Summer holidays allow us to switch off and become refreshed, recuperated and re-energized. The time off can not only give us the opportunity to break any bad habits we have gained during the past year, it also gives us a chance to establish good habits and set new goals for the year ahead.
However, the return to work can be an obstacle to maintaining these goals as we no longer have the same free time for regular gym visits or to prepare healthy meals from scratch but it’s important to find a time and sustain the drive to keep up these good habits throughout the year.
Marcela Slepica, Director of Clinical Services at AccessEAP, a leading Employee Assistance Program provider, says “A new year brings motivation but sustaining this motivation throughout the year can be a challenge. By making your resolutions realistic, there is a better chance you will keep them up and be able to incorporate healthy behaviour into your everyday life, both at work and at home.”
“Some people respond better to setting small, attainable goals throughout the year rather than a single goal at the beginning. It’s important to figure out what works best for you. Your goals should incorporate your work and home life – it’s all about finding a balance.”
Here, Marcela offers some tips on sustaining self-motivation throughout the year.
- Choose one and stick to it. Remember all those resolutions you made while on holiday? ‘I’m going to take lunch breaks, I’m going to leave work on time, I’m going to pack healthy lunches, I’m going to get to know my colleagues better’. If you’ve tried to make too many resolutions, just choose one and stick to it. If you manage to do so, you will achieve a sense of accomplishment and achievement rather than a sense of failure because you couldn’t keep all your resolutions.
- Set goals. By setting goals, you will know exactly what it is you want to achieve. Sub goals enable you to have small wins along the way. When you have a direction to follow and a sense that you are on the right track, it can be very motivating to continue towards the goal.
Manage your time. It is far more motivating when you feel like you are in control of your work and not that it is controlling you. Practice time-management techniques to prioritise and take control of that never ending to do list.
- Reward yourself. Make an agreement to give yourself a reward when you complete a task. It can be as simple as a specialty coffee for smaller tasks or a relaxing spa treatment for larger ones. It will motivate you to keep going and remind you that you have achieved that goal.
- Don’t put off tasks. It is normal not to feel like doing tasks that are of lesser interest even when we know they have to be done. Motivation increases when those not so desirable tasks are out of the way so don’t procrastinate. Getting them done now will allow you to move onto more interesting tasks without the worry.
- Tell someone what you intend to do. Research shows that we are more likely to actually act on our intentions if we tell someone about it. By building in accountability, we can increase motivation to complete the task.
Marcela says it’s never too late to review and reevaluate your resolutions and goals to make them more realistic and more importantly, attainable. Remember, you don’t need a new year to set new goals, you can choose to do so throughout the year to keep yourself motivated.
For more information, visit www.accesseap.com.au