How to motivate yourself on Blue Monday

We all know January  20th this year is earmarked as the most depressing day of the year, thanks to the weather, the distance from payday and the Christmas holidays, plus the general feeling of overindulgence after Christmas. But you don’t have be blue on Monday, you can buck the trend and turn it into a positive day instead!

How to motivate yourself

  • Be inspired

It’s also Martin Luther King Jr day today! Be inspired by the famous civil rights activist. Look up some of his quotes or find out a bit more about him.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

If you need more motivation, here are my top 10 inspirational career quotes.

  • Write yourself a hope letter

If your resolutions for 2020 are looking a bit wobbly, try writing your self a hope letter instead. Focus on one area of your life where you would like to make a change and start writing a letter to yourself that answer the question ‘What do I hope to have accomplished a year from now?’. Be as detailed as you can about what you want to be different in a year’s time and how you accomplished it. Pop it in an envelope and ask a friend or family member to send it to you in a year’s time.

  • Take a lunch break

Go outside and get some fresh air – a change of scene will help your mood and make the day go quicker. Ask a friend to go with you or just enjoy some quiet time on your own.

  • Choose to work on something you enjoy

If you can, plan in advance to work on an aspect of your work that you really enjoy. Schedule it in your diary so that you have some uninterrupted time to really focus on this piece of work. Knowing you’e going to spend the majority of the day doing something you enjoy will really motivate you.

  • Be social

Remember everyone will be suffering from Blue Monday blues so be the one who approaches it differently. Choose to be positive, make an effort to talk to your co-workers, and encourage others to follow your lead.

However, if you feel like everyday at work is Blue Monday, something needs to change. Get in touch for some help and support with finding a job you love.

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Your 5 minute Midsummer Career Review

It’s midsummer’s day today, and while it might be tempting to visit Stonehenge to celebrate the beautiful weather, you can use this milestone instead to trigger a review of your career in 2017. Are you achieving what you set out at the beginning of the year?

We often feel we don’t have time to stop and spend time thinking BUT it’s really important to build in review time to both celebrate what you have achieved and decide how you want to use the rest of the year to get closer to your goal.

How to carry out a 5 Minute Career Review

My 5 minute career review will give you chance to take a moment for reflection, ask yourself some searching questions and refocus your energy for the rest of the year.

Firstly find some quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, maybe think about being somewhere different such as your garden and grab a notebook and a pen, and then we’re ready.

Reconnect to the career goal you set yourself at the beginning of the year (if you didn’t get round to setting any career goals this year read my blog on Why you need a road map for your career and use this opportunity to identify your career goals) and answer the following questions – make a note of your answers:

  • What has gone well in my career in the last 6 months?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What have I learnt in that time both personally and professionally?
  • Who have I enjoyed working with and why?
  • What still needs to happen?

The last question is really important as it gives you chance to focus on the next 6 months and what you need to do to realise your career goal whether that is changing careers or jobs, getting promotion or working on some new projects.

How to get motivated

  •  Don’t get hung up on a SMART goal (they can make it a bit dull) instead phrase your goal in a way that is clear and motivating for you. Focusing towards something usually works best, for example ‘I want to be in a challenging more senior role in a larger company where I can learn x skills by the end of the year’. If you find yourself phrasing it in ‘away from’ style for example, ‘I don’t want to be at this year’s xmas party’ try and turn it into something more motivating such as ‘ I want to be in a vibrant and dynamic new company where I can look forward to going to the xmas party’.
  • Keep your goal alive. Find what works for you but consider whether an image, a word, screensaver can represent your goal and keep it active and in your line of sight. So often we set a goal and then it gathers dust in a drawer – you need to be able to tap into it’s motivating energy on a regular basis. Or use futureme.org to send yourself regular reminder emails to keep you on track.
  • Celebrate what you have done – yes, give yourself a pat on the back and a reward. Don’t focus on on what you haven’t done yet.
  • Develop a motivation mindset. Check in on your self belief – do you feel you can achieve your goal or do you have doubts creeping in? Identify any blocks and think about how you can overcome them. I like to write them down and develop a strategy for each one to stop it circulating in my head! If you need some help overcoming your doubts and your inner critic have a look at my book Developing your Inner Coach.
  • Finally find an accountability buddy. Staying on track can be the hardest thing if you feel there is no accountability so sharing this by reporting in and updating on progress can be really useful at making you get on with it. I run a monthly Accountability and Motivation programme for clients and they have found it incredibly helpful. If this is something you feel would make all the difference do get in touch.

Don’t just drift in your career, take control and use today as your motivation to stop, reflect and plan.

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How to increase your motivation to change your career

You’ve done the hard part and worked out what you want to change in your career,  but then feel like you’ve run out of steam! Even if you have set yourself some lovely SMART goals it can be hard to get the motivation to make the changes you know you need to.

What you need to make a change

Research shows that there are three factors that need to be present to enable us to make changes to our lives:

  • Self-discipline (the ability to chose successfully among conflicting impulses)
  • Grit (perseverance and passion for long term goals)
  • Self-regulation (the process by which we seek to control our thoughts, feelings and impulses)

It is worth taking some time just to consider each of the above, and work out where your strengths lie. It is also useful to think about other times when you have tried to change a behaviour and recognise which of the factors were present and which were missing.

Still not sure about your change? Read 5 ways to change career when you have no idea what you want to do.

Ways to increase your motivation

There are some very simple and easy things you can consider to increase all or just one of the areas:

Self-Discipline

  • Allocate specific time in your calendar to focus on making your change happen and set yourself a realistic target for each time slot. Make a mental contract with yourself that this time is sacrosanct so you don’t have to wrestle with  your conscience should a ‘better’ offer appear.
  • Design a reward scheme for yourself when you achieve your targets or milestones  – choose rewards that you know are motivating to you.

Grit

  • Think about a time when you have persevered successfully to do or learn something. Tune into the satisfaction you felt when you did it – hold onto that feeling and return to it if you feel you are wavering.
  • Find a picture or image that sums up your change and engages your passion -put it somewhere you can see when temptation calls.

Self-Regulation

The enemy of self regulation is your ‘critical inner voice’ which  often urges you to give up because ‘you’re too old, too out of practice, who would want you?’ etc. It is important to recognise that you are in control of your thoughts and feelings and can choose not to listen to this voice.

  • Have a strategy for managing the times when the ‘voice’ appears – go for a walk, listen to music, read something positive, write it all down and then contradict the comments using your rational mind. Work out what is going to be most effective for you.

It is hard to effect change but making sure you employ all of these key factors should get you closer to you ultimate goal of finding work that is satisfying and fulfilling.

If you are still finding it hard and need some external support and accountability then get in touch and I can talk you through my monthly accountability and motivation programme.

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Join my FREE 10 day Career Change challenge

If you're unhappy in your career or at a crossroads but feel stuck, take part in my CHALLENGE to move closer to a career you can love.

Photo courtesy of kaboompics.com