Motivation is a weird thing. It comes and goes. It’s responsible for those little bursts of excitement that get some of your work done. Or it can get you working on your personal projects. But it also slips away in a beat of a second. That’s why I want to share my tips on how to stay motivated during social distancing.
I have over 2 weeks since I started my daily blog posts, and some have been a success, while others have hit hard on the sentimental note and got no views. That’s ok. Neither of the two states derailed me from my goal. Because my goal is to develop the discipline in writing a blog post, fast and more efficient than I used to.
Notice that I mentioned the word DISCIPLINE. This term is often seen from a negative perspective, but it is the best word I can use to define what is left when motivation is gone.
Motivation doesn’t hold forever, but an established discipline will.
What do I mean by discipline? I mean a goal, a schedule and good habits. Developing a routine that works in your favour, not against you.
That’s why I was so keen to talk about the nonsense crap I see all over my social media channels last week.
I can’t wrap my head around the thought that some people have no personal goals or projects to work on and have so much time to post all the useless stuff on Instagram stories. I must be jealous because I don’t have that much time to finish all the things I want to finish.
Today at noon, I talked to a friend of mine, who is also a travel blogger, and we were sharing some of our recent frustration regarding the massive traffic drop, ever since the whole coronavirus madness started.
The truth is that people are not searching for travel-related topics, because most of us are under lockdown and have no plan to travel anywhere, anytime soon. Other than to the kitchen, anyway.
She told me she feels unmotivated during these times. Although there are a lot of things we can do to improve our blogs, and a lot of free resources (such as courses and tools) available during this coronavirus pandemic, she doesn’t feel like doing a lot.
After I tried to explain what I do to keep my workflow, she pointed out that this could be my today’s blog post. A blog post on How to stay motivated during social distancing, or how to stay motivated every day!
I believe there is a recurring number of causes that bring us to the same point when we are wondering how to keep your motivation. But most of us don’t really want to implement a solution. It’s the comfort zone that keeps us there, and the habit of doing the same thing, although we know it will not change the outcome.
I want to share with you all (if anyone is willing to achieve something), my strategy to keep you motivated, which will help you stay motivated every day.
Why motivation isn’t the key to keep you motivated
Staying motivated is not a realistic belief to have. Staying motivated is not an achievable thing, because motivation relies on your current mood, and we, like people, have a diverse array of moods that we pass through, on a daily basis.
That’s why, when we look for how to stay motivated, we actually want to find a solution to how to get work done. It has nothing to do with motivation but has everything to do with discipline and habit.
Every time I think about the lack of motivation (that we all share), I think of Ronaldo. Do you really think Ronaldo wakes up each day, with this insanely dose of motivation, asking himself “So what personal record will I beat today?”. Because I really don’t. He must have the same life issues we all face, but he somehow manages to overcome them, and he does that by never quitting his established routine, relying on discipline and his good habits. That’s re magic formula of success.
How to stay motivated every day
I can only talk from my own experience when talking about how to stay motivated.
That’s why I determined the following steps you can also implement to help you stay motivated every day and get that work done. This is what you need to do if you want to successfully work on your personal projects and dreams.
You’ll be a bit disappointed to find out that it doesn’t actually imply a lot of the motivating factor.
5 Steps to keep you motivated and achieve your goals (and a bonus step at the end)
1 Set your goals
Firstly, you need to think about what you want to achieve and write it down.
Some examples would be:
“I want to grow my blog’s revenue”
“I want to be a famous vlogger”
“I want to lose weight to feel more confident about myself”
I strongly recommend writing down your goal. It puts things into perspective and it will help you be accountable, which is another essential aspect of the motivation issue. The moment other people are expecting you to publish a blog post to do something, it truly helps in moving your lazy ass off the couch and close that Netflix binge session.
2 Determine what you need to work on to reach your goals
Now that you have a goal to work on (or a shortlist, but no more than 2 or 3 things at a time), write down the steps/task you need to act upon. What are the steps you need to do to achieve those goals?
Some examples would be:
“I want to grow my blog’s revenue” >>>> “Grow my blog’s traffic”
“I want to be a famous vlogger” >>>> “post more vlogs”
“I want to lose weight to feel more confident about myself” >>>> “get a diet and exercise programme”
If you are unsure about the necessary steps you have to take to achieve your goals, then Google it. These days, we have experts on pretty much any topic. Or feel free to reach out. I like to help out people with a goal. The ones without one are my problem.
3 Divide your tasks into small steps you can do every day
Now that you have a clear perspective over what you have to do to keep you motivated, it’s time to set small steps you can do every day, or in very small windows of time, that will get you to do the work you need to do, to reach your goals.
Hence the sayings,
“Sometimes the smallest step into the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take the step.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
Now sure what are the necessary steps? Worry no more, the mighty free internet will help you once more. All you need to do is to search for something like “how to ” + the step you have to make. Paradoxically or not, this is how you ended up here, by typing “how to stay motivated”.
To continue with the same example, this is what I search for to find out what are the steps I need to take to achieve my goal:
“How to grow my blog’s traffic” and I would discover that I need to implement SEO strategies and other digital marketing strategies.
“How to do vlogs/post more vlogs” This search would probably teach you how to edit videos, give you some ideas on vlog topics, and unveil some already popular vloggers that would inspire you.
“How to diet and get an exercise program” The weight loss topic is broad and can give you a lot of different results. That’s why is so so important to be as specific with your goal and questions, as possible. This is merely an example, but if you truly want to lose weight, please don’t buy in that crap miracle drink or diet. Only eating a healthy food and occasionally exercising will deliver sustainable results.
Once you have a consistent list of things and task you have to accomplish every day, that fit into your daily schedule, then add them to your schedule.
