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I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I could use a strong dose of motivation to get me through the day. And it’s weird because some days life feels totally normal and I feel a fire in my belly and the motivation to do all the things and do them all now. It’s like I’ve finally seen the light and I know that now is my time to really shine.
But then other days, well… I just kind of feel like a sack of potatoes, sitting on the couch, watching the world go by.
And it makes me feel really bad.
About my career.
So then I have to remind myself that all of this — all of what I’m feeling at any given moment — it’s okay. But, it’s not an excuse to give up on my dreams.
So yes, I get the inclination to move into your couch and plant roots. We all have those days. But what I don’t want is for you to use this time to let all your deepest darkest fears take hold of you and keep you from taking action. Don’t give in to that mean little voice in your head that’s been haunting you for way too long. Don’t blame the pandemic for things you wouldn’t have done anyways. And don’t get stuck in a spiral of anxiety and fear that crushes your creativity.
Believe me, if someone as anxious as me can find a way through the darkness to garner my motivation and begin to find ways forward that make sense for me and my goals, I have every confidence that it’s within your reach too.
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1. Schedule breaks and rewards throughout the day.
This one has been a game-changer. And I know, it sounds really simple, but if you look at your schedule for the day, be it while you’re working at home or in an office, I bet you don’t schedule breaks and rewards as often as you should. For me, these are essential. I schedule in absolutely everything — making breakfast, exercise, shower, and all the to-dos on my list.
This way, I know exactly what to be doing at any given moment, which means I’m never getting lost scrolling Instagram (okay, most of the time) or if I do get distracted, I can easily refer back to the list to see what I should be focusing on.
It also means I’m making time for breaks — these include things like walking my dog and listening to a podcast. I also try to get up, walk around, and stretch at least once every hour just to get the blood flowing and wake my mind and body up.
However, just as important as the breaks are the rewards.
I sprinkle these throughout the day to keep me energized and excited for what’s to come. These can be small things you take pleasure in like a cup of tea, a hot shower, a 20-min break to read or play a video game, a walk, a call with your best friend, or whatever is going to keep you going throughout the day. Having these scattered throughout the day helps keep you focused, excited, and motivated to keep moving forward.
2. Exercise your mind and your body.
Listen, I hate exercise. I don’t like yoga. I’m not good at meditating. I am a very bad example of how to live your life in a way that takes care of all these things in unison but I have found something that works for me and keeps my anxiety low and my motivation up, and because of that, I firmly believe you can too.
The thing is, as cliché as it sounds, exercise truly is vital for your mental health. It’s not just this thing we should be doing to lose weight or stay fit, it’s something we should be doing regularly to boost our mental health.
For me, as someone who was fairly anxious even before COVID-19 hit, exercising regularly has really helped me to not only calm the level of anxiety but better control the attacks. It’s also remarkable how much more motivated I feel when I exercise. I did a little experiment last week actually, where I was feeling like a huge slug, just had not moved in hours and I forced myself to get up and exercise for 20 minutes. No joke, I felt like a different person after; it really does make a difference.
3. Be mindful of who you surround yourself with.
Ever heard that saying, you are who you surround yourself with?
Well, it’s true, and if you’re an empath it’s doubly true. Think about it. If you’re hanging out with a couple friends who are kind of down in the dumps on life and not feeling very excited about anything, how do you feel? If you go out with people who are excitedly sharing their ideas, and their successes, and their vision for their life, then how do you feel?
I’m not saying ditch your friends if they’re sad, but be aware of who you’re allowing into your bubble, and the effect they have on you. Surround yourself with other motivated people who are going after their dreams, taking action towards them every day. You can find them in Facebook groups, Instagram, Pinterest — they don’t even have to be in the same industry as you, they just have to be going after their dreams and aspiring to live the same kind of life you want to live.
I know some days it might feel harder than others but just remember — take small, imperfect action towards your goals every day, no matter what, and I promise you will see progress. This isn’t about being perfect or nailing it every time — it’s about consistent movement and an ongoing belief in yourself that will eventually lead you to success.
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