By Emma Harris @setforwardthinking
Everything that has been going on in the world this last year has caused quite a few of our lives to be filled with uncertainty and disruption. During those times it can be much harder to embody the positivity and motivation you need to continue smashing your goals. It means you’ve got to focus on making the best choices and habits to find that motivation and positivity. Whether you’re suffering from a lack of motivation, working from home or just feeling overwhelmed, these tips will help you keep yourself on track.
Routine, Routine, Routine
They say that the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.
It’s not enough to just want to be positive and motivated – you’ve got to put together the building blocks that get you there, and part of that is routine. Of course, it is good to mix things up every now and again, so you aren’t always living your life in autopilot, but when it comes to motivation, routine is incredibly beneficial.
Your mind loves consistency and routines. Routine means less decisions have to be made each day. This avoids the setbacks of decision fatigue and feeling overwhelmed from all the decisions you need to make. Routine means you know how much time you have to get things done, which stops you from either wasting time or rushing.
Routine means you can ensure you get enough sleep by going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time every day – a well-rested mind has much more motivation for the day. Try creating a set schedule for your days, so you know exactly what to expect.
Make Time For You Too
Strangely enough, the first lockdown was probably one of my most productive periods this year. Why? Because it provided ample time to care for yourself.
Working hard doesn’t necessarily mean you are being more productive, neither will it keep you motivated all the time. Overworking yourself and not making time to relax and do things you enjoy will only make you feel stressed and tired, dissolving your motivation rapidly. You do your best when you feel your best. An empty lantern cannot produce light. Motivation is not going to come from a place of stress, unhappiness and negativity. Motivation comes from a place of positivity, vibrancy and joy.
So, whatever ‘me time’ means to you, find a way to schedule that in. In fact, make it part of your routine – make ‘me time’ non-negotiable, an automatic process. A great way to do this is through a morning and evening routine. Carving out even just 30 minutes extra when you wake up, and before bed to do something that makes you feel relaxed and joyful ensures you’re making time for you. Moreover, it ensures you are not only starting, but ending your day with joy.
Today I Get To...
Start saying ‘I get to’ instead of ‘I have to’ every day. Look for the opportunities and joy in everything that you do. To-do lists can so easily feel like a list of chores, something that you dread to look at. When you ‘have’ to do something, it can feel forced, and that is never going to motivate you.
Instead, find opportunity in what you are doing, see it as a chance to grow or have a positive impact on yourself and others. Then your to-do list will start to feel more purposeful. That sense of purpose can really ramp up your drive and determination.
You get to go to work today because it gives you the opportunity to feel purpose, to gain abundance, to help people, to learn and grow.
You get to go food shopping today because it gives you the opportunity to find food that will nourish your body and keep you well.
You get to go on that run today because it gives you the opportunity to feel alive, to improve your health, to feel the rush of endorphins and happiness afterwards.
Your brain is easily influenced - the more you focus on the positives and opportunities in things, the more you train your brain to continue doing so. You’ll start to see opportunity in more of your day. This is especially helpful on days that don’t feel like they are going well – it will help to keep you more resilient in the face of setbacks.
Celebrate The Small Wins Too
So many of us have been conditioned to think that celebrating yourself is arrogant, or that only huge accomplishments are worth celebrating. This can be so demotivating. Even the little steps count, even small progress is still progress – and you deserve to celebrate them.
When I was training to be a teacher, I found myself feeling so demotivated at the fact that every time I taught a lesson, I had to be given something to improve on. I found it so demotivating – like every time I tried to do better, it still wasn’t enough. But I was ignoring the positives in that feedback too! Our inner critics love to shine the spotlight on criticism, and it is our job to outshine them with our achievements.
So, I decided to start writing down something I achieved every single day – I had to find something to celebrate. Even if some days this was as small as just getting out of bed and going to work (because we all have days when even that feels like a struggle,) other days it could be big successes like getting a new job. No matter how big or small, it made me realise that there is success in every single day.
Each Day Is A Fresh Start
Lastly, know this – each day is a fresh start. Just because yesterday didn’t go as well as you wanted it to, or you feel like it was the most unproductive day ever, today is a brand new day. Just because you didn’t feel that motivated or positive yesterday, doesn’t mean you cannot today.
Sometimes positivity and motivation are like the stars – they’re always there, even when the dark clouds hide them, we’ve just got to remind ourselves to find them.
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