Inspiration

The 4 Best Ways to Keep Inspired

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Late January is a time when it’s easy to lose inspiration. Some people may have already scaled back the goals that they've set for the year.  

A new entrepreneur might be already changing targets, pushing back dates and skipping the daily work that his or her resolutions required.

It’s not that he or she can’t do the things that are necessary. What happens is that people sometimes lose motivation and feel physically or psychologically unable to do the things they need to do to keep working toward their goals .

Whether you're trying to hit your first million in sales, launch a new product or run a marathon, the same formula for success applies: Apply hard work consistently over a long period of time. The difficulty lies in sustaining motivation.

Certain practices and habits can help keep you inspired throughout the year to continue working toward your goals.

Make the following practices a continuous part of your year in order to keep inspired and mentally fit to work toward your goals, no matter what they are.

Related: The 10 Biggest Motivation Killers and How to Fix Them (Infographic)

1. Move.

Exercise not only pumps up your muscles, it pumps up your brain. A University of British Columbia study published last year found that aerobic exercise by elderly women boosted the size of thei hippocampus.

In addition, according to the Harvard Health Blog, exercise stimulates the release of chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells and the development of new blood vessels.

Exercise also releases endorphins, which can prevent depression and increases energy levels.

Health and exercise goals are common New Year’s resolutions. But it seems clear that people should not view exercise as simply a means toward fitting into their pants but also as an essential part of keeping their mind healthy and life balanced. Even if your goals don’t have anything to do with exercise, make physical movement a priority to stay positive and energetic.

2. Travel.

That great feeling evoked from looking outside the plane window or exiting a train in a new city? It seems that travel can help people experience peak emotional health. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2013 showed that individuals who traveled to a different country experienced greater self-confidence, extraversion, openmindedness and conscientiousness.

The efficiency of travel is easy to criticize: Physically going places requires expense, time and precious hours away from Wi-Fi. Seeing different places, however keeps a person fresh and invigorated. Make traveling to new places and seeing new things an important part of your year to keep yourself inspired.

Related: How Reading Books Reduces Stress and Makes You Smarter at the Same Time

3. Read.

Reading a biography or business book is a great means to gain inspiration and think of new ideas. But the benefits of reading are more than mental: It turns out they're also physical. A study published in 2013 by Emory University’s Center for Neuropolicy showed that reading changes the brain not only while someone is engaged in the activity, but afterward. The study demonstrated “heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language” that persisted long after the person stopped reading.

It’s easy to let consuming status updates and BuzzFeed posts supplant reading an actual book. But if you don’t take the time to read, you might be missing out on incredible benefits. Make reading part of your regular routine to keep yoursef inspired both mentally and physically.

4. Meet.

With the use of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, people are more “connected” than ever to their friends. But is being “connected” the same thing as experiencing a true sense of connection?

(Indeed, social media use is being studied for possible links to increasing states of anxiety.)

These days many may find it easy to substitute online interaction with real-life meetings. After all surfing Facebook is a lot easier than arranging to take time out of two or more people’s busy schedules. But spending time with people you care about isn’t time lost. It's time gained. You gain perspective, happiness and new ideas -- all states of mind that are essential for inspiration. Make time in your schedule for friends and family. It’s a sure way to stay inspired.

Whatever your goals are this year, take steps to achieve them every day. Keeping a consistant state of energy, happiness and motivation is the best way to ensure that you'll be up to that task.

Related: Don't Underestimate the Casual Meeting