by Laura McCorry
How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? If you’re breezing through them, chances are you didn’t aim high enough and if you’ve already stumbled, it’s okay. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and begin again.
Motivation isn’t a delicate butterfly on a clear spring day that either rests on your shoulder or flits away out of reach. Motivation is a skill and like every other skill, it’s something you can practice and improve upon. Here are some tips to increase motivation and productivity, maybe one will give you the extra oomph you need to meet your goals:
- Honestly assess your goals to make sure they’re challenging but not unrealistic.
- Write down concrete steps along the way to achieving your goal rather than vague aspirations. For example, walk the dog four times a week, eat a new vegetable weekly, do yoga for at least 10 minutes a day.
- Make a list (not too long) and cross off items as you accomplish them.
- Pick an activity and a corresponding reward for the end of the day so you can increase your stamina for delayed gratification
- Choose rewards that support your well-being and are in line with your goals (make plans to see a friend or indulge in a leisure activity you enjoy but for which you don’t usually make time.)
- Tell a friend about your goals. Have them call you at a certain time and ask if you were successful that day/week/month.
- Set a timer and see what you can accomplish before it goes off (try the pomodoro technique for increased productivity.)
- Limit distractions. Put your phone down in another room. Block your internet. Hire a babysitter for an hour. Whatever you need to do to work on a goal with focus.
- Keep a journal and reflect on everything you accomplished that day, you’ll feel productive and be more inspired to pursue your goals.
- Give yourself a pep talk in the mirror!
- If you miss a day, call it a day off and let it go. Get right back to your goals the next day.
- Encourage someone else to keep striving towards their goals.
- When the going gets tough, take a two minute break to dance wildly in your kitchen.
- Practice gratitude daily. When you write down or say out loud specific things in your life for which you’re grateful, you increase your overall level of gratitude and happiness.
- Have compassion for yourself if you don’t make your goal. Tomorrow is a new day, take a deep breath and begin again.
- Celebrate when you reach a milestone (a goal that takes less than a year but longer than two weeks to accomplish)
Yoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.