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How to motivate yourself in the new year

How to motivate yourself in the new year

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​If you find yourself continuously failing your new year goals and resolutions by the time February rolls around, it could be due to one of these easily solved problems.

Usually, this short-winded new year motivation comes from either mismatched goals and actions, or only have extrinsic motivation for completing your tasks. Motivation is simply the drive you have to achieve your goals and needs, and is influenced by your expectations, mindset, and projected gains. Here’s how to harness the new year to boost your motivations and achieve anything you want in 2021.


1.Start fresh – don’t recycle old goals

If you are trying to achieve the same resolution you’ve tried and failed for years, it’s time to let go and start with something new that excites you and is a new challenge.


2. Don’t choose unattainable goals

It’s crucial to choose your goals based on what you can accomplish. This doesn’t mean you have to choose something easy, nor should they be, however, if your goal is practically impossible it probably won’t motivate you as much as it will disappoint. Your goals don’t need to be complex or complicated; if you can’t wrap your head around the how-to then you won’t stay motivated long-term.


3. Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation

Did you know there are two key types of motivation? External motivation is reward driven, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in the long term should not be the only type of motivation you utilise. Intrinsic motivation is when you are finding the activity itself rewarding to participate in. This means completing something simply out of enjoyment/fulfilment, so the activity is its own reward. When it comes to staying motivated it is ideal to have both. Traditionally, many people have used solely extrinsic motivators, however, this may be why you cannot stick to your resolutions and end up disappointed. This is because if you only set goals that include tasks you dislike or are unachievable, you won’t be able to stay motivated in the long run.

4. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and plan accordingly

When it comes to a particular goal, knowing where your strengths and weakness lie will help you access what tasks will test your patience, what the challenging steps will be and where you will exceed easily. Having this knowledge as you are planning your goals will help your long-term motivation as you can pre-empt where you will be tested and prepare and plan around these difficulties utilising your best skills.


5. Reward yourself along the way

Completing goals and resolutions shouldn’t be a miserable endeavour; if you are too hard on yourself and expect too much with no rewards you will likely burn out. Rewarding yourself after completing certain tasks towards your goal could be as simple as booking a yoga class, having a rest day, a meal at your favourite restaurant, or a treating yourself to something you’ve had your eye on. Rewards incrementally help maintain higher levels of motivation.


6. Visualising your achievements

Visualising your goals becoming reality is scientifically proven to assist in motivation. If you find it difficult to imagine your resolution as reality and how you will achieve this, try creating sub-goals, smaller steps that you can visualise. The closer you feel to achieving your goals, the easier it will be to stay motivated as you know you are capable of it.


7. Don’t split your focus

Try to have only three goals or resolutions at a time, and prioritise accordingly. Taking on too many goals at once will split your focus in too many directions and the quality of your achievements will downgrade, which will leave you the opposite of motivated. Don’t start new goals or tasks until you complete your first 1-3 as this will focus you attention and energy and get them ticked off.


8. Don’t panic if you have an unproductive day

Losing motivation or failing along the way is part of the process. It’s normal to have flat days where motivation is lacking but use this as a sign to take a break and think about why you set these goals in the first place. This will also help you develop resilience and as you build resilience, you’ll regain motivation that much faster! (Check out some resilience tips here)


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