Thursday, 28 May 2020

5 Ways To Stay Motivated

Staying motivated is hard enough at the best of times. Not least when there's a global pandemic going on and our world leaders are running around like headless chickens. Except for Jacinda Ardern - even an earthquake couldn't rattle her. Whether you're trying to stay motivated to work from home, need a little inspiration to keep up with your workouts or just trying to keep yourself mentally healthy during a trying time, here are some great tips for staying motivated. 

1. Get A Little Cheesy

There's a big stigma these days against using a little motivational speaking and cliches to help see you through - we can probably thank the 90's influx of motivational speakers for that. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a little cheese, from time-to-time. Just don't get up on stage and patronise people for an hour, while you do it.

Use affirmations. Leave post-it notes with positive messages around your most-used spots (and change them up, weekly, so your brain will always register them). Read motivational books like Chicken Soup For The Soul, if it makes you feel better. I, for one, am a big believer in watching rubbish films that let your brain turn off for a little while, so it can reboot and get back to work, after the breather.

2. Don't Be Afraid Of Rejection

Chances are, if you're unmotivated, you feel like you can't offer anything to the world. Aside from this being absolute crap - everyone has something to give that is entirely unique to themselves - that mindset stops you from venturing into the unknown. If you think you're going to fail, or don't think any time and effort will be worth it, then you'll be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Everybody gets rejected. I could pull up ample stories about famous people who were rejected, from Walt Disney to J.K. Rowling (I even talk about it in previous interviews I've done with successful writers and actors). In the words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "It is entirely possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life." Being rejected is one of the greatest gifts you could ask for, because it forces you to reevaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and adapt accordingly. It's those adaptations that get you through and help you evolve into who you're meant to be. 

So, if you win, get that promotion, get signed or whatever your goal is - amazing! If not, you still gained invaluable experience which will help you get where you need to be. I'm a big believer in the right things happening at the right time - even on those days where it feels like you're pushing a boulder uphill. In snow. In heels. It'll come good, eventually.

Accept rejection - revel in it, even. It's a sign you're stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance on yourself.

3. Take Ten

This is one of my absolute favourite terms, because it can be used to mean a whole range of different things. For example, if you're stressed, panicking or restless, taking ten minutes to follow a tapping routine will ground you and help to focus yourself. On the other side of the spectrum, if you're feeling a little lazy and are thinking of skipping a workout, then take ten minutes to jog on the spot, do some sit-ups and get some adrenaline going.

"Take ten", to me, means to jerk yourself away from whatever the hell you're doing at the time, which is causing the negative outlook or effect. Force yourself to do ten minutes of something that is on the completely opposite end of whatever you're doing at that very moment. Obviously, if you're driving or something, don't just suddenly stop doing that. That's dangerous. But do it when you get to your destination.

My go-to when it comes to taking ten is to head outside, somewhere green (or, at least, filled with nature). I've always been a big fan of getting out and about, but now there's proof that going outside can reduce stress, less obsessive thoughts over tasks and problems, relieves attention fatigue and increases creativity. 

4. Go Grab Something To Eat

This is definitely more of a short-term solution for short-term motivational blocks (I fully advocate for healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle as one proactive method, for long-term issues). That said, there's nothing wrong with getting some endorphin-boosting food down ya gob, from time to time.

Enjoying the right foods at the right time can help give your serotonin (the happy hormone) and dopamine (the pleasure hormone) a much-needed lift. And sometimes that's enough to bring you back to speed on a slow day. You'll be pleased to know that chocolate, nuts and seeds all fall under this category, as well as being an excellent source of Vitamin E and antioxidants (yay!).

If, of course, you're looking for something a little less fattening (too much of a good thing, amIright?), then salmon, green tea and bananas are excellent substitutes. They also come packed with a wide range of added vitamins and minerals, all of which do a great job on providing nutrition to your body.

5. Seek Sanctuary

There are times when the best way to help ourselves is to claim sanctuary in the literal or figurative arms of a loved one. Think of it as running in the rain, toward a friend with an umbrella. Yes, it's still raining outside the radius of the umbrella, but you're safe and dry now. And a good friend will walk
with you, until you can find shelter - in whatever form that may be.

Oh, and I'll let you in on a little secret: nobody ever brings their own umbrella. Most of the time, we stole it off someone else, after we ran to them, and they passed it along once they reached their shelter. It's honestly all one big cycle of people helping each other out, when we need it the most.

Once you share your dreams and fears with your friends, I can guarantee that they'll have your back. And, having the right kind of support, means you'll feel more motivated than ever to push forward.

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