Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Keeping Motivated! | Studying & Fitness

Today I want to sit down and write all about motivation and why its so important. Its coming up to that time of the year when most students are sitting exams, summer is around the corner (summer body?!), and with the holidays coming there is going to be so much more blogging activity across the internet as its the time when everything work/school related is taking a break and you're able to focus on all the things you love in life - so I definitely thought a lifestyle post was appropriate! I'm going to share my tips for keeping myself motivated through education, fitness and my blog, and hopefully if you're feeling unmotivated you'll be able to use some of my tips to help out whatever it is you're struggling with...


When it comes to education, its definitely not my forte and you find all about why here in my post on finding your career path. I'm definitely one of those people who has to apply themselves when it comes to learning, a lot. I like certain topics of certain subjects, and could have done a lot better throughout school than I have done. But honestly, I've always had a more creative side - I love social media, advertising, blogging, fashion, PR all of that stuff that you aren't ever taught in school and thats simply why my mind drifts a lot while spending time at school. However, I am doing a levels and my exams are pretty soon. So here are my top 5 tips when it comes to HAVING to motivate yourself so that you can get good grades...

1) Be creative - Like I said, I'm really creative so I like to revise in different ways. One of my favourite ways to revise is to make colourful mind maps and plaster them all around my bedroom. For me, this is a method that works. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom sorting things out, tidying, singing, chilling and wherever I look now I have all my school work and it somehow imprints into my brain. I got told my a teacher 'mind maps don't work', which is the most close minded thing I've ever heard. Everyone is different, and some things will work for you which don't for others and I recommend if a teacher says something a long those lines to you, you should ignore it. I also like to create flash cards and test myself, I'm really interactive so I'll get my family to test me on information to make sure I know it - for me this is a lot easier than writing notes. Also, remember different revision methods work for different subjects. I like to use flashcards for sociology, and mind maps for psychology and big posters and timelines for history. Of course if your exams are essay based, like mine are, then skills are required to be practiced, but I assume that this has all been done throughout the year (in class or homework) and then you can take those essays and revise the points from them - essay plans are always great.

2) Get new resources - This is probably my favourite tip of all of them, I absolutely love buying new pens, folders, stationary, post it notes etc. This helps me so much and actually excites me to revise, I like to make all my revision visually creative and this really helps it stick in my mind. If you aren't like me, then maybe try just buying a new notebook and a fountain pen to jot all your notes down in. 

3) Find your 'revision niche' - I find that I can only learn in certain places and at certain times of the day. For me, I don't tend to take in a lot when I am at school. I hate being told how to study and what to do, for example when a teacher will say we are doing a 'cut and stick activity' which for me personally, is a waste of my time. I understand that teachers want to try different methods of learning, but being older and understanding how best I revise I hate going to classes. Again, I can't work in my study periods - I'm quite energetic and can't sit still for long periods of time when I have all my friends around me, and I will easily get distracted. 

I recommend that once you have found where and when you can best revise, for me it is at home for around 4/5 hours during the day time (around 12pm-5pm) in a quiet environment, you stick to a schedule. Of course if you are able to work well at school, you're going to have a lot more free time outside of school. I like to revise most on the days of the weekend during school weeks, and in the holidays just spend pretty much every day revising - as I have done this Easter. I'm dreading going back to school because I feel a lot more productive at home! 

Ps. This is in no means saying, don't listen in school its useless, its me saying find out where you are most comfortable revising and make sure you take that opportunity to revise in that time...everyone is different! 

4) Wear something you feel 'motivated' in to revise - I find that wearing different outfits can really determine how motivated and focused you are on something. I personally like to wear something similar to fitness clothing as its still really comfy, but won't make me feel sleepy or sluggish (which is what for me, wearing pyjamas would do!). I find this really helps, if you feel good then you're more likely to be more productive.

5) Drink water !!!!! - This is a tip which I would probably just recommend for life, I don't think I even drink 8 cups a day but it really does help to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. I tend to get stuck in the rut of drinking endless cups of tea but I think having a water cup with you at all times is one of the best methods to keep yourself feeling great while studying. 

In my opinion, fitness is the easiest thing to motivate yourself for but it's actually doing it that is the hard bit. I struggle with the healthy eating side of things, but I have been exercising frequently for around 2-3 weeks now, including going for a half an hour run every day and a work out every other day. Here are my tips for fitness and healthy lifestyle motivation...

1) Let others help! - When it comes to having a healthy diet, I am the worst! I love carbs, so I find it really difficult to cut down on them. However I actually have cut down to about half the intake of carbs I used to eat regularly, especially in bread (a weakness). I think it really helps to 'diet' (a healthy diet) with some one, me and my mum both started to eat more healthy together and it made it a lot easier as all the dinners she cooked were a lot more healthy, and she didn't buy half as many foods with carbs in! I've also tried to stop snacking too, so having my meals at the right times of the day - this works a lot better when I am at school and in a regular routine but I'm doing ok so far! Chips are my weakness, and I have SERIOUSLY cut down there - which I never thought I would do. I also think having people close to you know about your health kick helps, whenever I'm having a moment of weakness my boyfriend will say and then I won't be eating the bad stuff! 

2) Keep hydrated - Like I said in my studying tips, keeping hydrated is really important - it does so much good for your skin too! I also like to take multivitamins (you can get these in somewhere like Boots, Superdrug or your local supermarket) because they also help with my skin and give me the vitamins I need from certain foods I don't like (e.g. fish!).

3) Try to stick to a routine - Sticking to a fitness routine is really important because it motivates you a lot more. Try having a checklist on your bedroom wall to tick off every day when you have worked out, its like having a different goal every day. Also, if you don't go to the gym (like me - I have gym membership but I've never used it) then follow a guide such as the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide or I love to use the videos by Xhit Daily on Youtube.  I love that both have social media accounts to follow too, especially Kayla Itsines who posts transformation stories daily and there really are some amazing ones!

4) Wear something different - Like I said with getting new stationary for studying, the same applies here. New gym wear is the best for motivating you do work out, I know I did a lot more when I got my Nike Roshe Run trainers. Missguided and Boohoo both do some really affordable sets so click on their names to check out their range because they're all really cool designs which you probably wouldn't find in your average sports wear shop. 

So there you have it, my tips for both studying and trying to maintain an active lifestyle! What are your tips when it comes to staying motivated? 
I hope all your studies are going well! 

Katherine x