This blogpost was originally published as a guest post about the third volume of the 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner for Deborah-Zenha Adams.
5 ways to stay motivated in the new year
The past two years have challenged us all and it can be hard to stay motivated when it feels like the world is coming undone. Below, I share five of the ways I’ve kept my coaching clients motivated during the pandemic.
Know why you write
Knowing the why behind your writing will keep you motivated when the going gets tough. It will also help you decide whether or not certain opportunities are aligned with you.
If you find yourself struggling to finish a writing project, think about the why behind your writing – it helps to write it down somewhere – and how the project you’re struggling with relates to that why. Being reminded of how exactly a project fits your dreams and desires is a great motivator.
Set realistic goals
If you can dream it, you can be it, but it’s difficult to reach your dreams without breaking down your goals.
The smaller the pieces you break your big goals up into, the more attainable they are. The more attainable – and realistic – your goals, the more often you get that dopamine hit that will help you tackle the next goal and move closer towards your dream.
Take breaks to fill your creative well
It’s OK to take breaks from your writing projects, even if you don’t have much time for writing to begin with.
Just make sure you’re intentional about any breaks you’re taking. One of the prompts in Volume II of 52 Weeks of Writing suggests asking the following questions before you step away from your writing:
- Why do I need this break?
- What are my intentions for this break?
- When, where, and how am I going to pick up where I left once I’m back?
Celebrate your achievements
Whether big or small, celebrate all your achievements. Better yet, write down how you’re going to celebrate for each of the goals you’ve set for the year ahead.
Knowing what lies ahead of you, what is to come if you just keep going, is another great way to keep yourself moving forwards. Regular celebrating also stops us from getting stuck in negative, demotivating thought patterns that might ask us what we’re doing it all for and convince us we’re not doing nearly enough.
Find an accountability partner
Find yourself a kindred spirit in the online or offline writing community you can share your goals and dreams with. Someone who gets what you’re dreaming of and understands how you might get in your own way.
It they’re on a similar enough path as you, even better. You can keep each other motivated and accountable as you share your struggles and wins with each other.