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October 24, 2020 | Maisie Tomlinson

How to motivate yourself in 2020

Maisie Tomlinson moved from Derbyshire to Windsor to chase her first marketing role, in 2018 after a self-funded CIM course and multiple voluntary marketing roles. Two years later she founded an online marketing community Plug and is sharing her motivation tips.

I think it’s fair to say that recently we’ve all been lacking a bit of motivation. What’s the point in getting dressed if I’m working from home? I can’t be bothered to exercise if it’s raining. Why should I cook if I can just get a takeaway? I don’t really like my job, but I don’t hate it enough to look for a new one. It is easy to fall into a rut and succumb to monotony, particularly with us spending more time indoors and being inundated with bleak, daily news giving us no indication when life will return to normal. But there are some simple solutions to help you get your mojo back and find that missing motivation.


Personally, I found the first couple of months of lockdown difficult. I hated having my freedom taken away and didn’t see the point in much. However, by using the four tips below, I found my motivation and I’ve not looked back since!


  • Find a positive in each day and celebrate the small wins: It is easier to focus on the negatives, but you should make a conscious effort to find a positive in every day. Focus your energy on the good things, however small. This could be something as simple as stepping outside and feeling the sun on your skin or eating your favourite meal. I have found the best thing for my mental health is having a positive mindset.
  • Learn a new skill or pick up old ones: During lockdown I bought a piano, became a wannabe Picasso and have embroidered every item of clothing I own. I played the piano from 7-18 and since moving out, I haven’t had a piano. So, I thought to myself, why not?! It has honestly been the best decision I have made all year; it gave me a purpose and the opportunity to get back into something I loved. Normally I wouldn’t have the time to pick up a hobby, but now, with no commute to account for, I am able to exercise my time more freely. That’s a positive!
  • Exercise: When I say exercise, I don’t mean a hike up mount Snowdon or a triathlon. Exercise can be walking to the shops and back or doing 10 minutes of yoga in the morning. When you move your body, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin are released – these brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood. It’s not about how far you can run or how much weight you can lift; the main reason people exercise is for the sense of well-being. I sleep better, I have more energy and I feel happier and more positive. Did you know that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. 
  • Understand that it’s ok not to feel ok: With all that is, and has been going on, it is completely ok to have down days. There is a lot of pressure to be using our spare time wisely, running 10ks, starting online businesses, doing courses etc. This mindset can have a detrimental effect to our motivation. We see people who are doing more than we are and it makes us question our own self-worth. Social media creates unachievable standards. You don’t see the bad days, the days of lying on the sofa eating a sharer bag of Maltesers while re-watching Friends for the thousandth time, or the days when you can’t get out of bed. Forgive yourself for having a bad day. We all have them, it is how we overcome them that defines us as people. Had a bad day? Write it off, start tomorrow with a blank canvas.


Full disclosure: I am not a motivation expert and these tips are unique to me, but I know how easy it is to see people on the internet doing things you’re not and feeling like a failure. We are all different and each person will have a different way of coping with the pandemic. Some people will start online businesses, some people will congratulate themselves for brushing their hair that week (guilty as charged). What motivates you may be of no interest to someone else. Listen to your body and mind and find out what works for you.


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