Doesn't matter if you own your own business, are a stay at home mom (hardest job in the world) or even work at a job that requires you to "self-motivate." These are a few of the "keys" I have used over the years to help me.
I own my own business...and that may sound ideal to many. But staying "self-motivated" and managing your own time and effort can be exhausting and frustrating...to say the least!
One of my children just embarked on a new "life adventure." So I jotted down a few pieces of advise I HOPE will help him because I know how hard it is to stay motivated. Some days it just seems easier to sit around in my pajamas, drinking coffee and watching Good Morning America.
Sometimes that "desire" is the result of fear, frustration, discouragement... negative feelings that are overwhelming and paralyzing. Those negative emotions have no place in our minds...regardless of your "lot in life"...allowing the "negative" to creep into your mind and soul is NEVER a good thing.
So here is the email I sent him...advice I hope others can benefit from....whether you are starting a new venture or are already living it....truth is, it is never too late to "make a change."
So you are going to embark on your next “life journey.” Let me share a few tidbits I have gleaned in my years of “self-employed” experience. Haven’t perfected it all…and I certainly have my “bad” days. But seriously, if you will do these things, it will help you a great deal.
Think positive thoughts when you wake up, think them when you go to bed, think them all day. Negative wears you down…mentally and physically…if things aren’t going great and you find yourself “thinking negative” shut it down immediately and find SOMETHING positive to think about.
The best way to be positive is to find things to be grateful for…anything! Thank you Lord for…..doesn’t matter…there is always SOMETHING to be grateful for! Some days all I can find to be grateful for is enough toothpaste to get me through the day....but you know what, there are people in this world who don't have toothpaste...be grateful!
MAKE YOUR BED EVERY DAY.
Seriously, every single day. Okay, you can pee first, but then go right back and make your bed. Just do it. Trust me, it makes a difference!
GET UP EARLY EVERY DAY!
Every day…not just Monday through Friday, but every day of the week. Find a “morning routine” that allows you to start your day with a positive attitude…prayer, meditation, exercise, reading the paper (although a lot of that is negative these days so I avoid them!)…whatever works for you!
KEEP A “TO DO” LIST AT ALL TIMES
I keep a list of the things I need to do the next day. EVERYTHING! Every errand, every call, every email I need to send. I mark off the things I accomplished that day and carry what I didn’t to the next day.
Sometimes it might seem frustrating that you didn't get it ALL done.
Don’t get discouraged or upset if something didn’t get done…just put it on the list for tomorrow!
Calendars are for dentist, hair appointments, kid's activities…a list you can throw away every day is the way to go.
I keep yellow note pads all over the place so when I think of something I can immediately write it down…nothing is more stressful than to forget something. I keep a grocery list, I keep a "Lowe's" list, I keep a "need to clean/repair" list.
Once it is written down, it is OUT OF MIND…in other words, I don't have to worry about forgetting it. I won’t forget I need to do it because it is on my list!
I may have 2-3 lists in the house or the car, but once a day I combine them and go over my “things to do tomorrow” so I know what I need to do.
In the morning I don't even consult my "to do" list until after I have gone through my morning routine...make bed, drink coffee, get dressed...be grateful, think positive. After my mind and body are right, THEN I look at my list and start working the list.
KEEP YOUR WORK OUT OF THE BEDROOM
I know that is hard to do when you live in a small apartment, but find a place that can be your “work space” out of the bedroom. I say that because you really need a “haven.” A place you can go to shut off and shut down…and that should be your bedroom…don’t fold clothes, don’t write business emails, don’t return business calls in your bedroom!!!! Need privacy? Go sit in the bathroom…lol!
MAKE A CONTACT/INFO JOURNAL
I wish I had done this years ago…a journal of everything I have repaired and replaced in each apartment…but I didn’t and now I can’t remember when I bought that stove or replaced the bathroom floor!
So get one of those composition notebooks and just keep notes…just write it all down in the “journal.” Keep it simple…just names, contact info, who you talked to, what you talked about, etc.
You never know when you will need the name and phone number of that guy you talked to three years ago…
SHUT OFF ELECTRONICS
Set a specific time to turn off or put down ALL electronics…phone, iPad, computer…even the tv…whether it is 8-9-10 o’clock…just put it down. And turn off the email and text notification on your phone! (This is especially important for kids!)
Keep a real book (preferably something positive and informative) by the bed and READ. Not business stuff…just for shits and giggles. (My kids had a strict bedtime...no electronics, no overhead lights, no tv...even if they weren't tired, they had to be in their beds with a book...they have all become avid readers as adults)
And don’t start your day on the computer or your phone…prayer, meditation, exercise…whatever.
Brian literally starts his day off drinking coffee and staring into space…no tv, no newspaper, just him and his coffee.
KNOW YOUR “BODY RHYTHMS” AND DEVELOP A DAILY ROUTINE!
I know my mind and body are sharpest in the morning…so I make sure I do the stuff that requires my mind and body to cooperate before 1 p.m….after that, I am toast! So I take a “down time” in the afternoon…return mundane calls, read articles I want to read, etc. Then I kick it back into gear in the evening…I think that comes from years of having kids come home from school, dinner time, evening activities, etc. But I know this about myself, so I have developed a daily routine that takes advantage of my “body rhythms.” I know not to do important book work mid afternoon…my brain is mush!
EAT, DRINK WATER, SLEEP.
Eating right, drinking LOTS of water and getting enough sleep is important. I have tried telling you guys nothing good happens after 10…so why stay up late. Go to bed…get the sleep you need, then get up in the morning WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE!
There will be days when you will feel discouraged, frustrated, afraid, defeated, etc. All I can tell you is YOUR ATTITUDE WILL DETERMINE THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE (and most definitely your day!). Shit attitude, shit happens. And honestly, even with a “good attitude” shit happens…but you just lift up your chin, put a smile on your face and keep on moving in THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!! (EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO FAKE IT!!!!)
Keep a positive attitude…sometimes the only thing I can be thankful for is the pretty blue sky or a pretty flower…everything else is just CRAAAAP! But dwelling in the negative does nothing but bring your mind and body down.
There will be days when you wake up and think “life sucks…I don’t even want to venture out into the world today.” GO!!! GET UP, MAKE YOUR BED AND GO!!!! Pick up your list and start making a plan. You never know what day will be THE day. Wasn’t yesterday, maybe today!
Before you know it you will look back and see that 10 years has passed…trust me, you want to look back and know that even though things didn’t always go JUST RIGHT, you were happy.
And THAT…happiness…is all dependent on whether you GET UP, MAKE YOUR BED AND GO INTO THE WORLD WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
So today sucked, last year sucked, the last decade sucked…well, its all up to you as to whether the NEXT decade goes any better.
Love you! ;)
One more piece of advice I forgot to mention (but I am sure he will read it here ;)
Don't wish your life away..."I wish it was payday, I wish the baby would sleep through the night, I can't wait for Christmas/my vacation/that raise!!!"
STOP WISHING YOUR LIFE AWAY!
Live in the day...enjoy THIS day! Payday will come, your vacation will come, the baby will start sleeping through the night, you will get caught up on those bills...it WILL happen but all your wishing and wanting and fretting and worrying isn't going to make time go faster. It will just make today miserable.
And trust me, there will be a time in your life when you will wish you could make time stand still.
Live today. Just today. Plan for tomorrow but don't wish this day away. We only get one life and only so many days to live it.
What if this was your last full day on this earth...how sad if you didn't cherish every minute of it!