Getting Up and At ‘Em in the Mornings

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=51718&picture=newborn-sleeping
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=51718&picture=newborn-sleeping

 

Now that it’s autumn and the sun is rising later, do you find it’s hard to get up in the mornings?

I do!

Sometimes, it’s incredibly hard to get up on time in the morning. Especially if the house has gotten chilly overnight…and it’s so comfy snuggled under the bedcovers…!

My friend and I were talking about how we both need extra motivation right now in this area. We’ve been doing a few things that have helped, but it’s still a struggle. The things we’ve been doing are:

~Calling each other to make sure we’re up—that we haven’t hit the snooze alarm.

~Talking about our day in positive terms, even though we’re both facing difficult work situations. We focus on the parts of each of our jobs that are enjoyable, concentrate on the progress we’re making and how every little step—no matter how small—takes us that much closer to our dream lives.

~Saying Pep Phrases and Power Words to each other, choosing one statement and one word to be the go-to ones for the day.

Getting up is still an ordeal, though. And it’s sometimes compounded because we talk too long on the phone and then we’re behind schedule and then we’re rushing and then we’re right smack dab in the middle of traffic…. Oy!

We realized we have to come up with something in addition. We did a little brainstorming and here’s what we came up with:

~Choosing a reward for getting up on time—something that each of us can receive immediately upon getting out of bed. For instance, I enjoy photography. A reward could be that by getting up on time, I can spend a half hour photographing the day as it dawns. My friend enjoys knitting and also reading. A reward for her could be that she knits first thing in the morning or reads for a half hour, and then gets ready for the office.

Perhaps you enjoy cooking. Your reward could be preparing a delicious home-cooked breakfast with all the trimmings: pancakes with bacon or sausage and sprinkling fresh berries and pouring real maple syrup over it all. Or maybe you’re the bacon, eggs, and toast type who also makes killer home fries. Perhaps you make this only on the weekends but what if you treated yourself to a scrumptious breakfast as a reward for getting out of bed on time?

By giving yourself the reward right off the bat, you increases the likelihood that you’ll get up and at ‘em on time!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hot_Air_Balloon_2012_-_2_-_Reach_for_the_Stars.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hot_Air_Balloon_2012_-_2_-_Reach_for_the_Stars.jpg

Your homework today is to come up with your own motivational reward for getting out of bed immediately in the morning—no pressing the snooze button! Just getting up and at ‘em—even before the first alarm stops ringing!

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Happiness: Lower Your Standards!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Creative_independence.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Creative_independence.jpg

 

The other day I met a friend of mine for coffee.  He’s an older gentleman who works in construction. He’s had to adjust his techniques as he’s gotten older because his body is “feeling it” from years of going up and down ladders, carrying heavy loads, and the like. And, by necessity rather than choice, my friend lives a modest lifestyle.

But yet he is happy—always cheerful.

That day when I asked him about his work, he told me he was on a job that was close to home and the weather was beautiful so working outdoors was a treat. With a matter-of-fact shrug, he added that it doesn’t take much to make him happy.

That statement struck me in a way that it never had before. Usually when I heard it—or said it myself—it’s said in a somewhat mocking and self-depreciating tone, suggesting that the person saying it has very low expectations. And there is the subtext that the person ought to be pitied for having such low standards.

But when my friend told me that it doesn’t take much to make him happy, I realized that he’s right! Our expectations for happiness should be very low!!

Life is too short to put requirements on what makes us happy: I’ll be happy when I make a million dollars; I’ll be happy when I’m married to the perfect spouse; I’ll be happy when I’m the head of the company or when my business takes off; I’ll be happy when I’m older or when I’m thinner…etc..

