3 Ways To Rediscover Your Motivation

Recently I’ve been lacking motivation which is very frustrating when I want to get lots done! After giving myself a bit of a break, I decided to actively find out why my motivation had decreased and do something about it.

I hope if you ever feel in a similar state, the actions I  tried help you too!

Mixing up media consumption

I’ve never been a huge fan of watching YouTube videos as I prefer reading long-form articles. However, this seemed to be getting stale, so I decided to mix it up and watch some videos.

I started off with Ramit Sethi’s channel. Most of the information was what he writes about on his website, but by consuming it in a different way, I was able to get a different perspective on things. Also, watching videos that have been edited into small chunks of 3 – 5 minutes kept my attention and the time flew by!

Having received some great information from the first video, it was an easy decision to let YouTube’s autoplay roll on and before I knew it, I was watching loads of different entrepreneurs discuss everything from SEO to strategies on meeting famous people.


envisioning the future

I love the internet. I started off by watching some random dude video himself about how to grow your email subscribers, which led me to different blogs, eventually landing on some other random guy’s website reading about dreamlining.

Dreamlining is “the systematic process of outlining your ideal lifestyle and making a plan to realize your dreams.” It is a concept created by Tim Ferris in the book, The Four Hour Work Week.

Actually writing down what you want to achieve makes it very real… and hopefully achievable!

I like how it is set out in this blog from Tynan (a blogger, life nomad, and programmer):

Think about where you want your life to be in three to five years. Imagine it clearly, so that it feels like you’re actually there. How do you spend your time? Who is around you? Where are you? What are your plans for the week? … Once you have an idea of what it will look like, write it down.

Next, think about how you have been spending your time. Who have you been spending it with? What are your hobbies? What’s your work? What do you do in the spare hour or two between obligations?

As you think about these actions, evaluate whether or not they’re getting you closer to your imagined future. If they aren’t, then ask yourself if you got the future wrong or if you’re getting your actions wrong. It could easily be either one. The goal is to create alignment.

(Bold formatting is my own).

I sat down with some music on and wrote out what was going on in my life right now. Underneath, I put down what I could feasibly achieve, and where I wanted to be, in five years.

I then compared the two paragraphs.

It was actually a really great feeling! I noticed strong efforts in some places, like saving/investing a high percentage while still having fun, and areas where I could make some slight adjustments to reach my goals.

Seeing where I am now and how I am making consistent baby steps to where I want to be was a great motivator.


finding your evil twin

After getting excited about my future, I stumbled across an article which appealed to my competitive side.

The idea is to imagine you have a twin who has exactly the same goals as you. If you want to start a successful low-input business, so do they. If you want to graduate from university in the top 5%, so do they (or even in the top 4, 3, 2, or 1%).

However, only one of you can achieve the goal. If your twin completes the goal before you, you don’t get to even attempt it. Tynan also states that the “one difference between you and your evil twin are your methods. You have a plan, and he has a different one.”

So, how are you going to achieve your goal before your evil twin?

If you’re both trying to start your own business on life coaching, are you frightened of the twin who spends his time reading article after article on life coaching online, or are you scared of the twin who arranges interviews with 10 different people to discover their goals, fears, and dreams?

And, as mentioned in the article, this situation could be real! (usually without the “twin” part). For instance, every person hoping to graduate in the top 5% of their class, there are two more who want to do the same.

How do you beat them?

You become the evil twin. You do what your competition is most scared of. What that usually boils down to is: do it NOW, be hardcore, and never forget that you’re not the only one in the race. (Tynan)

After processing this information, I immediate wrote down a couple of things I could do to “beat” my evil twin. The actions scared the life out of me, but if my evil twin would be willing to do it… so would I.


In conclusion…

I finished the day feeling significantly more motivated than I had at the beginning.

Consciously digging deeper into my lack of motivation also bought up another ‘ah-ha’ moment. Although it is important to have goals, it is also vital to focus on the current moments of joy that happen everyday. Stuck in traffic for example, yes annoying, but what a chance of uninterrupted time to think over your day and what you want to achieve from it.

Living in the moment seems to provide the most joy, and I also like to combine it with thoughts of how it will feel when it’s done. Think about how it will feel to have completed a project, article, book, and how it will add value to your life. That in turn gives extra motivation!

I hope some of the actions I took help anyone else who is struggling finding motivation, I am sure it will come!

5 Habits Successful People Have (But Never Talk About)

You know those type of people. The ones who get the highest grade in an exam but claim to have hardly studied. Or just chucked whatever they were wearing on without giving it much thought, but look amazing. It seems to be habitual for a large number of successful people to not talk about the preparation done in order to achieve.

I was thinking about the potential reasons behind this. Embarrassment that they actually spent time caring about their appearance or grades? In the UK especially, it is “cool” to cruise through life without seeming to put much effort in. It is “uncool” to spend hours studying when you could be on your phone sat with friends, who are also on their phones (a great way to spend an evening… right?).

People who are consistently successful must develop habits that make success easier to come by. That extra effort they put in becomes habit rather than an unusual big push of energy. Having studied a number of people I consider successful (including but not limited to: Ramit Sethi, Tim Ferriss, Ann Wilson, Warren Buffett, Sophia Amoruso, Bernadette Doyle), they seem to have developed habits that help them reach newer heights every year.

