Happy New Year Everyone! A New Year often means ‘New Year Resolutions’, or in other words a fresh start. In these past few years I have come so far from freshers; learning about film and theatre at Loughborough and on my study abroad at Curtin University, Australia. I have also only recently been working in a professional theatre production on my work placement. As I am approaching my final year, I am very much thinking about what I want to achieve academically and socially in my fourth year at university and I have started to note them down.
When noting down my goals it got me thinking. What it is that motivated me to achieve my targets and what it is that leads me to procrastinate when I’m supposed to be working?
I’ve read a few ‘how to get motivated’ self-help books and articles and a lot of them give you some great tips and advice, but some of them forget to take your emotions into account. I don’t know about you but for me, I am rarely productive if I’m not in the correct state of mind! Monday mornings… If I wake up way before I need to leave for work, I have time to get ready, faff about a bit and have a good breakfast. This leaves me feeling fab and by the time I get to work I feel more positive, which actually makes me have a much more productive day. I may be stating the obvious here, but you’d be surprised how many people (including myself) actually forget to give themselves a break.
What keeps me going?
I read this quote by tennis player Andy Murray and part of it said ‘I realise that winning is the biggest motivation’ and I thought actually yes every time I mess up, it’s the fact that I know I can eventually succeed which keeps me going, it’s the winning. I know I can succeed because I’ve succeeded before. If you get a first in your first or second year, you’re going to want a first again in your third year. But is succeeding once enough to help you avoid procrastinating? Unfortunately for me, it is not, so I’ve had to come up with self-rewards to keep me going.
I mean it as simple as it sounds; reward yourself. You know when you were in primary school and you got given those little stickers in your planner or a ‘well done’ stamp and five year old you used to rush home dead impressed with yourself like ‘mum look what I’ve got’ (well I did anyway).
Well as young adults that kind of weekly well done is taken away until you get your grades or have completed a project. So not necessarily a sticker or a stamp, but I try to give myself something little that has the same effect that the sticker did for the five year old me. This self-reward is usually something like a well-deserved break without guilt (usually involving white hot chocolate or ice cream) or at the end of the day treating myself to dinner with friends. What also helps me and works for me as a type of self-reward is monitoring my own progress and celebrating it. There is something so satisfying about making a physical list and physically crossing the tasks off once they’re complete.
It’s all well and good having these motivational plans for myself, but does this really avoid barriers? It is usually barriers such as being ill so I don’t do my reading, or it being ice-cube weather so I don’t go running. Sometimes that’s fair enough, it’s just if the sickness lasts too long or I don’t get round to getting myself some thermal leggings, then my routine goes completely out of sync. So how do I keep my routine up and knock these barriers down?
There have been a few times where I have been able to knock down what I would class as a “barrier”. For example; my friends came to visit me in Watford and stayed over after the night out. I got up at 8am the next morning for a run in the park. I got back just as my friends were waking up; they looked at me and asked “are you mad, you went on a run?” I asked myself the same thing as I woke up that morning, but after the run, I was glad I woke up. My positive mentality from the exercise on top of knowing that I could have easily slept the day away was a reward within itself.
But why did I go on a run that morning – what was it down to? I’d say it was the fact that I set my alarm the night before and I got my running clothes out ready – even the cereal box was out the cupboard staring at me. I made it easy for myself!
So it was being prepared and organised that gave me the motivation that morning.
My goals for 2018
- Create weekly action plans for my time working at Watford Palace Theatre
- Attend Sheffield’s Directing Masterclasses
- Get on with submissions for the Loughborough Employability Award
- Complete my placement Dissertation
- Prepare for Camp America this summer
- Organise myself for starting back at university
- Keep blogging
My New Year’s resolution: to be more productive when at home and eat healthier (another way to feel better)
Loughborough University have even published a blog about making the most of your 2018 and how you could achieve your New Years Resolutions at Loughborough!
Now it’s time to say a final goodbye. Unfortunately, this is going to be my last blog for Loughborough. It is time to give someone else a shot at blogging, but I hope I get the opportunity to continue writing for myself. Thank you to those who have been reading, I hope you enjoyed them – I’ve really enjoyed writing each and every one.
Have a fantastic 2018!!!!