With nights drawing in, and the temperature dropping, many people are finding this second lockdown more of a struggle than the first. Normal routines are out of the window, again, and finding the motivation to get anything done, or even to simply get up and dressed, can be a daily battle for some.
The simplest way to get yourself some motivation is to set yourself some small goals.
Good goals: Goals give you a direction to focus on, one that is measurable and has an endpoint. It could be to finish that assignment or project, reading a chapter of a book, take a walk around the block, or simply to get washed and dressed today.
Choose goals that interest you: You’re far more likely to stay motivated if you’re working towards something you genuinely want, rather than what somebody else wants.
Find the inspiration: Sometimes other people set us goals or tasks that we don’t have any interest in. The trick here is to find the element of it which does motivate you. For example, “I don’t want to exercise, but I really want to fit into those new trousers,” or “I don’t want to do my science homework but I really want to work in a lab when I leave school”.
Make it public: Tell someone your goal, write it down, or post it online. You’ve then made a promise which will be harder to break.
Plot your progress: When you are working towards something, it can be extremely motivating to see your progress. Find a way to visualise how close you’re getting to your goal.
Break it into chunks: If you’ve set yourself a large task, split it into smaller, manageable chunks to boost your confidence and measure your achievements. For example, if your goal is to do all the ironing, you could say “I’ll just iron 3 shirts”, then “I’ll iron 2 pairs of trousers”. Write these smaller tasks down…
Write a list: Many find it encouraging to write their tasks on a list, and to cross them off as they go to mark progress. Set smaller goals to get that feeling of progression as you work your way through it.
Use rewards: Promise yourself some sort of reward each time you complete a step or task, such as an episode of your favourite show or half an hour on the games console, or a biscuit!
Don’t do it alone: Despite lockdown, there are still plenty of ways to share your experience with others. Call a friend or loved one, find a local or relevant Facebook group. Other people’s encouragement to keep going can be a big boost to motivation.
If it is really tough: If you have tried to motivate yourself but just can’t get going, it might help to talk it though with someone you trust. Sometimes it can be hard to achieve things on your own and having a good support network can help. Alternatively, an objective stranger, such as a counsellor or trained professional in the subject you are struggling in, can help you work out your best next move.
Next steps: There is no time like the present to get started. Write down some goals or tasks you want to achieve today, or over this weekend. Plan some rewards to keep your motivation up. Tell someone your goal to make yourself accountable. You’ve got this.