I’m super excited about today’s post, because I’m kicking off a new weekly series called ‘Friday Five.’ It pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. Every Friday I’ll be sharing five things around a certain topic. It could be anything like five small things that made me happy that week, five things you may not know about me or even just five pieces I really want to add to my wardrobe.
To kick off this week I wanted to start with 5 Ways I Stay Motivated, because this is something I have really been testing this week. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that I have been in a bit of a rut this week. I’ve been so unmotivated when it comes to the blog, been feeling super tired, hungry all day everyday and just feeling weird. So I could sit here and say eugh who cares anyway (and maybe no one does but I dooo), or I can do what I really want to do and stuck back in and sort myself out! I love being constantly on the go and always find I work best in all aspects of my life when I’m super busy. But sometimes (maybe a little more often than I’d like to admit) my motivation levels are non-existant, but I do have a few things I try to make sure these instances are few and far between…
1. Set Goals
I put this first because I believe it’s the most important one. Nothing motivates you more to get sh*t done than having goals to work towards. Personally, I like to write out my goals, but you can do this in whatever way works best for you… Just as long as you have them. I think having set goals makes you visualise what you want and when you start to visualise something in your life (visualise it down to the most minute detail), it’ll eventually become your reality.
Personally, I set my goals in a number of different ways. First up are my yearly goals,that I set at the start of the year. Within these goals, I break them in 3 different parts:
- Life goals (what I to happen in my life in general in the coming year)
- Career goals (what I want to happen in my career in the next 12 months)
- Blog goals (what I achieve with my blog in the year ahead)
These are really like my annual/semi-annual goals. I say semi-annual here because I revisit them at the start of July to see how I’m tracking against them. I looked back at mine 2 weeks ago at the start of July expecting to be doing really badly, but I was actually amazed at how many of them I have ticked off in the first 6 months of the year… And I still have another 6 months (well 5 and half) to tick off the rest.
In addition to setting annual goals, I also set goals on a monthly basis. This may seem like a lot, but the way I see it is if I want to be able to achieve these bigger annual goals, I need to break them down into smaller chunks and gradually chip away at them throughout the year to get to where I want to be.
2. Stay Positive
This is also super important and I’d honestly say consciously trying to have a more positive outlook on every situation has made me so much happier.
Sure I feel like crap this week and I could sit, sulk, and complain about it but that kind of negativity is not going to get me anywhere. I’m a natural born worrier, my parents are worriers, maybe it’s even an Irish thing, so believe me when I say I know how hard it is to stay positive. It’s even harder when it seems like every thing that can go wrong is going wrong, but they’re the times you need positivity most!
I try (really damn hard) to block out any negative thoughts about a less than ideal situation, try to put a positive spin on it and like with my goals, visual everything working out. I think keeping this positive mindset will push you get what you want and will help you make sure the things you think will go wrong don’t even get a chance to happen.
3. Don’t Compare Myself To Others
In the words of The Body Coach – GUILTEEEEEEEEE!! I have done this at every single stage of my life and although I know I shouldn’t, I still do it from time to time. I have gotten better since I went to Inbound last year though (my main takeaway – Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outside).
With social media, Snapchat (Snapchat describe themselves as media – not social media), the Internet, 24 hour (entertainment) news, just the world we live in, it has become way to easy to look at someone else’s life and be consumed with jealousy. One thing that has been said to me a few times is how easy the girls and I make living in New York look. Let me tell you, moving to New York and surviving here is anything but easy. Just when you think you’re getting on your feet, New York has this way of coming up behind you and giving you the biggest sucker punch just so you’ll remember who’s boss. I’ve lost count of how many times this happened to me in the 2 years I’ve lived here. It’s the same for everyone too, but they don’t talk about it, so if I was to go around asking why I find things so hard while everyone else is having a jolly old time, I’d probably have packed my bags and moved home a long time ago.
Ok I’m going off a bit here but basically what I’m trying to say is that while I think you should 100% look to people for inspiration and guidance (I know I do), don’t compare your journey to theirs. Instead of motivating you to get to where you want to be, it will do the exact opposite. I like to remember that you don’t know what potholes these people have hit along the way to get to their destination, and as I said in my post from Inbound (that I need to read more often) – You need to write your story and stop focusing on theirs.
4. Treat Yourself
Here’s a fun one… Treat YOSELF! What better source of motivation than having a lovely treat waiting for you when you cross the finish line? It could be something as simple as going for FroYo when you post two blogposts in one week (yes I’m talking about myself), something bigger like treating yourself to that dream bag when you land a new job (I wish I was talking about myself) or booking a cheeky get away.
The biggest motivating treat I have ever had was the one for submitting my Phd 3 months ahead of my final due date on November 28th, 2013. My sister and our friend were travelling the East Coast of Australia at the start of December and I was going, end of!! So I booked my flights, knuckled down, survived on minimal sleep, cried everyday with the stress, uncertainty and self doubt, and drove my family crazy. But I did it!! If I hadn’t had that trip to push me to submit early, I could have easily dragged it out another 3 months, but I had a deadline and I was making it! Tea and chocolate also helped…
5. Take Some Credit
Ok, so I’ve already mentioned setting goals, but what happens when you achieve those things you’ve been working for? All too often I think we plough on and don’t acknowledge that we’ve actually achieved something we’ve work so hard for. You’d be amazed at how motivating taking some credit for all the (little and big) things you achieve can be.
I did this last October right after I got my new job (that I love) and after I moved to Manhattan (also love). It was amazing to see how far I’d come in year and to see I had already surpassed my 2015 goals (see my Take Some Credit post here). Taking that step back to look at all I had accomplished gave me even more drive to go full steam ahead to see what the next year would have in store…
Let me know what you do to keep motivated. I’d love hear them and I love to know what you think of my new series. I’m super excited about it…
Have a great weekend,
Photos by Emmy Jake