Are we seeing the end of lockdown? Is the next lockdown coming? Throughout the past two years it’s been a running joke that most of us lose track of what day or week it is. We got a taste of life late in 2021 but, with another surge of COVID cases, we’ve fallen back into our lockdown lifestyle. A fresh year comes with many goals we’ve set for ourselves. However… finding motivation to crush those goals can be difficult with the uncertainty of whether the pandemic is ending, or whether the next variant will emerge next month and lock everything down again.
So, here are 10 tips to help you stay on track with your 2022 goals, lockdown or not.
- CREATE ROUTINES/RITUALS
The first tip is to create a routine or ritual for yourself. It can be as simple as drinking a glass of lemon water every morning or doing 5 minutes of stretching in the evening.
According to Therapy Group in NYC, routines help to not only promote healthy habits but also alleviate burnout which is something many of us have experienced during this pandemic.
Personally, I’m a fan of creating a morning routine since it helps to make me feel accomplished to kickstart my day. For others, an afternoon or evening routine may be where they thrive.
If you’re looking for some resources for maintaining motivation, check out our latest article: The best podcasts and books to keep you motivated all year long.
- MAKE A TO-DO LIST
Is there a better feeling in this world than crossing something off of your to-do list? I would personally argue that there isn’t.
Make yourself a daily to-do list (maybe it can be part of your morning routine 😉), it doesn’t have to be a list of high-intensity, complicated tasks, it can be as simple as you want it to be. For example, add drinking your glass of lemon water or stretching, maybe it’s making your bed or sending an email.
Whatever it may be, a to-do list can help your day to feel more scheduled and hold you accountable, resisting the urge to crawl into bed with your favourite Netflix show.
- MOVE YOUR BODY
Fitness goals are arguably among the most popular of new year resolutions but with the gyms closed, it can be a challenge to force yourself to workout.
Two tips to avoid avoiding-working-out are community and YouTube.
Build yourself a community of other friends that are interested in fitness, maybe you share pictures to show when you’re working out or even starting fitness competitions. This can help you to hold yourself accountable and be motivated by the action of others.
The other avenue I turn to is YouTube. When the gyms are closed and I can’t use the energy of the people around me to work extra hard, I like to turn to some trainers on YouTube to virtually motivate me. I find that, when it’s a video of someone going through the exercise with you, it makes you work harder and keep going even when you want to stop since they’re not stopping… so why should you?
My personal favourite YouTube account for at-home workouts is Toronto-based, Gabby Scheyen. This one specifically was painfully great.
- CREATE AN ACCOUNTABILITY CIRCLE
Speaking of accountability, create an accountability group. This has been incredibly helpful for me during the pandemic.
What I mean is, create a circle of friends, family, colleagues, whoever you’re comfortable doing this with, and tell them what your goals are for the week, month, or year. Their job (and your job for them) is to check in with you to make sure you’re actually working towards those goals.
Just vocalizing your goals to someone else immediately forces you to think more about putting them into action. Accountability groups can be work-related, hobby-related, or even personal growth-related.
- PRIORITIZE SLEEP
Not only prioritizing sleep, but creating and sticking to a sleep schedule.
I know that there are definitely some night owls out there (couldn’t be me) and that’s a-okay. But try to avoid the pattern of going to be at 10:30pm one night, 3am another, and then 12am the next. You’re confused, your body is confused, and your routine is disrupted.
Andrew Huberman, the host of one of my favourite podcasts, Huberman Lab, is a tenured Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine. He created the ultimate toolkit for sleep, entirely based on science.
- TAKE MOMENTS OF RELAXATION AND MINDFULNESS
Something we too often forget is to truly relax.
I have moments throughout the day where I like to believe I’m relaxed or being mindful, but I’m usually distracted, multitasking, or thinking about what I need to get done during the day. One goal of mine in 2022 is to truly create moments for mindfulness and relaxation.
Mastering relaxation provides you a world of benefits physically, mentally, and emotionally. The Mayo Clinic broke down the benefits of relaxation which include lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, decreasing fatigue, reducing muscle tension, and much more. They also provide techniques to reduce stress.
So this is your sign to go take a long bath, get a massage, and use your essential oils.
- MAKE YOUR CALENDAR YOUR BEST FRIEND
Connected to your to-do list, utilizing your calendar daily keeps you focused and motivated.
Personally, I’ll block out my entire day with whatever I’m doing/working on. My morning routine, work tasks, meal prep, fitness, and even relaxation habits go into my calendar. It helps keep you accountable and instructs your mind when it’s time to focus and for how long.
When I sit down, knowing that for the next hour I’m going to be writing, it keeps me focused. I know that once that hour is up, no matter where I am in completing the task, I can take a break.
- WRITE DOWN YOUR LARGER GOALS. MAKE THEM REAL!
A great way to bring your goals to life and keep yourself accountable is to make sure you see them every single day.
Write down your goals on something tangible. Sticky notes, cardstock, chalk boards, notebooks. Whatever it may be, just get your goals written down. Then, put them iin a place you’ll see them daily. Maybe it’s by your bed, in your living room, in your kitchen where you sip your morning coffee. Even in your bathroom!
This is a spin-off of David Goggins’ “Accountability Mirror”. When you see these goals every day and even say them out loud, almost like affirmations, it breathes life into them.
- FUEL YOUR BODY
Food is fuel, don’t forget that.
When you continuously fuel your body with foods that suit you, you’re opening yourself up to a world of benefits internally and externally.
Food affects us more than we think. Going back to Andrew Huberman, he did an episode on his podcast all about how foods and nutrients control our moods. He shares foods and supplements that can help to improve our mood, focus, movement, and sleep.
As stated in the show, not all supplements or foods are going to work for you and your body so consult with your doctor or health professional before adding anything into your diet!
- STRATEGIZE TO REALIZE YOUR GOALS
So you’ve got your goals set… but how do they become real?
This is arguably the most important tip because ideas or goals without action aren’t helping in any way.
With every goal that you’ve set for yourself, create a strategy or game plan around how you’ll achieve it. Write down what resources you’ll need, how long it will take, who you’ll need to talk to about it, how often you have to work at it, when you can start it, etc.
Having an actual strategy for knowing how you’ll be able to achieve these goals makes it attainable and motivating. Because, guess what? You can do it.