Finding that motivation
If you have been anything like me, your motivation levels (like your emotions) have been on that 'coronacoaster' the past few months. One day going for a run, doing a yoga session, meditating, learning some German, writing some articles, sewing a jumper, and cooking up a storm. The next day, the most productive thing you can manage is bingeing an entire season of All Saints (guilty!).
Staying at home, in the same environment, being kept away from family and friends. Having no holiday plans. Even wondering what Christmas will look like. Knowing there is no real end in sight. Can you really blame yourself for feeling and behaving like this?!
But we shouldn't lose hope. Instead we should be kind to ourselves, and begin to recognise, or remind ourselves of these extenuating circumstances, and the havoc they can wreak on our motivation levels.
Here are a couple of super simple things that I find help me with giving those motivation levels the little boost they need, particularly when there isn't much else going on.
The day to day
To do lists
I start every day with a to do list. This is usually just set up in my 'Notes' app on my phone so I always have it with me. I find that the process of removing things from the list, whether it be crossing them out or actually deleting them, feels like a little achievement so it gives me that little boost I need. Given this, my lists have been pretty long of late, and may include things as small as walk the dog, pick up groceries for dinner.
Take what you can get, right? You may find that offloading your to do list the night before works better as it is a way of 'decluttering', or stopping those unproductive thoughts and worries from buzzing around in your head as you try to drift off to sleep. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I am out, so for me, doing this in the morning works just fine.
Things can seem a little pointless without some direction. This may be the case more than ever at the moment considering you may not be going into your place of work, or you don't know when you will get on a plane next. This is where I have found goals, no matter how small, can be really helpful in giving you something to work towards. One thing that I was able to continue and even build upon during the past few months was exercise. I was already practising yoga every day, so I set additional goals that I could work on within my practice, such as working to achieve a head stand by the end of year. Maybe exercise isn't your thing, so the goal of finishing that book you have had sitting on your shelf for weeks by the end of the month might work for you, and join a book club to hold yourself accountable.
Anchor points I am all about routine, especially at the moment as it adds some predictability. But nothing too strict. I feel like the idea of mapping out my time in 15 minute increments with set expectations is just setting myself up for failure, and isn't going to help on the motivation front. Therefore, a great method I learnt that still allows for some structure to be added to your day, while maintaining some flexibility, is anchoring points of the day or week. This could be as simple as;
- morning means coffee, walk dog,
- midday means lunch break, read book
- afternoon means yoga and meditation, organise outfit for following day
- Friday evening means fun dinner and movie night
In between the 'anchor points' is deliberately left open ended for work commitments, or anything else you need to get done. I find that this method is not only a way of staying organised, but gives you some things to latch on to, and look forward to.
I would love to know what tricks you have learnt that have been helping you stay motivated.
Leave me a comment or let me know via my 'Contact' page.