My friend is right. We should be able to find joy, beauty, inspiration, and grace everywhere we look. Our standards and expectations should be so low that we bump up against things that make us happy everywhere we go and every single time we turn around.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=26005&picture=baby-with-play-balls
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=26005&picture=baby-with-play-balls

Your homework today is to lower your standards of what makes you happy. No matter where you find yourself, look for beauty, be open to unexpected moments of inspiration, keep your senses tuned to joy. Challenge yourself to look beyond what the world thinks ought to make people happy. Listen to your heart and soul and focus on what brings you pleasure and delight—the little things, especially.

You can do it! Go you!

I’m so proud of you! You rock!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

First Day of Fall

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Candlewood.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Candlewood.JPG

 

Today is the first day of Autumn. It conjures images of leaves turning orange, yellow, and deep red. We also think of the spicy aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pies, and outings with friends and family to the local pick-your-own apple orchard.

It’s also a reminder that we’re rounding the final curve before heading into the home stretch of 2014. It’s a good idea to think about your plans for the final quarter of the year; it’ll be here in a week.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Checking_the_List.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Checking_the_List.jpg

Your homework today is to begin thinking about your plan for the last quarter of the year. What items are still on your To Do list for 2014 that you’d really like to cross off before the end of the year? Can you break them down into tiny pieces and work on those?

Sometimes projects on our To Do lists are more involved than anticipated so perhaps you won’t be able to cross them off your list by the end of the year. But, making progress on them can still be satisfying and still motivate you to stick with it in the upcoming year.

As you plan, remember to include outings with friends and family, quiet contemplation time, and rest and relaxation.

I know you can do this!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Pep Rally! Backward

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bury_your_head_in_the_sand.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bury_your_head_in_the_sand.jpg

 

I follow a great blog about finances written by a good friend of mine who is a young, up-and-coming financial whizz who’s passionate about financial literacy. It’s called Decoding Your Dollars (if the link doesn’t work, here is the address: http://decodingyourdollars.wordpress.com/) . And also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/decodingyourdollars).

Vanessa, in her post last week (click here to be taken to it ), talked about looking at your finances from a little different angle, perhaps even backward.

The word “backward” got me thinking….

When challenges and obstacles come along, our natural tendency is to pull back, hunker down for the long haul, and hide or run away. But what if we think of that backward? Instead of cutting back, hiding, or running away, what if instead we stand tall, walk purposefully toward it, and look for ways to expand in spite of the situation….

Instead of stepping back and giving ground to the problem, what if we draw a deep, thick line then square our shoulders and say “Nevermore. Nevermore will you push me around.”

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=63984&picture=atlantes-head-and-torso
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=63984&picture=atlantes-head-and-torso

Your homework today is to take the opposite—the backward—approach to your challenges, obstacles, and setbacks.

Here are Pep Phrases for you:

I am stronger than this issue;

I’m bigger and better than this situation;

I can do this, I know I can;

Yes I can!

I have the intelligence, creativity, and insight needed to solve this problem;

I am the right size, the right shape, the right age, the right look; I am the right type of right that’s needed for me to achieve my dreams.

The S till Small Voice is right about me: I have what it takes, I’ve been chosen, approved, and anointed to achieve my dreams;

I can do it!

Yes I can!

You can do this, I am positively sure you can! I believe in you!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

PS:  Remember to stand in front of your mirror with a big smile as you repeat the Pep Phrases to yourself.  And have your favorites handy so you can refer to them throughout the day.

A Perfect Day for Sleep!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frustrated_man_at_a_desk_(cropped).jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frustrated_man_at_a_desk_(cropped).jpg

 

Sleep: are you getting enough?

As you are working toward your dreams, an important step is to get the sleep you need.

From time-to-time we all think we can squeeze out some extra hours in the day if we skimp on our sleep. Usually, this thought pops up if we’ve hit a snag in our plans. We think that staying up just a little bit later will give us the extra time we need and we tell ourselves that it won’t affect us at all….

