It’s Spring!

It’s Spring!

Today is the first day of spring! At the start of every season, I am excited to do all the things associated with that time of year. Spring is all about new growth, new beginnings, and fresh air.

My favorite thing about spring is hearing the birds chirp in the morning. I miss this sound and when I hear them for the first time, I get excited. This year, I had an extra surprise! A dove laid an egg in my planter. I am not sure why these birds picked my balcony because my dog sits out there all the time. However, I now get to watch this special event at close range.

Spring cleaning is the first thing that pops in my head when I think of this season. Since I love to clean and organize, I get excited to dive into that task. I love the feeling that everything is back in place and when I open a drawer it is neatly organized. However, you do not have to spring clean just because it is spring. Also, you do not have to do it all at once. I usually break it up over a week or two and just start with one room at a time and do a little each day until it is done. I also decide how I will reward myself, so I am motivated to finish.

That is the literal interpretation of “spring cleaning.” How about a different way of looking at this concept?

Our calendars, our lives, also become cluttered and dirty. This might be a good time to clean out all our commitments and get back to what is important to us. It may be time to start a new membership at the gym or decide to leave that book club or maybe join one. Basically, spring cleaning can be a nice time to reevaluate your time and clean up your calendar.

Spring is also a good time to set one new goal. Just one. Pick something small and doable. Maybe you want to start a new journal or run a certain distance. Achieve it and you will feel great!

Here is a list of 30 ideas to do in spring.

  1. Plan or design a garden.
  2. Plant seedlings.
  3. Put out bird feeders.
  4. Clean out your closet.
  5. Pack up winter clothes.
  6. Get your bike ready.
  7. Go for a bike ride.
  8. Have a tea party.
  9. Eat dinner outside.
  10. Fly a kite.
  11. Walk in the rain.
  12. Find a four-leaf clover.
  13. Notice the budding trees.
  14. Sleep with your window open.
  15. Plant flowers.
  16. Go for a hike.
  17. Spring clean your home.
  18. Put flowers on your table.
  19. Try a new recipe.
  20. Plant herbs.
  21. Declutter.
  22. Start a new book.
  23. Walk to the market.
  24. Clean your patio, balcony, or outdoor space.
  25. Have breakfast on your patio.
  26. Paint a room.
  27. Buy fresh pillows.
  28. Buy a hammock.
  29. Visit an art gallery.
  30. Write in your journal.

These last two ideas aren’t really spring related but I just needed a couple more to hit thirty! But you get the idea. Enjoy this season. Add to the list and share any other ideas you have for things to do in the spring!

 

Featured photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash.

How to Motivate Yourself

How to Motivate Yourself

I recently returned from a relaxing vacation. It was so nice to wake up each day and have someone else do the cooking, cleaning, and planning for the day. That’s why it is called a vacation. We get to rest from our daily responsibilities and just enjoy someone else taking care of us.

For the past week, I have had a hard time motivating myself to get back into my work routine. I feel like my feet are dragging behind me and my heart is just not in it. (I am also out of my non-dairy creamer for my coffee!)

So, I had to ask myself, “Why am I not motivated?” I love what I do. I am excited about the products I am working on right now. Many doors are open so what is wrong with me?

This took me to my desk where I pulled out my paper and marker. (I love writing with color!) I wrote at the top, “What Motivates Me?” And of course, here comes the list of things that motive me to get up in the morning and approach the day with excitement.

