Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Let's Discuss...Staying Motivated

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to be sharing the ways in which I stay motivated to be the best version of myself and how I sustain this throughout life on a daily basis. I’ve wanted to write this post for such a long time, but I think because motivation is something I’ve struggled with a lot in the past it just didn’t feel right until now.

Being a student can be really tough on your mental health, I know that the constant change in sleeping pattern, diet and general lifestyle changes had a massive impact on my happiness throughout my first two years of uni.

I would definitely say that the past two months have been a massive change to my lifestyle, finishing university for until September has definitely helped with this. Personally for me the university timetable scheduling for my course in particular makes it tough for me to stay motivated, I find that only have eight hours spread across seven days is too little time spent in education and the rest of the time is spent deciding whether to actually go the library or catch up on sleep. I 100% made bad choices in this through both my first and second year and its something I’ll kick myself for if I do again - however the way I’m living now and what I’m learning from it should hopefully help me not do this again.

Here are my best tips on how to keep motivated and the best life for yourself...

Keeping busy

Keeping busy can be sometimes viewed as a bad thing, and in some cases it can be - we all deserve a break. However, I’ve found the more I actually do the more energy I have. Its so easy to sit around all day and become increasingly lethargic, I know this because the yesterday I sat working from home all day and although this was productive it really took its toll - by 5pm I wanted a nap.

Having a job is something that always really helps me with keeping busy and staying motivated, I worked all throughout last summer and Christmas and I felt so good being in healthy rhythm (this also helped with my sleep pattern). I found during term time when I was at uni that I really struggled to find any motivation for what I really wanted to do with my life, and part of this came because I had SO much time on my hands I just ended up binge watching Netflix series. 

I’ve recently got a new job which I’m really loving, the shift patterns are great and work extremely well for me. I can easily fit my sleeping and eating patterns around my work and because I’m part time, I still have a few days off a week to work on my blog and my other job (which is homebased). The best thing about getting a job in the city I go to university in is that I can keep it throughout my term time and just have less hours, that way I have less financial worries and I’m still in a good pattern with a positive mindset (literally I WISH I had done this before and if I have any regrets this is definitely one of them). 

I also keep myself busy by going to the gym, yes girl you heard it. I started consistently going around 5 weeks ago and I have never felt better. For the first time I’m doing it for all the right reasons and I really think I have found something I truly love doing - its kinda become a little hobby and I’m so proud of myself. You can read all about this here. 

I find having a schedule and stick to it, it makes ‘chill’ time much more appreciated and well-deserved. 

Setting goals

As I was saying above, finding something you truly love and are passionate about is one of the best feelings ever. I feel like I’ve been so stuck with my blog for over a year now as my interests have completely changed since first starting my blog. I’ve been able to set myself true and realistic goals for the first time in ages and its helped so much with my mindset and how I see my future.

I’m going to write a full blog post on my goals because I have so many which are linked to different parts of my life so look out for that in the next couple of weeks!

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people

There’s always a strength in surrounding yourself with people that are completely different to you - different hobbies, personalities and interests. But, its also the best when you feel part of a community or a group of people who are all have similar mindsets. I’m lucky to have both in my life, I love being apart of the blogger community and I can’t wait to see where this aspect of my career takes me as I’ve met so many amazing people.

I absolutely love engaging with YouTubers and bloggers who inspire me through social media, and seeing their content can be seriously motivating. I think there’s something to be said for the influencers in the community who are true to themselves and really care about what they are promoting. I love watching Elle Darby and Grace Fit UK on YouTube - I find their content ridiculously inspiring and can really relate to them.

Keeping organised

Like I said having a schedule is the first step with being organised. If you ask my mum she’d definitely call me disorganised, but personally I feel its an unfair judgement which is based on the most likely state of my bedroom (which is always more messy than my uni room). 

Having a planner or notebook is a good shout to getting organised, I love Primark’s little A5 notebooks for this as they fit in your bag perfectly and they do some gorgeous patterns. Of course I have one with a marble effect on the cover as that is my current obsession. I also use Microsoft OneNote which is AMAZING. It saves automatically so even if you forget to save your notes they’ll still be there, and you can sync to different devices. OneNote is great because you have your own notebook which can consist of different sections which can then be divided into tabs (I honestly use this to organise my life, I am so grateful - thank you Microsoft). 

If you know me personally you will know that I make a spreadsheet for EVERYTHING. Spreadsheets are my way of tracking what I’ve done, when I’ve done it, or when I need to do it. I note down the shifts I have worked and how many hours, I write down holiday costings and a plan of how much needs to be saved monthly, even my 10k training plan is written down in a spreadsheet. Yeah, I know it is a little much and I even had a mug which said ‘I love spreadsheet’s until it one of my house mates smashed it accidentally. But, on a serious note if you find it hard to manage work shifts, holiday payments or just your general to-do list then I’d definitely recommend making it into a spreadsheet - its always been something which has helped me and something I’ll continue to do.

Getting outdoors

I’ve found that I love to be outside as much as I can recently (although my hay fever is SERIOUSLY getting the better of me). Sheffield is lovely because there are actually so many free parks full of greenery within a walking distance from the city centre. I’ve found so many hidden gems throughout the beginning of summer and I can’t wait to explore more. The Peak District is also super close to Sheffield and I love getting away there whenever my parents come to visit. There’s really nothing like fresh air, I’ve always found going on walks helps whenever I’m down or lacking motivation and its something I’ve always used as a coping mechanism. 

I want to explore so much more of the world and I’d love to be able to go travelling after uni and see all the sights the world has to offer, if that isn’t something to strive for then I don’t know what is. 

General health

Your health in general is incredibly important to staying motivated, as I said I’ve been going to the gym which has not only improved my physical health but my mental health also. I’ve also found a way of eating which is really working for me through tracking macros (I’ll post a three month update later on as I’m fairly new in). If you don’t know what tracking macros is then there are plenty of YouTube videos out there online, I’d recommend watching Elle Darby, Grace Fit UK and BusyBee Carys if you’re interested. For anyone who has read my blog for a while, or who knows me personally knows that I’ve always struggled trying to eat ‘healthy’ and I’ve never been able to sustain it but finding a way to eat a balanced diet has been the best thing for me in terms of motivation - I have so much more energy on a daily basis.

Something I’ve always struggled with in general are my emotions, I’m an incredibly emotional person and it can often get the better of me. I try and deal with this through exercise and drinking plenty of water but there’s always going to be days where I’ll feel a lack of motivation and generally just a bit down. Some days I will allow myself to have a negative mindset and that’s just me being honest, but all the points I’ve made above are what help me to calm myself down and realise that I can make a better life for myself and be really successful through hard work.

I hope this post has helped in some way at all, even if it was just your daily read. I think sometimes it can be easy to get wrapped up in your own thoughts and by just taking a step back and figuring out what you want in life and how to pursue it is always a good thing. Like I said I'll be writing a post all about my goals, and if you'd like to see a post about how I'm eating please let me know in the comments and of course I'll keep you all updated.