4 ways to keep yourself motivated

There are some days we wake energised and ready to tackle everything the world throws our way. There are also some days when our wells seem dry and we cannot process anything without feeling dispirited or unenthusiastic.

It’s okay, things happen sometimes. We’re here with 4 solutions that may be of help.

1) Use a calendar instead of a to-do list

Calendars offer you a bird’s eye view. A glance lets you know how much time (or time constraints) you have left to complete a task or action. You can then allocate your time better and stay more focused.

We aren’t saying that to-do lists are bad, but they may work against you; you run the risk of writing down everything you have to complete and stressing yourself out with a super long list. Your to-do list will then roll over to the next day when new things are added. You could also cherry-pick the easier tasks to clear, leaving the harder ones for later. You’ll set yourself up for a lot of stress in the near future this way!

To avoid these pitfalls, why not use both a calendar and a to-do list in tandem? If you need a more order in your day, consider building a schedule/timetable. There are plenty of free templates out there! You can use Google Calendar or a physical scheduler as well.

2) Decide on a ‘word’ for the semester (or year)

Do you know about the ‘word of the year’ goal-setting exercise? It’s we gained traction in recent years and is a great alternative to New Year resolutions. But we digress.

The ‘word of the year’ is the word you call to mind to help guide your actions and goals over the course of 12 calendar months. Do you want to break out of your comfort zone, for example? Do you want to grow in braveness and try more new things? Your word of the year could then be ‘dare’, ‘challenge’, ‘discomfort’, just to name a few possibilities.

Take the ‘word of the year’ and apply it to your semester or week. Do you want to go full throttle this week in both your studies and play? Your word could be ‘thrive’. Do you want to be volunteer more and help your coursemates and loved ones more this semester? Your word could be ‘generous’.

When you feel unmotivated when going about your day, or feel lost and unsure about what to do in life, your chosen word comes in. It serves as a goal to work towards or a compass. Of course, you don’t have to do everything by the book and have everything tie-in into this word; see it as an assistant and not an obligation.

Need help selecting a word? Use a word generator! Here’s one that may help.

3) Announce an affirming statement every morning

To yourself, we mean! Engaging in positive self-talk right after you wake up can help you orient yourself and begin the day on a better note. You may feel more positive and in control when you try neutral affirmations, which can sound like ‘I feel nervous about today’s presentation but I’m going to do my best anyway’.

Here are a few other neutral affirmations which you can adopt (or adapt):

  • I am doing okay today
  • I am not the best at xxx but I am getting better at it
  • I don’t feel the best today but it is okay to not be okay at times

Are there any neutral affirmations that you know of or tell yourself regularly? Do share them with us and our readers below!

4) Narrow it down

What is the ONE thing that really has to be settled by today? Or the one thing that you really want to do well today? It can be anything from a fruitful work meeting or a dinner meet-up with friends.

If there isn’t anything that immediately comes to mind, pick one. This will help you compartmentalise and prevent you from becoming too overwhelmed, thereby reducing distractions and keeping your actions intentional. When your one thing is done, you’re ‘done’ for the day! It all adds up; you’ll get to live in the moment a little more and make sure that you’re bringing your best to the table.

Your motivation levels will also be healthier and you’ll feel less discouraged, because you can see that you’re making progress—no matter how slowly this may feel to you!

Have any of our tips resonated with you? Will you be giving any of them a try? We hope they’ve been helpful to you. All the best and take a deep breath: we’re sure that you’re doing okay.


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