Let’s Chat: Motivation, Taking Breaks and Staying Organized

Hello everyone! I feel like it has been YEARS since I have written and published a blog post, but here I am… shoving my 20-year-old wisdom and opinions in your face once again. WOO! Ever since starting school, I have really struggled to write and find inspiration for new posts because my mind is so focused on school work. Procrastination really smacked me in the face for the past couple of weeks. But I listened to my own advice that I shared on Merci about being productive and beating writers block and here we are (how lovely)! I have been through an emotional roller coster and I am only a month into the school year, I feel like all students can relate because the first month brings on so much change. I was into a very organized routine with Co-op and now I have to figure out a whole new schedule. This gave me the idea of putting together all of the advice I have into one chatty little blog. I will be discussing how I stay motivated to reach my goals during school, how I take breaks that help me be more productive and how I stay on-top of my shit. This doesn’t have to be based on school, you can use this advice for work, kids, or anything that takes up a lot of time and energy. I am also writing this to give myself some confidence and motivation, I have been struggling with school and myself lately so I wanted to share this to help others but also myself.

If you take a journey back to the beginning of Merci, a lot of my first posts were about mental and physical health, goal setting, school advice and personal growth. I love giving advice because I love to constantly learn and grow, I always try to better myself while staying true to myself. It takes a lot to stay motivated, humble and organized so what works for me, may not work for you. Life is like skin care, it’s all trial and error until you find what makes you glow like a little glazed and happy donut.

Let’s start with Motivation.

I suck at going to the gym now that I am in school, I am not even going to fake it and pretend like I am super fit. I used to workout a healthy amount that I felt good with (3-4 times a week) and now I can barely motivate myself to go once a week. But this is something I am working on since my schedule got all messed up. My biggest tip for staying motivated is to set goals. I like to make long term and short term goals. Long term goals are things I want five to ten years down the road while short term could be weekly or daily. I really focus on short term goals that I make weekly to keep myself motivated and I push myself hard to stick to them. If I set a goal of doing a half marathon in one year, I will fail because it is too far into the future. I need something that I can work on now and not put off. My short term goal to help my mental and physical health is to go to the gym three times a week and for more than 25 minutes each visit! I love to write down my goals in a notebook, planner or somewhere in my laptop where I will see them a lot. To motivate myself, I set these weekly goals and I constantly check in with myself. I refuse to listen to the annoying voice in my head telling my to sleep instead, I ignore it and get ready for the gym. We tend to listen to “the voices in our head” and then we get lazy, but if we want change then we need to push for it.

I love goal setting, I wrote a whole post about the importance of goal setting and it’s actually one of my favourite posts to go back and read. It really helps me stay motivated and remember why I have goals. I highly recommend you go check it out!

Next up is taking healthy breaks.

I may contradict myself a little because I just mentioned how you need to push yourself to achieve your goals and stay motivated. But, now I am telling you to just take breaks. Before you use this as an excuse to be lazy, let me explain. Daniel H. Pink wrote in his book When (which I love and highly recommend) about the importance of taking healthy breaks for the brain. I also learned through Yoga that it is super important to listen to your body and be present for yourself. That is why I like to take breaks from school work to do whatever I want to help my brain and body reset. This helps me stay motivated because I will choose one day to not focus on school but instead, focus on myself. On this day, I promise myself to be lazy, watch movies, write, workout or do something that is good for my mental and physical health (aka eating chips and watching Transformers…). This helps my brain declutter, if I am constantly on full speed and focused on school work, I will burnout and be miserable. It is so important to have a side hobby or something that you can put this energy into besides the obligations that you HAVE to attend to daily.

For all of my fellow students out there, it is also important to take breaks from homework or studying. If you feel your eyes getting tired, your head starting to ache, or your focus dwindling then you need to walk away for a little. But this also means taking a tech break, read for a little or talk to a friend instead of taking a break on a screen. This helps your brain breathe and relax, screens will only create headaches and extreme tiredness.

Our last topic is on the one and only, organization!

I love to be organized because then I am less stressed. Being a student and having a part-time job at the same time can be very difficult so I need to take all the measures I can to stay on-top of my responsibilities. My one and only advice for everyone is to invest in a good planner and actually use it. I have probably mentioned this before but I love having a planner/organizer so much! I also love sticky notes but they can get a little hectic.

I use my planner to literally schedule my every second and make DAILY lists. Everyday after class I make a list of what needs to get done that day or week, this means I will not forget due dates. Use the planner for important deadlines, appointments, date nights, or anything that you will need to fit into your already busy schedule. My planner has a weekly to-do list section that I use to list my homework and assignments that I need to complete, then I can physically check off what I have done. If you want, get a schedule instead of a planner, in there you can plan your hour by hour. Find what works for you but physically remind yourself of what you need to do. This will help motivate you to reach your goals (aka the gym after class), finish your homework so you can have a break day and stay super organized.

This is everything I actually do daily, I remind myself of my goals, I take breaks when I really need them and I make a crap ton of lists to stay organized. But this is what I know works for me, I have been doing these things for three to four years and I would like to think I am doing alright. I don’t think of my small imperfections as failures, if I don’t go to the gym three or more times then oh well! Life is a constant growing experience and it is just super important to check in with yourself like I am doing right now in this blog. It is time for me to get back on track and these tips will help me do what is best for me.

I hope you enjoyed this post and find some inspiration here. Make sure you follow me on instagram so you can stay on top of all things Merci! Have a lovely week.