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How to stay motivated

January can be a difficult time of the year. The weather is cold, it is dark outside and the festive season is now long gone.

Daily responsibilities, however, are still waiting and it can be difficult to feel enthusiastic about the daily grind.

Here are some ways you can get out of a slump and stay motivated.

Think about what you need to do in the near future

It is not only a challenge to stay motivated but it can be difficult to get started in the first place. When you dread a task, it can prevent you from beginning it and the delay can make you even more anxious.

Consider what tasks and responsibilities you will be facing in the upcoming week or month and write these down. This will not make your plans clearer in your head but will allow you to think about what is a priority and what can be sacrificed. Make a schedule of when you will complete your responsibilities. Put in your working hours, classes and hobbies, for example, and then fit other things you are struggling to get started with around these. Having a designated slot for when you are going to do something makes you more likely to do it.

It is important to not punish yourself if you don’t manage to stick to your new plan, however. You are only human and life happens!

Set goals

It is hard to keep going with something you don’t enjoy very much if there is no end in sight. To solve this, break down your long-term responsibilities into shorter time periods.

For example, if you work as a teacher, set a target of how many exam papers you will mark this upcoming week. This will help you to see each of your responsibilities more manageable and having an exact goal will spur you on to achieve it. Short-term goals also stop you from seeing your role as too daunting because it looks like one huge task, but makes it seem more approachable because it is now broken into smaller, more immediate ones.

Make sure goals you set are achievable. When you aim too big and ultimately succeed, you may end up being further demotivated. Realistic targets, conversely, CAN be achieved and will make you feel great when you complete them.

Have a routine

Without structure, you might feel like all of your tasks get lost into a big void of time. Teamed with your new schedule of when you will complete things, build a routine of everyday life. Have a time you get out of bed, a time you prepare and eat meals and a time you do exercise, for example.

Having a routine like this will make you feel like you have a grasp on life and will make the idea of slotting in the responsibilities you dread a little less daunting. They are now just an additional part of your already well-structured day.

Review your progress

After some time with your new habits, think back on what you have achieved. Have you kept to your goals and do you have a good routine that allows you to get things done?

If yes, fantastic! Be proud of yourself for making these small life changes and look at how you can use this approach to life to continue your success or even take things to the next level.

If not, don’t worry! It may be the case that you set too-difficult targets that would have been unrealistic to achieve. If you feel that the goals you set were in fact achievable, this is still okay. Routine changes in any form can be hard and especially so if you begin the process in a demotivated place. Review again what it is you want to achieve and realign your targets to fit what you think you can stick to next month.

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