We have hit the end of January – a time when days are clouded with darkness, rain falls frequently, and the novelty of ‘New Year New Me’ is beginning to fade. All of this can make it extremely hard to motivate yourself, but here are some of my top tips to break out of a rut and reignite the motivational spark that the new year brings.
Set manageable tasks:
Whether you are motivated to eat more healthily, learn a new skill, or just improve upon your academic performance, it is important to be realistic with yourself. If you ate nothing but chocolate last year, then perhaps the target of eating NO chocolate at all is not the most realistic target. Instead, I would set a target each month that brings you closer to eating no chocolate at all, by initially starting with only eating chocolate at the weekend for a month and assessing how you manage with it before gradually increasing the gap. There is nothing more demotivating than failing to achieve your goal, so by setting realistic and achievable goals for yourself you will feel more motivated and inspired.
Create a vision board:
I found pictures on Pinterest that matched my aesthetic and targets for the new year, and created a virtual vision board of my aims for 2023, and set it as my laptop background as a reminder of my priorities for the new year. By having a physical reminder of what you’re aiming for, it’s much easier to not lose focus on your ambitions, and it helps hold you accountable.
Create daily to-do lists:
Not everyday has to be the most productive day the world has ever seen, but creating daily tasks allows you to stay on top of your targets. If your ambition for this year is to stay on top of course reading, then physically setting aside a day where you will do this is a great way to ensure you are maintaining your goal for the year, and it brings great satisfaction once it finally gets ticked off. Some days might even include minor tasks, such as responding to all of your pending messages so you declutter your notifications. Simple things like this can help you feel much less overwhelmed and overloaded with things to do, and motivate you to achieve more.
Accept where you are:
As much as these tips will help you get out of a rut, it is perfectly okay if one day you only achieve one thing out of the five things on your to-do list, or if you eat chocolate on a Tuesday when you were only meant to eat it on weekends. It is so important to accept these days too, and listen to your body when you have a specific craving, or when you are feeling particularly tired. The occasional break can actually be more motivating in the long-run, and it does not mean that you have fallen back into a rut. Accept where you are whilst reminding yourself of where you hope to be.
Featured image: by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash