Happy Monday! I hope you all had an awesome weekend and area ready to take on the week ahead. I often ask you all what kind of content you’d like to see here on Keep Calm and Chiffon (if I’m not helping someone out by doing this, then what am I even doing??) and I got a request for a post about how to regain motivation and inspiration. We all aspire to complete our goals, but sometimes life can get in the way.
First of all, I want to tell you that you are not alone. You are not the first person to fall off track of your plans and you certainly won’t be the last. I’ve stopped and started so many projects over the years that I can’t even keep track of them all (some examples: a rainbow scarf business, a backpack-decorating business and a greeting card shop. Seventh grade was a busy year!) Whether you want to climb a mountain, build a business, or simply try to eat a little healthier day-to-day, here are some ways to get back on track and accomplish your goals.
1. Remember why you started in the first place
When you’ve gotten off track, the first thing is to remember why you wanted to do what you wanted to do in the first place. Will it enhance your career? Improve your life? Make you insanely happy? Those are all great reasons to do something! Write your goal on a sticky note and put it on your mirror, or set a related photo as your phone background so you are reminded of the why.
2. Make a list of smaller, achievable goals that will get you to a larger goal
I do this all the time at my job. Something as big as “Write a profile on X person for the December issue” can seem overwhelming, but once I break it into smaller steps like “research the subject, pitch the idea, reach out to their PR team, develop interview questions, schedule an interview date,” it becomes much more manageable. If you want to work out more, start with going to the gym once a week before work and once a week after work and build from there.
3. Start with the easy stuff first
Ok yes, that is actually a tip I stole from the Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide episode of when you have a school project you don’t want to work on. Once you get a groove on the stuff you already know how to do, making progress, no matter how small, will propel you forward in the next step. Even if you just take half an hour to make a schedule from yourself or make a plan to locate five PR contacts you can pitch for brands you want to work with, you’ll feel more ready to take on larger tasks.
4. Banish excuses
In the world we live in where people work extra hours, answer emails on weekends, take fewer vacation days and have less personal time than ever before, it can be so easy to create excuses to put things off or not meet our deadlines. Wake up an hour earlier. Don’t make plans after work one day a week. Take an hour on a weekend morning to catch up on emails. If it’s important to you, you can find the time to make it happen.
5. Hold yourself accountable
It’s one thing to decide you want to do something, but it’s another thing entirely to follow through. The best way that I’ve found to do this is to tell other people about the things that I want accomplish. It really helps to share your goals with other people because when others are aware of what you want to do, they can check in with you about how far along you are with them.
And there you go! I hope you found this post helpful. What are your best tips to get motivated?
Photographs above by Sarah Ratner