My second semester as a business student in marketing and finance, I was living in a house with three other college students and Bean, my dog, using every little distraction as an excuse not to do anything 100% of the time. That semester I got the worst grades I have ever got throughout my whole schooling experience. The worst fact about it was I didn’t even care. Old me would be studying 24/7, working hard, staying home with Bean and being the highly, highly introverted self I am, making the best decisions for my future. Instead, I didn’t care about anything other than trying to figure out what purpose I had with a degree I didn’t know much about. As my 21st birthday was creeping up I found myself on the phone with friends and family trying to explain what I was going through. I wasn’t depressed, I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t motivated and I couldn’t figure out why this was happening if everything else seemed okay. It was weird, really weird considering I always grew up working towards something, and loving it.
I was ALWAYS insanely motivated. Graduating high school as a junior, moving on to college and juggling 2-3 jobs while doing so. I never had a problem with getting myself up every morning, or even getting myself to the gym to get an endorphin rush every time sweat started dripping down my face. I was eating like crap and eating everything put in front of me, whether I was hungry or not. I would come home from class looking for distractions, pulling me away from all responsibilities repeatedly thinking I was “overworked” sitting there pitying myself. My problem was I couldn’t see a successful future for myself anymore and I felt broken. Did I want to throw away the dreams I once had? What did I want to do with my future? Did I still stand for everything I used to? A year away from graduation and I was going through what I call a “quarter life crisis.” As horrible as it sounds I sat there wondering where my life went. Turning 21 was the last milestone I looked forward to, other than getting married and having a family, which isn’t something of interest at 21 years of age.
As you may have read in my previous posts, I ended up getting an amazing internship that relocated me to Oregon. When I applied for this position there wasn’t a thought in my mind I wouldn’t get it with the downward spiral of a semester I just completed, still grateful for such a great opportunity. It was the breath of fresh air I had been wanting ever since I was a little kid, and a breath I needed oh so badly after the last semester. I got a new life, had to network and make friends, get a new apartment by myself with no distractions, and SO many opportunities that I had to push myself, and only myself, to achieve.
Throughout this experience, I have learned more than I thought I ever would, all the way from which relationships I actually cherish & which I don’t, what I truly am passionate about and what areas I need to drop, with the list going on and on. Needless to say, I started to figure myself out in ways I thought I had already figured out. My daily routines changed, the way I go about completing tasks whether I like them or not, and figuring out what I really want in life with an idea of how I am going to get myself there. Here are my tips and tricks to staying motivated and achieving your goals even when you are going through a rut!
Write down your goals consistently.
I set yearly, monthly, weekly, daily goals for myself. By seeing my goals over and over again narrows my scope, allowing myself to dial in with every decision I make throughout the day. By putting post-it notes on mirrors to get my brain going in the morning, setting an alarm to review all my goals daily, and repeatedly writing it down over and over have shown such an impact. As of right now, I have been writing them in my planner on post its, reviewing all my monthly & yearly goals in my planner at a set time every day, and if I wasn’t moving out of my apartment in a month, I would have them posted on my mirror and a monthly calendar pinned to my wall.
Start out setting small goals rather than large goals.
Setting small goals daily forms a habit, sometimes you are feeling extra and want to go above and beyond that goal, other days just wanting to check it off your list. Say you want to lose weight, forcing yourself to walk for five minutes a day could turn in to 20 minutes! When completing the five minutes you will feel achieved, and if you do more, you’ll feel even better! Since I am trying to grow my blog, I set a goal to reach out and network with at least five social media/blogger influencers a day. Getting to know the community and collaborating with friends is such an important factor to growth and getting myself out of my comfort bubble. Just think, it only takes 21 days for an action to form into a habit, setting small goals every day could lead to drastic changes down the road.
Track your progress.
This may be the point where you actually think I am crazy… I coordinate specific colors and symbols in my planner to analyze my progress and recognize my achievements and downfalls. For instance, I notice that I don’t eat very healthy or challenge myself intellectually on the weekends, it has been a reoccurring cycle for the last month. Don’t get me wrong, we all need a rest day, but spending my time uselessly outside the regular work week isn’t benefiting enough. With that being said, I have gotten so much better at keeping myself accountable when at the end of the night I know I will be writing down my accomplishments & what I could do better on for the next day. A goal for me is to challenge myself intellectually, drink a gallon of water a day, listen to at LEAST one podcast, complete a devotional, workout (5 times a week), and not spend anything on “wants” (due to my shopping cleanse I am willingly partaking in). Reviewing how far you have come and how much farther you want to go is crucial to success.
Plan, plan, plan.
I am such an organizational freak. I have to plan everything way ahead of time or I won’t get things done. I don’t know about you guys, but if something isn’t scheduled or “due” by a certain date, I tend to push it off, like most of us are guilty of. Planning at least a month, sometimes up to three months ahead of time keeps me accountable and on track with my goals and aspirations.
This is something that’s easier said than done, especially for routine lovers like me. Making sure we are all present during the times we are growing. This is said to be one of the biggest regrets of successful business doers. After listening to a BulletProof podcast where they touched on this subject really got my wheels turning. I started to notice I do the same! I focus on the future so much I throw all my experiences on getting there away, especially in the form of social media. Think about it we don’t think about the touch of our clothes on our skin or feel the refreshing taste of clean water as we guzzle it looking at our computer screens at work. Every morning I turn my phone on do not disturb and try to forget about social media until about 1:00 or 5:00 p.m., depending on the day. I had no idea I was spending so much time on socials and numb useless routines, not to mention how draining it was when it came to the comparison game social media brings out in all of us whether we like to admit it or not.
Motivation and ambition is the driving factor that gets successful goal getters above and beyond. If you don’t have it, you’ll only make it halfway, if that. Whether you are in a rut or not, I hope this is something you needed to hear.
Until next time beauties,