New Year often sees people fall into two camps. There are those who are raring to go, shedding their Christmas mantle with an energetic flourish and jumping headlong into a their new project and attacking new goals with vigour. There are those peering out of their duvet, wondering if they could wind the clock back a few more days and stay in hibernation mode a little longer. (Did you know some Russian peasants have had a winter sleep practice similar to hibernation for years?) Whichever camp you are in (and particularly if you find yourself struggling in those early days of January), these simple ideas will help renew your motivation in the New Year.
Refresh your space
The decorations are down, and with Christmas over, it is the perfect opportunity to give your workspace a refresh alongside the rest of the home. Now is the time to get out all the new stationery (thank you Santa), and organise your work area ready for a new start and some productive hours!
This is a great motivator. When your space is clean and organised, it can inject new energy into the room, which can filter into your own day as well.
What are some of the key goals you want to achieve this year? Make a list and get really specific about your targets and what you want to accomplish. Many people set goals in the New Year and it is a good time to capitalise on the enthusiasm that early January instils. Ensure those goals inspire you, align with your values, and give you something targeted to work towards.
‘Earn more money’ is too nebulous as a goal. ‘Earn £50,000 by May’ is something specific that you can measure and aim for.
Plan it out
A new page, a fresh start, a chance to put all the ideas in your head on to paper. Renew your motivation in New Year by getting a plan in place. A chance to get excited about the possibilities. With your goals in mind, start making an action plan by breaking them down into easier steps or smaller tasks. When you have a breakdown, you can and create a schedule.
Goals are great, but on their own, can seem huge and insurmountable. Make sure you give yourself stages, and a realistic timeframe in order to achieve them. Time blocking the steps makes this process simpler again.
Invest in yourself
Nothing can increase your motivation as much as when you have skin in the game. Investing in your future success/happiness/wellbeing/financial freedom can mean anything from enrolling on to a course to subscribing to a programme or membership, or maybe even just buying yourself a smart set of New Year stationery to plan out your year.
Investing does not need to be a huge amount.
You might sign up to a high-ticket course, or you might invest in a subscription that helps you to maintain a regular focus and accountability.
The Homeworker subscriptions start from £25 a year to read all the articles and give you tools and strategies for work from home success. It is a really affordable way to arm yourself with information and expert insights for your wellbeing and productivity.
If January can be a challenging time of year after a sociable Christmas, think about things you can book in to look forward to. These will give you that little extra motivation to get going.
Get dates in the diary for social catch ups, meetings, and networking events. With these plans, you have things to look forward to and can feel motivated by the energy and support from other people.
If something is too easy, we can quickly become bored, and then demotivated. Try something new or set yourself an ambitious goal that really stretches you to expand your comfort zone. These might be business or career goals, but they could be personal challenges you set for yourself.
Enter yourself into a race, or sign up for a group hike, join a new club, or take on a new responsibility if you realistically have time. Whatever it is, these are challenges that make you feel alive. They force you to start acting now for the best chance of success.
If you can find a way to hold yourself to account, this is a sure-fire way to renew your motivation in the New Year. After all, what is more motivating than avoiding having to confess to not doing what you promised? Find a friend, a community, or keep track of your progress so that you are accountable to the commitments you make. This way, you don’t fall at the first excuse or temptation to stall.
Keep your motivation high by rewarding yourself for meeting small milestones along the way. It could be for working towards a goal, or simply starting something that took a little extra effort.
When talking about procrastination in volume 5 of The Homeworker magazine, neuroscientist, Dr Lynda Shaw, talks about the importance of setting a start date rather than a deadline. Schedule it in the diary to motivate you to start, rather than wait until the deadline is nearly upon you. Reward yourself for starting, not just completing it, as starting is often the hardest step.
After a busy festive season, and in winter months, you may feel the need to be a little more protective of your energy. Listen to your body and remember not to neglect things that nourish and restore you. It could be exercise or journalling, social meet-ups or finding time for a hot bath and a good book!
If you are full of enthusiasm for the New Year, fantastic. Just make sure you don’t burn out too quickly and make time for self-care and personal wellbeing.
About the author
Louise is an award-winning journalist and speaker who focuses on working from home, remote work and wellbeing. She is the founder of The Homeworker, which is dedicated to helping you thrive when you work from home. The Homeworker publishes articles that are designed to keep you healthy, happy, fulfilled, and more productive in work and life.