“I can do this just before I sleep and still send it in time.” I told myself as I pushed away my assignment and started reading a novel. It seemed like a good idea; I was tired, I was bored and I really didn’t know if the sense of touch was exponential or not. Yet when bed time came, I was glued to my book, I hadn’t done a lick of research and I was getting drowsier by the minute. Safe to say, that assignment was never turned in. In fact, I didn’t even do the research. Have you ever done that? Pushed something important aside for later? Or convinced yourself you can start it tomorrow? Did you start, but then think you could ‘totally finish this later’? If you have, then this post is for you.
Losing motivation may as well be the mantra of today’s society. We can’t stick to anything; even lifelong commitments made in love. So to prevent as from succumbing to this disease or to help us heal from it, here are five practical tips to help you stay motivated.
1. Physical exercise:
I don’t mean actually hit the gym or the track (although you can if you want). I mean get that blood pumping by doing something physically rigorous for a minute. This will help fight that fatigue. We all get tired. Exhaustion is as human a trait as hunger. Our bodies can only go so long, your blank report page makes your mind numb and our souls just feel the weight of disappointment too much and stop bearing it. I know, it is frustrating. Yet I have realized if I just get my blood pumping for five minutes, I can get back to the task at hand with fresh eyes. It doesn’t have to be so extra; 10 burpees, 25 sit-ups, 3 laps around your building, 40 arm circles or a quick dance sesh to your current favorite hype song. This will give your brain the jolt it needs to kick it up a notch.
2. Break down the big goals
When listing down goals, we tend to write the big ones. Lose 40 pounds, get first class honors, buy a car/house, become CEO, get married etc. Even our so called small goals tend to be big; like lose 2 pounds a week or finish the assignment by Friday. I have found that if I break down every goal into bite sized pieces, I accomplish it faster and stay motivated longer than if I just dive in head fast with no plan. Saying you’ll sit down until you finish that 1500-word essay on parasitic fish is a bit of a stretch. Instead, tell yourself to do a solid 150 words of a great intro and then take a walk and come back to give 300 words and so on.
3. Celebrate the small wins:
I always forget this one, always. Small wins seem like just that, small. In fact, they seem so tiny that you almost pity yourself and you always berate yourself. You lost 1 pound only this entire month or you literally only saved fifty shillings. You worked hard enough today to at least have one meal. “Do not despise the day of new beginnings.” is what Zerubabel was told when he was building the temple and it is what I am telling you. Celebrate the little wins to your goals and you will see how much longer you will stay motivated to do them.
4. Remove distractions:
This doesn’t mean put your phone on silent because you keep looking at memes you’re tagged instead if writing your paper, it means turning it off until you’re done. Removal of distraction is just that, removal; giving away the cookies instead of hiding them. It means taking away what is taking away your attention from your goal. “Throwing off every distraction and sin and pressing on towards the mark.” is how Paul puts it and I so agree with him. It is easy to lose motivation when you have other things holding your attention. Yet if there is nothing more interesting, then you will stick to the task at hand. That includes getting out if your room and studying in the cold hallway if the bed tempts you to sleep.
“No one will know.” is one of the easiest ways to get off track and thus lose motivation for what you need. Having a buddy is one of the best ways to ensure you are encouraged to stick it out and discouraged from cheating or quitting. Find a girl friend to hold your hand when it is tough and push your back when you want to stop. Whether it is in working out, eating healthier, finishing your degree, starting that business or working on that relationship. We were created for each other, it is not good for any human to be alone. Also, partners keep life interesting and they give you a new perspective of the same old things.
Try the above for the rest of this year and see how much more you can accomplish.
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Keep blooming flower-child,