• 46°

There’s no time like the present

February is really the best time of year to start on your New Year’s Resolutions. Remember those? Those goals you told yourself you’d focus on a few weeks ago? It’s okay if you’ve already forgotten about them. A lot of us give up pretty quickly too.

And I don’t blame you for that. It’s easy to get swept up in the “January Blues,” whether that’s caused by the post-holiday slump or by battling the frigid winter weather or whatever else might be bringing you down. I’ve gotten sidetracked by plenty of things in January to keep me from following through on a few goals I’ve set for myself.

But now it’s February, and there’s no time like the present to hop back into trying to accomplish a few things on my list. Who says you have to wait until next January to try again? That feeling might be relatable to many people out there too.

The question that remains, however, is how am I supposed to find the motivation?

There are plenty of things I want to do, like finish a couple of personal writing projects and start an exercise routine, just to name a few. But somehow, I seem to always end up procrastinating and finding excuses to do other things (like watching basketball and reading Twitter). I don’t have a solution to this reoccurring problem and, unfortunately, I don’t feel qualified to give advice about it either.

So I turned to Google… which may not be the best place for advice, but at least it gives us a few ideas to work with. One blog I stumbled across called zenhabits.net listed 16 different ways to get motivated. They were pretty good suggestions, so here are a few the author had to share:

Build anticipation: it might sound counterproductive to not start on one of your goals right away, but actually it can help to focus if you put a start date on your calendar. That gives you some time to start getting excited for the project and time to start planning how you will accomplish it. It’s like giving yourself something nice to look forward to.

Commit publicly: tell people about your goals for extra accountability. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, you’re more likely to actually do it. And the people around you can show their support as well. The blog also suggests giving progress updates as you continue.

Start really small: one barrier to accomplishing a task is feeling intimidated by all the work it’s going to take. It’s probably more efficient to break it into smaller tasks and then work your way up. The blog writer’s example was starting off with two minutes of exercise and adding just a few more minutes each day.

Read daily: if you’re finding yourself feeling unmotivated to reach your goal, try reading more about it. Having more and different perspectives on the matter can re-spark that inspiration about why you wanted to accomplish it in the first place.

Think about the benefits: there are a lot of difficulties to overcome when you’re procrastinating on something you don’t want to do. So it helps to focus on the positive outcomes, like how daily exercise will improve your health.

The blog post had plenty of other suggestions, but these are a few of the most helpful ones in my opinion. Finding what you need to do is a trial and error process, and it’s going to be different for everyone. But hey, you’ll never know what you can do until you try, right?

Motivation and inspiration may come and go, so I try to take advantage of those feelings when they are around. Maybe 2019 will be a year full of accomplishments!

 

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or by phone at 252-332-7206.