Five Ways to Keep Self-Motivated

These five simple tools (most of the time) give me the power and motivation that I need to move forward and be focused during my business journey. But unfortunately, we do not feel this power and self-motivation every day in the same way. If you are anything like me and have been working as a self-employed consultant and even running your own small business, you know that it can be lonely and motivation is hard to find.

Putting my Passion and Purpose onto Paper

 I know why I started doing something new or why I made big decisions for my future, including career change plans, or setting up our own small business. However, I kept forgetting to document the purpose as it is so clear in my head but not so easy to transcribe.  

I started to think about it whilst reading the first chapter of Do What You Love, Love What You Do. There was a simple exercise where you had to sit and ask yourself a series of questions that made you think and remember all the steps, thoughts, and promises about your fundamental purpose and passion in life. Then you needed to write them all down.

 Now, I often review that exercise and the picture I painted of my future from my purpose and passion plays a huge role in getting myself out of bed on difficult days.


Developing a Self-Care Plan

I became familiar with having a self-care plan during my work with human rights defenders and activists, as I created a personal program as part of a mindful lifestyle.

Wednesday was always a special day of the week since the beginning of my flatbread journey, even before Bake2Explore came to life, and it was still an idea. I started to bake for the first time in my whole life on Wednesdays after work a few weeks before the first London lockdown back in 2020. And then, I started to use Wednesday mornings for long walks, mainly for reflecting on new creative thoughts and strategies.

Giving this space to myself helps a lot in feeling more energised, creative, and reconnected to what I am doing.


List of Inspirational Treats

Making this inspirational treat list turned into a fun hobby, wherever I go to exhibitions, and art galleries, showrooms of artworks of independent artists, if any artwork catches my eyes and inspires me in one way or another, I'll make a note of the name of the artist and that feeling/inspiration.

Then at the earliest possible time, I start to look for the personal story of the maker, and if it resonates with me, it will be immediately added to my list. The artworks and items in the list will be used when it is time to celebrate a milestone (even a small one) and/or reward myself with something meaningful with a story.

 Earlier in December, I was about to leave the Tate Modern building, where in one of the small museum shops, I saw Dream, one of the neon light works of Chila Kumari Burman. Looking at that colourful invitation to dream and never give up dreaming, I thought this was all I needed.


It was summer last year that I did my founder SWOT analysis and circulated it among my parents and a few close friends to have their thoughts to see how they perceived me. None of them got back to me with a note or a text message. Instead, I got all their tremendous input and observations, which made me cry a few times via a voice message or during a call/chat. So, I started to collect notes from their comments about me and the details on my attitude and approach in life that they picked up, which I had never noticed in myself.

I also developed this habit of keeping a diary from my teenage time. I stopped writing from the age of 24 and then started writing again and journaling around 2016-2017 after my therapy sessions. So now I have a separate 'an amateur diary of a flatbread maker' from my daily life journal. 

Putting my fears into terms and writing them all down alongside the lessons learnt, heart-warming comments and feedback from members of my flatbread community like yourself or a note from a friend who spent time to share some thoughts and suggestions with me are powerful reminders of my social assets and power.


Collecting quotes and notes

I also use my orange CHAT board in my kitchen (aka head office) to take notes from the inspirational podcasts that I listen to every week. Collecting notes and quotes and making them visible helped me when my energy level was relatively low. The impact of those words might be short-term but irreplaceable. When I was doing my master's degree as a mature student, both working and studying, this quote may sound quite cliche but saved me so many times "Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone". I remember that I borrowed that phrase from one of my friend's Facebook cover photos of all places.

We all have unique ways of getting and keeping motivated, but please do not stop sharing yours, be the inspiration and get inspired.


Enjoy it!


Leila x



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