I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired lately. Like a LOT ‘lately’. I tend to put myself on an ‘autopilot’ and just do one thing all over and over again. That one thing being a ‘clump’ of things actually:
Coffee, office, back home, dinner, dishes, bike (sometimes), watch TV, dishes, snacking and more TV, dishes, sleep.
Basically leather, rinse, repeat it sort of thing.
Here I am living in the greatest city in the world, and I feel like I should be taking more advantage of what it has to offer. And I have, to some extent, whenever I would get an offer for free Broadway tickets or a museum pass, I would surely use it. But this is not what I mean. I mean an activity, a hobby, something that would keep me excited and motivated on a daily basis. Something that I would be happy to commit to and keep improving at.
The ongoing problem I have? While I am easily excited to get things started, I get discouraged and/or bored quite easily and I just drop it. That happened to the guitar beginners classes, yoga sessions and modern jazz dance. I actually paid for all of those at one point, completing none at the end.
Now that I am much less busy at my current position as compared to my previous one, I am very keen to get motivated and ‘stick’ to doing something that brings me joy and overall makes me happier. Whether it is reading more and actually ‘knocking out’ all the books from my reading list for this year or start using up all of my fabric that I purchased on clearance last year. I love sewing and I have not used my sewing machine for a few months now. I feel like I need a bit of a ‘kick’ to get me started!
Let’s make it a team work and share some ideas on how to stay motivated:
1. Track your progress
Whether it is tracking your weight loss, debt repayment or savings progress it surely makes it all real to see the numbers grow (or go down!). I have been tracking our ‘net worth’ since June 2015. That would be mainly our 401k and IRAs as well as savings for a home downpayment. We are definitely more excited and willing to cut down on other expenses to add to the ‘stache’ when we see how much progress we have made in just one year!
2. Don’t jump in head first
That’s exactly what I did when I came up with the idea of guitar lessons. I received a classic guitar as a gift so I already had it but I did go a bit crazy with getting all the ‘additional’ materials. I also signed up for a very intense beginners class (meetings three times a week). With a very busy work schedule and working overtime half the time I started skipping 2 lessons out of 3 every week. I fell behind very quickly since I did not have much time to practice. If I had taken the slower paced course at 1 lesson per week I would have made it each time, I would have not fallen behind and got discoursed. You see where this is heading. I quit after 4 weeks I think. I learnt nothing and I wasted at least $350.
3. Be patient
Practice makes progress.
4. Do it with friends
To encourage and cheer each other as you go along. Such as training for a marathon, or practicing guitar playing. Organizing book club meetings, batch freezer cooking or crocheting. Everything is better when shared with friends 🙂 One can also mix it up each week / month and do activities at one another’s homes on a rotating basis. This creates expectations too which makes it harder to quit!
5. Visualize the goal
Saving money for a trip to Costa Rica, Disney Resort or another dream destination? Planning to shed a few pounds? Just like positive affirmations, visualization helps achieving the goals. I have never created a vision board but The PG Girl did and seems like it’s working! Remember my post about her taking a leap of faith, quitting work she hated and moving to Poland for 3 months? Well, she has been visualizing all the good changes and they ARE coming, she’s just decided she will be moving back to Poland permanently. She has been staying motivated to make her online business grow and it is happening now. #HappyForHer
6. Reward yourself
Well, just don’t spend too much $$ on it 😉
7. No procrastination.
Oh ‘just do it!’ already! This one is for me. I should include a screenshot of my ‘to do’ list here. I accomplished probably 30 % of what I planned for today. None of the projects were hard, but I did feel like I can move them till tomorrow. I moved them till tomorrow but I surely did watch 3 episodes of Master Chef. Darn it. On another note, did you notice that Gordon is so much nicer this season?
No more ‘tomorrows’ let’s just start today. Whatever it is. I am the queen of procrastination and I really would like to change that. Or at least make some progress on things I take on and plan to complete.
Actually, once I get to actually doing ‘it’, whatever it is, most of the time I like it and get excited while in the process. The biggest struggle for me is to actually get to doing ‘it’.
8. Look for inspiration
9. Be consistent – do it every day for a month
It apparently takes 30 days to break a habit. The hardest is the first month, then it gets much, much easier. Taking up running, working out, finishing that quilt, writing a blog post, learning a new language… After that initial time period, the results starts to show so motivation becomes much stronger. Worth a shot?
What are YOUR ideas on staying motivated?