Finding motivation isn't always easy. It’s like losing your keys, but much worse because once you've lost your keys, it only takes an overturned cushion or two to find them again. Losing motivation after taking a long break from responsibilities that require focus and discipline, like classwork, exercise, or work, it feels as if there will never again be a time where you have it all together. Getting back into the swing of things can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s my step-by-step guide to jump-start your motivation when it seems as if all hope for future productivity is lost.
It’s important to take a moment to yourself before plunging head-first into a sea of responsibilities.
2. Make a list of goals
Assessing the things you need to do before you do them can be helpful. Writing things down can help you to prioritize what you need to do and keep track of those things as you do them. Start with short-term goals and then move onto long-term ones. Focus on what you can do today to help you meet greater goals in the future. I recommend writing in a small journal you can easily take with you anywhere or saving your goals onto a phone.
3. Surround yourself with encouragement
Having someone or something to encourage you when you can feel your motivation starting to slip up can make all the difference. For instance, print out quotes that inspire you, find a trustworthy accountability partner or create an inspiration board of the future you desire. Visual and physical reminders of what you want to accomplish will help you get motivated.
4. Start small
Don't be afraid to take baby steps. It is important to be able to feel as if you are achieving your goals because it makes it easier to stay motivated when you feel as if you are successful at what you set your mind to. Therein lies the beauty of starting small. When you can accomplish something you’ve set your mind to, no matter how seemingly insignificant, any bigger goal you might have doesn’t seem as daunting.
5. Tidy up your workspace
Personally, I always find it easier to work when I’m not surrounded by clutter. Straightening up your desk or making the bed are examples of something small you can do that puts you in a productive headspace before setting out to work.
6. Set up a reward system
Giving yourself rewards, which in my case usually take the form of study breaks, can be beneficial to your productivity. Having something to look forward to incentivizes you to achieve your goals, so take those 15 minutes, eat that frozen yogurt, lounge by the poolside. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
7. Believe in yourself
Arguably the most important of the seven steps. You won’t feel motivated if you don’t believe you can be. Tell yourself that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to. Even say it out loud. Shout it from the rooftops. Repeat as often as necessary.
Now, with these handy tips go forth, the world and all of its possibilities are at your fingertips. Persevere.