The start of a New Year often sparks within us a desire to set new goals and resolutions. Yet, somehow, we just can’t seem to find the motivation to reach them.
Don’t stress! Read below for 15 steps you can take to complete your goals and enjoy the journey whilst you’re at it.
1. Remind Yourself Why
Why are you doing this? What is the end goal? Remind yourself of the bigger picture.
2. Positive over Negative
Find positive, not negative, motivators.
“If I don’t do this I will disappoint my partner” is much less motivating than “I can’t wait to see the smile on my partner’s face when I’ve finished this!”.
3. Take Care of Your Mental Health
A lack of sleep, taking on too much and negative self-talk can all impact your mental health. Take some time out to prioritize self-care. Avoid doing any work an hour or two before going to bed, instead, wind down with a bath and a good book.
4. Take Care of Your Physical Health
When you’re feeling run down and lethargic it can make completing steps that much harder, so keep in mind your physical needs too.
If you’re at a desk for long hours, take stretch breaks or go out for a walk around the block. If you’re working towards weight or fitness goals, consult a physical therapist at your local gym to ensure you are taking a sensible and healthy approach.
5. Consume Inspiring Media
Whether Instagram, Facebook or Twitter is your jam, try to keep your feed a positive and inspiring place. Unfollow or hide posts from accounts that make you feel bad and follow those that put a smile on your face.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the news but you should try and balance what you consume by also following people or sites who highlight the good things happening in our world. Try out Positive News if you’re feeling weighed down by the depressing focus of regular media. Or try @laurathomasphd if you’re frustrated by the constant fear-mongering around food. Laura combats common food myths and promotes a healthy, balanced mindset to intuitive eating.
6. Reward Yourself
Acknowledge your achievements with rewards. You can set small rewards to motivate you day-to-day, such as ‘if I complete two hours of study after work, I can spend the rest of the evening relaxing with Netflix and a glass of wine.’
Or, you can set larger rewards, such as going out for a meal to celebrate the completion of a course or going to the cinema to celebrate a month of sticking to a budget.
7. Find Enjoyment in the Task Itself
Rewards for a task completed might help keep you going but if you can find ways to enjoy the task itself you won’t need to rely on potentially costly motivators.
Consider ways to make the task more enjoyable. If you’re trying to improve your fitness but finding it hard to motivate yourself, consider different exercise options. You may find you enjoy swimming more than running or prefer cycling outdoors to training in a gym.
8. Use Playlists
A great way to make a task more enjoyable is a fun playlist. Whether you need the motivation to clean those dishes or finally sort out a messy wardrobe, a playlist to jam along to will make the job much more fun.
9. Stop Comparing
If you keep worrying that other people seem to be finding a task easier or seem way ahead of you, this can really demotivate you. Try to work on your habit to compare. If the only person you try to compete against is yourself, you will find a lot more peace of mind when working towards your goals.
10. Learn to Say No
Maybe the main reason you are struggling with motivation is simply feeling overwhelmed by all the things you’ve agreed to do. Learning to say no will help you focus your time on the goals that truly matter to you and those you care about.
Another great way to deal with overwhelm is to write down your tasks into ‘urgent’, ‘important’ and ‘other’. Prioritize the tasks in the first two columns before worrying about the ‘other’ column.
12. Change up your routine
Maybe your days seem to be rolling into one another, leaving you feeling uninspired and unmotivated. Well, changing up your routine might just be the solution.
Consider taking a day completely free of worrying about your goals, this might just clear your head enough to approach them with new-found energy.
13. Change your environment
Just as you might find yourself stuck in the same old routine, the same old environments can become uninspiring too. If you’re studying consider taking your laptop and books to a new cafe or the local park. Simply allowing yourself a change of place can really help boost your mood and your creative energies.
14. Commit for the Long-Haul
Learning to accept that you won’t see change overnight is a powerful way to prevent losing motivation. If you’re on a weight or fitness journey, focus on how you physically feel rather than numbers on a scale. It doesn’t matter what the scales say if you feel more energetic and positive due to the changes you have made.
15. Be Around Motivated People
Check out Meetup for a huge variety of groups in your local area. Anything from writing groups, to walking groups to coding meetups. Being surrounded by people motivated towards the same goals as you can really help inspire you to keep going.