January is a weird time of the year. We’re all on the come down from Christmas whilst trying to be optimistic about a new year and figuring out the changes we’d like to make. But this can also mean we’re suffering a bit with the January blues, procrastinating and losing motivation especially now as the day’s tick by and we’re already halfway through the first month of the year.
If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place!
Here’s how you can stay motivated in January and beyond to help you refocus and recharge to get exactly what you wish to out of the year ahead.
Break down your goals and tasks
Usually, when we set goals we tend to just throw around words like ‘I’d like to travel more this year’ or ‘I’d like to eat healthier this year’ without really breaking things down and figuring out how we can achieve these goals.
SMART goals are always my go to as it gets you to be specific, figure out how you’re going to measure the goal, making sure it’s attainable and possible to achieve, knowing that it has a purpose and a reason behind it, as well as giving yourself enough time to work on this goal.
The same can be applied for your tasks. Make sure that you’re breaking down your tasks so you are aware of what steps you need to take to build up to the bigger picture. When we have a clearer focus, we feel less overwhelmed with the task and goal at hand. It gives us a guide and a plan to put into place, boosting our overall motivation and making it easier for us to achieve what we set out to do.
Make plans to look forward to
January isn’t always the most positive month because if you’re from the UK, the weather can be miserable and can, therefore, reflect our mood. We also have to deal with a lack of money from Christmas and again the pressure to be working on your goals.
To help with this, create some plans for you to look forward to. This doesn’t necessarily mean heading out to dinner or going on a shopping spree to London (unless that’s what you want to do of course). But it can literally mean just scheduling in an evening to pamper yourself or have a movie night. It could involve you inviting some friends over for a catch-up or taking the dog on a long walk at the weekend.
Giving yourself plans to look forward to helps push you through the harder moments and help you to stay motivated. Schedule in things you love and enjoy, no matter how small they or how well thought out they may be, just ensure that you’re making time for you and to give yourself something to push you to keep going.
Take care of yourself
Not just in January but all year round, we know the importance of looking after ourselves. It can be something we tend to neglect when we’re constantly trying to be on top of our goals. I can definitely relate to that feeling of nearly burning myself out because I’m so focused on what needs to get done.
Instead, take the time to recharge and be kind to yourself more often than not. This can really help you to stay motivated because you’re being good to yourself and knowing that you deserve the care. Don’t push yourself too much as you’ll only end up making yourself feel worse. As the saying goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ so always ensure you’re resting and looking after yourself in the best possible way.
You’ll thank yourself later!
Give yourself a purpose
One area of SMART goals gets you to focus the relevancy of your goals and tasks. Doing something with no real purpose is a waste of your time. Do something because you want to do it and that the reason behind it holds a value. Take time to figure out why you’re doing something. Make a list or have a sit down to think through why you’re wanting to work on this goal or plan.
This will help to motivate you not just in January, but throughout the whole year because you will always be able to remind yourself the purpose behind why you’re putting all the hard work and effort into something. It also helps you to be present and focus properly. Don’t go through the motions.
This is something I want to do more in 2019. I want to be able to reflect each month on how the month has gone. I know this will be easy with my new 2019 diary that helps me to not only be organised but create goals each month and reflect on my triumphs from the previous month.
By reflecting often, we’re not focusing on the negatives as such and holding onto the past, we’re actually giving ourselves the chance to see what hasn’t worked so well and what we could improve on, any wins or achievements we’ve had over the course of the month. Being able to reflect each month is a healthy way to acknowledge the past and move onto the present.
It can leave us feeling inspired, refreshed and to stay motivated to keep moving forward, which will help us continue on throughout the year. It’s also a great way to remind yourself of what you can do and what you can continue to do.
There’s already so much pressure with it being January and being a new year, that we can feel very overwhelmed and feel completely deflated. Asking or seeking help can be a really useful thing to do, but perhaps something we might shy away from because we don’t want to feel inadequate or a burden.
But now is the perfect time to get in touch with someone you trust or know will help you and express what you need! This could mean you want someone to make you accountable for your goals and tasks, someone to help manage the load, a chance for the both of you to do something together, to gain support and encouragement, seek advice and tips to help you feel less alone and more like you can all help each other.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking help from others. It can really help you to stay motivated in January because you have the support of others to keep you going. Use it to your advantage.
How do you stay motivated in January and beyond?