How to: Motivate Yourself

Persistence is…

Keeping your foot on the gas as you inch round the side of a mountain.

Crossing off each day as it comes without ripping up the calendar.

Seeing the chink of sunlight between two angry rain clouds.

Not slowing, or walking, or giving up until you reach that mile.

Writing a thousand blog posts before someone reads one.

Watching the sun set before you stop working.

Watching the sun rise before you go to bed.

Making a diary entry on a duvet day.

Repeating a monologue until you embody the character.

Finishing this poem.

That’s all well and good – but to be persistent requires a great deal of motivation. How can you convince yourself to keep going against all the odds? Here is how I do it.

  1. Imagine the end goal: each task, each chore, each exam you do has a purpose. Whatever you are doing, there is a reason for it. By trying to picture where you will be once you have achieved your goal, it is much easier to motivate yourself to get there.
  2. Give yourself treats: separate your one big task into several mini milestones and place a reward at the end of each one. Obviously, it makes sense to leave the largest reward to the end, but don’t forget to congratulate yourself along the way.
  3. Stay healthy: yes, I know. Healthy mind, healthy body = yawn. But there is a lot to be said for how energised a short burst of Zumba or jogging will make you feel. Doing some exercise is an accomplishment in itself, leaving you feeling more positive about your other goals.
  4. GET ON WITH IT: Lying in bed thinking about the impending task at hand will not help you to conquer it. Sometimes, you have to just bite the bullet and begin, however painful. An hour in to the task, you’ll wonder why on earth you were dreading it in the first place.
  5. Know when to stop: once you get into a rhythm of work, it can be hard to take a break. You might think that interrupting your flow will be detrimental to the end result, but you need time to relax, reflect and rewind. If you don’t, you’ll wear yourself out and have no energy left for the next time around. A break of about 10 minutes every hour should do it.

So go on, get motivated!

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5 Reasons to be Positive this Autumn

It’s that time of year again. Whether you are returning to school or university, the beginning of Autumn can rush in with a great deal of dread. Homework, essays, exams plus wet and windy weather do not make for a happy combination. With that in mind, here are my top 5 reasons to be positive right now:

  1. New stationery. WHSmith is doing a 20% off deal at the moment, so you can jazz up your folders and desk with some new gear. For me, a pretty notebook always makes the prospect of another year of lectures much more inviting.
  2. Well, the weather outside is frightful, but the TV is so delightful. Everyone knows that summer television is terrible, probably because no one is around to watch it. Come Autumn, however, you will never be stuck for entertainment on a rainy day with the likes of Strictly, The X Factor and GBBO.
  3. New modules. Even if you are continuing with the same course(s) as last year, the chances are that you will have new modules or topics to cover. That means they will be more interesting. Well, they could be more interesting…they will be different.
  4. Student Discount. Just when you thought you were going to have to live on rice and beans like a contestant on I’m a Celeb, NUS Extra stepped in and gave you 10% off your groceries at the Co-op. Plus other useful discounts like Railcards, Superdrug and, most importantly, Dominos.
  5. The season of goodwill. It’s only 113 days until Christmas. Just saying.