Okay so I don’t know about you, but New Year’s day being on a Monday means none of the “January health buzz” starts until the following Monday…which is followed by “Blue Monday”, officially the worst Monday of the year…none of which make for the best start to the year. Congratulations, you have made it out the other side (Mondays can only get better now!), and hopefully you still have some of your initial enthusiasm (too strong a word? Resignation might be more accurate perhaps) for starting 2018 on a healthy note intact. After the first few weeks however, I have found the combination of meal-prepping, going back to work and sweating it out in an over crowded gym (where do they come from?) robbed some of the aforementioned enthusiasm (resignation, yes it’s resignation). Below are a few ways I’ve found to propel me forward, no matter how low my motivational level has dropped.
- Listen to something to wake you up
I’ve recently started listening to podcasts instead of music in the gym and on the way to work – and some really help me find motivation and focus when I’m struggling. My current favourite first thing on a Monday morning is Gary Vee, as he is one of the most energetic and inspiring people on the planet, but I also add in some Bulletproof Radio and Tony Robbins to balance it out a bit (Gary’s energy is infectious – but even on a good day I can’t keep it up all day long!). If you line up the podcasts you want to listen to for the week on a Sunday evening, it makes it much easier to just press play while you’re half asleep – and once again, the bluetooth headphones I found in Penneys make it easy to go about your normal morning routine.
2. Put the kettle on
Any morning that I find myself struggling from the moment my alarm goes off, I have found that if I can just get out of bed, the rest of it is much more manageable. So instead of scrolling endlessly through social media, or hitting the snooze button, I have started to pretend that I can go back to bed with a cup of coffee – I just have to go downstairs and put the kettle on. Now, in theory this should be far too simple a trick to play on myself – but somehow, it works! By the time the kettle is boiled, I am awake enough to keep going and get myself to the gym etc – I think it’s the physical getting out of bed that does the trick here, so hopefully I can keep falling for it.
3. Wash your face
Similar to the step above, this wakes you up enough to remember why you set your alarm for silly o’clock in the first place – and makes it harder to go back to sleep. It also can help prevent wrinkles around your eyes, as washing your face is a far less damaging to the delicate skin in this area than rubbing them vigorously to remove any traces of sleep.
4. Detox your social media
This one is quite topical after the media storm surrounding some well-know Irish “influencers” this month, but if reaching for your phone and scrolling is how you start your day, it can have a massive impact on your mood and mindset for the whole day. Not only is watching the world’s highlight reel first thing presenting you with a distorted perspective as you wake up, it’s also way too easy for minutes (and hours) to disappear without you even realising – and being late is certainly not going to help anyone feel better in January. I tried a digital detox before, and couldn’t believe how often my hand automatically reached for my phone when it wasn’t there, and was shocked at how much extra time I had due to the lack of social media meandering. Although I probably won’t go quite so hard core again for a while, unfollowing accounts that don’t bring me any net benefit has positively changed the time I do spend scrolling – so it turns out you can even Marie Kondo your instagram feed.
5. Reward yourself
A common enough instruction in diet advice articles, this one can be very effective. There are many different ways of implementing it – so whether saving money, losing weight or performing better at work are part of your goals, there’s always an appropriate carrot to be found. At the base of a motivational slump is exactly when I find scheduling or organising something to treat myself works best – ordering a new pair of runners or signing up for a run (not everyone’s idea of fun, I’ll grant you) or planning a couple of hours off to use a shopping voucher I got for Christmas or meet friends for coffee are usually my go-tos. Baking or exercising will also turn my mood around instantly if I’m in a totally useless mood.
January 17th is apparently when most of us break our New Years resolutions, so if you fell off the the straight and narrow last Wednesday you were in good company – and you fell with me and my glass of wine. But as the saying goes, it’s not falling down that matters, it’s the getting back up. So whether it’s a healthy eating or exercise regime you committed to, decluttering your house (or your life), reaching for a goal that ignites your inner passion, or even just taking 5 minutes for yourself at the end of every day, know that you’re not the only one wavering and give yourself a break…just get back up after!