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10 tips to maintain focus and motivation

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Well shit, 2022 broke down the door and hit me like an unexpected wave…

I don’t know about you, but despite how quickly the new year has snuck up on all of us, I’m a little over the typical “new year, new me” stuff plastered all over social media feeds.

Every day is an opportunity to take control and prioritise yourself. But why are so many of us afraid of being a little self-serving and taking the time to invest in ourselves?

If you’re feeling like now is the time to make some positive changes in your life, then I’ve got you covered with some simple steps. Use this time to reflect on your personal goals and evaluate your path forward. 

This can be a daunting prospect, especially when life seems so uncertain; however, no matter what lies ahead, we are responsible for prioritising ourselves and taking care of our mental and physical health.

Self-care is essential for personal growth and well-being. It involves dedicating time for ourselves to increase positive thoughts, nourish our bodies with healthy foods, exercise regularly, find time for restful sleep, listen to music from your favourite artists, practice mindfulness meditation, interact socially with friends and family in safe ways, focus on creative activities that bring joy —the list goes on! All these activities can help us create a sense of balance in our lives which can lead to improved mental clarity, focus and resilience against stressors.

Prioritising yourself can sometimes seem challenging, so I’ve outlined 10 simple steps that you can implement into your life to make self-care not just a small part in your daily life, but an enjoyable part.

Now, I’m not suggesting you MUST do all 10 of these things to live a happier and healthier life, these are mere suggestions that you can pick and choose to adopt. So, utilise one, utilise two, tap into them all, it is up to you:

  1. Make time for yourself — We work best in 90 min sprints so take regular breaks throughout the day dedicated to doing something you love or simply reflecting. You can also set aside some time each day or week for a longer period of self-care that allows you to unwind or complete a task or project that brings you joy.
  2. Get organised — map out your days ahead of time so you know exactly what needs to get done and when. Making sure everything is planned out makes it easier for you to stick with deadlines while freeing up moments within your schedule for self-care activities. I’ve used a daily journal for the better part of 45 years for several reasons, but most importantly, it helps me identify my daily priorities and helps clear my mind to help me remain organised in periods when I might be feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Exercise — find an activity that excites you such as a morning walk, a short run, playing basketball at the local park with friends or family, or obviously, getting down to the beach for a surf. Even if the activity isn’t intense it’s still beneficial for both your physical and mental health to move your body at least once a day. Not only does exercise help reduce stress levels but it also helps release endorphins (chemicals associated with happiness) which will leave you feeling more energised throughout the day.
  4. Find a hobby — identify something new that engages your creativity while also providing an escape from daily routines i.e., drawing/painting/sculpting/photography/writing etc.; hobbies don’t have to be expensive or extravagant but they should bring peace into your life! For instance, in 2022 I picked up baking which was very grounding after long trips away from home.
  5. Connect with nature — getting away from technology once in a while will give you the opportunity to slow down and appreciate nature’s wonders; walking by the ocean, strolling through the park or sitting by a lake are both excellent ways of connecting with nature while also giving yourself some much needed “me” time.
  6. Establish healthy boundaries — learn how to say “no” without feeling guilty about it; this will enable you to identify what’s important in life as well as prioritise yourself over others when necessary, which is essential for maintaining good mental health. My online course teaches you how to do this!
  7. Practise mindful eating habits — when we eat mindfully we become more aware of how certain foods make us feel; this type of awareness can help us make healthier decisions when it comes to food choices as well as how much we consume during each meal.
  8. Get enough restful sleep —our bodies generally need 7–8 hours of quality sleep every night for us to function properly throughout the day; sleeping well not only gives us energy but also helps strengthen our immune system which reduces susceptibility towards illnesses/diseases. A well-rested body is a well-rested mind, meaning we can be more resilient in times of stress and challenges. How well do you prioritise your sleeping habits?
  9. Reach out — everyone experiences hard times, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need someone who understands what you’re going through; talking about your problems can actually be therapeutic as it provides an outlet where we can express ourselves freely without judgement. Sometimes, all we need to push through difficult times is to simply vent and let out our emotions in a safe space. Don’t bottle up your emotions this year!Equally, check in with your friends, family and coworkers if you notice that they’re a little ‘off’. It’s amazing how empowering it can be to let those close to you know that you’re open for a chat.
  1. Prioritise balance and remove harmful scrutiny — throughout my life, I have compromised my personal health and well-being in the pursuit of victory. More recently, I’ve found that overindulgence can lead to me being too hard on myself. To overcome the barrage of hurtful comments I say to myself when I’ve overindulged, I’ve made a habit to schedule days where I fast, or have alcohol-free days, or days of increased water intake. I listen to my body and nourish it when it is needed. I’m not perfect, and we all deserve to over-indulge at times, but it’s about balance. Taking the minor step to schedule days where I truly focus on one healthy habit has helped me live a more balanced life.

At the end of the day self-care is all about listening and responding positively to your body’s needs which often involves setting realistic expectations and allowing ourselves grace when things don’t go according to plan. After all nothing productive ever comes from endless worrying or trying too hard! So remember: prioritise yourself this year…because taking care of yourself empowers you to take better care of others!

I want to help you look after yourself. I want to help you shortcut the struggle. “Own your truth Live” is our full-day intensive where we will run you through the Own Your Truth course, plus so much more. Own Your Truth is the culmination of my lived and learned experiences, broken down into the tools and strategies you need to be more centred, connected and confident to design and live a life you love.

If you want to make “2023 shit-free”, start in the best way possible here.

Truth Bomb Tuesdays are brought to you thanks to AIA Vitality

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