HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED
Confession. I always start the new year super motivated, ready for new challenges and with growth on my mind. By February, I can start feeling burnt out. I start getting writer's block on the blog and start skipping gym classes. Over the years, I have tried to come up with ways to avoid this new year slump. Here are some tips for staying motivated:
Make To-Do Lists: Blame it on my type-A personality but a to-do list is my best friend. I usually keep a few to-do lists. I make a new one daily, one per quarter and one for the year. While I include simple tasks for the daily list (dry cleaning, for example), I save loftier goals for my yearly list. I love creating them because they keep me focused and I feel a sense of accomplishment each time I check a task off the list. It creates a snowball effect. Finishing one thing on my list gives me motivation to finish the next.
Have Perspective: I am one of those people who hates when someone tells me to be realistic about my goals but there is some truth to it. As I stated above, I keep multiple to-do lists with the idea that some of my goals aren't going to be accomplished in a day or two. Some may not even be completed until December of this year. However, there may be small steps I can take to get to that goal. My best friend gave me an agenda for Christmas from Horacio Printing. It is the best planner I've ever used! It challenges you to create three goals (or more if you want) for the year. Under each goal, it has a bulleted list that allows you to write each step that you need to accomplish to reach it. The planner even prompts you to break down your passions, focuses, obligations and distractions so you can know the difference. It changed the way I looked at my goals. Not as these grand, unreachable dreams, but as plans that can be executed one step at a time. Once I changed my perspective, it was easier to be motivated.
Have an Accountability Partner: One of the biggest hurdles can be the lack of a network to bounce ideas off of. When you have a task or goal that seems challenging, it can be hard to stay motivated about completing it. It's helpful to have someone who holds you accountable and gives you potential solutions when you reach an impasse. I have a weekly accountability call with a good friend of mine. During our call we go over a list of goals we set the previous week. They can be something related to our career, fitness, finances or projects we are working on. We discuss what we accomplished and what we are stuck on. We work through those challenges out loud and provide suggestions to each other. At the conclusion of the call, we set goals for the next week and how we plan to complete them before the next call. After we hang up, I always feel motivated to tackle the week.
Don't Compare Yourself: It's pretty hard to scroll through Instagram and not compare yourself to other people on your feed. It happens to the best of us. Have you ever heard the quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy?" Well comparison is pretty bad for your motivation, too. Sometimes when I see travel bloggers visiting beautiful exotic places on a Wednesday, it's pretty hard to muster up the motivation to get out of bed for work at 7am. Trust me, if you are always looking at what someone else has accomplished, you won't be happy with what you have going on. And real talk, you have no idea what challenges other people face. The same person could wish they had your job or your body. Focus on being grateful for everything you have and watch your motivation multiply!
Meditate: I recently started meditating in the morning. Sometimes, I feel like I wake up in the morning with ten thousand things on my mind. It was hard starting the day with a bunch of ideas in my head. Once I started meditating, I found that I could quiet my mind and really focus on what my vision was for the day (or week). Instead of spending the morning trying to figure out exactly what I was going to do, I was able to clearly picture what I wanted and immediately tackle it. A quiet, clear mind was the foundation I needed to get motivated and start the day.