Posts tagged ‘motivation’

31 Days of Finishing – Day 31: Do the Scary Thing

Day 30 - Making certain phone calls is a scary thing for me. But when I do finish that call the relief is palbable and sometimes there is even a great result to making that call.

Day 31 – Making certain phone calls is a scary thing for me. But when I do finish that call the relief is palpable and sometimes there is even a great result to making that call. I always feel energized afterwards!

What “scary” things do you have on your secondary to-do list? I have several of them and they’ve been there for a l…o…n…g… time. Why? Because they are scary to even think about doing.

Sometimes I let fear make my decisions for me. And when that happens I don’t feel so good about myself. But today, I took charge of my fear. I told myself even if it is a bad outcome, I am going to tackle ‘THIS” to-do item today.

I made a phone call and then followed up with an email. HURRAY, me! I took action.

Moral of the story? The total time was less than 31 minutes. But the benefits to that call will be great. I feel proud of my action. This action reinforces the idea that I CAN do hard things. And I feel energized to tackle another hard thing today.

I did. I made two hard phone calls today! The 2nd one didn’t turn out so well. But I am proud I took care of it. The feeling of finished is much better (imho) than the feeling of dread.

And I am finished with this series. The feeling of finished is definitely awesome!

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • What scary things do you have on your list?
  • How do you feel when you don’t do the scary to-do’s? How do you feel when you do them?
  • Can you make traction on one of them today?
  • How’s your secondary to-do list coming along?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 3O: Tackle Paper Piles

Day 30 - What do your piles of paper look like? Mine are NOT organized like the one in this photo. And today I tackled the messy mounds at my home.

Day 30 – What do your piles of paper look like? Mine are NOT organized like the ones in this photo. But today I tackled the messy mounds at my home.

Paper! Stacks of paper everywhere. Where do all these piles of paper come from? Do you deal with this too?

Ugh! It is an unending battle. These piles certainly detract from the organized look. And looking at them reminds me of something I have to do. Double ugh!!

Today, I took my 31 minutes to sort.

Moral of the story? 31 minutes is more than enough time to sort these piles of mess into something doable. I put some to-do actions on one of the lists on my phone. I LIKE the look of tidy. And I feel energized.

Sometimes I use the resulting energy (of finishing something that’s been on the list for a long time) for practical good. Today I will use it for emotional good.

I think I will use this energy to read. Yep! No more tedious or messy mounds to master for today.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you have messy mounds or are you too tidy for that?
  • What is the secret to NOT having these take over the flat surfaces in the home?
  • What is the most surprising thing you’ve found in one of your piles?
  • What did you do with your 31 minutes of finishing today?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 29: Get Creative

Day 29 - Getting creative always improves my mood and gives me more energy. This in turn makes me more productive at work and home. How do you recharge?

Day 29 – Getting creative always improves my mood and gives me more energy. This in turn makes me more productive at work and home. How do you recharge?

What creative items do you have on your secondary to-do list? Why don’t you make it a priority to get them done?

I really enjoy creating. It (almost) always gives me a lift like I’ve just had an emotional massage. However like many of us, I let my busy life high-jack my emotional needs. I sacrifice creating on the altar of “getting things done” or “mis-managed prioritizes.”

Moral of the story? My emotional well-being & energy level suffer when I don’t do creative things. When I neglect the following my life becomes burdensome: puffy paint, writing utensils, music, mod podge, books, or my camera.

So today’s 31 minutes involved a book and mod podge. Colour me happy. (or maybe mod podge me happy!)

I get irritated with book covers. I always take them off. Then I lose them. Or the cover gets crinkled which irritates me even more.

Today I decided to mod podge the book cover onto the book. The book, Hind’s Feet on High Places is one I received from a friend, Ann, in 1980. I’ve read it many times, And each time I thin out my book collection, this book is never in jeopardy of going to the Goodwill.

In fact, I will put reading this book onto my to-do list since I am reading classics the rest of this year. I didn’t tell myself I couldn’t re-read one of them.

Ahhhhh! I love a good “emotional massage.” You?

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • When was the last time you had an “emotional massage”?
  • Does being creative help or frustrate you more?
  • What creative item could you do that will give you more energy to do something you HAVE to do?
  • How’s it going with your secondary to-do list?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 28: Do it for Charity

Day 28 - I celebrated my recent weight loss by cutting my long hair. I am donating it to Locks of Love.

