Or how to keep yourself motivated.
They say motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going. I’d like to share my experience of keeping myself motivated.
It’s unrealistic to expect to always feel active and motivated. However, there are ways of stimulating yourself and keeping the mood up. I am going to speak purely about intrinsic motivation, because that is something in your power to change, independent from money or material incentives. Even though, funnily enough, being intrinsically motivated usually transforms into getting those.
But most importantly, you might have noticed how when you are on the up, you can do anything, your drive fuels the people around you, while lack of motivation has an equally strong influence on the others. So in order to lead other people in the positive direction, you need to make sure you are in the right, motivated, mindset.
Unfortunately, there is no magic remedy, it is a conscious effort you should be willing to make. I have a few things that work for me, they may not work equally well for you. What you do will be very individual, but the thinking behind will stay the same.
So, here are the things that I, myself, find useful to keep my motivation going:
- Catching up on news in tech and fashion, since those are two stong interests that I have;
- Reading up on trends in the UX industry, because it is a very dynamic one and there are always intersting thinsg going on;
- Going to new places or doing new activities;
- Reading books, becasue I am a massive book nerd;
- Doing sports and walking work well for me if I want to clear my head;
- Painting, which has been a part of my life since I can remember;
- Surrounding myself with the right people;
In order to recreate a similar list I would recommend taking some time to know yourself.
What works for you? What mood patterns do you have? Are there any triggers to make you feel a certain way? Think what inspires you most. Is it reading articles on a particular topic, or watching videos, or following the lives of strong successful people?
After you figure this out, you can start making sure those things are ingrained into your daily routine, so you always have a stream of motivational stimulus.
In a way you are creating a ‘safety net’ for when you are about to feel down, because the worse you feel the more difficult it is to get the motivation back.
There are other things you can do to strenghten the safety net. If we go back to the quote I used in the beginning, habit plays a huge role in how motivated you feel. Imagine getting into keeping up with the news — it might be difficult to make yourself go and read more articles. What I have done is I have created some triggers for myself that work on subconscious level even if I am not proactively doing things.
For example, it is all too easy to dismiss newsletters or posts in your feed but if have a place with curated content ready for you, making it super easy to just open and read for a few minutes, it will do the job in the long run.
Moreover, keeping a home library has been of great help for me — being able to always pick a book and immerse myself into any topic I am interested in that particular day is great.
Hobbies and new experiences are another key part just because they get us into a different mindset. When I travel or go to art galleries or movies, I always find myself looking at my work from some unexpected angles or getting ideas I want to try out at work.
This one is one of the most important ones for me personally — surround yourself with people you respect, who challenge you and provoke thoughts and ideas. This is a crucial, but keep in mind that those people might also be prone to ‘dry spells’ and they might bring you down when they are on the down.
Last but not least, being mindful of your lifestyle. Workload, balanced diet and physical activity is very very important. Having a happy balanced life will help you be inspired by the smallest things, and that’s a talent you don’t want to lose.
And how do you keep yourselves motivated?