How many times have you awoken with the alarm shouting in your ear, it’s dark outside, it’s Monday morning, it was such a fun weekend and you have yet another 5 days of work ahead of you and to make matters even worse it’s not even pay day? It happens to us all. Self-motivation is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. The alarm you can do nothing about, you usually have to be in work at a set time or you are hopefully disciplined enough to start working at a certain time if you work for yourself.

But there are plenty of strategies you can adopt to help your motivation. Let’s start with the body. It’s your whole being and you have to make it work for you. It requires respect and time. Exercise is key to long life and wellbeing; go to the gym, do your thing, take an invigorating shower to prepare yourself for the day. Eat breakfast (sitting down) but allow time to do so. It’s a common mistake to skip the first meal of the day but it genuinely sets you up for the day so train yourself to eat healthily – porridge fruit and yoghurt is a good healthy start and it works. STOP work at lunchtime, go out, arrange to meet up with colleagues, friends and chatter (having a moan is quite therapeutic!) Go home at a respectable time – working late is rubbish, your mind can only absorb so much before it becomes saturated and inefficient. Plan an evening meal, cook it yourself. For those of you protesting ‘I don’t cook’ then get yourself one of thousands of excellent cook books and learn. It’s great fun and makes shopping much more interesting. Make a list! Invite friends and prepare supper on a Friday night and crack open a bottle of wine at home with folk you want to be with. Boozing in the pub may be the social thing to do but you need time for yourself and those you care about. Healthy eating is a healthy mind.

Then there is the mind. You simply must have a focus for the day/week, clear objectives with fun breaks built in so on Friday/Sunday night write up the work plan for next week. Your mind will only work really efficiently for about 45 minutes at a time without a rest; some go for a smoke which is pretty unhealthy but it forces that brain rest. Stand up, move about, get some fresh air, have a coffee whatever floats your boat. Have triggers, per day, per week, per month but make sure to plan ahead. There are natural ones such as picking up the children from school, half term holidays etc so plan nice things to look forward to. Go for a long walk or run tackle one of those challenges such as Walk the Wight; we don’t all have to run a marathon but, if you can tackle a challenge then build the training into your weekly routine. Just do it, stop thinking about it and if the challenge seems too big then make it smaller or more achievable but still do it. Ellen McArthur had ‘just do it’ written on her sails (in French) when she smashed the single-handed round the world yacht race; a constant visual reminder of what she was determined to achieve.

A healthy body is a healthy mind and planned motivation will get you results. What are you waiting for?