4 Ways to Motivate Yourself in 2022
As we enter the New Year, there will be endless amounts of ads that will prompt us to renew our gym memberships, change our diet, come up with goals, and to-do lists. But then we end up not sticking to the things we think about.
It’s always easier to think than it is to actually do. It is a never-ending cycle that leaves us chasing our tails and ultimately we let ourselves down in the end.
Motivating ourselves can be difficult and I have struggled with it first hand. I think about and say what I’m going to do and then I never do it or I start something and I don’t finish it because I lose my motivation.
In 2022 I say no more to unfinished and half-effort tasks. Maybe there is something in the air or I am slowly changing my mindset but I want to bring change within myself. Here are four ways I am doing so.
1- Start Small
Let’s face it, no one is going to have a perfect body within 5-7 business days (no matter how long you’re in the gym). You can’t speak a language fluently in 2 days. But the thing is: you have to start somewhere no matter how small it may be.
It has taken me a while to learn that I will never move anywhere if I don’t start somewhere. I’ve let my fear of starting to hold me back and I didn’t want to start small because I didn’t think it would make an impact. But I was wrong.
Starting small builds your confidence and gets you in the habit of doing. Plus, when you start small, you have more energy and momentum to keep going.
What matters the most is starting no matter what and learning as you go.
2- Have a Positive Mindset
I know from experience what it is like to think negatively. A few of my friends actually call me a pessimist and they are right. I always think of the bad before the good, to the point that I have been given the nickname “little dark cloud.”
A lot of us are Eeeyors and it’s difficult to see the bright side of things. I would love to be like Tigger but it doesn't happen overnight and that’s okay. Everyone has their good and bad days and just because one negative thought occurs, it does not mean you have to focus on that thought.
Acknowledge, understand and move forward. Instead of thinking something bad will happen, think the other way around. Something good could happen instead. This creates balance and helps to keep your motivation in check.
3- Be Kind To Yourself
Think about the things you say to yourself. Good. Now say it out loud. Would you want someone to say that to your face? If the answer is no, then why would you say those things to yourself?
Words hurt and it’s not about whether you’re sensitive or not, it's about having respect for yourself. You shouldn’t let someone talk to you in a demeaning manner, so don’t allow yourself to do it either.
It’s easy to beat yourself up over something you have no control over or past mistakes but, as time passes, I’m learning that I have to give myself my own flowers before others do. I’m learning that it’s okay to stumble a bit but remembering to be kind when I do so.
4- Reward Yourself
Back in elementary school, I was taught a reward-based system for certain activities. It was meant to be fun and help us reach our goals. For example, if we read a certain amount of books, we would earn “Allen dollars.” Our school’s mascot was an alligator named Allen. Those dollars could be saved or spent at the store which was a rolling cart full of colorful goodies.
This system helped and it made me want to read more. Then, I fell in love with reading and it didn’t seem like a chore anymore. So, reward yourself when you get something done, even if it's small. Giving yourself something to look forward to is one of the best tricks for motivation.
The underlying message here is: if you're not always going to be motivated to do something, then push yourself to have something to look forward to after you are done.
What matters most is what you do when you aren’t motivated. Do you stop? Or do you find new ways to keep moving forward?
Sadia Wells is a recent graduate student with a BS in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Mass Media Production from North Carolina A&T State University. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC.