31 Ways to Get Motivated
Stuck in a rut? Break out of the dullness with these fresh ideas!
As teachers, you always tell your students to dream big and do what they love to do. You urge their young minds to try new things, explore the world around them, and get creative. But there are times when even you have a hard time following suit—especially when you’re buried under papers to grade, finances to balance, tests to make, and family issues to resolve. Simply put, you feel you don’t have the time or energy to do more.
Despite all the challenges you may face each day, you can still push yourself to get into something new. All it takes is a little shove in a different direction and you’ll see the world through a fresh pair of eyes. Try these suggestions, and pretty soon, you’ll be revitalized and motivated to do anything!
- Create an inspiration board. Cut out quotes, pictures, and illustrations from magazines or newspapers that encourage you to do better. You can even draw specific images with you in the middle of the action!
- Go back to your roots and talk to your oldest living family member to learn about your clan’s history. The trials and triumphs of your ancestors will inspire you to see life in a new way.
- Read your favorite book when you were a child. Seek inspiration from its simple words and colorful illustrations, and try to remember what you loved about it back then. Compare that with how you feel about it today.
- Visit the National Museum and soak up our country’s masterpieces. Juan Luna’s Spoliarium might stir you the way it did Jose Rizal!
- Get into a new hobby with the whole family. Who says you’re too old to learn how to swim or ride a bicycle? Being cheered on by your loved ones will compel you to do your very best.
- Try on an outfit that’s the complete opposite of what you’d normally wear. If you always go for classic cuts, pick something trendy! If you’re the type to wear animal prints, why not go monochromatic for a change?
- Don’t speak for one whole day. Discover how creative you can get as you communicate through other means.
- Get a new haircut. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself! Snagging a new ‘do just might be the thing you need to gain more confidence in the classroom. (Just make sure you think things through before doing anything drastic. The cut and length should match your face shape and hair texture.)
- Learn a new language. If your family members are all fans of Koreanovelas and K-Pop music, you could all learn how to speak Korean together! Just imagine all the time you’ll save not glancing down at the subtitles.
- Post sticky notes with positive words such as “Yes!” or “I can!” on your desk where you can clearly see them. When something pulls you down, draw energy from these encouraging lines.
- Wear two different socks at the same time. It might feel silly, but you’ll get a lot of laughs and surprised reactions.
- Hide chocolate kisses for you and your family to find. Small amounts of this sweet treat will trigger the release of endorphins and make everyone instantly happy!
- Have a gratitude list. Think of three to five random things you are thankful for at the end of each day. It doesn’t have to be something life changing. Doing this continuously will make you appreciate the finer things in life and will help you become a more optimistic, confident person.
- Read about something you’ve always been curious about but never had the time to delve into. Pick a topic totally unrelated to the subject you teach in school.
- Stop comparing yourself to others and just focus on honing your skills.
- Spend 15 minutes each day in complete silence. This will help clear your mind and bring to light things that truly matter.
- Keep a journal. Start by jotting down your biggest failures. Transform this into a positive exercise by writing down three good things that came out of each experience.
- Make it a point to have a good laugh at least once a day. Search for hilarious videos on YouTube.com such as The Sneezing Panda, Charley Bit Me, or Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise.
- Reward yourself for every accomplishment. Just like a child who is rewarded for doing well on a test, you deserve prizes for your little victories!
- Be involved in theater—be it a small school play or a grand production of a Shakespearean classic. Nothing beats the thrill of creating sets, finding props, acting onstage, and getting instantaneous reactions from the audience.
- Cook a meal from scratch without the help of a recipe. Who knows, you just might whip up a dish that’ll become your family’s new favorite!
- Be more vocal about your feelings. Being unafraid to express yourself brings you one step closer to controlling your emotions, claiming what you want, and turning your dreams to reality.
- Listen to music your students like and discover why these songs speak to the youth of today. You can also crank up the volume and dance!
- Have a change of scenery. It’s as simple as going to a park to grade papers instead of staying cooped up in your room.
- Use your imagination and change the rules of your favorite sport. Alter the equipment, add or lessen players, and transform it into an even more fun game. When you’ve turned it into the best game ever, play it with your friends and family!
- Find a cause. It may be something as small as segregating the trash in your neighborhood or something as major as spearheading a fundraiser for the homeless kids in your city. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s something you really care about so you don’t lose momentum.
- Start the day with a peppy song that will perk up your mood. Try “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves or “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield. It’s guaranteed to work better than a steaming cup of coffee!
- Emulate your idol by learning about her backstory and discovering the steps she took to become successful. Before Oprah Winfrey became a billionaire host and producer, she was born into poverty and repeatedly molested as a child. By making a difference in the lives of others and helping them overcome their adversities, she eventually made a name for herself.
- Use your favorite scents to inspire you! A whiff of citrus cologne or that yummy slice of cinnamon apple pie can instantly lift your spirit. The key is to find the aroma that triggers your happy mood.
- Start small. You can’t climb a mountain if you don’t take the first step up. If you have dreams of becoming the school principal, draw up a five or 10-year plan mapping out what you’ll do to make this dream come true. Feel free to include seemingly impossible dreams (such as winning the Nobel Prize in Literature) and come up with concrete ways on how to achieve them (like writing a compelling story about the state of Philippine education).
- Challenge yourself to see the good in everyone and every situation. Do it for a day, a week, a month, then an entire year.