I think we can all agree that motivation during lockdown has been hard to find at most times. But the key is to remember that we’re all in this together. Did you stay in bed for an extra hour today? So did I. Did you push your workout to this evening because you just didn’t have that motivation to do it this morning before your day started? So did I. My point is, you’re not alone. We’re all going through this, and no matter who you are, just remember we’re all taking this day by day.
In the Oxford dictionary motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving a particular way. A set of facts and arguments used in support of a proposal. Think about why you’re doing what you are doing. Everything you do has a purpose.
Here are 5 tips and steps to follow to find that motivation right now!
1: Write a list
The most effective way I get through my day is by writing lists. Put the pen to paper so you can visually see what you have to do. Step away from technology and invest in a notebook or diary – you’ll be investing in your wellbeing to. Just take a moment to think about it. You have 101 things on your mind, and I bet over half of those things are you thinking over what you have to do and when you have to do it. So by writing these down, you’re taking off that pressure that it’s putting on your mind. Trust me on this one, it’s a life changer and will help you stay motivated and hit your goals, whatever they may be.
Be realistic with your lists. Don’t cram everything in on one day if you don’t need to, but don’t let something slip and leave it until a day you’re not too busy. By this, I simply mean prioritise what you have to do, this is much more efficient in achieving them.
2: Read over your to do list for the day
It’s as simple as this. Sunday evenings I write down my weekly schedule. Once that is done, I then look over my list for Monday. Monday morning I look over my list for the day. Monday evening I look over my list for Tuesday. And the cycle continues. This is the routine I have found most effective for me not only getting everything I need to do done without stressing about an overload of work, but also getting the right balance in.
3: Finding and creating balance
Having balance in your life is the most important thing you need to stay motivated and most importantly, happy. For example, if you wake up one day feeling super motivated and work a 12 hour day non-stop, you will burn out – it’s as simple as that. You will most likely wake up the next day feeling fatigue and you will feel worse because you will compare your mood to the previous day, and it will physically and mentally not match. A simple solution to this is finding and creating balance. Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do.
Here’s a task for you when you’re writing your list. Get 3 different colour pen’s. Use one for your personal goals for the week (washing your hair, working out 3 times a week, reading a chapter a day from a book), use another colour for your work goals (what jobs do you have to get done that day), and use another colour for other things not related to this (housework, do you need to take out the bins?). Add more colours if you need to. Now each day, make sure you have at least one of each. You will notice that you tend to leave personal goals for the weekend and let it slip, but why? You deserve to make yourself feel good and put the effort in yourself like you do in your work every single day.
4: Reminding yourself it’s okay if you fail
Some days you won’t complete your to do list, and that’s okay. Yes we all have our goals that we want to achieve, but one bad day doesn’t mean they can’t be achieved. It’s all about adjusting and changing your mindset. If you wake up and immediately think to yourself that you have a long day and plant that seed of doubt in your mind that you’re not going to be able to get everything done, then all that will happen is that you most likely won’t get it all done. Next time you wake up with that doubt, change your next way of thinking. Tell yourself – Yes I have a long day today and I have a lot I need to fit in, but I’m going to do the best I can and that’s enough. At the end of the day I will revisit my to do list, and rather than not spending the evening relaxing and taking some time for myself, I will add it on my list for tomorrow.
Spend your mornings and evenings before bed reflecting on your day. What are you grateful for? What are you going to do for yourself today? How are you going to treat yourself today? Are you going to watch an episode of your favourite TV series right now? Start shifting that mindset. Don’t let the stress and doubt tell you that you are not capable.
Motivation is about consistency. It’s about excepting that some days you won’t do as much as you wanted to. Your day might have not gone to plan for a number of reasons. But guess what – you’re human. Motivation is going through these days and waking up the next with the drive to push yourself. It’s how you grow and become better. If you’re being too harsh on yourself – stop. If you punish yourself with late nights working for not getting enough done during the day – stop. Forgive yourself and move on.
Sleep plays a key part in staying motivated. Sleep is often neglected, whether that’s because you struggle to sleep yourself, or you’re just not scheduling enough time to sleep. You should be getting a minimum of 7 hours sleep a night to be able to healthily function. Think of it this way – if your body can’t do the bare minimum and function, how can you stay focused and push yourself further to stay motivated? Investing in sleep is investing in every single aspect of your life.
If you’re struggling with sleep, invest some time in improving it. Workout during the day. Being active in your daily routine will then mean your body needs the rest even more. Cut out that cup of tea right before bed – try decaf or some chamomile herbal tea. Take a warm relaxing bath or shower before bed, try adding some lavender to relax and unwind. Light a candle before you go bed. It will help you relax and set the mood. Stop scrolling through your phone right before bed. Have an hour digital detox before you sleep and take some time for yourself – maybe read a book.
These are my top 5 tips to help keep you motivated. You don’t need to follow this all today or tomorrow, just start with one. Make sure you get enough sleep tonight and wake up fresh tomorrow, and reflect on what you’re grateful for. Then the next day, start writing basic to do lists, and keep building on this. It’s the little steps that will get you into a natural routine. Just keep pushing, keep taking the steps you need to take for yourself, and stay consistent. Remember we’re all in this together. You’ve got this.