The Top 5 Ways I Stay Motivated

Some days I wake up ready to conquer the world… and others I wake up, roll right back over, and pull the covers over my head.

So, how do I stay motivated on the covers over the head kind of days? I have 5 things that work almost 99% of the time.

5.) To-Do Lists. There is something about writing things down and then checking them off that is deeply satisfying. I have an Erin Condren A5 Weekly LifePlanner in the new Compact Vertical layout that I use specifically for my daily to-do lists. The simple act of marking things complete is usually enough to make me get shit done. Also… raise your hand if, like me, you add things to your to-do list after you’ve done them just so you can mark them off. šŸ™‹šŸ»ā€ā™€ļø

4.) Sprints. It’s my understanding that ‘sprinting’ originated from the Pomodoro Method. Simply put, you set a timer for 25 minutes and wok in focus, meaning no distractions, until the time goes off. Then you take a five minute break. After the 4th Pomodoro, or sprint, you take a longer break, 10-30 minutes. There are several variations on this. My favorite way to sprint when I’m writing is 20 minutes of focused work with 5 minute breaks for 3 or 4 hours with one longer break in the middle. When I’m doing chores, it’s 25 minutes of focused work with 5 minute breaks until I get my tasks done. Some people do ladders or pyramids. That’s when you start with a 10 minutes sprint, then take a 5 minute break. Each sprint increases in length by 5 minutes until you reach your longest interval after which you either stop (ladder), or start decreasing them by 5 minutes (pyramid). The options are endless, although they do say that the 25/5 method works best for highly focused work. I like 20/5, but that’s just me.

3. Make it a Game. Sometimes I need extra incentive. When I find myself struggling to stay focused on the task at hand whether it be writing, working out, cleaning, or whatever, I’ll make it a game. I challenge myself during the next sprint to write a few more words, or put away a few more things, or get in a few more reps than I did in the last sprint. I have a competitive streak, so this works well for me.

2.) Track your progress. This works. I track every word I write, ever inch/pound I lose (or gain!), how many reps I complete, how many steps I take, how many miles I ride, how many glasses of water I drink, and what I eat. I track my habits, I track my moods, I track everything I can think of. I like to see my progress. I probably seem a bit obsessive and I am 100% ok with that.

1.) Music. Music makes everything better. I have playlists for everything and they’re all wildly different. I like EDM and Classical when I write. I like 90s Rock, EDM, and old school Gangster Rap when I work out. I like 80s music when I’m, cleaning. I have a generic motivational playlist that covers it all with a little bit of everything with the theme from Rocky to Imagine Dragons to Ice Cube.

So there you have it. My top five ways to stay motivated even when all I really want to do is stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head snuggled up with Brody. How do you stay motivated on days like that? Let me know in the comments, or join the conversation on Instagram.

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