It’s hard sometimes to find ways to stay motivated in life when life’s daily stressors seem to constantly be pushing you down. And if you’re feeling especially down, achieving a full day at the office without a nap is enough of a challenge, let alone achieving your dreams. But if you find yourself stuck in a professional and personal rut, there are ways to stay motivated in life and get you back on your A-game.
1. Set Realistic Goals and Deadlines
Depending on the dream you’re striving for, goals will take time to accomplish. But perhaps the best ways to stay motivated in life are the most realistic. If you aim to quit your tedious office job and become a famous novelist, you may want to consider drafting a feasible timeline of writing and editing on the weekends first. If you would like to lose 30 pounds before your best friend’s wedding next year, set small weekly goals that will allow you slow and steady progress rather than crash dieting. The journey to reach your ultimate goal may seem long. But it’s what you learn on the journey that will ultimately see you to your goals.
2. Avoid Technological Time-Suckage
Thanks to iPhones, tablets and laptops, we’re never far from information, entertainment and means to social networking. But how much Pinterest recipe pinning do we really need? If you’re dedicating more time to Facebook memes and Candy Crush than you are to accomplishing your immediate goals, it may be time to shelf the technology for a while. Just think what little things you could accomplish in the time otherwise wasted scrolling your phone. And eventually those little things could help you accomplish the bigger goals you’ve been aiming to attain.
3. Surround Yourself with Positivity
The biggest mistake you can make when trying to motivate yourself to meet your goals and dreams is having someone else put a damper on your plans. If you have a friend, family member or coworker who is a real-life Debbie Downer, it might be best to temporarily keep your distance. If you’ve tried talking about your deadlines, dreams, goals and aspirations only to meet with sarcasm, cynicism or a glass-half-empty attitude, you’re more inclined to share in the gloomy mood. Try to surround yourself with positive people who will listen to you and encourage your future success.
4. Make to-do Lists
Balancing work, school, errands, housework and a social life can seem impossible sometimes. But keeping a visual reminder of what you’d like to accomplish throughout the day can help you keep it all straight. From what you need at the grocery store to details of the latest assignment at the office, daily to-do lists help make it all happen. Prioritize the lists from most important to least, and relish in that wonderful feeling of accomplishment once you cross something off that list for the day.
5. Have a Little Downtime
Making a little room for some quality you-time is important for stress survival. One of the best ways to stay motivated in life is to do what you enjoy doing, even if it means a slight detour on the road to your dreams. Indulging in some mindless internet gaming or watching your favorite TV show won’t ruin your chances at success, so long as it’s in reasonable doses. Constantly being on the clock with lists and deadlines won’t help if you don’t take a little time for yourself. Window shopping with girl friends, bubble baths, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Do what makes you temporarily happy. But be sure to keep your focus on the longterm goals.
6. Spend Some Time Outdoors
Sometimes the difference between being happy and wallowing in the doom ‘n’ gloom lies in shifting personal perspective. And what’s the best way to remove yourself from a situation and clear your mind? Just step outside and take a look around. Go for a walk. Let yourself absorb the sunlight. Listen to the sound of the winds whipping through the trees and the buzzing of the bees. If it sounds too much like a Robert Frost poem, just stay with me on this. Studies prove that sunlight increases serotonin---that happy chemical in the brain that lifts us out of depression. It’s free. It’s natural. And it’s a great way to mentally prepare yourself to meet your everyday goals. Just don’t forget the SPF!
7. Try, Try Again
When things don’t go as planned on a timeline that is expected, it’s all too easy to abandon hope. But do you want to know something great? Every single day we get a new chance to change things for the better. Meeting your goals and achieving your dreams is a culmination of many, many days of your life. So if you’re having a bad day--when no matter what you do, you can’t seem to stay motivated; just remember one thing. Tomorrow is another day to try, try again.
Staying motivated to succeed can easily take a backseat to the needs of daily life. And while not everyone may become a bestselling crime author, or a ballerina or an astronaut for NASA, those who have accomplished making their dreams a reality, have done so through tenacity, positivity and knowing how to make each day count. What everyday ways do you stay motivated in life to achieve your dreams?