5 steps to stay motivated throughout the year

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Staying on course throughout the year can seem impossible if you’ve previously failed to follow through. Here’s how to stay motivated to reach your year-end goals.

Each year comes with a list of new goals. But along the way, you may veer off course as a result of fatigue, burnout, stress or fear of failure.

Follow these 5 steps to help steer your year in the right direction:

1. Identify your work goals

Visualise where you see yourself at year-end, then write down how you can get there. When you have this on paper, you’ll be able to formulate practical strategies around how to reach your end goal.

2. Know the why

Why did you start? Why can’t you give up? Why is this important to you? Make a list of your reasons for achieving a certain goal and stick it on the fridge or in your room as a reminder. Identifying your reasons for pursuing a goal is vital to a good start and maintaining momentum. There may be challenges along the way, but having these answers at the ready can help you get back on track.

3. Review your schedule

Pay attention to what you spend your time doing at work, and note how long you spend on certain tasks. This will help you to decide if your time has been allocated accordingly and how you can make adjustments to your productivity goals. It will also give you a good idea of what you can achieve over the year if you continue at the same pace.

4. Track your progress

Break up big goals into smaller milestones to make them more achievable. Keep a record of your progress. Seeing the results as you invest more time and energy is a great confidence booster and will encourage you to keep going.

5. If at first you don’t succeed, try again

There will always be challenges along the way, but don’t throw in the towel. When you feel like giving up, ask yourself why. Are you feeling tired? Are you overworked? Have you had too many setbacks? Figuring out the reason can help you sort through negative feelings and boost your motivation. It’s always a good idea to talk to a professional such as a mental health expert who may be able to help you through.

Find out more about productivity here:

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The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a professional. E&OE.


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5 tough-love talks to inspire you

Let’s face it – sometimes it feels like work is just work. You wish it were more meaningful and inspiring and, right now, it definitely doesn’t make you want to leap out of bed every morning. If you’re relating to this a little too much, listen to our roundup of motivating talks.

1. When you’re trying to find meaning

What: The Meaning of Work
Format: Podcast series
Duration: 4 x 9–15 minute episodes
Why: ‘Some of us hate it, some of us love it, but most of us have no choice,’ says TED Talk radio host Guy Raz. This series discusses work-related issues, such as the professional pecking order, finding meaning in a monotonous job, our motivation for work and breaking into new industries.

2. When you need to be brave

What: The Power of Vulnerability
Format: TED Talk
Duration: 20 minutes
Why: Have you been thinking you have a great idea, but have been too afraid to tell your colleagues or manager about it? Brené Brown, a researcher in vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame, argues that you can’t find connection or progress if you don’t open up. ‘You have to be vulnerable to be courageous,’ she says, and this talk is an honest exploration of the human psyche and an examination of bravery. You might want to convert one of her inspirational quotes into a mantra to keep at your desk.

3. When you need tough love after failure

What: Three Lessons I Learned from Winning Olympic Gold
Format: TedXJohannesburg Talk
Duration: 17 minutes
Why: You may have failed at something recently, but Olympic gold medallist Penny Heyns says that’s no reason to give up. In this talk, she discusses the lessons she learnt during her career as a professional Olympic swimmer, the art of goal-setting, and overcoming some of life’s challenges.

4. When you’re feeling stressed

What: How to Turn Stress into an Advantage
Format: 99U lecture
Duration: 24 minutes
Why: At some point at work you’ve probably found yourself in a stressful situation and experienced anxious feelings, but Kelly McGonigal argues that stress can be turned into a source of strength. All it takes is a shift in perspective. Drawing from research and her own experiences as a health psychologist, Kelly presents a compelling strategy for managing your wellbeing in the workplace.

5. When you need inspiration from a real-life story

What: The Magna Carta of Exponentiality
Format: Podcast
Duration: 22 minutes
Why: You may recognise Vusi Thembekwayo from Dragons’ Den South Africa, but what you may not know is that his story has humble beginnings. In this interview with Radio 702 host Bongani Bingwa, the venture capitalist, global business speaker and author talks about how hard work and a bit of luck were the major players in getting him to where he is today.

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a healthcare professional. E&OE.

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