I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m one of those people who get seriously pumped before the end of the year, thinking about how I’m going to improve in the new year to come. New year, new me and all that blah blah. Unfortunately, like most people, I tend to lose steam as the year progresses. This means I have a stack of books that still needs to be read, fitness goals that have fallen by the wayside, and a whole bunch of healthy foods just chilling in my pantry, waiting to be eaten.
So, since we are well into the first quarter of the year, and I feel the need to perk up my motivation, here are a couple of handy little tips to regain your motivation.
Focus on the bigger picture, but start small
Yes, we want to kick sugar, run 10 km in under an hour, and crush all the goals that we started at the beginning of the year. But staring up at the massive mountain of hopes and goals is one of the easiest ways to get heavily demotivated. So, start small. For example, instead of focusing on the full amount of weight that you want to lose, think of just losing 2 kg at a time. If you’re aiming to squat 50kg by the end of the year, focus on racking up the plates an increment at a time. You’ll get there, even if it takes a while.
Enjoy the small victories
I know, you’ve probably heard this before. But it’s one of the easiest ways to regain your motivation. Sure, you’re not running the full marathon just yet, but look how you aced that 5 km! Just because you haven’t yet conquered the mountain doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the fact that you’ve made it as far as you have.
Set up an amazing, kick-ass playlist
I am a massive advocate for the wonders of music. Whether it’s cleaning the house, walking the dog or simply trying to live in the moment, I feel that the right song makes it all that much easier. And that includes regaining your motivation.
Drink some coffee. Eat some chocolate. Get active.
What do these three things have in common? The answer is endorphins.
Coffee, and specifically the caffeine in coffee, helps with dopamine reabsorption, blocks adenosine (a neurotransmitter that helps with making us tired) and increases adrenaline.
Chocolate has so many naturally-occurring chemicals, but here we’ll mention phenylethylamine and theobromine, which increases the feeling of alertness and excitement, and serotonin, the all-round feel-good hormone.
And of course, there’s exercise. I feel like we’ve all heard about the great mood improving, depression busting feels that come with physical activity.
Get enough sleep, and start fresh.
There’s nothing like getting a good night’s rest and waking up ready for the day. Same goes for starting fresh. No wonder people wait for the new year, the month, or even the next Monday. Clean breaks are great, but we suggest starting now. Go to bed with the promise of starting new and clean in the morning. And if you happen to mess up during the day? No biggie, clean up your act and carry on as if the stumble never happened.
Trying to be more creative? Get more green in your life.
Just like we have negative connotations associated with the colour red, we have them with other colours, too. Blue, for instance, makes us feel calmer and more at peace. Green, on the other hand, gets our creative juices flowing. So, whether you’ve been trying to motivate yourself to read more, write more, or just be generally more creative, take some time out to admire nature. Or go out and invest in a wholly green wardrobe. You do you.
Do it without the motivation
Okay, this tip might sound a little counter-intuitive, but hear me out. Sometimes motivation is overrated. Sometimes you just don’t want to get out of bed, eat the veggies, or wake up half an hour earlier. But do it anyway. Do it because you know you should, and you know you will feel infinitely better after you do. You don’t always need a spark to get you going. Sure, it’s great, but it’s not always going to be there. So, do it anyway.
There you have our top tips to regain your motivation. No New Year needed.