Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Darker Subject

My recent posts have been mainly centered around motivation and inspiration. As I stated before, I have been looking into the how and why of motivation, etc. Something that occurred to me while doing this is that it might be prudent to take a look at what keeps us from truly achieving or getting what we want from life. It made me think a little more about my own upbringing and made me realize what beliefs I had that were held over from childhood. What have we "learned" that makes us the way we are? And how do these lessons impact us?

What I have come to realize is that in my upbringing I was "taught" not to trust anyone. And that has caused me to not make connections with other people. I think this has been a contributing factor with some of the unhappiness in my life.

Part of this realization, however, came from visiting and reviewing other blogs. I noticed that what set mine apart was almost a total lack of personal depth. I mean--who am I, right? I know I wanted to be anonymous, but not so much as to alienate people from reading this blog or maybe connecting with me in some way. Or maybe that was my (unconscious) way of continuing to keep people at arm's length.

Suffice it to say that all of this talk about inspiration and motivation has (finally) caused me to dig a little deeper into something I had never fully realized before. I am still trying to find my voice here, so I hope everyone can forgive the see-saw back and forth. But I guess in order to find my voice, I will need to start from the beginning--my beginning.

I guess, in conclusion, what I have come to realize is that I have unveiled my first goal--to make myself more accessible to people. And I guess right here is a good place to start. In the spirit of my new-found self-realization I will be posting some background about, well, me.  It will be my first step into opening myself up and allowing others to know about me. My hope is that some of you will help guide me, show me the way and give me some pointers of where I can improve.

Let's Talk Motivation!

I am still fighting my cold and still not feeling so good. Even so, I have decided I really need to develop a brighter outlook on life. I don't think of myself as a necessarily negative person (although I readily admit I have my moments!!), but I also know that my frustration with certain elements of my life (ie: work) are taking its toll.

So during my recovery (read: laying on the sofa with the comfy blanket, cup of tea and my laptop) I have been researching tips on motivation and inspiration. There is so much information out there, too--from Anthony Robbins to "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. There is certainly no shortage of information out there, to say the least.

Ok, so I will admit that I have read "The Secret" (ok, to even further confess, I own a copy) and I have listened to Anthony Robbins. There is no doubt that either can leave one feeling inspired, motivated. My problem (and I suspect many other people experience this, too) is how do you stay motivated?

From what I have gleaned so far in my "research" here are a few tips that are supposed to help one to stay motivated:
  • Be specific in your goal. "I want to lose ten pounds and have toned arms and thighs" is a lot better than "I want to lose weight" or " I want to get into shape"
  • Know the answer to: Why? Why do you want to accomplish your goal? To fit into your "skinny" jeans again? To reduce your risk of heart disease? Being able to remember "Why" you are doing something will help you push the plate away or get through that extra set of sit-ups. Several authors  have suggested making a list of reasons to keep you going, which I think it a great idea!
  • Celebrate! Reward yourself frequently for making progress, not just for the big milestones. Just make sure your rewards aren't counter-productive (indulging in a hot fudge sundae is not the best reward for the 45 minute work-out you just had). Studies suggest that if you make the process less miserable and more fun, the more likely you are to stick to it...and succeed.
  • Make it fun! This sounds a little like the last suggestion, but I think it bears repeating. Very few people have the resolve to stick to something that is awful and sucks (and those people wouldn't need a list like this anyway!) Studies overwhelmingly suggest that the more fun you make something, the more likely you are to succeed. So make a list of ways exercise can be fun (work-out with a friend? Maybe hike in a gorgeous park instead of trudging along on the boring treadmill? Have a pot-luck at work featuring lo-cal recipes?)
I know that my suggestions have examples that are geared toward weight-loss or exercise, but really these principles can be applied to any goal one wishes to accomplish.

Anyway, I figured I would share some of my insight here. I am sure this is nothing new to most people, but I felt compelled to share it anyway. It is a good lead-in to my next poll anyway! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Perfect Sick Day

This really wasn't what I had in mind for a post today but since I am sick, it seemed appropriate...

So, I have come down with a cold. And of course, I had to work today. Now, I am not a fan of my job anyway, so imagine how difficult it was not to call in sick. I woke up before my alarm due to the fact I could not breathe, so my inner debate started at that point and ended with me sitting in my car, key in the ignition, to head to work. I spent a great deal of time debating about whether I should suffer through the day at work or stay home with my biggest blanket and a cup of tea. Against my better judgement, work won out.

As my drive brought me closer to work, I began to lament my decision. What was I thinking?? I started to think of all of the things I could be doing, instead of going to a job I hate anyway--curling up on the sofa with my big, comfy blanket, sipping a good herbal tea and watching some good movies. The call of my soft pajamas and fluffy pillow were still beckoning me even as I pulled into my parking space at work. Too late...

Sitting at my desk feeling miserable, I started to mentally put together my idea of the perfect sick day: I would sleep in until noon (after all, rest is good for recovery). After a long, warm shower I would migrate to the living room sofa with pillow and blanket in hand (in my softest, fluffiest pajamas, of course). I would light a few candles (just because) and the rest of my day would be spent curled up as warm and toasty as could be (I hate being cold when I am sick), watching some good Lifetime movies--you know, the ones that are based on real-life stories--and reading a good book. In between the movie-watching and the book reading I would have to catch a few catnaps (remember the recovery?), have some good homemade soup and drink hot herbal tea. My day would end by dragging my sorry sick butt back to where I started--bed. Sounds simple, but heavenly...especially right now.

For me, being sick is about the only time it is totally acceptable to sit around in your pjs all day and do absolutely nothing. I mean, no one would ever begrudge a sick person his/her recovery time, right? Yes, there are "lazy days", but those don't ever seem to be the same since there always seems to be that small, nagging voice that tells us we really should do something. Even when we try to tell ourselves that we deserve a lazy, care-free day that guilt kicks in and manages to mess it up just a little. As pathetic as it sounds, I actually don't mind being sick sometimes, just for this reason!

Now if you will excuse me, my pajamas, pillow and blanket are calling me....

Does anyone else have a perfect sick day? If so, I would love to hear what it is!

Please post a comment describing your perfect sick day.

(Does anyone else think about this stuff or is it just me??)

Thank You!

I just wanted to take a moment to say "Thank you" to those who took the time to visit my blog and a special thanks for those who left a comment! Words cannot express the excitement and gratitude I felt when I logged in and saw that you stopped by!

Your kind words and encouragement mean the world, especially during this period in my life. I look forward to getting to know each other more and sharing more stories.

I guess someone is listening after all ;)

Thank you!

P.S. I am trying to send messages to those who have commented here, but I am having some technical difficulties and trying to work them out. Please be patient--I am not ignoring you! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Poll: Who inspires you?

Please take a moment to take my very first poll. My hope is that everyone will answer the question and leave a short (or long if you wish!) comment here about who it is (names do not have to be shared) and why. I am anxiously awaiting your replies!