I've been feeling stuck lately...really stuck...like quick sand around my ankles stuck. Will I make it out of this stickiest of feelings? The cynic in me says maybe not, but the storyteller in me says cue the plot twist.
So, let's cue the plot twist, shall we?
We are all the narrators of our own life. Every page turns, characters evolve and our life story continues on. Getting my "make it happen" attitude back on track boils down to 5 key steps that help to keep me motivated.
Step 1: Pay Attention
Acknowledge your feelings. They exist and they are fluid; they come and go. Sometimes they stay longer than we would like, or don't stay long enough. Channeling those feelings can act as motivators and inspiration for your next project, or simply keep you moving in a productive direction.
If we pay close enough attention, we start to see inspiration all around us. For me, as a writer, paying attention to some of the funny comments and questions my kids ask is what led me to developing my children's book series: Tate's Tales.
Step 2: Implement a Routine
The idea of having a routine may seem daunting to some, but it's meant to work for you not against you. I delineate between 2 types of routines that help to keep me on track: (1) self-care routine and (2) practical routine.
Self-care can feel like a loaded term, I get it. I don't have time to carve out a self-care routine, right?! The trick is to keep it simple and consistent. For me, I make sure that I devote 30 minutes everyday to writing in my gratitude journal, sipping on a hot coffee (uninterrupted), and reading positive affirmations or inspirational quotes. Mornings work best for me, as I've set the expectation with my kids that "mommy needs some quiet time to wake up her mind and body." They watch Paw Patrol, I zen out. It's a win-win situation! (I also do simple 5-minute breathing meditation on days that have been extra difficult.)
A practical routine includes all the things that help to keep my day running smoothly. Things like waking up at the same time, having a to-do list for the day, and sticking to a similar schedule/pattern every week. For example, I assign 1 day a week to writing/blogging and I stick to an exercise routine that works within my schedule. Following a practical routine helps to make my week predictable and more manageable. Side note: I recently read that making your bed after you wake up helps to reduce morning anxiety!
Step 3: Maintain a Calendar
We all have a to-do list on any given day, but organizing a personal calendar is key to staying motivated. Every morning I open my virtual calendar and see what's plotted ahead. It helps me to visualize my day, organize my time, as well as stick to key deliverable dates. Plotting it out makes it feel real, and checking it off my list feels even better!
If you're a creative and visualize person, invest in a cute day planner or desk/wall calendar. Get those sharpies, stickers and highlighters out and go crazy!
Step 4: Set Intentions
Close your eyes and picture the ideal day unfolding around you. Feels good, right? You’ve just activated and visualized an intention. Starting our day, week or month with intentions can help guide us in a powerful way.
I like to start each week with a set of intentions. The smallest idea or spark of motivation can set off a list of intentions for the week. Writing them down is key, and seeing them on paper empowers me to move forward throughout the week. It‘s a simple way to practice manifestation.
Step 5: Try a Change of Scenery
You know the feeling of needing to step away from your computer or needing your own “time-out” from parenting? A change of scenery can really help to re-charge our battery and bring our motivation back on track.
These days, a change of scenery isn’t that easy as we continue to follow safety guidelines. Keep it simple. Sometimes all it takes is going outside to breathe in the fresh air. Go for a walk, take a drive or mentally step away from your thoughts.
...breathe in the good, exhale the bad....
We all enjoy a good plot twist, so how will your story continue to unfold?
Happy thoughts, happy reading!
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