes.
Stay on track
Once you’ve hit the rhythm of getting things done, avoid distractions. That means saying ‘not right now’ to any non-urgent requests. Your family, friends and colleagues will understand if you ask them to wait 30 minutes.
Set smaller targets
Having an amazing life-changing goal to aim for is great, but getting there can be a challenge. Break down that target into a few smaller steps and celebrate each milestone to keep your energy up and remind you how far your hard work is getting you!
Whether it’s a plan of attack for any obstacles you might face, or feeling overwhelmed, making a list of things to do will help you get out of your head and on track to triumph.
Stay hydrated & get enough sleep
Never overlook the importance of basic self-care. Dehydration and lack of sleep will leave you lethargic and unfocused, and you’ll find it harder to get the best from your day. Always get your 2 litres a day with a new drinking bottle, and know when to call it a night with fresh pillows.
Equip yourself to succeed
No-one wants to fall into the ‘all the gear and no idea’ category, but having the right equipment can make the difference between success and failure. It could be something like getting some new trainers to help you crack a 10K, or maybe it’s creating a comfy home office to encourage you to write that novel, but whatever it may be, figure out what is going to help you stick with it.
Be your own inspiration
Stay pumped for the challenge by surrounding yourself with positivity. Make a positive Pinterest board, create an inspirational Instagram collection, find a Facebook group to fan the flames of self-belief. Write yourself inspirational notes and place them in plain sight when you’re getting ready for that workout, researching that room makeover, or learning a new skill. When you need a pep talk, try YouTube or TED Talks to top up your go-getting attitude.
If you prefer a more analogue approach, get your crafting box out and create a mood board of all the things you want to achieve. Put your goals out there in the world, and you’ll have an constant reminder of the what and the why.
Put some tunes on
Want to get pumped up to tackle your tasks? Music is a great motivator. You might associate a good beat with getting your gym tempo right, but music can enhance all sorts of activities. Painting a room doesn’t seem so dull when you’re rocking out with your favourite playlist, and following a complicated new recipe is less taxing when combined with something else you enjoy. Just be careful which track you pick or you could get completely distracted by singing into your wooden spoon.
If you’re working on a project that requires your full focus and your album of the moment would be too distracting, try something less familiar, or better yet, completely new to you. It won’t be so easy to have your mind pulled away, but it will give you some background noise. Sometimes silence can be deafening.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Expect perfection in anything and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. No matter how big or small your goal, it probably won’t turn out exactly the way you thought it would. Aim to get as near as you can to 100% happy, but know that it’s okay to let yourself off the hook once in a while.
A stumble isn’t a failure, it’s just a little bump on the path to your goal. The important thing is to have a positive attitude – you only fail if you give up.
Sharing is caring (for yourself)
Humans are community creatures, so share your ideas and concerns. You never know who might have the answer or give the encouragement you need to prosper. Even the strongest and most organised of us need a little support now and then, so reach out with your experience in whatever forum feels comfortable: friends, family, co-workers, professionals or online groups.
Review your process
If at first, you don’t succeed to give up chocolate/take up Pilates/learn to speak Japanese, try, try, again. If your first method doesn’t feel right or is too much hard work, change it. Your new hobby or habit won’t stand a chance of survival if the process is a barrier in itself. Struggling to get started and keep momentum is no reflection on your new pastime, it just means you might need to explore a new way into it.
It may sound cheesy, but if you can see yourself making positive changes in your life, and visualise a happier you at the end of it, you can tap into that feeling to keep you going.
Don’t give in to negative thoughts
You’re not going to spend every waking moment feeling like you can conquer the world. When you’re having a motivational meltdown, take a deep breath and do something positive. The smallest and simplest things can make a difference to your mood, from making time to have an interruption-free cup of tea, singing along to your favourite song, or getting an early night. Hit reset and start again.