6 Ways I stay Motivated

Photo by  Samuel Zeller  on  Unsplash

We all know the struggle of staying motivated in day to day life. You wake up, struggle to get out of bed, reluctantly get ready and head on with your day. You get to work, you immediately want to go home and rest. You may have some days where you think “When I get home, I’m going to do (Insert exciting task here)”. But when you get home, you sit down and that’s it. You’re finished for the day.

I know how difficult this feels, every day was a struggle for me. Some days even still. But there’s some ways that I’ve tried and tested that help me get through each day and stay motivated. And it allows me to get much more done than I would if I didn’t use these techniques!

Number 1: Stop rushing

We’ve all been there. You wake up, sit on your bed scrolling through social media and suddenly you have 10 minutes to get up, ready and out the door. Doing this not only wastes your time, but it doesn’t set you up right for the day. You then get home, collapse and that’s it. All motivation lost.

The simple way I managed to get around this, is to wake up much earlier than I actually need to. I don’t get to work till 9am, but I wake up between 6 and 6:30 every morning. I give myself 30 minutes to sit on my phone and let my brain slowly wake up, then an hour to get ready, have breakfast and get out the door.

It might seem simple, but not rushing has helped me have more energy and reduce my stress. I no longer rush for anything because I give myself enough time to get myself ready and get to whatever it is I’m doing.

I hated waking up and rushing every morning. I’d wake up at 7, sit on my phone for 40 minutes and have 20 minutes before I had to be leaving for work. But waking up a simple 30 minutes earlier to allow myself to wake up and have enough time to get ready and eat breakfast allows me to stay calm and get to work feeling ready.

Number 2: Meditation

That word sparks a lot of fear in people. I know. I was the same. I’d turn my nose up at the thought of it. It seemed so strange and something only “free spirited” people do. But oh my does it work wonders.

Every night, I sit on my bed, put on some relaxing sounds and close my eyes. Now the type of meditation you do depends on what works best for you. I managed to get to a point where I could completely clear my mind and not think for a long time. But I found, for me at least, this wasn’t helping. What I found worked best for me is to start meditating and let my brain wander. I have a very imaginative and active brain. But throughout the work day it has to focus on tasks set out for me and not be allowed to wander. And that’s why I use this time to completely shut off this guidance and let it think and say whatever it wants to. I give it free rein to think whatever it’s been dying to think or say. It’s at these points where I come up with thoughts and ideas that I use for things such as this blog.

Now how does this tie in with motivation? Well. I’m glad you (me) asked.

Something I found is that I was rushing and getting myself stressed out. And whilst cutting out rushing stopped a lot of the stress, the daily work life was still getting to me. This meant that it kept building up and at the end of every day I’d feel exhausted and give up. So by meditating every night for 30 minutes to an hour, it allowed my brain to refocus, have it’s time and I could get relaxed again. This meant work days were less stressful, I didn’t use as much mental energy being stressed out and I had more energy to do stuff after work, or at the weekend.

I use an app called Youper (Not spon) that helps me track all of my thoughts and feelings to find out and target what is causing me all this stress. It also has guided meditation, so I recommend you start there. Even if you don’t want to do the meditation, it’s good to track and find out what’s causing these things so you can tackle them head on.

Number 3: Make a mental (Or physical) plan. Every. Day.

This seems like a pretty obvious one to most people, but it was a game changer for me. Every single day I wake up or go to sleep, I make a plan for the day ahead. Even if I’m just going to work like every normal day. I think “In the morning, I will wake up, get ready, go to work, work on these things, get home, vacuum my car and then change my bed. Then I’m done and can relax”.

I’ve found this method works wonders. I wake up with a purpose for the day. I feel like I know what I have to get completed before I get rest. This then allows me to mentally check these off throughout the day, and feel like I’ve accomplished something. I feel like my rest is then justified and like I’ve earned it.

Even if I have days where I want it to be a surprise or I don’t want a plan and see where it leads me, I put that into my daily mental plan. Then after it happens, it’s another check on my list.

I can’t stress how much this helps staying motivated, it gives you a purpose in your day to day life and gets you excited for tomorrow. I used to go to sleep at night and have ideas for the next day and be super motivated and then wake up and could not be less bothered to do them. I then spent those days feeling like I’ve achieved nothing. But actually going through with them, and regularly (even if they’re mundane tasks), make you feel like the king of the world. You feel like you’re getting so much more done in your life because you’re giving yourself structure.

Number 4: Don’t just focus on the end goal

Of course, if the end goal is what keeps you motivated then stick to that. But if you find it isn’t, try and not focus on the end goal but the process.

I used to focus on the end goal only every day. I’d focus on getting home and getting rest. And although the relief of getting home and resting was amazing, it was a massive struggle to get through the day. This is why I started making a mental list in my head, focusing on what I was doing to get me through the day and then time just started to fly by. I started to enjoy the process rather than the end goal. I admitted to myself that no matter what I do, there will always be a process, and not necessarily a reachable end goal. So I may as well start enjoying the process.

Once I started to focus on that, it made things so much easier. I started to focus on my work and not getting home. We all know, if you focus on going home at the end of the day, time will start to drag. Really slowly. But if you focus on the task in hand and pour your energy into it, you’ll stop focusing on the end goal and the time. You’ll be too distracted by the process that you’ll forget you even have an end goal. And when that time comes, it feels even sweeter. You feel like you’ve accomplished so much more and more refreshed.

It’s hard, but trust me. It works.

Number 5: Your daily soundtrack

If you’re anything like me, the right music can get your motivation through the roof. And it’s important to get your daily dose of music to get your brain flowing right.

In the day I used to sit in silence at work, and struggle. I hate silence more than anything. I am incredibly passionate about all types of music. (I’m listening to a classical playlist whilst writing this).

I realised this it was important to have a daily soundtrack depending on how I feel at that time throughout the day. When I used to walk to work, I’d put my headphones in when I was tired, and get to work feeling ready to go. How? Because I’d put on the right music that fit my current mood and boost my motivation. Now, I carry that on through the day. When I’m feeling a slump coming on, I pop my headphones on and get some upbeat music on. It focuses my mind and gives me energy to keep going.

It’s an incredibly simple way to keep yourself motivated, so I recommend buying a good pair of earphones, headphones, whatever. Crank your music up and get in the mood.

Number 6: Cut off whatever is stopping your motivation

For some, this may be difficult. But if you work in a dead end job that you hate, staying motivated is going to be near impossible. Not completely impossible, but pretty close.

I’ve realised early on that I am not going to follow the same path that is laid out for everyone. I am going to create my own path that keeps me happy in life. I only have 1 life, as I’m sure most people reading this do. So I’m not going to sit around and waste my time. I have found what I’m passionate about because I’ve done the exploring early on. I’ve tried many many different things. (Even street dance! Which I was terrible at). Find what makes you passionate, get a job you actually want, get structure in your life, give yourself a reason to wake up excited every day. There’s no point wasting your time. No matter what age you are, don’t become complacent with it. You have plenty of time to make a drastic change. Focus on what makes you happy, try something new every day, learn more and become smarter, be in-touch with yourself. Be happy.

So to summarise, focus on yourself and your happiness, cut out stress in your life, give yourself more structure and plan your day, enjoy the process not the end goal and whack on some motivational tunes and get going!

We’re so lucky to have this life, and even just appreciating it makes me wake up every day feeling more motivated. Yes I have my ups and downs, but I get more done than ever before.

I really hope that whoever ends up reading this will get your life in check and start enjoying it again and getting stuff done!

Good luck! :)