How do I keep motivated in January?

January is always a difficult time to keep motivated, but especially this year more than ever! Many people report experiencing the ‘January blues’ each year following the Christmas break. So how can we keep ourselves motivated in 2021?

A New Year usually means New Years Resolutions, but how many of us actually stick to them past January? Set yourself an achievable goal, break it down into small steps. Having targets to meet in order to get to your main achievement is the best way forward. If you set your sights too high from the offset, your goal will become unachievable. Sit down and plan how you will get to the final hurdle, what steps do you need to take along the way? How long will it take, realistically? What do you need to do each day/week in order to hit your target? Write down those steps and tick them off as you fulfill them. This will give you a great sense of achievement, being able to see your progress in front of you will help you to stay focused. This can be applied to personal or business goals. Tell people about your goals, announce it on Social Media! The more people who know about what you’re trying to achieve the more drive you will have in order to succeed.

2020 brought unprecedented times that’s for sure! With more people now working from home than known before, it’s even more important to keep motivated. Having a routine is vital. Without the usual commute to work, there’s no longer an urgency for those early get ups, but research has shown that routine plays an important part in motivation. Act like you are going to the office, set your alarm, staying in bed later than usual in a morning may make you feel better at the time, but studies have shown that people who get up earlier are less likely to suffer from sleep deprivation. A better night's sleep will help you stay focused during the day ahead.

Have a shower - a shower will get you energized and set you up for the day, this is because it encourages your blood flow which boosts oxygen levels within the brain making you feel more alert. 

Don’t stay in PJ’s or your comfy loungewear! It may sound tempting, especially in the winter months, but this will encourage your body to relax making you feel lethargic. I’m not saying you need to wear office attire, but at least get dressed, especially incase of last minute zoom meetings! 

We will soon be approaching the Milestone of 1 year when people were first told to work from home. So by now, we should be getting used to the idea of working from home being the norm. Do you have a designated work space? If not, why not?! It’s been a long time now and having that appropriate space to work in will keep you organised. Not only that, but it’s also not good for your posture to be sat at the kitchen table to work, and sitting on the sofa with the laptop on your knee will not help with your motivation.

Now we find ourselves in the 3rd National Lockdown. This is disheartening especially for those who thrive on socialising. Don’t let this hold you back though, have a routine which gets you out of the house each day, even if it’s just taking a stroll round the block. Exercise is key to keeping you alert and healthy. The fresh air will drive more oxygen to your lungs which in turn keeps the brain more alert and active, that’s why you feel so refreshed after  walk. Stay active whilst working too and take regular breaks away from the computer, even if it’s whilst on the phone getting up and walking around the house will do you a world of good!

Socialising is so important for our mental health and wellbeing. Lockdown has had a major impact on everyone’s mental health, even for those who don’t usually suffer. Stay in touch with friends and colleagues, especially over video calls or meetings. Seeing a friendly face will encourage that motivation. Discuss your goals with each other, chat like you would over a coffee in the office, we need to ensure we don’t lose sight of the important things which matter to our mental health. A smile can’t be seen down the phone, but a laugh can be heard so even if you can’t manage those video calls, a phone call can make a huge difference! Being able to share stories and laugh with each other will put you in a great frame of mind, there’s nothing worse than feeling grumpy to un-motivate you!

Most of our plans for 2020 went out the window, holidays cancelled, or postponed, concerts and events forced to pull the plug. Having something to look forward to, having milestones to aim for helps you stay on track. Not knowing what 2021 holds for us can have a big impact, but we need to stay positive in order to keep motivated. We may not be able to make firm plans just yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. We can still have things to look forward to, even if it’s a birthday at home, a movie night or a quiz night on zoom. We can still make plans, they’re just a little different that usual. Having things to look forward to will get you through!

 2020 was a strange year for us all and many are glad to see the back of it, so 2021 is the year to get motivated and set yourself some goals to achieve. This year has got to be better than last year, and what’s a better focus than that? Let’s make 2021 the best year yet!


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