  1. Routine

    I recently discovered the “Fixed-Schedule” way of thinking from a blog post done by Carl Newport on Ramit Sethi’s website. It is all about creating a schedule that works for you (if you’re not a morning person, don’t try and start your day at 6am!) then stick. to. it. That’s it! By eliminating non-essential work and reigning in expectations, such as email response rate, you have more time to focus on the true essentials, such as learning about investments or doing sales calls.

    Carl warns that by doing this, it will require “drastic actions”, including stopping procrastinating and saying no to people. Batching tasks and doing them at the same time every day is a great way to get into a routine that soon feels normal. For example, I work on this blog one evening a week then a couple of hours at the weekend.

  2. Systems

    Technology is so great to use to create healthy habits. Peter Shankman, customer service extraordinaire,  uses different systems to automate his life. From programs that do the “boring” writing for you (Peter uses the example of TextExpander where he types ‘myaddy’ and it puts in his full address), to not having that panic of “did I turn off the lights” from using Alexa or Bluetooth auto-response, Peter uses them to his full advantage to save time. This allows him to focus effort and energy on his priorities.

  3. Support network

    Be it friends, family, random people you chat to on the internet, allow yourself to be supported! It’s amazing how many people you can bring into your life if you are the first person to make contact. Make it a habit to talk to people who, when after you’ve parted, make you feel great. Brilliant. Fabulous, even. Cut out the people who leave you with negative feelings – the kind that take a good couple of hours to get rid of lingering thoughts over what they said. Otherwise known as leeches. Obviously easier said than done but even reducing time spent with them can make a massive different.

  4. A desire to learn and improve

    When was the last time you read a book for self-improvement and to learn something new? I aim to alternate between fiction and non-fiction books to keep the variety up. (If you’re looking for a great book on money management, check out my recommendations). From online courses to chatting to a friend about something new, I love discovering interesting ideas.

  5. relaxing

    Learn how to relax! To completely unwind and take a break from life. Find out what makes your soul sing, be it baking, dancing, running, seeing friends, or crafting, it is so important to do the things we enjoy. Going back to point one, by scheduling in time to relax, it becomes part of your normal routine and your body and mind start to expect it. For example, I always start switching off around 11pm.

    What habits are you creating in your life at the moment?

Psychology of saving

As a millennial, saving seems to be the thing the media are always telling us to do. Whether it’s from a national outlet mourning apathy to saving, or a millionaire blaming avocado toast as the reason why we can’t afford to buy a house (yes, really!), there is advice given out left, right and centre about it.

why is it so difficult to save?

I identified a couple of boundaries that reduce the chances of saving consistently.

1. The effort

Saving is meant to be easy – you just transfer money from one account into another one. Right? The mental energy and effort to do this though can be massively hyped up in our heads. One initial boundary is getting into your account. Logging in online (if internet banking is available) means setting time aside to do this and remembering the many passwords needed to get access (a good thing for security but a massive pain to remember!).

Once you’re finally in, how much do you set aside to save? Napoleon Hill from Think and Grow Rich argues that 10% should be the minimum saved, however with rents soaring and the cost of living (including socialising) rising, this can be a difficult goal. One way of getting round this is to track your spending and see where costs can be saved and how much you can feasibly put aside for saving.

2. What is the point?

Interest rates on saving accounts in the UK are painfully low (fellow Britons – I recommend checking out Martin Lewis’ saving accounts comparison), and it can seem pointless when there won’t be much return on your money. However, by having a savings account formally separated, it will reduce the chances of you spending the money. Some accounts don’t let you take the money out once it’s been put in, which is a fool-proof way for spend-addicts!

Potential solutions

1. Automation

Automate, automate, automate. One of my financial heroes, Ramit Sethi, swears by automation as the way to reach your financial goals. Check out his great post about it here.   This is also how I manage my saving: I have set up standing orders for money to leave my account a couple of days after I get paid that goes straight into my ISA and investments. The best thing is not seeing the money – I reduce the effort needed to save and let technology do it for me.

Side note: I have also automated money to go into my spending account, which is the bank account I use for my everyday expenses:

  1. Incoming account: money goes in here when I get paid
  2. I have set up instructions to automatically send my ‘necessities’ budget to my spending account
  3. Spending account: I use this account for necessities, such as food and socialising

Note – this spending account doesn’t include big payments such as rent. It just allows me to work to a monthly budget that has the added bonus of not having a lot of money in (I use it up every month), therefore reducing the chances of blowing it on unnecessary purchases.

To clarify, the bank accounts accounts I have/use:

  1. Incoming account (all money I get paid goes in here)
  2. Spending account (for daily necessities)
  3. Save to spend (see below)
  4. Emergency account (see my other blog post on this)

Separate to this are my ISA and stocks and shares investments.

2. goals

It is so important to have saving goals. In another blog post, I talked about having a separate ‘save to spend‘ account specifically for one-off expenses such as a holiday. It is so motivating having something to save for, whether it be a car, a holiday, ticking something off your life list, and so on. It makes any sacrifices that much easier.

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

Saving can be easy, and fun (!), once you’ve cracked your best way of doing it. It also means that any money you can spend is guilt-free as the saving boxes have been checked.

Do you have any tips on the psychology of saving? Let me know in the comments 🙂