Day 28 – I celebrated my recent weight loss by cutting my hair. I donated the two pony tails to Locks of Love.

What is the longest you’ve ever grown your hair? Did you purposefully grow it long?

Until now my hair was almost down to my waist (in the back). And I accidentally grew it out. I got behind on my haircuts.

And then 7 months ago I radically changed my diet and started eating better. As a result, my hair started growing much faster.

Note: I was diagnosed with diabetes.

It has been fun putting my hair up like I am a character from a Jane Eyre book. But it wasn’t fun dyeing all that hair. And I’ve heard that a lady after a certain age just shouldn’t have long hair. Plus I think I do look better in shorter hair.

So I decided I would cut it when I got down to a certain weight. I am there. Time to celebrate.

Moral of the story? Whenever possible expand the celebration. I did this by getting my haircut today and donating it to Locks of Love.

I even got a different style. I think I like it. If not, it will grow and/or I can get a style more to my liking.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you ever had a drastic haircut? What did you think afterwards?
  • Is there something you need/want to do from your to-do list that if you did it could benefit others?
  • What is the last thing you’ve done from your secondary to-do list?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 27: Help Someone Else

Day 27 - akldj aklsdhlkasd ajhd sjhf8e kejrhjekwrh

Day 27 – I helped my daughter with something from her to-do list – “Put photos into grandpa’s album.”  I realized that doing this one night of “help” sparked an interest in me to share my story.

“Mom, don’t you want to help me with Grandpa’s book? You can put these photos in.”

Now when your daughter who is doing so much better from a concussion asks you to help her with a project (the 1st she’s done in 4 weeks), it is hard to say, “No.”

My daughter is researching our family history. She started with my Dad’s side because there are more “knowns” about the immediate lineage. But she had me look up something about my mom’s side before putting photos into the scrapbook about my dad.

An hour later I sigh these words, “You know when I play Spider Solitaire, if they never let me win, I quit.” I am close to quitting now.”

But then the next search led to a gold mine. And now I have some information about my mom’s people. They were shoemakers and furniture builders. Many died way too young. I only got back to the 1880’s, but I feel closer to my mom (who passed away in 2001) knowing these few facts.

And I wish I knew their stories. Stories that would flesh out these few facts.

Moral of the story? Now I am hooked. I am hooked on finding out who the people are that came before me, and my mom, and my grandma, and great grandma. I want facts to go with the limited stories that I do know. I want to figure out my connection to these people.

And I realize that while helping my daughter, I am now keen to do something on my to-do list – “Write MY family history.” 

For many years I’ve thought it not too important to document my life because I am not that important. But in the scheme of things a furniture maker is not that “important” either. Perhaps this is true for “the world,” but it is not true for me. I want to know.

And someday my story will be important to others.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • While helping someone else with a to-do item, has it sparked a similar interest in you? If yes, please share.
  • Do you think it is important to share your story?
  • Are you interested in knowing about the lives of your ancestors?
  • How’s it going with crossing off things on your secondary to-do list? What motivates you to get things done?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 26: It’s Party Time!

Day 26 - Going to a food event motivates me to bake up something special.

Day 26 – Going to a food event motivates me to bake up something special. Lots of times I try a new recipe.

I’m going to a potluck today! And you know what that means? I am bringing something special. I don’t normally bake fancy foods, so this is my chance.

I am taking Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pocket Pies. I have made them before, but they are quick to make and tasty.

Moral of the story? Taking food to someone’s home or a potluck motivates me to try something new or something I haven’t made in a long time.

And lots of times I bake with someone. I get to have fun with a friend and have a delicious end product.  Win-Win!

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you have recipes on your someday to-do list? How do you get around to baking/making them? What was the last new recipe you made?
  • I haven’t crossed off TONS of things this month, but I am making progress. How’s your secondary to-do list coming along?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 25: Go on a Date

Day 25

Day 25 – Going to a work function motivated me to pay special attention to my looks. Since I thought I looked nice, I asked my daughter to take photos of me.

What motivates you to clean? For many, it is when company comes over.

What motivates you to take care of personal care to-do’s like nails, eyebrows, dye hair? My biggest motivator is when I have a “date.”

Moral of the story? I had such a date (yesterday) and I wanted to look nice. So I had my eyebrows waxed. My eyesight is such that I cannot get close enough to the mirror to see what I am doing.

