We are entering that funny time of year where things are coming to an end, but not necessarily winding down. People can become overwhelmed in these situations, lose motivation and before they know it, get stuck between thoughts and actions. So, how can you reduce the risk of getting caught up in that end of year slump and maintain motivation?
Identifying your goal(s) in the following areas: social, emotional, professional, educational and personal can help you focus on what you’re working towards. Breaking each goal you have identified down into smaller chunks can make it more manageable.
For example: one of your social goals may be to extend your circle of friends.
• Today’s step: say hello to someone new
• Tomorrow’s step: ask someone how their day is going
• By the end of the week: strike up a conversation with someone
• By the end of the month: exchange contact details and make plans to meet up with them socially.
Breaking your goal down makes it feel less daunting and gives you that extra confidence needed to take that first step in getting something done – even if you’re not particularly keen to do so.
It is also helpful to consider what you are getting out of it. Attributing personal meaning can help us turn our thoughts into actions. Going back to our example – you potentially would be gaining new friends, developing your social skills, building your confidence, experiencing new things and adding to the variety of your life.
Additional ideas to help maintain motivation include:
• Finding inspiration and joy in the small things
• Have something in mind to look forward to once your goal is achieved
• Reward yourself for steps along the way
• Utilise support networks (friends, family, teachers, colleagues, mentors, counsellors) and ask for assistance where necessary
• Get creative with menial tasks – as long as you get there in the end
• Stop comparing yourself to others – do what works for you
• Write down the things you’ve done today to work towards your goal and put it somewhere you will see first thing tomorrow morning – it will help you get started each day and keep you going.
Often, the solution is hiding right in front of us. We do what we do because of motivation. Sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of everything that we forget why we are doing things. Take a moment to think about what you enjoy in life and make time to include it whenever you can.