How To Keep Yourself Motivated?

Motivation is the drive in us that makes us want to achieve more, to go further, to be harder, better, faster, stronger. It is actually mostly the thing that keeps us going, beside our instinct for survival.

As a whole I’ve never had a problem with being motivated – ever since I remember, I was always active – trying new things, striving to learn more. When I was at middle school I signed up for everything I could – learning English, piano lessons, all kinds of dancing practices, I was on the school volleyball team, the school choir. I was never super social and always talking to everyone, but all those social activities introduced me to new people and I found new friends, new hobbies. I found out what I was good at and what I had to drop in order to advance in other fields.

My years in high school and the university resembled my middle school experience – I tried learning German, a little Spanish on my own as well, I took part in GLOW Leadership Academy one summer, had various summer jobs, I took multiple different courses on Coursera (I totally recommend it),got-motivation I participated in an alternative student organisation in UNWE, I was looking for a steady grown-up job and was trying to prepare for it. And then I found it. I’ve been working for the Software University for a little over than one year now.

Recently though I started feeling like I don’t feel as motivated as before – no matter how interesting work is, still it is pretty monotonous, and you might get lost in it sometimes. I thought about it a lot and decided I need to analyze what motivated me before and how can I apply a solution to the situation right now. So this is what I came up with.

Stay physically active

Sport is always good for you, no one can argue with that. Beside boosting your energy, improving your mood, stamina, mental health and muscle tonus, physical activity controls weight, reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. You can read more about the benefits of physical activity on the site of Harvard School of Public Health.

There is so much you can do and you need only 30-60 mins a day, even less sometimes. Some of the options are:

  • Going to a gym or a run in the park if you’re not afraid of the cold
  • Taking up some sport – tennis, swimming, volleyball, cycling, hiking, the options are endless
  • Visiting organized classes – yoga, Pilates, Zumba, fitball, tae bo, aerobics
  • Exercise at home – there are so many YouTube videosmobile apps and fitness blogs that can give you ideas what to do

Just experiment and see what fits you.

What do I do about this?

I signed up for a yoga class and a Pilates class. I also exercise at home in the morning and when I feel like it.

physical-activity

Photo taken from http://rand.org/

Find new goals or hobbies

In order to be motivated, you’ve got to have something to look forward to, something to strive to achieve. Therefore having a meaningful goal is a top priority. If you don’t have one now, just think of how you see yourself in 5 years and how are you different than your +5 years-version of yourself – how can you become this person? You wanted to land that job in that prestigious company? You wanted to travel the world? You wanted to become fluent in Mandarin? What are you waiting for?! You might never have a better chance. Just make sure to keep your priorities in order. Of course, you can’t ditch your family and your newborn baby to go to Haiti.

What do I do about this?

Like I’ve said in almost each and every one of my posts so far, I’ve taken up learning how to program. It takes time and a lot of effort and I can only study at the evenings and on the weekends. But all the struggle is totally worth it. I find beauty in learning new things, creating new things. Also it’s a big challenge for me and we all know that in order to overcome a challenge, you need motivation and determination. Motivation makes me seek for challenges and challenges help me stay motivated, it’s a two-way street.

Learn new skills and improve yourself

Having expertise in one or more fields, brings not only confidence, but a desire to be more knowledgeable about more things. I personally believe in learning throughout your whole life. Personal development is an important part of every intelligent person’s life. You can only benefit from always seeking ways to improve yourself. It depends on one’s area of work, but the options before you are:

  • Read more books on different topics – you’ve always liked sci-fi novels? Why not try criminal novels, biographies or historical books. There’s no better way to find a new passion than to experiment.
  • Learn a new language – knowing one or more foreign languages can always come in handy, not only while travelling, but it will look good on your résumé as well. You can also meet people from different cultures you never would have met otherwise.
  • Get out of your comfort zone – one of the most important points in this long post. Getting out of your comfort zone leads to new challenges that lead to new skills and therefore it is a strong motivational factor.
  • Stay focused and organized – even the most brilliant plans and ideas are worth nothing if they’re executed poorly. Make a plan, day by day, month by month if you have to – it will help you achieve more, which leads to the next bullet point…
  • Breaking big goals down into smaller ones – a goal like “become the CEO of Apple” can be scary and it may seem unreachable, but if you make a plan and separate the big goal into smaller goals, you have a better chance in succeeding. Beware, Tim Cook!
  • Learn from people who inspire you – you have role models? Perfect! Analyze what they did to become successful and see if you can apply it to your situation.
  • Avoid negative people – positive energy is a thing and a very powerful one! Avoid people who always complain and try to do it less yourself. No one likes a crybaby.
  • Let go of the past – in order to be successful in the future, you have to let go of the past. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them forever. Don’t linger in the past, because you cannot change it, but you have a chance to modify your future.

What do I do about this?

I try to do all of them. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t. But hope is what keeps us going, right?

Great things happen outside your comfort zone

Stay in touch with friends

Friends are (almost) always there for you. In your happiness, and in your misery, you have people that share those moments. Being social and feeling appreciated is good for you well-being and confidence. Friends and close people can inspire you, give you new ideas, help you in difficult times.They can also teach you new things, give you a different perspective on a tough situation, calm you down. So don’t be a stranger, okay?

What do I do about this?

I’ve had people come and go in my life, like everyone on this planet. Which is why I know that I have to show the people around me that I appreciate them and I’m there for them, so that they can give back the same in return.

Don’t forget to relax

If you want to be fresh and productive, resting is essential. According to organization psychologist Sabine Sonnentag at the University of Konstanz, Germany, people who disengage from thinking about their work during the evening are routinely happier and more refreshed the next day. Here are some ideas:

  • Passing the time while engaging with your favorite hobby
  • Socializing helps you release pressure
  • A glass of wine with your meal would do no harm to your health
  • Travelling opens your mind and your heart
  • A good night’s sleep is mandatory, too

What do I do about this?

I like to spend my evenings watching TV series with my boyfriend, reading a nice book, watching online video courses or spending time with my friends. All of these things help me release the pressure and refresh my mind.

In conclusion

All of those things help me be motivated and happy with life overall. They work for me, but what about you? Let me know or tell me more about your ways of staying motivated.

One Comment

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