Since I had makeup on and even curled my hair, I asked my daughter to help me with another item on my to-do list: “Do a photo shoot  that shows the length of my hair.”

I am cutting it into a short hairstyle soon and I wanted photos to remind me of how long my hair got.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • Does going on a date motivate you?
  • Have you ever asked someone to do a photo-shoot with you as the subject?
  • How’s it going on crossing off items on your secondary to-d0 list?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 24: Copy Some Moves

Mom, has the mailman come yet?”  This was a common question my youngsters asked during the holidays.

Day 24 - Watching and copying the moves of the right people can improve our lives. Today I am motivated to sopy 2 women so that I may connect better with some important people in my life.

Day 24 – Watching and copying the moves of the right people can improve our lives. Today I am motivated to copy 2 women so that I may connect better with some important people in my life.

My Mom and Gran (by marriage) were great at sending holiday cards. They even sent individual cards to both children. Of course the kiddos loved the theme specific greeting and the note tucked inside. They felt special. They felt connected to their grandma and great grandma.

When I think about how this simple act made such a big impact, it makes me want to copy their actions. I want to cross off this item on my to-do list today: “Buy and send Halloween cards to Emily (friend in the hospital), Kadie (niece away at university), Lennon (godson), and Sofia (grand-daughter).”

Moral of the story? I want them to feel special. I want us to connect. Therefore I am motivated to shop, write, and mail the cards today!

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you send holiday cards to folks on a regular basis? Why or why not?
  • Does watching other people’s actions motivate you? Share the last time this happened.
  • What did you cross off your secondary to-do list?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 23: Get Motivation From Your Roots

Day 21 - Reading about an ancestor is interesting and motivating. Since Benjamin devoted so much time and energy to politics, the least I can do is to be an informed voter.

Day 21 – Reading about an ancestor is interesting and motivating. Since Benjamin devoted so much time and energy to politics, the least I can do is be an informed voter.

Do you know anyone related to . . . .

I do, me! And I’ve heard we are related to Adlai E. Stevenson as well. But at the moment I do not have documented proof.

Researching and reading about my ancestors has made me really think about my life. What contributions I am or am not making. What I’ve done (or haven’t done) for my country. How sacrificial I have been (or not) regarding reaching the goals God has planned for me.

With all that great “political” blood in me, you’d think I’d be more political. Alas, I am not.

Moral of the story? I can use this information about my ancestors to motivate me. I can do something of note. I can be an informed voter. The election  is coming up soon and I am using today’s 31 minutes to read and decide how I am voting.

This simple but powerful action is good for my state and country. And maybe my ancestors would be a little proud of me.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page. Click the following link to go to Day 24: Copy Some Moves

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you know your ancestry? Has it impacted you at all?
  • How well-educated are you for state and national elections?
  • What did you cross off today’s list?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 22: Dejunk a Drawer

Day 22 - This is the after look of spending 62 minutes sorting. . . . Sorry, I didn't think to take a before picture. . . . I did't buy new organizing containers, just used what I had. And I think it looks great.

Day 22 – This is the after look of spending 62 minutes sorting. . . . Sorry, I didn’t think to take a before picture. . . . I didn’t buy new organizing containers, just used what I had. And I think it looks great.

Have you ever counted how many drawers you have in your home? I just did = 9. This is not including cupboards (23), shelves (4), closets (3), garage (single car), bookcases (3), or flat surface that collect ‘”stuff” (10).

No wonder I have issues. There are LOTS of places in my home where “stuff: can be stuffed. I have been decluttering for a while now, but I still have too much “stuff.”

So today’s 31 minute mission was to clean out one of the drawers (kitchen junk drawer). I watched Tiny (making of tiny houses) while I cleaned, sorted, and threw away.

Moral of the story? I have too much stuff! Sorting is a great way to reconfirm that. Who needs this many pens? Old receipts? Business cards? Batteries? Matchboxes? Sticky note pads?

It did take me longer than 31 minutes. In fact I spent two 31 minute sessions (that’s how long the free hulu movie was).

I picked the junk drawer to sort because it was a small, contained space and probably wouldn’t take me forever to clean out. It is true no-one will usually see what I did. But I know. It is like one of those geodes that has something precious and beautiful inside.

Just like a geode, this tidy drawer makes me smile. I keep opening the creaky drawer to have a look. I LIKE this minimalist look – at least in the drawers.

