Image by: xusenru
By Anne Cacherell
My cousin Gemma, who I’ve talked about before, paid me a visit on New Year’s Day. I was surprised because I didn’t know that she was spending the holidays here at home. She moved to Canada after she got married and tried to get her citizenship there. We kind of grew up together so even though we haven’t seen each other for a while, the sense of familiarity, openness, and ease are still there.
We talked about a lot of things and one of them was her problem with her husband. It’s not as if he was cheating or something, thank goodness! It was about his work. He has his own vehicle and works as a taxi driver. And since it’s his own business, he operates on his own time.
However, Gemma’s problem is that she finds her husband slacking off every time he misses a day in the week. For example, if he wasn’t able to get up early to work on Monday, he will find excuses not to work for the rest of the week. She doesn’t know how to motivate him to stop wasting several days just because he didn’t start off his week how he wanted.
I think many of us suffer the same motivation issue as Gemma’s husband. We find it hard to get back on track when things don’t go according to our plan. We lose our momentum and get demotivated easily when circumstances start to get out of control.
Well, I think it’s time to leave this kind of behavior in 2016 and move forward with a more positive perspective to keep us going in achieving our goals. Here are some ways to motivate yourself for a more fulfilling and a more productive year.
Accept your Mistakes Rather than Criticize Yourself
It’s just the first week of the year and you’ve already broken a resolution. For whatever reasons you may have, one way to keep going is just to accept it instead of wasting your time beating yourself up and blaming yourself for everything.
Move on by asking yourself, “What’s the next positive step that you could take?” Just because you fell off your schedule doesn’t mean that you can’t rise again. Keep pushing and keep working so you’ll always stay on.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
I was so happy when I started to work from home. Aside from not having to travel in heavy traffic, I also don’t have to shop for office clothes. However, I didn’t know that there was a drawback when working on your own time like having the comforts of my room distract me from doing what I had to do.
I tried a lot of things to fight procrastination such as creating my own timetable and avoiding opening my social media accounts while working. But most of the time, that was not enough. So, I had to come up with better battle plans.
I think writer Katalina Milovanovic summarized it best in her piece “4 Easy Ways to Avoid Procrastination When Working From Home.”
I find #4 the best item on the list – Keep the focus on the rewards. Instead of just creating a regular timetable, include the prize you can get every time you accomplish a job on time. You can write how much money you will earn or what you can give yourself, like a chocolate bar or a 10-minute break after completing a certain task. This practice will help you form good habits and put your focus on good things instead of thinking of all the hard work and pressure ahead of you.
Don’t Find the Time, Make the Time
It’s hard to motivate yourself to do something, especially if the thing that you need to do doesn’t excite you. So you’ll wait until you’re in the right or perfect mood to work, to study or to hit the gym.
According to writer Katie Campbell, you can’t wait until you just happen to have some free time because someone or something else will always pull your attention away. So, you really have to decide what comes first, pick a time that works for you and make sure that you don’t cancel on yourself for any reason.
In my opinion, when you’re always finding time for something, you are obviously not in control of your life. Your ability to accomplish things is limited because you’re bounded by the circumstances around you. On the other hand, when you make time for your goals, you get to have more authority over your schedule and you can prioritize whatever it is that matters to you.
Be Open to Adventure
Life is very unpredictable so you’ve got to have room for some new challenges, adventures and opportunities. When things don’t go your way no matter how hard you try to stick to your plans, be a little more flexible by trying a new approach or a new routine. Get excited to learn new things and make a plan with the insight that everything may change in time.