Finding Motivation

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? I had an action-packed three-day weekend, which included a lovely brunch, wine tasting to celebrate a good friend’s engagement, running a 10K, prepping Will’s concrete patio for paint and helping my brother move.

That said, I was struggling at the beginning of last week after daylight savings time kicked in. It was hard to find motivation to get things done once I got home after work. The whole “going home in the pitch black dark” routine was taking the wind out of my sails.


Last week, much to my surprise, there was a noticeable decline of . I realized daylight savings might be affecting other people too (or maybe it was the election aftermath!?). At any rate, I reflected on how I find motivation when it feels like it is escaping me. Here are a few things that work for me:

  1. Keep good company. If you have positive friends who are motivated to get things done, this will help you find motivation in return. It’s like the theory that you are a combination of the five people you are with the most. For me, motivation seems to be contagious. And of course, it is equally as important to be a motivator to your friends as it is to look to them for motivation.
  2. Schedule it! Calendars are my best friend when I want to get something done. Writing down an event or action item on my calendar makes me feel much more commited to it than if I just say it to myself. The best part about this method are the reminders I get, which keep my tasks front of mind so I cannot forget them and know how to build out the rest of my day.
  3. Make realistic priorities. Life can often feel like a never-ending to-do list, and I think it’s unrealistic to believe all, or even the majority of things on your list will get accomplished in a timely manner. Every couple weeks, I like to reflect on what I want to accomplish and what’s most important to me for the next month or so. Then, I put the appropriate action items and events on my calendar.

While these are the ways I have found motivation, I am sure they don’t work for everyone. If you are struggling to stay motivated or you feel like you are on a roller coaster, I’d try a few different things for a month and see what works. It’s also important to remember that it is 100% normal to feel unmotivated here and there. We are human afterall. ūüôā

Over time I have found that for me, I do better with long-term goals than with short-term goals. For example, when I knew I wanted to start running more, making a goal of running X times per week didnt work. Instead, I made a goal of XX miles per month and slowly increased that number until I was satisfied with how much I was running. This was good for me because it forced me to think ahead about when I could get my running in and also meant that a busy few days or crazy week would throw me off track.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
– Michael Jordan

I hope this sparked some ideas for you to find motivation. If you have had any similar experiences or have found totally different ways to find motivation, I’d love to hear about them.

Here’s to all of us staying motivated through the winter!

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The Secret to a Good Life

Last week was one of those weeks when it felt like EVERY little thing was going wrong. Maddie (my dog) got sick and I had to go to four different pharmacies to get her prescription filled. I was pulled over by a cop for a registration mix-up.  I lost my mail key. Work was difficult for a few reasons, and in the moment, it really felt like the universe was not on my side.

I generally try not to focus on the negative parts of my life, especially if I cannot change the circumstances. When it seems way too easy to focus on the negative things, I find it most helpful to refocus my attention to the positive things in my life and the things that matter most to me.

As I went on a walk yesterday afternoon, I thought about my difficult week and I tried refocusing. Then, as I took in the beautiful fall weather, I stumbled across a TedTalk by Robert Waldinger, “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.”

In the TedTalk, Waldinger shares how this decades-long study has found strong relationships are the foundation for a happy life. He talks about how loneliness¬†is correlated to poor health. Waldinger also shares that the relationships don’t have to be romantic. Quality friendships can be just as valuable as a romantic relationship.

It was fascinating, and made so much sense. I have found my relationships with friends and family are the most valuable thing. When I think about the big picture, I know my life would be so different and so lonely without their support and the smiles they put on my face. The important people in my life are a huge positive force, especially on a hard day or during a difficult week.

In fifty years, the details of my difficulties will not matter. What will matter is that my relationships with family and friends remain strong, if not stronger than they are today.

“The good life is built with good relationships.” – Robert Waldinger

Here’s to a happy week for everyone!

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