7 Easy ways to motivate yourself in 2015
Motivating yourself can be hard work, whatever the reason. Maybe you need to get up off the sofa to go for a run, maybe there's a new piece of work you really need to start, or maybe you just need to be more generally motivated. Whatever your reasons for needing to get up and go, the winter months can take their toll on your motivation and inspiration – darker days mean less energy and the urge to nap, whilst the cold weather can also leave you feeling more tired and moody than usual.
But before you slump back on the sofa to watch yet another episode of The Walking Dead, we've got good news for you! There are ways to motivate yourself during the winter months, and throughout the year. Here at Expertrain HQ, we've been working hard and have come up with 7 easy ways to motivate yourself to get up and go – so why not give some of these a try if you're in a post-Christmas chocolate-induced coma?
#1. Use motivational mantras
Mantras are a phrase or word which you repeat until the desired effect is achieved – trust us, they really do work! They can be used for a variety of things, from weight loss and fitness to health and even to boost your self-esteem. Some of the best mantras are the simplest ones, such as “You can do it.” or “You look great today.” Using these mantras on a daily basis can motivate you to start training for that marathon, finally find the right personal trainer for you or even just give you the confidence to embrace new social situations, by boosting your self-image.
#2. Make good food choices
Think about how you feel after scoffing a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar, or a Friday night Indian takeaway – we've all been there! Now compare that to how energised you feel after a fresh fruit smoothie and a delicious healthy salad. We're willing to bet that you feel in the mood to get up and go; meet friends, go for a run or head for the gym. Good food choices not only boost your energy levels and promote good health, they can make you feel happier too! Try eggs to keep cravings at bay; with their slow energy release, they'll boost your mood. Asparagus is also a great choice – it's rich in folate and tryptophan, which the brain uses to create the mood stabilising chemical serotonin.
#3. Go for a walk
Getting some fresh air is a great way to boost your motivation; once you're outside in the fresh air, you'll naturally feel more energised and inspired. You don't need to take up running to benefit your health – brisk walking can be just as beneficial, and is ideal if you're suffering from a previous injury or have weak knees or ankles. Make sure you wrap up warm in the winter months and wear a good pair of training shoes to support your ankles. As an added bonus, you'll absorb vitamin D from the sun, which can help regulate your body clock so you get a great night's sleep later!
#4. Set yourself a goal
You know how you're suddenly much more efficient when faced with a tight deadline for work? Now imagine if you could be that efficient in everyday life. By setting goals for yourself, you're giving yourself something to reach, which can help you to be more efficient and productive. It doesn't have to be anything huge – maybe you could set a goal of saving for your holiday by June 2015? Or perhaps you could apply to run the London Marathon next year and give yourself a training goal? Focusing your energy in this way is really positive and can help to fight SAD this winter, as well as ensuring you stay motivated.
#5. Get a dog
We're not suggesting you rush out to get a dog – it's a big decision which you need to think about, and you should always ensure that a dog fits into your lifestyle and is affordable for you and your family. But a pet can be a great way to stay motivated. Going for a walk or a run when it's cold and wet outside might be the last thing YOU feel like doing, but your dog is sure to have other ideas! Sticking to a training schedule is much easier when you have a dog to walk, which can really help boost your motivation.
#6. Stick to a routine
Over the holidays, routines fall by the wayside as we relax with family, drink too much mulled wine and enjoy ourselves at Christmas parties. Whilst routines might seem boring, they're actually a great way to trick your body into feeling more motivated. By going to bed at around the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, your body clock will naturally adapt, so you feel more alert and are therefore more productive. If you're working from home – or if you have to go into the office over the festive period – try to schedule breaks at a regular time, so your body knows when it needs to stay focused and when it's time to relax.
#7. Watch or read something motivational
Is there a particular film which you find really inspirational, or a book which always leaves you feeling ready to take on the world? Books such as 'Yes Man' by Danny Wallace (and the film, starring Jim Carrey), are a great way to give yourself a kick up the ass and get you motivated. Whether you want to travel the world this year, or just start training to be fitter and healthier, motivational books and films – as well as self-help books – can have a profound effect on your mood and well-being.