The initial enthusiasm that most feel when a new year kicks off is responsible for thousands of gym memberships, better choices, stronger friendships, new hobbies, etc. What happens when that enthusiasm wears off and the seemingly mundane activities of life drain that surge of excitement out of us?

You can blame it on stress or the “winter blues,” but, truth be told, it is hard to keep yourself motivated. Life has a knack of getting us caught up in the insignificant and superfluous, as opposed to staying focused and keeping on task at the goals set before. Here are some ways to keep yourself motivated throughout 2012 and beyond:

1. Make a daily to-do list.

To-do list’s are a great way to keep yourself organized, on-task, and focused on what you need to do. By making a game plan for each day, it gives you a sense of purpose keeping you motivated in the process. Write out a list, set reminders on your phone, put sticky notes on your calendar – do whatever you need to do to make sure that at the end of the day you have satisfaction of a completed “to-do list.”

2. Give yourself a weekly/monthly goal to accomplish.

Whether it’s to lose weight, to write more, practice an instrument, reading a book, watch less television, spend less time on Facebook – a goal is a goal and worth accomplishing. Having something to work toward and something positive to keep at the forefront of your mind can keep you motivated.

3. Have a friend keep you motivated.

I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t like “good morning” texts or encouraging texts throughout the day. Have a friend, a sibling, or a parent keep you encouraged throughout the day. Never underestimate the strength of kind words to increase happiness and desire to “keep calm and carry on.”

4. Limit the drama.

It’s college – drama is inevitable. However, you are the only person that can decide how much drama you get involved in. By keeping the drama as much out of your life as humanly possible, you can stay focused on your goals, plans, and you. A friend of mine was once told me that “drama is never worth the time.” Your time is precious, don’t waste it on petty nonsense.

5. Reward yourself.

Every once in a while, a nice little treat for yourself is a great way to keep yourself motivated along the way. Whether it’s a special Starbucks drink, a new video game, or a sweater you have had your eye on – pat yourself on the back with a little indulgence.

6. Stick it.

Sticky-notes were quite possibly one of the best inventions ever. Get some positive energy and encouragement by writing inspiring quotes, smiley faces, or inside jokes with friends on brightly colored sticky-notes. Place them all over your dorm room or apartment – the bathroom, the fridge, your mirror, your laptop – to ensure that you are brought at least one smile every day.

Keep your 2012 happy, healthy, fun, and memorable! Stay motivated!


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