In the first part of Motivation Month we looked at how to get self-motivated and setting goals but to get there you need to be organised and take action. Here are some ideas:
1. Get organised with your diary and your to do list. I used to be massively disorganised, but now I run a business and am a single parent to two year old twins, I had to change! When you are disorganised you can't be productive and you end up getting stressed. This massively hinders you from achieving what you want. Everyone is different in the way they think, but try this: On a Friday afternoon, go through your diary for the next two weeks and print it off. As well as having business appointments, block in relaxing time, fitness sessions, domestic admin, fun, and learning/self improvement. If you get really into it you can even colour co-ordinate it as visual people tend to respond better to this. I like to use two clipboards for daily tasks, pink for my work to do lists and blue for domestic to do lists. That way they are separate and you can keep work/personal apart.
2. Be smart with your time and planning. I am an early bird so have bags of energy from about five a.m. but am useless after four p.m. This means I am motivated and focused in the first part of the day and am de-motivated and not on the ball by the end. So, I make sure I do all the important stuff or exercise at the beginning of the day, and the less important/mundane stuff in the afternoon. By the evening, I can't motivate myself to do anything so training and work is out and relaxing is in! So I don't just sit there and do nothing, I often have a weekly evening plan to balance out relaxing time. I work very hard on Monday's so Monday night is movie and wine night. On Tuesday's I tend to do some sorting out/tidying up but in a very relaxed way. Wednesday's is usually a night out with friends/family, Thursday is a creative night (I like to make things or sort out photos) and Friday is take-away and kick back night. If I don't have a focus in the week like this I end up doing nothing and not really relaxing as best I can.
3. Switch on when you need to and switch off when you don't. Women are very good at multi-tasking, but sometimes it means we don't focus properly. The best piece of advice I have ever been giving is to compartmentalise your day. I really try to be switched on at work and leave it behind when I finish, which can be hard for me because I work from home. I have a rule now that no emails after five p.m. and I am far more productive the following day and I don't get half as stressed in the evening. If I have domestic things to do such as phoning the electricity company or doing internet banking, I allocate an hour in my day (planned in my diary) to do these (usually in the afternoon when I am less productive) which means I really do get chance to relax at night and it means I am not trying to do bitty things whilst important work things.
4. Work smarter not harder is another great piece of advice I was given. Are you caught in the 'I was last to leave the office' mentality? With the recession, some people think it's good to be seen sat at your desk all day long. But how productive are you? I have heard so many women recently say I can't possibly take a break at lunch time, my boss will go mad. But if you take a break, are more productive and of course more organised, you will get more done, be less stressed and be a much happier and healthier person. We can all fall into the modern life martyr syndrome... 'I am sooo busy, I have soooo much to do, I have nooo time etc etc...' But be in control of your time and your life and be productive! If you are exercising to reach a fitness or weight goal, train smart too. Three effective and hard sessions a week are far better than six mediocre ones.
5. Always have the end in mind. If you have been motivated by this, have set goals and got organised, you need to keep going, especially if the going gets tough. One thing I find really useful is to write down or type up a few of your goals on a piece of paper. I like to have about five or ten on the go, but some people prefer to focus on one. I make it colourful, print it off and stick it everywhere: on my desk, inside my wardrobe, on my fridge. It helps to remind you why you are doing what you are doing, why you need to be focused and organised and really helps you get back on track if your motivation dwindles! I know I might sound like a bit of a dweeb with all this, but I really am less stressed, more motivated and have more balance in my life since doing all of this.
Check out this quote if you find action is taking a back seat, it's by Winston Churchill.
"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."
So come on ladies, set some goals and get to where you want to be in life!
Janey Holliday, women's lifestyle expert and founder of Fit for a Princess is running one day 'Reboot' bootcamps in September and October across London.
If training outside in Autumn weather isn't your bag, her five star beach bootcamp in Cyprus runs from 16 to 23 of October with back to back workouts in the morning and back to back sunbathing, cocktails and spa treatments in the afternoon. More details at fitforaprincess.co.uk.