I have a self-made weekly calendar in Google Drive spreadsheets, in which I write my small task I have each day, hour by hour. Just like the schedule we used to have in school.
I also set alarms on my phone, such as “Post on Instagram” or “Twitter post”, that set off each day, Mon to Fri, on the same hour.
What this does is establishing a routine and creating that habit. Repeating an action creates a habit. That’s why I urge you to start working on those tiny steps, to establish good habits in your life.
If you take only one thing from this blog post, please remember the fact that we are what we do the most and good habits eventually add up to great results.
I hope you have a clearer idea on how to develop a list of task and steps to take on your journey to achieve your personal project and dreams.
I have some optional steps for this strategy to help you stay motivated and reach your goals, whatever they might be.
4 Try to do more for each small step you set out to do
I have already mentioned the small, every day steps you have to set to keep you motivated. And how important it is to implement these small steps into your daily schedule.
But what I like to do is to push myself to achieve a bit more for every task. I try to do a little extra. It’s not to show off, it’s for me.
Remember that you do it for yourself and progress is what you strive for. And that little extra effort can also add up to big results in your journey.
Even when I’m exercising, I try to push my body a bit more, to keep my muscles tense a bit longer, to do that last crunch a bit better. It might feel like a chore, but it does pay off. And I have many personal examples of this happening. If you have the curiosity and time, check out my blog post about manifesting reality. Or reach out to me, because I still have many stories I haven’t made public.
5 Cross off the list of todos those tasks you have already finished
There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing off tasks from your daily To-Do list.
This small trick helps your brain release oxytocin, a chemical that makes you feel good and leave you craving for more. It’s the same principle as when taking drugs. That’s why it’s so hard to get off illegal drugs. It’s because they’re addictive to our brains. They make us feel good. But what most of us don’t know is that our brain is capable of producing those chemicals by itself, if only stimulated.
It’s up to us to create the right circumstances and give our brains what it craves. So write that list of To do each day, and then cross things off, once you are done with them.
The best thing in the world. (Or is it just me?)
6 Repeat the process and make it a habit.
Get through this process as many times as you need to develop good habits, to get work done, to achieve personal goals and to become better overall.
And since we got here (hopefully, you’re still reading), remember that the words that come out of our mouths act like mantras for the brain.
Saying “I’m not motivated” it’s the fasted way into tricking your brain into becoming sluggish. And we don’t want that! Change it into “I can only do this right now” and then add a little extra, so you can get that good feeling when you tick things off your daily list.
To conclude on “How to stay motivated everyday” situation
Staying motivated or how to stay motivated how little to do with what we are actually after, but we confuse the two concepts and then we say it to ourselves over and over again, and it becomes some sort of bad mantra.
Before you know it, you’re in a vicious cycle of bad habits and watching Netflix which reposting the same lame Instagram story which reads “I’m all about Netflix and Chill today”.
It’s easy if you start doing it, but it’s hard if you watch from afar.
Because I feel like giving a little extra (inside joke), I want to briefly answer some of the most commonly related questions on the topic of How to stay motivated.
Most common questions about How to stay motivated in different situations
How to get and stay motivated when depressed?
Depression is a terrible place to be in. I occasionally cross it, and I understand you completely.
Just live in that feeling, consume it, and remember that no matter what thoughts come thought your mind, it will pass. Don’t take actions. Just live in the moment. Because, when there’s nothing left, you can rise again. And remember that great things come from great sorrows.
How to overcome the lack of motivation to exercise?
This one is tricky. Our brains are powerful devices which can be tricked but can also trick us. I used to be trapped in this world of depression and lack of any kind of motivation, eating my feelings up every day. Those were some rough times.
After a couple of years of failing against life, I did it. Got my life back on the track I wanted. But as I am looking back, I know those were the years I learnt the most about life and everything around me. I wrote a blog post about my weight loss journey. It’s worth a few minutes of your time if you are struggling to overcome the lack of motivation to exercise. I promise!
How to stay motivated when you hate your job?
There’s a simple answer to this one. You don’t.
News flash: You’re looking for an answer to suit your comfort zone. The harsh truth is that you’ll never be motivated in a job you hate. Larger companies are starting to take notice of this too and started to ask future employees what are they passionate about, in their attempt to give them a task that they will enjoy doing.
Again, I too, have walked this road of quitting my job, and it was a painful one, but I don’t regret any decision.
If you hate your job, then quit. Ok, don’t quit by tomorrow, but follow the steps above to find another job that you love. Think about changing the industry entirely. Again, I’m here for you if you need someone to talk to. Free of charge!
You have No motivation for school anymore?!
It’s not your fault.
Most of the times, our educational system are not focusing on our personal needs and desires. Remember that school was created as a tool to deliver humble factory workers, not creative minds.
But even so, I don’t recommend quitting until you finish high school. Try your best to identify your strong skills, to work on your abilities and to adapt school classes to what you like doing the most.
Focus on what serves you!
I have poured my sweat and passion into this blog post, as I normally do with all of my content. I laid my soul open, for anyone who might need to read it.
I truly hope it does help someone. This is a topic I have too struggled with, and it was only when I decided to not lie to myself that I have evolved as a person and achieved personal growth. But it’s a process and it never ends. (as this blog post, apparently).
If you feel that you’re in a crisis, of any sort, existential or otherwise, that’s ok too. Last year, I wrote my quarter-life crisis, and some of my conclusion might help you too overcome whatever it is that you are struggling with.
Read more about personal growth and motivation to help you get started:
- Personal growth: A journey of self-discovery that changed my life
- How solo travelling will help you achieve personal growth
- The secret to self-development
And if nothing of the above helps, please contact me! I really want to help someone else, because I have been through all these states and I wish someone was there for me, but it wasn’t.