Wanna give up? Tips to stay the course.
Okay, so it’s almost the end of January and you’re wondering a) where on earth the month went and b) how on earth you are going to keep up with the number of items on your list of resolutions moving forward. “New Year, New Me” is a concept that assails us at the turn of every year, with people frantically reflecting in December so that they can get their game face on in January the following year. Although there are some folks who are decidedly hopping off the bandwagon (search “why I am not doing resolutions” and you’ll find plenty of articles and blog posts on the subject), I am very firmly planted on this one.
But, I’d have to admit that I’ve already failed at some resolutions (hello, Low Carb Healthy Eating… I am looking at you). So what do you do when you encounter the dreaded F word?
Reorganise your desk.
I’ve always been a messy person. But recently, I find that I work best and as a result increase my productivity 5 times at least, when my desk is free from clutter. As you can see from my desk setup, I have a pretty small desk and most of the stationery that I use is on my shelf to the right, neatly organised in boxes. These range from hard drives to journals and art supplies, all of which I absolutely love. More importantly, the desk itself is free from things I don’t need. Of course, putting everything away all the time is a habit that I still need to work on, but it is getting a lot easier nowadays.
Journal your thoughts.
Sometimes, the greatest favour you can do yourself is to put your thoughts on paper. Although I have no time to spend doing “stream of consciousness” style journals in the morning where you essentially word-vomit on paper, I spend time instead reading the bible with a cup of hot coffee. As a Christian, it’s important for me to read God’s Word and listen to what it says. The bible really does provide so much wisdom and guidance for my everyday life and helps me to be a better person. That, in itself, actually motivates me.
Another thing that I try to do at night before I sleep is to reflect on my day and to put on paper some of the highlights of the day or random thoughts and concerns. Not only is it good to keep a record of where you’ve been, but another potential result of that is seeing ways you can improve yourself, your surrounding environment and your lifestyle.
Plan your days.
I’m quite a spontaneous person by nature and used to think that planning would impede my creativity. I’ve learnt the hard way that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Writing out to-do lists, scheduling meetings and planning my day actually helps immensely in motivating me to get off my lazy butt and to get it in gear. I’ve found that checking off tasks is so incredibly satisfying. I don’t always get everything done, but for the most part, it has helped me track my progress and take more control over the time that I’ve been given. And my creativity doesn’t suffer at all. In fact, it thrives because I can give it more time than I used to and naturally, part of that is a result of self-discipline.
Surround yourself with inspiration.
I always need reminders of some kind, especially when I find myself sliding into an unproductive lull. Instead of wallowing and beating myself up over what I haven’t done and telling myself that I am a failure, I focus instead on overcoming inertia. You’ll notice that I have some cards and photographs on my wall in front of me. Among them is a quote that refers to my overarching goal in 2018. It says:
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
I have to remind myself of that every day. That’s why I keep it on my wall. I see it multiple times and it reminds me of what I ought to do in all the areas of my life.
Another thing that I do frequently is gain inspiration from others. I read blog posts or watch YouTube videos that will help me achieve my goals and not distract me from them. I do enjoy the occasional Korean drama or variety show but for the most part (especially this year), I am trying to practice moderation and instead focus on the things that would help me be a better Christian and an overall better person.
I hope these few tricks I use to keep myself motivated help you somewhat. Remember, don’t focus on the failure, but instead do something about it. It’s okay to feel down and under the weather: we are human after all. Give yourself a time limit to indulge in that and get crackin’ as soon as you can. Throwing yourself a pity party or wallowing over extended periods of time is not going to be constructive. Focus on the positives! You can totally nail this year!
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