It’s almost October, which means most New Year’s resolutions are a very distant memory. Our goals are long gone, and we’re all back to getting by and keeping up the best way that we can.
But the thing that I try to remember when I feel discouraged about getting off track of my goals is this: Progress isn’t a date on the calendar. Nothing magical happens on January 1 every year that can’t be duplicated every one of the other 364 days of the year. Sure, it feels exciting to have a clean slate and a fresh start each January, just like we do each week on Monday, but that doesn’t actually change your ability to do anything you want to.
I love the quote by Zig Ziglar that says, “People say motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
So to help you stay encouraged in this crazy back-to-school, holidays-around-the-corner season of life we’re all in, I’ve made a list of seven ways to stay motivated on whatever journey you may be on.
- Put on your favorite music. I know this sounds simple, but a song can change my mood and give me energy in an instant. If you need a little extra push to do that workout, clean the house, or just tackle that project, put on some of your favorite jams first. That may just be the little push you need to get going.
- Remember your “why.” There was a reason that you set that goal or made that plan to begin with. What was it? Why was it important? Sometimes, just remembering your why can reset your focus to give you the boost you need and motivate you to get back on track.
- Listen to a podcast. I’ve started listening to podcasts recently while I put on my makeup in the morning. That one small change in my routine allows me to multiply my time by combining two things I want to do. I’m investing in my mind while also getting ready for work. And of course, the content I am listening to is always a motivating way to start my day!
- Exercise. I know, I know. This one is painfully predictable coming from me, but that’s because it works! We think we need energy to exercise, but it’s exercise that gives us energy.
- Read scripture. I was feeling overwhelmed and discouraged recently, and I instinctively went straight to my Bible for comfort. But regardless of the reason, you can’t go wrong here. Any time of any day for any reason, Scripture will always speak to you right where you are and encourage you in just the way that you need it.
- Do something you enjoy. When I’m experiencing writer’s block, I’ll step away from the computer to take a walk outside, call a friend, or paint my nails. Sometimes just taking a mini-break to do something creative, interesting or different can be just what you need to have energy to finish the job you’re working on.
- Call a friend. Pick a friend that’s a natural encourager and give them a call. I love it when my friends call me for words of encouragement, because I think that’s one of the gifts God has given me. When someone calls me for help, advice or motivation, I love that I can help them—but I always end up getting off of the call with more energy as well! What friend do you have that you can call? Who will give you both a boost of energy just from you all connecting?
These ideas work for me, but what would you add? Even though it’s not January 1 or a Monday, figure out what motivates you and what works for you, what gets you fired up and gets you moving. And then do those things. And over time, becoming motivated will go from being a once-a-year thing to being as natural as breathing—or as Zig Ziglar reminds us, as often as bathing.