But this isn’t true.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chronic_fatigue_syndrome.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chronic_fatigue_syndrome.JPG

Studies have shown that people skimping on their sleep just a little bit—getting six hours of sleep versus the recommended seven to eight hours each night—show a decrease in cognitive abilities. People experience shorter attention spans, less ability with working memory (example: not remembering what someone told you just a few minutes ago, losing your train of thought, etc.). Also, people are less able to handle frustrations and are less likely to be creative and have insights. And, as we all know, less sleep makes people plain old cranky!

Researchers found something of particular concern, though, and that was people who operate under a sleep debt think that they’re operating at top performance levels when in fact they are making more mistakes that usual! 

Studies have shown that people who get enough sleep—including rest and relaxation—are much more productive and they’re more able to sustain high levels of productivity. They tend to be more effective because their attention spans are longer which helps them sustain high levels of concentration. This enables them to have insights, be more creative and innovative.

And, people who are rested are generally happy and much more pleasant to be around!  😀

 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpg

Your homework today is to rest and relax—and sleep!

Prepare for bed earlier in the evening. Set a bedtime for yourself that will ensure you get a minimum of seven hours of sleep—of course adjusting for your body’s needs (some healthy adults need nine hours of sleep each night for optimum effectiveness during the day).

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=982&picture=relax-on-the-beach
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=982&picture=relax-on-the-beach

Also, plan breaks for resting during your day. Even five minutes can be refreshing and help you press the reset button on your day.

Make it a priority to get enough sleep each night and then watch your productivity and mood soar!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Tips from TV: Do Something–Anything!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dark_mossy_forest.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dark_mossy_forest.jpg

 

I was watching Les Stroud in Survivorman this past weekend. In this particular episode, he had just been dropped off in the thick woods of Northern Canada in the autumn.

He said the most important thing people can do when they find themselves in a survival situation is to just do something—anything. He said that even making a bad decision or going the wrong way is much better than just sitting and doing nothing. He explained that making decisions and taking action helps bolster your will to survive and your will to live.

This is true in life as well. When we’re faced with difficulties, if we stop too long—spend too much time having a pity party—we allow ourselves to become stuck. The next thing we know, discouragement gets a foothold and soon we lose all hope.

When we take action, though, it bolsters our confidence.  Taking action helps us feel more hopeful, that soon things will break in our favor.  And that’s the perfect attitude to have to help you work through challenges!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harpe_de_lumiere.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harpe_de_lumiere.jpg

Your homework today is to keep moving forward. Keep taking the next step and the one after that and the one after that, and so on.

If you find that you’re unsure about what to do—instead of barreling ahead, and certainly instead of stopping and getting stuck—take smaller steps.

Go a little slower.

This way, if you find you’ve made an incorrect choice, you won’t be that far off course and can easily get back on track.

You can do it, I’m sure of it!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Last Days of Summer

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

We’re heading into the last full weekend of summer. As the seasons change, naturally we look back at how far we’ve come and then we look to where we’re headed next.

This week we did a lot of good work, especially taking a tough stand against panic and anxiety. We learned how to push forward in spite of their seemingly immense pressure causing us to want to hide or run away.

This is so incredibly awesome! It was hard and scary work but you did it! You hung in there! You pushed back and you won! You rock the house down! Yay you!

Here’s a Pep Rally for you:

You’re AWESOME!  

You did it! Go you! 

I knew you would do it!  

You rock!! Yay you!! 

I knew you had the grit and the strength in you to do this! 

You’re smart and you’re tough and you figured it out and you did it!  

You are fantastic!

 

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to use the strength and energy from your forward movement to help you plan your upcoming week. Remember to keep the plans realistic and filled with easily doable steps. This will help keep the momentum going and keep your enthusiasm high.

The next part of your homework—and the best!—is to CELEBRATE! You are doing so well! The work you accomplished this week was important and it’s fantastic that you faced it and did it. Yahoo!! WooHoo!! Yay you!!

Acknowledge what you did this week by treating yourself to a favorite activity or another favorite treat. Invite family and friends to celebrate with you. You deserve every bit of the celebration! Go you!

I absolutely knew you could do it.

I am so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Crafting a soul-prospering life.