Yesterday was like any other. I had grand plans; a bit of study, some work, exercise, cook something delicious, spend quality time with the family, get some housework done…. But then 6pm hits, and it’s all showers, feeding the tribe and directing traffic as we navigate yet another bedtime ritual.
The day is done, and I have not achieved nearly ‘enough’ in the preceding 12 hours. I wonder how to get motivated as I beat up on myself for not having that gold-standard ‘balance’ I hold to such high esteem.
However, I’d like to let you in on a little secret I learnt as part of a Precision Nutrition course I have taken on, the five-minute action. This powerful little trick won’t get all your to-do’s ticked off in one go, but it will keep you moving towards your goal and does wonders for that nagging ‘I just can’t do it’ thought that creeps in daily. You may not have two hours to complete that next newsletter and schedule the week’s social media, but you have five minutes to make a start.
In essence, the principle is that action that builds momentum and motivation. You can plan and theorise yourself until you are any colour you like in the face, but without action – there is no real advancement.
This is how to get motivated; rather than beat yourself up for not getting any closer to your goal, take just five minutes and DO SOMETHING, anything that will inch you closer to your desired outcome. All you need to do is somehow get your thoughts and plans into action.
I have listed some five-minute actions that may be useful for you. What else can you think of?
How to get motivated for your work:
- Scan through your emails and flag anything that needs to be dealt with tomorrow and delete the junk that is cluttering your inbox. That way, you have a head-start on the next day.
- Schedule one social media post for the coming days.
- Take a photo while you are going about your day of something that could be used for your marketing, such as an interesting sculpture, candid photo of you or your staff, something you are doing to relax or an inspirational landscape. If you are feeling adventurous, have a quick play on a photo editing app and see what you can do to liven up your image.
- Pay a bill, send an invoice or follow up a client via email.
- Read a business-related article or browse one of the social media groups you are in for inspiration and motivation.
- Jot down anything that is consuming your thoughts that you just haven’t got to, such as writing a blog post or putting together a customer order. Sometimes, just getting these tasks out of your head and onto paper (and, even better, scheduled into your diary!) helps quieten your mind and relax into the rest of the day.
- Browse a keyword planner to get the latest on search stats for your niche. Have an easily accessible place to write these down for later use.
- Find the contact details of someone who can help you with the tasks you are struggling with, such as accounting, copywriting, web design or photography. As a business owner, trying to do it all yourself is common. Relax – you don’t have to! There are many skilled people out there who can ease your burden.
How to get motivated for your study:
- Get your coloured pens out or grab your online calendar and schedule time for study tomorrow. This is not just planning a to-do list, but actually dedicating time over the following days to get a task done.
- Instead of worrying about the time needed to complete a chapter of your study material, sit down with a cup of coffee for just five minutes and read something related to your topic. This may not even be your course content, but something else of interest that adds to your learning or offers a different perspective.
- Talk to someone else about what you are learning. Teaching others is a great way to distil what you are learning into solid, understandable ideas.
How to get motivated for self-care:
- Take five to go outside with a cup of your favourite beverage and stand on the grass. Breathe deep, take in your surroundings and just ‘be’ for a moment.
- Lie down and close your eyes as you scan over your body with your mind. Become aware of how you are feeling and where you are holding your tension.
- If you haven’t found time for your daily workout, don’t beat yourself up. Take a short walk to clear your head and get some movement, or jump into a fast 4-minute Tabata bodyweight workout; 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds. Choose any exercises you like, such as air squats, sit-ups, push-ups, plank hold, lunges, bridge kicks or (everyone’s favourite) burpees.
- Jot down some notes in a journal about how you are feeling, what your struggles are for the day and why you think things haven’t gone to plan. Be as objective as possible, and you will no doubt find that there are good reasons for time slipping away. With this awareness, you can better plan for tomorrow.
- Again using a journal, re-state your goals and frame them as a future statement of accomplishment. For example, “It is December 31, 2020, and I have just paid the final instalment of our business loan, and I feel free, happy and ready to move forward into the new year”, or “It is November 20, 2021, and my family is heading off on our much-awaited holiday to Europe. I am excited about this opportunity to show my children the world.”
By committing to just five minutes, you may, in fact, find that you get so wrapped up in the task you have put off that you end up on it for an hour! Or, you do your scheduling, read that article, or do your 4-minute Tabata workout and you feel fantastic – so you are ready to take on that next job you have been putting off too.
Instead of wondering how to get motivated, use a small action to create momentum, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.