Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Inspiration for Motivation

Today, I was checking out Life's photo gallery of rarely seen photos of Marilyn Monroe in training and they reminded me of the importance of hard work. Summer is a wonderful time, and don't get me wrong, I love waking up wherever I feel like it (usually around 10am), but the heat and all this unstructured time can also make me worry about slipping into a case of the lazies. This is compounded by the fact that Brendan and I are living in a time of transition where we don't know what's next.

To keep myself motivated, I like to have a list of running goals for June that touch on important and often overlooked activities that make for a well balanced life. Here are my recommendations for how to keep yourself in balance when you life is, well, anything but.

1.) Set aside a couple of hours each day to focus on what you have to do.

For me, this is the job search. I have a running spreadsheet of job applications and when they are due. I spend about two hours each day writing cover letters and filling out applications. I have also been submitting stories to journals. Doing things every day to add checks to my never ending to-do list helps keep me sane and less anxious as I know that I'm doing everything in my power to accomplish what I have to.

2.) Set aside time for your creative endeavors

"Me time" is great, but not as fulfilling if one spends it sacked out in front of the T.V. or mindlessly wasting time on the internet. I endeavor to exercise my creative focus by writing each day and reading books that are meaningful to me. Creatively can come in many forms, but whether you do photography, write music, or play an instrument, you need to give yourself focused, planned time to actually do these things.

3.) Exercise

Your creative brain has to be exercised just like your body needs to be. Working out at least 3 times a week gives me endorphins which keep me happy and help keep my body healthy. It doesn't matter what you do: hit the gym, do an exercise video, or just go for a run, but no matter what, make sure to drink lots of water to fight off dehydration in these hot months.

4.) Socialize

In the summer, it's easy to let days go by without making plans with anyone. Friends are out of town or have strange schedules, but it pays off to socialize and stay in touch with people. Getting face to face time with others is important to our happiness and health. If you're in a relationship, resist relying solely on each other for socialization, as that is just too much to place on one person. Schedule a lunch, a visit to the pool, or go out and do something with a friend.

5.) Stay involved in your community

In every city, there are more events going on each month than you could ever imagine. Tomorrow, I'll be going to the Porch for the First Friday Reading Series. On Saturday, I'll be hitting up the opening reception for vision/verse (see side of blog). Getting out in your community helps you stay involved with something greater than yourself, so see a play, visit a museum, attend a free meditation class, just do something!

6.) Be thankful

Summer is a wonderful thing. Everyday, I am thankful that I have the luxury of some time off and that I'm at a point in my life where I can focus on myself. Being grateful helps me live each day to the fullest and focus on the present.

7.) Combine steps 1-6

Not all of these activities have to be mutually exclusive. Grab and friend and exercise or do something in your city together.
Missy & I about to do yogaX!
Here's to all your summer days and life in transition!
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

EDIT: I've set up a poll on the side of the blog. Please vote on what you'd like to see more of. Thanks!

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