  • Give yourself a deadline. The week before my trip was a super productive week. I had a limited amount of time to get an enormous to-do list finished. There was no room for excuses. I just had to get it done before leaving on my trip. So, guess what?! I just did it. I couldn’t talk myself into procrastinating or telling myself I didn’t feel like doing something. I just had to get it done and so I did. The motivating factor here is that I had a deadline that could not be moved.
  • Eat your frog. This phrase comes from the book called, Eat That Frog, written by Brian Tracy. Here is a link to a blog post explaining the concept in more detail: Blog: Eat Your Frog  Basically, this means to do the thing that you really don’t want to do, first. Get it over with! Do it first so the rest of your day will be more productive.
  • Make a plan. When I am overwhelmed with what I need to get done, I make a plan or a list (you know by now that I LOVE a list!) Taking all the to-do’s out of my head and putting them onto paper helps me to move through the tasks with a clear mind. I often use this weekly planning sheet that you can print from my freebies section: Weekly Planning Sheet After one week, I am back on track!
  • Stop overthinking. When I am unmotivated, there are usually emotions involved. I start thinking too much and talking myself into or out of doing what I need to do. Fear sets in. Blah, blah, blah. Just yesterday I was journaling about going to the gym, that I hadn’t been in a few weeks, that I really needed to get back in my routine, etc. As I was complaining about going to the gym, I just got up and went. It felt so good to just do it and stop thinking about it.
  • Reward the victories. It is important that we associate our victories with a positive response. Sometimes we get the response from external sources such as getting positive reviews for a creative work or receiving an award for something. Other times our victories go unnoticed, so we need to reward ourselves. We may step on the scale and finally see the number we want, or we finished that project from last year around the house. Before beginning a task that you are dreading, decide up front how you will reward yourself for your accomplishment.
  • Search out the why. An important part of goal setting is knowing “why” you want to reach this goal. The “why” is what keeps us striving for this goal even when it feels difficult. Write it out and keep this visible. It will remind you and motivate you to keep going.
  • How will you feel when “it” is done? When I do not feel like going to the gym, (ie: it is cold and rainy outside), I remind myself of how I feel when I am leaving the gym. I feel strong and proud of myself. When you are facing a task or project and you just don’t have the juice to get started, ask yourself, “How will I feel when it is done?”
  • Take your first step. A Harvard psychologist, Jerome Bruner, said, “You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feel yourself into action.” So often, people wait to begin something until they “feel” like doing it. I was one of those people. I thought my emotions needed to line up for me to be ready. I was wrong. Now, I take a baby step and suddenly, my feelings rise to the challenge!

Motivation is a tricky thing! It is all about feelings. When we take our feelings out of the equation and just begin, we allow ourselves the space to accomplish great things. Nike had it right! “Just do it!!”

I hope you are motivated or at least found one tip to help you move forward. If you have found something to add to this list, please, please, please share it with us!

Featured photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash.

Me, Myself Time

Me, Myself Time

When my daughter was little, she loved a cartoon with a little girl named Frances. When Frances was upset about things not going her way, she would hide under the dining room table and tell her mother she needed some “me, myself time.” Now, my daughter and I use this same phrase when we need a little time to recuperate or a little bit of pampering time.

How does a person know when it is time for a little self-care or me, myself time? It is important to check-in with ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to know when we need a little TLC.

Mentally (mind): Do you feel excited about your career and are you motivated to get up in the morning? Or are you needing a change in your life?

Physically (body): Have you been eating and sleeping well? Or are you tired, sluggish, and drained?

Emotionally(soul): How are you feeling? Happy? Excited? Or are you sad, depressed, or feeling discouraged?

Sometimes we are doing alright in all these areas, but we just haven’t done anything fun in a while. We do not need an excuse or a reason to have a little me, myself time and it is important to take care of us first so we can be our best for those around us.

One way to keep being our best selves is to regularly do the things that keep us in this healthy state. Make a list of what keeps you at your best. Here are a few ideas:

Mentally:

  • Keep your mind stimulated by learning new things. Sign up for a class on a topic that interests you. There are so many online options that you do not even have to leave your home.
  • Set a goal to read a specific number of books each year or month. Choose a variety of fiction and nonfiction.
  • Watching television isn’t always bad for you. There are so many documentaries and educational shows as well as entertaining ones.
  • Challenge yourself with a new skill or creative outlet.

Physically:

  • Eating well helps us to feel well. Choose healthy food options over sugar and processed foods. Maybe sign up for a cooking class.
  • Join a gym or just start walking. Thirty minutes a day of physical activity will also help us mentally.
  • Get some vitamin D while enjoying the sun. Just fifteen minutes a day without sunscreen will give us the benefits of natural vitamin D.
  • Take a nap. It is important to get enough sleep and rest to be at our best.

Emotionally:

  • Meditating is a great way to clear our minds from all the clutter. With our heads clear, we have the room to think better and be present.
  • Friendships are good for the soul. Regularly nourish the relationships in your life. They are what make life worth living.
  • Journal for a few minutes in the morning and evening. You will discover new things about yourself.
  • Enjoy some quiet each day. Take a bubble bath or sit with a cup of tea. Listen to the sounds around you.

In order to live a balanced and stable life, we must take care of ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. We are each responsible for our own well-being. Check in with yourself regularly, ask yourself how you are doing, and know that you are worth having a little “me, myself time.”

Featured photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash.