How to stay motivated whilst suffering from the January blues

January is always a difficult month to stay motivated. Whether you have enjoyed a Christmas break or have worked through the festive period, we welcome in the New Year and then the celebrations come to an end. I’m sure most people were glad to see the back of 2020 so moving into 2021 we need to stay positive and focused. 

Easier said than done?

Studies suggest that having goals to focus on helps you to stay motivated and on track. When best to set new goals than the New Year?! Have a main goal (whether it is a personal goal or work related goal) and break that down into small achievable milestones which will eventually lead to you achieving your main goal. If you set yourself an unreachable target then this will just have an adverse effect. Have daily tasks you must complete in order to successfully complete your weekly tasks, which will lead to monthly tasks being completed and so on and so forth. Having something to focus on and look forward to will get you through. Don’t climb mountains! Break it down and take it step-by-step, it’s harder to focus if the workload is too big.

Have something to look forward to

Now any other year this would be easy! Book a holiday, a city break or even a nice meal somewhere. COVID is still lurking it’s ugly head and preventing us from making long term future plans but let’s not let it get in the way of making short term plans. Those of you that are still in tier’s 3 and 4 may not be able to book a nice meal or arrange to go out with friends but you can still make plans to go for a nice walk with a family member or have a movie day at the weekend. Whatever makes you tick, you can find a way of having something to focus on to get you through each week. 

How to be self-motivated whilst working from home

We all know how hard it was last year on that first day back to work to drag ourselves into the office after the Christmas break, but this year many of us are working from home. 

Things you can try to keep yourself motivated:

Catch up with colleagues – As we’re not surrounded by our colleagues to get us through it, make sure you still catch up with them. Whether it’s a phone call or video call, have a chat and find out how their Christmas was, share your experiences with each other. There’s nothing like human interaction to brighten up your day.

Have a new routine – If you have a routine which you’re happy with and it works for you then great! But if your routine was becoming monotonous perhaps now’s the time to mix it up a bit. A varied routine will keep your mind active.

Get up early –  Getting up early sets you up for the day and gives you a sense of routine. Lazing around in bed just makes you more lethargic. It may feel great at the time and you may feel like you need that extra sleep, but your body won’t thank you for it later. Research has shown that early risers have an overall better quality of sleep when they go to bed that evening. Those who stay in bed late are more likely to develop sleep disorders or deprivation, which is not good for your mental health and wellbeing.

Have a shower when you get up – Ever wondered why you feel more energetic if you have a shower in the morning? Having a shower decreases levels of melatonin throughout the body which increases your energy levels. It also encourages your blood flow which boosts oxygen levels within the brain making you feel more alert. 

Get dressed – You may not be going anywhere but slobbing around in your PJ’s all day will just make you feel unmotivated. Act like you are going to the office and have a routine in place that you would follow if you were leaving the house. 

Have a dedicated workspace – If you haven’t got a dedicated workspace then you really should invest in it. Having the wrong posture whilst sitting at a computer can have an effect on your physical health in the long term. You should have a workspace free of distractions, don’t turn the TV on unless you’re having a break, don’t scroll through social media on your phone unless that’s part of your job role. Don’t be interrupted by personal phone calls which you wouldn’t take if you were in the workplace. All of these distractions will have an impact on the goals you have set yourself and you will only be disheartened if you don’t meet those milestones. 

Take breaks – It’s important to take regular breaks away from your computer screen. Even if it’s just getting up from your desk to make a cup of coffee or putting a load of washing in. Set time aside to leave your computer. Spending too much time at a computer screen can lead to headaches and poor sleep patterns such as insomnia. It can also have an effect on your physical health, i.e. back pain and neck pain, so get up from your desk and have a walk around, even if it’s whilst you’re taking a phone call, every little helps.

Keep active – Try and go outside at least once per day. Getting fresh air into your lungs raises your oxygen levels, which keeps you more alert. Exercise is not only great for your physical health, it dramatically improves your mental wellbeing. It reduces stress levels, helps with anxiety and improves your sleep quality. It’s also nice to go for a walk for human interaction, saying hello to a stranger or bumping into someone you know can really boost your self-esteem. 

Listen to music or motivational stories – Listening to the right genre of music can determine the mood you’re in. So listen to some music that makes you feel good, there’s been a common denominator throughout this and that’s keeping up those energy levels. It’s a proven fact that music stimulates the mind and keeps you energised, so get the tunes on at a reasonable volume so that you can still concentrate! If music isn’t your thing, how about choosing a podcast that interests you or a motivational story to listen to, self-help books during your breaks can really help with your goal setting and perspective on life. 

We hope these tips will help you fight the January blues and you now have the vision and motivation for the new year ahead.

If you’d like motivation, support and guidance or just a confidence boost with your software – feel free to join our dedicated Sage software support communities for advice, hints and tips.

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