How To Find Your Motor
Keeping the New Year’s momentum, and getting out of a rut.
By Allie Richter
Graphic by Madison Mercado
We started off strong. New classes, new schedules, new people to meet, and goals to set. The pace was high, but slowly, day by day, we lost some speed. Now, January has come and gone and so have our new year's resolutions.
It’s not just you. In fact, about 80% of people abandon their new year's resolutions by the beginning of February, according to Time Magazine. It’s difficult to keep your eyes on the promises of the new year. Perhaps you were too ambitious with your goals or froze at the overwhelming possibilities. Either way, setting and achieving new goals doesn’t have to be black and white. Here are some tips on how to ingrain little achievements throughout your day to help you pick up some speed.
Actively seek out all routes to your destination.
It starts in the mindset. You don’t have to change the way you think, but it’s necessary that you remind yourself of all the ways you can reach success. Fill your mind with small motivators that keep you going in the right direction. For example, podcasts are one great way to reflect on habits that benefit you or may be detrimental to your progress. They don’t have to be boring—you can find informational ones, or more informal conversations about wellness that feel like conversations with your best friends. Some of my favorites are “The Psychology of Your 20's,” “Hidden Brain,” and “What We Said.” Surround your thoughts with new ways of thinking about your habits.
Give yourself some checkpoints.
We give our bodies water during a workout, right? The same must be done for your brain. Throughout the day, quench your brain’s thirst by feeding it the little pauses and entertainment it needs. Call your best friend while you do your laundry; take a break from work every other hour to watch an episode of your favorite show; carve out time for indulging in your hobby. Be sure to eliminate your “all or nothing” mentality. You're allowed to have both the good and the bad, it’s all about balance.
Establish your routines.
This one seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. It may be helpful to think of it as planning by time, not by task. Give yourself time in the morning to get ready for your day without finishing an assignment simultaneously. Go somewhere to eat breakfast while you plan your day. Listen to music and shut the phone off while you brush your teeth at night. However you do so, it’s important to have time to yourself, as well as time for your work. That way, you won’t get stuck in the never-ending cycle of completing work that causes burn-out.
It’s okay to encounter speed bumps.
In fact, it can be necessary. Being late to class or forgetting to email someone back can act as small reminders to check your speed every once in a while as you continue on with the day. Small mistakes are essential to understanding when something is working, and when it’s not. It can also help ground you in the present moment, allowing you to slow down and find joy in the little things. The small steps are what lead to great success.