• Rebecca Watts

When drive and willpower isn't enough..

When it comes to striving to achieve goals most of us focus on self-discipline, willpower, and mindset, but sometimes that just doesn't cut it...

Will power, drive, mindset, self discipline, are all important factors in motivating yourself but many often neglect an important factor that can have a significant affect on our level of motivation – the environment and our surroundings. Our surroundings are much more important than you think in achieving our goals, especially the last year when much of what we do has been at home.

If you want to maintain your motivation, you need to learn how to create a supportive environment that keeps you going, that helps you achieve your goals and supports new behaviours and habits.

A negative environment can drain your energy, deflect / distract from your goals which can not only de-motivates you, it can also cause stress, unhappiness and encourage less favourable behaviours.

So maybe, it is time to start giving your surrounding - the environment around you - some consideration. Let's face it, motivation, especially lately is hard enough, so we need as much help as possible.

Your Environment

When we talk about environment / surrounding we are not just taking about where you are - home, countryside, city. Your environment is everything around you that can have an effect on you. This may be your desk when you are working, your view from a window, you lounge, your belongings, your cleanliness, your clothing, your colleagues, your friends and family, even as simple as the cup you drink from.

Setting up your environment to support your goals can really make a difference to achieving them and creating, keeping motivation.

Motivation for work

If you are looking for more motivation for work, especially if working from home is hard for you, there are lots of ways you can make your surroundings work better for you.

- Having a home office away from other distractions is a good idea when possible. If it is facing a messy kitchen its highly likely it will effect your motivation, where as a desk with a view may help keep you motivated all day.

- Surround yourself with visual motivators, happy photos, vision board, inspirational quotes or even awards and trophies. Things that drive you to work. Plants are also a great addition to your desk.

- Studies have shown that a clean and organised desk promotes productivity and focus so keep your desk and surrounding area clutter free and tidy if you want to get more done.

- How you present yourself is also part of your surroundings. It is so easy when working from home to stay in your pjs or jog bottoms, only do your hair when you have a zoom meeting. However, it has been shown that dressing for the occasion can help confidence and drive. So maybe it is time to start feeling the part at your home office too.

Motivation for healthy eating

Our surroundings can have the same effect on motivation for our eating habits. We are more likely to stick to healthy eating habits if our environment supports them - making them easier.

- Studies have shown that the location of healthier choices affects sales in cafes. The more visual the healthy food / drink is, the more likely you will select that over an unhealthier option. There are many visual hacks for healthy food you can use to help you with your healthy habits. Have a bowl of fruit on display, organise your cupboards so the healthy stuff is at eye line.

- Keeping your kitchen tidy means you are more likely to want to prepare healthy food. If you have a sink full of pots you are more likely to resort to quick / convenient food if you have to tackle the kitchen first.

Motivating for exercise

Motivation for exercise is difficult for most of us, especially if you have been working out at home or the weather has been bad. There are many environment / surroundings hacks that can help you keep on track

- Just as working, looking and feeling the part for exercise can impact your motivation. Sometimes having some new trainers or kit is a great motivator to get active.

You should also always make sure that your kit is clean and ready. If your kit is screwed up in the corner of the room from last time, you are likely to take one look at it and think no way. However, if your kit is folded ready to put on in the morning, you are more likely to get it on and start moving. Don't put your gym kit away in the back of the cupboard either, seeing it and it being easily accessible all have an affect on your likelihood of exercising.

- People around you are also part of your surroundings, they can have an effect on your motivation. If you have a exercise buddy who cancels all the time and hates exercise, you are unlikely to be very motivated. Find a gym buddy who helps motivate you, makes you feel good exercising rather than moans all the way through.

- The location where you exercise can also impact results. If you have to travel miles to exercise, you are less likely to do. Where as if your gym is on the way home or the park is around the corner, your are more likely to stick with your exercise goals.

If you are working out at home, then ensuring your surroundings support you is a big help. Make sure that you can move properly and see the tv (if following online) to keep you enjoying it, if you keep banging into the sofa it is likely to start annoying and you are less likely to stick with it.

Also a messy, cluttered room could easily distract you or put you off. Find somewhere that allows you to focus on the exercise and get the most from it.

Start small

Whatever your goals, the environment around you can help you achieve them.

Like with any changes or goals, it is one step at a time, thinking you have to overhaul your whole house to be able to motivate and stick with your goals is never going to work.

It’s amazing how simple things like clearing clutter, re-arranging your furniture, buying a few colourful accessories, can improve your surroundings and mood!

Here is a few really simple things to get you started but can make a difference on your motivation

- clean your odds and sods drawer (we all have them)

- sort your makeup bag

- change the light bulb

- sort the pile of paperwork on the desk

- do one thing on your to do list - ie ring the gas people to change dD

- sort your kitchen cupboard - healthy easier access

- change your bedding

- take the pile of junk in the garden to tip

- put up the picture or put a photo in the empty frame

- replace your chipped mug with a new one

Start small to get the motivation flowing.....