Today is the last day of January. I almost can’t believe it. Just thirty-one days ago, we were all thinking about fresh starts and clean slates. And now we’re a month in. How are your resolutions going? Are you keeping up with your goals?
So often January disappears and old patterns take over. Forbes shared that only about 25% of people actually stick with their goals after 30 days. What if instead of allowing ourselves to be exhausted by the feeling that time is slipping away, we could make sure that we are totally living in the present?
Here are four simple tips to stay motivated – and therefore achieve change – all year long.
4 Tips to Stay Motivated All Year Long
One: Manage a healthy pace.
This is really simple, but we often overcomplicate it. Don’t think about it too much – just do it. Include rest time in your schedule. Don’t schedule too many meetings in one week. Only commit to projects you know you can follow through on.
I suggest you regularly take a weekend; no matter how your schedule flows, try to get two days off a week. If it cannot be Saturday and Sunday, choose two other days of the week. One of these days will end up going to housecleaning duties like getting groceries, catching up on housework, going on a date, hanging out with the kids, etc. and one will be a true rest day.
Also, make sure that you are getting adequate sleep outside of your weekend rest. This will help you stay present with your tasks and will make sure you have some mental energy left over at the end of each day.
Two: Fill half of your spare time with fun.
Part of maintaining this healthy pace and working towards steady achievement throughout the year is to make sure that you are filling your spare time with some fun. Spend time with family, grandkids, your pet, your friends. Make sure to laugh a good bit – it’s healing and a big stress-reliever – and also take time to do fun, active things.
Your spare time doesn’t have to look like putting the TV on and waiting for bed. This habit is easy to fall into, but while it feels like resting it actually drains you. Pretty soon the work-eat-TV-sleep-repeat schedule starts to blur the days together, and then you find yourself with a whole year slipping right by. So instead, make sure to do fun, memorable things with those you love.
You will find yourself more energized and alert throughout the day.
Three: Fill the other half of your spare time with hobbies.
Pure fun isn’t the only thing your spare time should include; also make sure to pick up some hobbies. Maybe you really like reading or writing, or horse-back riding or mountain-climbing. Or if you’re like me: fly-fishing! Find a couple of things (don’t overwhelm yourself now) to make hobbies and start including them in your free time. This active engagement with yourself and your time will fuel you to pay attention to time’s flow in a way that doesn’t make it blur.
The key though is to not make your hobbies stressful. If you have a lot of deadlines at work, maybe finishing that novel by a deadline isn’t helpful to your stress level. This is also why it’s important to allot some free time to fun. If all of your time is going to intense focus or activity, then you won’t have a healthy balance of engagement in your world to help you feel present.
Four: Have goals to look forward to throughout the year.
I try to have something to look forward to each month – teaching in Uganda, hosting a conference, etc. These are my big goals. It’s important to have several of these because it breaks the year down into digestible parts. To keep 2019 from feeling like an immeasurable frame that will be filled with endless minutiae, try mixing it up with small weekends away or achievable work victories.
Paradoxically, filling your year with things to look forward to will truly help you stay present throughout 2019, just by giving it some structure and shape.
I hope this year is amazing for you. As we say goodbye to January and move into February, what are some things you are looking forward to? Let me know in the comment section below!
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