How to remain motivated throughout the year

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AccessEAP’s director of clinical services Marcela Slepica offers some tips on continuing the motivation spirit all year around.

Summer holidays allow us to switch off and become refreshed, recuperated and reenergised. The time off can not only give us the opportunity to break any bad habits we have gained during the past year, it also gives us a chance to establish good habits and set new goals for the year ahead.

The return to work can be an obstacle to maintaining these goals as we no longer have the same free time for regular gym visits or to prepare healthy meals from scratch but it’s important to find a time and sustain the drive to keep up these good habits throughout the year.

Here are some tips on sustaining self-motivation throughout the year:

Choose one and stick to it

Remember all those resolutions you made during the holidays? ‘I’m going to take lunch breaks, I’m going to leave work on time, I’m going to pack healthy lunches, I’m going to get to know my colleagues better’… The problem is if you try to make too many resolutions, chances are you’ll fall off the wagon. The trick is to just choose one and stick to it. If you manage to do so, you will achieve a sense of accomplishment and achievement rather than a sense of failure because you couldn’t keep all your resolutions.

Set goals

By setting goals, you will know exactly what it is you want to achieve. Sub goals enable you to have small wins along the way. When you have a direction to follow and a sense that you are on the right track, it can be very motivating to continue towards the goal.

Manage your time

It is far more motivating when you feel like you are in control of your work and not the other way round. Practice time management techniques to prioritise and take control of that never-ending to do list.

Reward yourself

Make an agreement to give yourself a reward when you complete a task. It can be as simple as a specialty coffee for smaller tasks or a relaxing spa treatment for larger ones. It will motivate you to keep going and remind you that you have achieved that goal.

Don’t put off tasks

It is normal not to feel like doing tasks that are either less interesting even when we know they have to be done. Motivation increases when those not-so-desirable tasks are out of the way, so don’t procrastinate. Getting them done now will allow you to move onto more interesting tasks without the worry.

Tell someone what you intend to do

Research shows that we are more likely to actually act on our intentions if we tell someone about it. By building in accountability, we can increase motivation to complete the task.

It’s never too late to review and reevaluate your resolutions and goals to make them more realistic and more importantly, attainable. Remember, you don’t need a new year to set new goals, you can choose to do so throughout the year to keep yourself motivated.

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