As the new year begins, we are mostly filled with motivation for change. At least I was this year. But the silent little voice inside of me whispered: You failed last year, and the year before – why should this be different? Why even bother? We are afraid to fail, and sometimes even refrain from trying because of this fear. But this year, I realized that my failures taught me, and I learned from them. I found out that before setting a goal, I need to be informed both about the field the goal is set in and about myself. How do I react to change? How can I ease the transition? And most importantly: How can I stay motivated? Because STAYING motivated is what counts.
This is what I found: In order to stay motivated, those three ingredients are crucial:
- The right goal
There is a problem with a goal – it needs to have an exact balance. It needs to be big, dreamable, something you can boast about once you reach it, something you can frame and be proud of. But then, it also needs to be achievable, reachable. You cannot have an abstract goal like painting a masterpiece or shooting a blockbuster. This is neither measurable not achievable if you are no Picasso or Spielberg. My advice is: think about what your heart longs for and then make it a measurable dream. Do not make your goal dependable on success. Make a film, paint a picture or write a book without having to measure the success yet.
- Constant challenges
If I’m in the process, things need to change for me. I cannot do the same thing all over again for months without the slightest change or challenge. The problem is: You need to build in the challenge for yourself or invest into a program that does it for you. For me, it’s not enough to write 1000 words a day. Instead, I rather write for forty minutes and try to improve my word count. The same goes with everything else: fitness, food. It needs to vary and to challenge me.
On the other hand, nothing is as beautiful as seeing your creative routines become habits. For example: If I haven’t written in the course of a day, I feel exactly that it’s missing. Like having forgotten to brush one’s teeth. So make it your priority to set up a routine and hold on to it for at least 21 days (because we know that our brain needs 21 days to develop habits).
So now, if you have all the three ingredients in place, let’s think about what resolutions we need as creatives, and let me let you in on mine for this new year.
- Healthy Lifestyle
I’ve been struggling to find the right diet for a very long time and tried nearly everything. It’s after an article I read that it dawned on me that a diet is useless. The realization just came to me: I need to lead a healthy lifestyle – it needs to be my life, incorporated into everything I do. Not because I need to, but because I want to. My body deserves to be treated with respect and to be preserved as well as possible. It’s sad that we often take more care of our phones, our cameras or anything else of value more than we care for our bodies. But think about it: your body is your ticket for a long and fulfilling life. To be creative and keep on creating you need to stay healthy and have a clear mind as well as enough energy.Healthy does not mean disgusting – it’s a sad but persistent association. You’ll find out quickly that a healthy lifestyle is tasty, and makes you feel great. Also, it does not mean eating less. In fact, if you incorporate the next point, it even means eating more – less crap and more actual nutrients. Okay, so how does this look in practice? I won’t dive into the science of it, and leave it to the experts. Here are the best books I found on this topic and also one of the greatest recipes:
“The Bikini Body” by Kayla Itsines
“The Shredded Chef” by Michael Matthews
Also, some of the best recipes are found in the program I’ll introduce next.
- Fitness Routine
Oh well. Fitness. This particular issue leaves us divided. There are those who need spots and those who hate it. But even if I might lose you as a reader right now, let me tell you one thing: Your body needs exercise. It will thank you for it. It will even reward you in future if you keep yourself fit. It might seem impossible now, but believe me, as soon as you start, you will learn to love it. Exercise is the best way to relieve stress. It’s the best way to feel great about yourself and your achievements, the best way to keep your body fit for everyday life. And there are thousands of ways you can exercise and love it – you just need to find the best way for yourself.My year’s absolute favorite is this program: Pamstrong. I’m following it for one week only and can see a transformation already. It supplies you with great recipes and new workouts every week, and it keeps me motivated.For the guys out there – this is what my husband is crazy about 7 minute workout. He also goes to the gym, but this little thing keeps him motivated, even on those days where he cannot squeeze in anything else. If you hate the gym, you can try also try the famous Freeletics program. For me, it was too hard to keep up with, but multitudes love it. Don’t give up if you don’t find what is right for you at once – keep on trying and start small! But the important thing is – and that’ why I called it the Fitness Routine – make it a habit!
- Creative Routine
Now, we’re getting to the best part. Living a healthy life needs to have a purpose, which is amongst others to stay creative and have a clear mind and schedule. What’s most important here is – it needs to be a routine. A goal you can pursue every day. For me, it is 1500 words of writing or one hour of editing to reach this year’s goal: publishing my first novel.What is your goal, and which steps do you need to take to come closer every day? Here also, you need to be informed and study what others before you have found out. My example: I found this fantastic book: 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter: Volume 1. It took my writing to a whole new level and doubled my writing speed in the first days I utilized the methods! This way, I got motivated, and a whole new routine kicked in. What I’m saying is, that you need to study productivity and all kinds of tricks in your field of creativity to set up an amazing routine that you’ll stick to.
For all this, there is a small and simple trick I used this year: I bought a calendar and wrote my routine down! I plan out my week on Saturday with a meal plan and a daily routine that can change according to the appointments and tasks ahead. But this changed my life! So how can you create life-changing resolutions? By planning out routines using the help of professionals and the knowledge of your personality! Stick to them for 21 days – and let me know how your habit kicked in!
PS. There are many other important things I wrote down goals in, like family, relationships, spiritual goals, finances sleep or inspiration. Decide what’s important to you, what your life has been lacking and what your heart tells you to do, write it down, and go for it!