We all struggle to motivate ourselves from time to time. Be it getting out of bed to go to work, finally starting your dream project, to getting your work into a gallery. I’ve got a few simple steps that can help you to get motivated.
Step one stop telling people what you are going to do
This might sound strange because a lot of people tell someone they are going to do something, so they have a person to hold them accountable if they don’t start doing this it’s the wrong approach. For example, telling people you are going to start going to the gym, sounds great, people instantly say, that’s great, good for you. Giving you a satisfying feeling, a sense like you have already accomplished something. Which intern can lower your motivation because you feel like you have already accomplished it when in truth you haven’t even walked into the gym yet. So step one, stop telling people what you’re going to do.
Step two get into a routine
Be it getting up early or asking your spouse to give your half an hour without the kids after work. Giving you the opportunity to cram in as much creativity as possible. Whatever it might be, start a daily routine. My morning routine is.
- Get up at 5:45am
- Go for a 45-minute run
- Have a shower
- Meditate for 30 minutes
- Have breakfast (if I have time)
- Go to work early
- Go for a quick walk before starting work
- Check emails
- Start work
A simple routine, but what I find is that I get great ideas in between my routine. I’ll come up with an idea, and I will think of something to do. This happens to me when I’m running or when I’m getting my quick walk in the morning. I open up my notebook app on my phone and try and write down my idea. I don’t stop what I’m doing. I don’t break the routine. I adapt. I find this helps me not to stray off my morning ritual.
Three write lists
Lists are great because you get to tick them off which gives you a boost of achievement and puts your activity into a time frame. I find daily list work the best where week or month timeframes seem always to go on hold or end up moving back. Write daily lists, and it sounds boring, and it is, but getting to tick them off one by one as you accomplish them feels great. It gives you a personal satisfaction that you achieved something.
Step four have daily goals
Have a goal and do something that relates to it daily. For example, you want to start showing your work in a gallery. What do you need to do to get your work in a gallery? You need physical work. So you need to start making or printing your artwork. You need to make contact with an art gallery and the people in that community. So start emailing people that are a part of the art gallery, go to events, start making relationships with those people. You need a body of work, start editing your work down to the best pieces or the work that can convey a story. You need to make yourself known. Start writing articles about shows or go to gallery openings and look at the work, etc. There are many things you need to accomplish to get your work into a gallery, or whatever your goal might be. Start doing things daily that will get you closer to your goal. And tick them off once you’ve done them.
You need to be passionate about it. Personally, I run every morning because my family has a history of getting heart attacks and strokes. And I don’t want that to happen to me, so I need to stay in shape and not get a belly. Because as soon as I get a belly I’m at risk. My motivation to run is I don’t want to die. What’s your motivation, it needs to be strong, and you need to want to achieve it more than sitting down and watching Netflix. It needs to be more inspiring for you than the taste for a glass of wine. Find what are you passionate about, because that is what will motivate you.
Five, get uncomfortable
It’s when we are comfortable that we get stagnate, we get cosy and feel bliss. When this happens, we stop moving. Are you happy where you are? If so great, you have achieved all you will find in life. I just hope you don’t have any regrets. Does that sound like you? If you were going to die in a week, is there anything you wish you did or achieved? And if you’re not doing anything to get yourself closer to that goal, that thing you wish you did. Well, my friend, that means your stagnate, your stationary, your comfortable. Tell yourself if you were to die in a week, what do you wish you could do. Do that now! Don’t put it off, because you could die any day. Nothing is promised to you in this life, grab it now and go for it!
Step six positivity
Surround yourself with people that are supportive, be it friends, family or a mentor. You need people around you that can push you, tell you to keep trying. Now you might say well you told me I couldn’t say I’m going to do something. Yes, that’s true, don’t say things you are going to do, only say things you’ve already done. I went for a run today because I want to do a marathon. I printed and framed my photos because I want to organise a gallery show, etc. You need to surround yourself with positive people that will support your goals and ideas, and remove and let go of negative people. pPeople that say things like, that’s too time-consuming, you can’t do that, your not good enough. Your work is subpar, whatever they say, don’t listen and don’t spend any more time around them. And if you can’t get away from them, be it a coworker or a sibling, just don’t tell them what you are up to, and don’t give them the time of day. Get positivity in your life, surround yourself with supportive people that can help you get motivated.
Every day, give yourself 5min to self-reflect and be grateful for the things in your life. This might sound weird, but trust me, you’ll feel great for it and feeling great can bring forth motivation. For 5 minutes at least, say all the thing in your life that you are grateful for. Be it your partner, job, warm bed. Here’s my personal example.
I’m grateful for and that I have in my life
- The roof over my head
- That I have food in my belly
- A warm bed
- My health
- My supportive partner and her love
- My dream camera a Leica M
- A job that gives me money so I can pursue my passion
- My family that is supportive
- The clothes to keep me warm
- I have time in the day to write my blog
- I have a platform to share my experiences and help and teach others
- My favourite boots
A very straightforward and basic list I know, but it’s something I say to myself every day. Your list can include anything that you are grateful for that you already have. Doing this every day can bring you, peace, joy, happiness which intern makes you grateful for what you already have in your life. Making you feel so lucky and can remind you that you can achieve whatever you want to because you already have all these great things in your life.
Give yourself a time limit. Be it a daily, a weekly, or goal you need to achieve by the end of the year. Or even better an hour to complete, like editing that wedding shoot you did this weekend. Give yourself an hour to edit and send it off to the client. Giving yourself a time frame to do a task makes you so much or efficient. If I gave you a day to go to the supermarket to get food, I bet you would achieve it by the end of the day. But if I said you have only two hours to do it, I bet you would reach it in the next two hours. Making you much more efficient and freeing yourself up to do other things. Sounds strange I know, but it works. I give myself only half and hour to edit all my work I photographed at the end of the day. And you know what, I achieve it. Give yourself deadlines, and this can motivate you and helps you from wasting your time.
Step nine reward yourself
Give yourself a reward for doing it, be it 30 minutes of TV or Facebook time, to a snack of chocolate or a glass of wine once you have achieved your daily task. You need to celebrate the small things. Treat yourself; you deserve it. When I go for a run, I give myself to a long shower, and a fresh fruit smoothie or juice, which I love and only have once I’ve gone for a run because they are expensive. But I treat myself. Your amazing and you did all the things on your list today, put your feet up and reward yourself.
Ten is motivation
It’s who you are, and this is the harsh truth. If you are not motivated, then it might just be you, or your just not passionate about what you need to achieve. That’s OK, don’t beat yourself up about it. I hate doing the dishes, I hate it, it’s a waste of my time and I just cooked dinner, I’m tired, all I want to do is go to bed. I’ll do it in the morning, or after work, or once I need to cook dinner. Sound familiar? It’s because I’m not passionate about doing the dishes. It’s not the task; it’s me. I know this, and it helps if you know what your motivations are. What I tell myself is, it has to be done. No one else is going to do it, and it’s not worth me paying someone else to do it. So I implement my motivational points, I give myself a timeframe I have to do the dishes straight after dinner (which I sometimes fail, which is OK). I don’t tell anyone that I’m going to do them. And once I’m done I treat myself to a treat or a few minute of downtime, be it a video game or tv. Whatever the treat is I only reward myself once I’m done. And you know what, I achieve my goals, I get motivated. And you can too.