Nailing what you need to get done and having a sense of meaning can make life a lot more fulfilling. Here are some tips on how to increase your sense of success and purpose.
Start with small tasks and build up
You achieve stuff every day. Sometimes when we’re feeling low day-to-day tasks can be really tough. These jobs might it include:
- getting out of bed and dressed
- showering and looking after your appearance
- cleaning your room and clothes
- answering emails and messages
- sorting out personal admin.
When you’re going through a tough time it’s useful to view doing these smalls tasks as accomplishments. Brushed your teeth today? Well done, you’ve just looked after your body in a really important way.
Rather than looking at big stuff you haven’t done yet, focus on little wins and grow from there. Building up a routine is fantastic for your mental health.
Plan in advance
When it comes to getting stuff done, planning is important. When we schedule things in advance we’re more likely to do them. Prioritise tasks on the basis of what’s most important to your physical and mental wellbeing. Then schedule it into a journal or digital calendar to keep track where you’re at.
It can be a good idea to plan things in clusters so you can ‘piggyback’ on your momentum. Let’s say you’ve been wanting to go for a swim but have been finding it hard to motivate yourself. If you bring your things with you when you go out of the house for some other reason (like work or class) it will be a lot easier to hit up the pool afterwards.
Always remember to plan in time for doing things you enjoy!
Find the meaning behind what you’re doing
It’s a lot easier to achieve things when you know why you want to. One great way to get past feeling stuck is to connect to your underlying intention.
For instance, you might not be too keen on doing a particular assignment for school or university. But underneath that, you probably do care about:
- learning more
- practising your skills
- getting further in your career
- feeling a sense of achievement when you finish it.
When you remember the assignment is just a step towards these things, it’s easier to get started.
It can also help to change the way you think about your intentions from demands (e.g. I have to do the assignment because otherwise I’ll fail) to choices (e.g. I choose to do the assignment because I want to do well.)
When you think about it, most of the tasks we do are connected to a bigger purpose. Doing those dishes might not sound very appealing, but how about creating a nicer space for yourself and feeling freer?
Connecting to your sense of purpose can also help with bigger decisions. What really matters to you, and how can you make that happen?
Sometimes the world around us makes it hard to live our values the way we want to. But you can always find or make opportunities to do what you believe in.
Volunteering is one way to help others and boost your mental health at the same time. It feels good to make a difference in the world. There are heaps of different causes you could contribute to. Volunteering also lets your meet new people and is an awesome step forward for your career.