Doing this 31 minute project (x2) has spurred me on to cleaning more drawers. 

So my tips today are for you to . . .  

  • Pick a small, contained space to tidy.
  • Give it a 31 minute session or two.
  • Watch a movie while doing this.
  • Be ruthless in sorting.

I ended up with a bag full of trash (receipts, business and appointment reminder cards) and lots of pens and notepads to take to work. However, some of the pens I will turn into flower pens.

But what will I do with the matchboxes? I don’t remember why I bought them or where. I didn’t know they still made these. Or maybe they are THAT old.

I came across some ideas on Pinterest . . .

What would you make?

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • Are you great at keeping your “stuff” contained”? Or do you constantly have to battle it, like me?
  • When was the last time you looked into your junk drawer with the intent to clean it out? To de-junk it?
  • How will you use your 31 minutes of finishing today?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 21: Do the Oldest Thing on the List

Sometimes the next step is too scary  to take because of the unknowns. Despite my fer today I tackled one such scary step. Photo by Janusz Gawron.

Sometimes the next step is too scary to take because of the unknowns. Despite my fear, today I tackled one such scary step. Photo by Janusz Gawron.

Each morning as I drink my English Breakfast tea (extra hot) with enough milk to turn it a light caramel color, I empty my brain of what I want to accomplish. Sitting at my yellowed pine table with white spindle legs,  I write out an ideal version of my day in orange sharpie upon whatever scrap piece of paper I can find. I cross some to-do’s off as I put them on the correct to-do list on my phone. What’s left is what I have determined I will scale (finish) that day.

“With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” Psalm 18:29.

I  have an onslaught of items on my secondary (and primary) list. More things than can be done in a day – a week is more like what it takes to finish off these items.  

And I always have one or two very old items on the list. Instead of that item being a conquered “visitor” on the list, it has become a bed-ridden, unwanted, house guest.

Sometimes if you wait long enough you won’t have to ever start and finish certain to-do’s. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how long you wait, you just HAVE to do them. And in fact the longer you wait, the harder it gets to even start them.

So today I decided to do the oldest thing on my list.

Moral of the story? As I expected, I felt a sigh of relief at its completion. “Yay, Me” (as my granddaughter says). It really only took a little more than 31 minutes to get this done. At times like this, I wonder just WHY did I procrastinate?

But then I feel a prickle of uncertainty.  I am a little worried about the response to finishing this item. I now remember that I didn’t want to deal with what comes next.

I tell myself, “STOP, Me.”

 Don’t go borrowing trouble. Feel the relief, pride, and joy in a job that is done and done well. Tomorrow I can deal with what comes next.

If it does come.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

Somehow I skipped posting this in October. So here it is, late but spell-checked and ready to read.

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you have many old items on your to-do list?
  • Or are you good at finishing up the items on your list so that every day you get to start with a fresh list?

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31 Days of Finishing – Day 17: Advance Your Dreams

Day 17 - Working on items from my DREAMS list always energizes me to do the more mundane things on my to-do list. Spending time in language study is one such energizer.

Day 17 – Working on items from my DREAMS list always energizes me to do the more mundane things on my to-do list. Spending time in language study is one such energizer.

Agree or disagree? “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.”

It might not make him a dull boy, but I sure bet that Jack lacks motivation to complete his secondary to-do list. Because face it, our main to-do’s are NEVER done and often drain us of energy. Our secondary to-do’s don’t contribute to SUCCESS, but these can contribute to the fun, mystery, and meaningfulness of life.

Yesterday I mentioned that giving love often energizes us to do things we don’t really want to do. Likewise I said here that having fun also energizes us to do the same.

And I think that spending time on our DREAMS list also energizes our actions, mood, and thinking.

Today I made up a DREAMS 2014 list by looking at Buckets Lists I’ve written and posted here. Some dreams are not on my bucket lists, but are always on my mind. I.e. “Buy a tiny house” and  “Learn to speak Spanish fluently.”

Moral of the story? I always feel energized and proud of myself when I spend time doing a “dream” item. Awhile ago I was memorizing The Lord’s Prayer in Spanish. I am going to spend time today doing that. And then I will attack the table piles!

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page. Go to the following link for Day 18: Pamper Yourself.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you have a DREAMS list? How often do you do something from that list? Why not today?
  • How are you doing on your own to-do lists?

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