Just do it

Have you ever felt like doing anything, even the simplest of tasks, it takes way too much effort? In a digital age when most people seem to be becoming lazier by the minute, I have decided to find ways to stay constantly motivated without any distractions and so far, here’s what I’ve learnt.

1. Start with baby steps.

If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to do something, you may be bogged down by thinking that you have to do something intense several times a week. Instead, start small

– do just 5 minutes of it every day

– and celebrate even these tiny achievements. Once this becomes a daily habit, you’ll notice that you’ll start doing it for longer periods of time, and you will start to enjoy it as opposed to having to convince yourself to do it. This will help you to build on small successes, which will make you feel motivated and also productive.

2. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties.

One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Doing this project is so difficult! Just thinking about it makes your brain hurt and your heart sigh. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. Focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done and how much healthier you’ll be in the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.

3. Squash the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

There will be times when you start having negative thoughts and choosing the easy way out. It’s important to start monitoring your thoughts, recognizing them and eventually pushing them aside to create a positive thought such as “I can do this!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.

4. Focus on one goal at a time.

Whenever I’ve felt like I wasn’t motivated, it’s usually because I have too much going on in my life. Once you set your mind to one goal, you can direct your energy and focus towards achieving this goal. I speak from experience and this is hard to do especially because we tend to be easily distracted, but trust me, it will help you so much to eventually accomplish all the other goals you need.

5. Find inspiration.

For me, inspiration comes from various things and from others who have achieved what I want to achieve. I tend to watch inspirational videos such as TED X talks and Robin Sharma. I read blogs, books, and magazines, anything that can help me, and I also use music as one of my sources for inspiration.

6. Listen to music and dance to it!

You’re not only shaking the stress away but it will also make you feel like you can now focus on whatever is important. And if you’re not into dancing, go for a walk. It will help you clear your head and sort your thoughts. Once you return back home, you’ll feel much better, much more motivated to work on your assignment or to do that project you’ve been procrastinating for so long.

7. Try something different and challenging.

Whether it’s a new hobby or not, once you’re out of your comfort zone, then you can start to experience new things in life. Magic will happen because you’re trying something new, something different and your energy levels will be amazingly high because you’ve never done something like this. Even something small can help but once you rise to the challenge and succeed, then you will feel like you can do anything.

8. Get excited.

Perhaps this sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a lazy habit, get yourself excited about something. For me, I’ve learned that by talking to my friends about it, creating mind maps, reading about it and understanding that this will have certain benefits for me then that will get me excited about a goal. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of doing it in the best way possible

9. Write your goals where you can see them.

Write your goals and stick them somewhere where you can see them every day. For example “Exercise 15 mins.” Post it on your desk, or mirror or make a reminder on your laptop and phone so you will remember your goal plus it will keep your focus and excitement going. A picture of your goal helps since a picture is worth a 1000 words.

10. Commit to yourself or publicly.

None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. That being said, don’t feel like you’re forcing yourself into it, but that you’re doing it because it would be fun to do something together with your friends or colleagues. If you’ve committed to yourself, then you’ll only be failing yourself but whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling motivated today, or this week, don’t give up. Motivation is like a boomerang. You might throw it away but it will come back.  Think of your goal as a journey and your lack of motivation is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.

11. Understand that it’s ok to fail sometimes.

Failure is a crucial part of success but it is only so if you have enough motivation to get back on your feet and do it again. Even the most motivated of us can feel unmotivated from time to time. Whether it’s because something sad has happened to you or because the timing is just off, sometimes we tend to just want to stay all day in bed, doing nothing. As long as this doesn’t become a daily habit, this is good, because it will motivate you.

12. What to do when your motivation ebbs.

Having trouble? Talk to someone, ask for help, join an online forum or search online for motivational tips. Sometimes it’s hard to accomplish something alone so encourage someone to join you. However understand that if you’re not determined to succeed then nothing will come out of it. Either way, find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.

13. Go on, be awesome and just do it.


Sarah Aquilina