How to get motivated for 2020

Posted 27 Dec 2019
By Dr Dominique Thompson

Honestly! Whose idea was it to start the New Year in January?! It can be almost impossible to feel motivated and enthusiastic about new beginnings at the darkest, coldest (in the Northern Hemisphere) time of the year- but we are all expected to make resolutions and feel ‘ready to go’ for another 12 months of challenges and fun!

So how about being realistic, accepting that it isn’t always going to be easy, and trying a new way to motivate yourself for the year ahead -like this…

Create your personalised motivational calendar for 2020!

  • For the twelve months ahead, make yourself a chart that you can pin on your wall.
  • You just need to draw 12 squares, into which you can write 2 bullet points each - it should fit easily onto a side of A4/ word doc on your laptop.
  •  Having named the squares with each month, for each one- write one thing you would like to achieve personally by then.
  • For example, you might choose; joining a new club or society, trying a new type of cooking, passing an exam, making a friend from a different culture, meeting an essay or thesis deadline, but the key here is to make it something you might actually DO!
  •  So make the achievement something realistic, that may be likely to happen anyway, and will make you feel positive or happy.
  • Then, when you have put a personal goal into each month, go back and (for each month) write in something you are really excited about that is going to happen worldwide (or locally), and that you can look forward to. 
  • Examples here include anticipating an amazing film, music album or sporting event that is coming in 2020. A new shop opening, or bar or club.
  • It doesn’t matter whether it’s the latest James Bond film, the Olympic Games, or Half Life: Alyx (no- me neither, but it’s a much anticipated computer game apparently!), choose the 12 things you are excited about internationally or locally, and write them in- one per month.

By pairing your personal achievements with worldwide (or local) exciting events that you are looking forward to, and creating your own ‘personalised motivational calendar’-  it may help you to focus less anxiously on some of the things you need to get done, or are apprehensive about, and associate your personal achievements with fun things to reward yourself with.

Thus each personal achievement, each month, can be linked to the fantastic fun experience you are looking forward to!

A New Year is always a new opportunity, but if it feels like a ‘mountain’ ahead of you, then let’s make it one with lots of places to stop, breathe, and reward ourselves along the way, as we start the climb… best wishes for 2020!

For more advice or support check out Dominique’s Student Wellbeing Series of books.

Posted 27 Dec 2019
By Dr Dominique Thompson