How to: regain your motivation

Struggling to stay motivated after a long and lazy Easter weekend? Here are some handy hints to keep you going through the cooler months. (Disclaimer: This is mostly a letter to myself!)

Remember why..?

Why is it important to do the thing?? Motivation sometimes escapes us all, but we’ve all got things that need to be done. You should write that essay so you don’t fail that class! You should probably wash your clothes so you can wear your favourite shirt again. And you should definitely write your blog because you promised once a month!

Make it known

If you are struggling to concentrate on your task, making those around you aware of what you have to do and why is useful. They will (generally) not actively distract you from your task and will probably keep reminding you to get off Facebook do the thing until you actually do it. If you make your goal to get fit / write a blog / learn a new skill even broader public knowledge then you may (if you are anything like me at least) feel a healthy sense of guilt spurring you on until you actually do it.

Break it down

Everything big can be made smaller. If you can break down your daunting task into more manageable pieces it won’t seem so scary! If you need to clean the house, start with one room. If even that seems hard, start with one surface – the kitchen table or whatever. Then once you do that, set your next target a little bigger. If you’re writing an essay, each paragraph is an accomplishment in itself.

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Have fun

Try to make whatever mundane task it is more enjoyable. Listen to your favourite tunes to make writing or cleaning easier (but don’t spend hours making a playlist!) If you’re doing something mindless but necessary like ironing, put your favourite show on to keep you going. If you try to enjoy it, you might find that the whole thing is not so hard after all.

Get your heart pumping

If you are really desperate for a break and a bit of extra inspiration, doing some physical activity will help keep your mind on the job. Sweating it out will often bring new ideas to mind, as well as boosting your endorphin levels, keeping you positive and motivated. (I have very rarely used this technique myself- although I am partial to a manic dance break on occasion. But it does work!)

Treat yo’self

But only after you’re done! Whether it’s I won’t ‘watch another episode’ or ‘eat anymore chocolate’ or even ‘pick up my phone’ until after you’re finished, it will work. Whilst this is essentially bribing yourself, a little bribery goes a long way sometimes! It will force you to do the thing and strengthen your willpower for next time. Annddd all that delayed gratification makes it all taste so much sweeter.

Just do it!

Starting the task is almost always the hardest part. If you just force yourself to begin the rest will flow. The words will come, the clothes will find their way home, and the rubbish will begin to disappear. Once you get over the initial struggle, the rest will follow –promise!

Now listen to Shia go do it!

 

 

 

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Life Update #1

Given that we are now about ten weeks into the year, I figured it would be a good time to update anyone who cares on how my resolutions are going. I think that the only way to really achieve any goal is to make yourself accountable and check in every so often.

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I have been writing here, clearly. Although it’s not been very frequent, it’s something. It is forcing me to be occasionally somewhat productive. I find it so easy to just waste my days away and not accomplish anything and this is me forcing myself to do. I’m not currently studying, and only working part-time in a restaurant so I need to be forced to use my brain once in a while.

I have been reading quite a lot though. I have completed seven books already this year, which, according to Goodreads, puts me one ahead of schedule. That makes me feel good! And for the most part, I have been loving the novels that I’ve read which is even better. My current favourite for this year is Ella Minnow Pea for which I will write up my March review soon. You can check on my progress here

The most exciting of my resolutions is yet to come though. I have convinced my boyfriend to spend his holidays with me in Europe! This means, however, that the trip will most likely be only around two weeks long – so we probably won’t get out of England. But that is okay- it will still be amazing! And since, I currently have no pressing work engagements, maybe I’ll stay a little longer myself. Still in the planning stages so far, as soon as he gets his passport we will be able to start booking things!

How is everyone else going with their resolutions?

 

 

The Natural Way of Things || February Review

The Natural Way of ThingsThe Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really don’t even know where to begin with this book. This is not a book to be read, but rather, a book to be experienced – to be lived. This novel is powerful and raw. Not an enjoyable book by any means, but an important work of modern Australian literature.

I’m not going to provide a detailed plot summary as I think that some of the power of Wood’s work lies in the not knowing. Just as her two main characters Yolanda and Verla don’t know. The girls are taken and no one has any answers for them – why? where? when?

This book has been so highly acclaimed and rated by Australian authors and commentators, but it is deserving of such respect. Charlotte Wood has crafted an imaginative and gripping story, an investigation into modern misogyny and the control of corporations. Parallels have been drawn with The Handmaid’s Tale and Lord of the Flies which are absolutely accurate. What happens when you take ten modern women with various indiscretions and put them in the middle of nowhere of Australia with no creature comforts to be completely controlled by two ruthless prison guards? The Natural Way of Things seems in no way natural, but yet completely, brutally real.

The book is drawn into seasons, with each chapter alternating perspective between Yolanda and Verla. Their mental states after months in isolation both begin to fracture and alienate the others. And if this book was poorly written it would be easy to dismiss this as fanciful or pretentious, but Wood has written with such a visceral finesse that it seems entirely honest and plausible. There are some scenes that will stay with me for a very long time, Wood has used such powerful imagery throughout that it almost seems like reliving my own memory.

This is the first of Charlotte Wood’s novels I have read (she has published five, many of which have been similarly acclaimed), but I will looking out for her work in future. She has become such an important voice in Australian literature, with not only elegant creative prose, but incorporating detailed allegories. I have not read a book that left such a lasting impression on me for quite some time.

View all my reviews