This is going to be a bit of a personal post. I’m having a hard time finding motivation for most things this week.
My life has been amazing these last two months. Not trying to brag or anything, but I love being married, and I love my school life. My sister moved to Ottawa, so I’m seeing her more, and I’m finally finding a nice balance between wifely duties and the rest of life.
However, just because I’m loving life doesn’t mean it’s easy right now. For the last few weeks I’ve had a very hard time juggling school with blogging, and tons has come up and thrown a wrench in my plans. School is very busy. I read over 150 pages in the first three days of school alone. I thought third year was busy–no, it wasn’t. It was child’s play compared to the sheer amount of things to do this year.
On top of that, I had been working on my honours thesis all summer and had put in a lot of work, but then a week into the semester we learned that it could no longer be accepted as a thesis this year. Luckily I have an amazing supervisor, and we learned quite early in so now I have a new topic and there are absolutely no hard feelings towards anyone involved (I understand why the decision was made). But it was definitely a shock, and added a lot to my plate, because now I’m no longer months ahead–I’m a few weeks behind!
School isn’t the only thing on my plate, either–I’ve been sick on and off the last month or so (just happens when I travel), and then with Katie moving in and trips back to Belleville I haven’t had any time to just sit down and write. Whenever I have a chance to write a post, it’s 200 words here or there, and I miss being able to sit down for 5 hours and just pound out as many posts as I can.
But, life doesn’t always work out perfectly, and whenever something doesn’t go your way you have two choices: quit, or adapt. Personally, I prefer adapt. Right now, if I’m honest, my main issue is not time. It’s finding motivation. I tend to work best when I get on a roll–I’ll get completely wrapped up in something and think of nothing but it for two months straight, then I’ll stop and not pick it up again for ages. Luckily, blogging has proven to not be one of those crazes of mine, but I don’t want to let it just slip off my radar when life gets busy. I need to re-find my motivation.
Summer was amazing. I had a perfect routine, and I was getting posts out left, right and centre, and having an amazing time at it! I was so in the groove, and then school has kind of hit me like a brick wall. Currently, I feel like this summarizes how my life is right now:
So, since my life is unlikely to get any less crazy this semester, I thought I would share with you my plans to make sure I have the time and the desire to do what I really love, as well as get everything on my to do list done. Although I’m using this list in the context of blogging, these tips can be used for really anything you need motivation for. Getting healthy, doing school work, etc.
So, here we go.
1. Get into a routine
I don’t know why I always seem to forget to do this first. I have found over and over again in my life that when I have a routine I flourish. When I’m allowed to sleep in, eat whenever, and do whatever, I get nothing done. I’ve linked to it before, but I just love Gina Alyse’s post about how routines are fuel for creativity, and I have found in my own life that she’s completely right! So I’m going to get back to a routine, like I did in July, and I think this will help quite a bit with finding motivation, since I wont feel as aimless in my existence (only slightly sarcastic–it was a rough week).
2. Take care of yourself
This means getting enough sleep and eating right. I’ve been OK with making sure I’m making home-made food for Connor and myself, but to be honest this is often the first thing I let slip! I’ve noticed, though, that when we have good food in the house I feel so much more alive and so much more motivated to do my work instead of goof off.
3. Finding motivation is easier when you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing
With anything that you’re working at, it’s important to keep perspective. I’ve been losing perspective with blogging. Morgan’s blog post on blogging stress was a real wake-up call for me–I didn’t think that blogging was a stressor and then when I read that post I realized that I was really beating myself up about blogging, which is my hobby that I love! It shouldn’t be a stress!
Here’s the thing: I blog because I love it. I blog because it gives me a great community online, and because I love being able to help other people have a great college experience! Nothing made me happier than getting all those wonderful comments and e-mails from you first-years who read The Freshman’s Guide to College and let me know how much it helped you feel at ease and prepared for your first year at school. I saved so many of them, and have them tacked up on my bulletin board because they just make me smile. That is why I blog! Not because I want a certain number of page views a month, make a certain amount, or anything like that. At the end of the day, I am doing this because I enjoy it. Everything else is a perk.
4. Make time to do things you love
When I lack motivation I often find that I’ve not had much time to just celebrate life recently. I’m very extroverted, so even though I go to school, I need more than just in class chatting to satiate my need for human conversation. I don’t just need to go out for coffee, either–I need to DO something! Connor and I recently discovered swing dancing, and I’m loving it. My church also started a small group for college age kids that made me feel more in touch with church than I have in months, and I’m so excited to get more involved in that.
However, I skipped it this Monday since I had so much to do, and I had almost no motivation on Tuesday or today on Wednesday. I’m not saying that not going caused me to be completely unmotivated, I just think that I would have gotten more done these last two days that it would have offset how much I got done Monday night. Plus I would have been happier.
5. Keep a progress report
What I’ve found is that being able to see you’re actually getting something done is the best fuel for motivation. So keep a checklist of little tasks to get done, or take the end of the day and write down everything you finished so you can give yourself a reward. I love using Wunderlist to keep my tasks organized–especially since I can get the reminders set up to repeat every day for misc. studying tasks.
Keeping a progress report serves two purposes: it tells you where you’re at in relation to your end goal, and it shows you how far you’ve dome from the beginning. Little changes add up–so keep track of the little things, and don’t pressure yourself to get the big things done overnight.
I’m really preaching to the choir with this post, guys. I’ve had a rough time this week, but I’m back on track, and you’ll be seeing my normal posting schedule returning on Monday!
What do you do to get back into the groove of things? What keeps you motivated