Motivation Monday: 5 Tips to help you get and stay motivated.

Are you struggling to stay motivated? Procrastinating? You are in good company. I have been having those issues that last two weeks. It was beyond frustrating. It seemed that the more I focused on the problem the bigger it got.

I am the sort of person who likes to get to the root of the problem and fix it. I did some research, soul searching, and then came up with a plan to put into action. I wanted to share some of what I learned with you.

Watch my 5 Tips for Motivation Video

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What was causing my lag in motivation?

Summer. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. I adore summer. Hot weather, swimming, and not having to take the kids to school are all things that make me smile. I made the mistake of trying to do too many work related things. I felt like I was missing the summer fun and suddenly writing became a chore.

The next issue was that I did not have dedicated end time for my work day. I  was spending a lot of my evening time writing and working. All of that caught up with me and I found myself procrastinating about writing and then feeling guilty. On my research quest about I discovered a profound truth.

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Are you getting a bigger reward from NOT DOING the task than you are from finishing it?

Think about it. While procrastinating about writing I was doing things I enjoy. Reading, taking photos, playing around online, and swimming. I was rewarding myself for not doing the task. Even though I felt guilty about not writing I was still getting enjoyment from the things I was doing instead of writing.  The trick is to flip this. Reward yourself for finishing the task not putting it off.

5 Tips To Get & Stay Motivated:

  1. Make a list of Instant Gratification Rewards: Make a list of small but enjoyable things that you can reward yourself with immediately after finishing the task. Example: Write 30 minutes and then reward yourself by watching a funny video, reading a few pages, or having a treat.
  2. Use your rewards: Remember the key is that instant gratification. You want the rewards to keep you motivated. If you cheat yourself out of the reward you may find yourself lagging in motivation and rewarding yourself by procrastinating.
  3. Make a detailed schedule: Have a clear start and end time for the task. Don’t just plan to write 30 minutes today. Plan to write 30 minutes between blank time and blank time. Give yourself a deadline.
  4. Flexibility: Allow yourself some flexibility when things you can not control derail your plan. Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty. This will only set you up for procrastination.
  5. Remove Distractions: When you have specific deadline and time set for the task set yourself up to succeed by removing all distractions.

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This week is already off to a great start. I took 3 days off from writing to research and enjoy life.  On Saturday morning I wrote 3000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo and it was amazing because my motivation was back.

What helps you stay motivated? What rewards to you rely on to stay motivated?

 

 

Cup of Inspiration Tips: Relax, Refuel, & Recharge

Do you feel guilty about taking time for yourself? Do you find it difficult to find time to relax or to actually relax when you do find time? If so, today’s post and accompanying video is for you.

Video Link to the related video

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Let’s deal with the guilt issue and get it out of the way.  This is something I have dealt with since becoming a parent. It is built from an unrealistic expectation of myself that I need to be focused on everyone’s needs before my own.

The truth is that taking time for yourself is a benefit to others as well as yourself. It took me years to figure out that if I am in a good place it is easier to handle the needs of others. The opposite is also very true. If I have not taken time for myself I much more likely to be frustrated, rushed, and emotional. This is not good for me or anyone in my path.

No time to relax? We live in a society that praises busyness. We are often torn between so many obligations that we can’t catch our breath. It might surprise you to learn that you may have more time available than you think .

I recommend tracking your time for an entire week and charting it so that you can see exactly where your time is going. If you find wasted time you find a way to schedule in time for yourself in that spot.

If you don’t find a lot of gaps of time in your day or week it may be time to reevaluate some of your choices and commitments. I found  The Best Yes, By Lysa Turkeurst to be a great resourse for my own busy issues.  It focuses on helping you say yes to the best things and no to the things that work against the best things – even if they are good things.

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Make a list of what is relaxing to you. This is different for everyone. I love a hot bubble bath with book, candles and wine. Grabbing a good book, a glass of ice tea and heading outside to read is another way I relax. A great massage, lunch with friends, and yoga are other great options for me.  It is nice to have a list of what works for you in the event you end up with unexpected free time.

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Schedule it. That is right. Schedule that me time  into your life. I find it best to schedule my me time after I have completed the most pressing tasks. This allows me relax without feeling pressured by those tasks.

Can’t Relax?   Multitasking while you “relax” could be the culprit. If you are checking emails while you watch T.V., checking social media while your read, or answering phone calls during your massage you are not fully relaxed or focused.

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Multitasking can be a good thing but it doesnt promote relaxation. Make sure you are fully present in your me time. Take note of the things that tempt you to distraction and remove them. Silence your phone. Turn off the wi-fi. Put on some headphones. Do whatever it takes to remove the distractions. You will be better equipped to do all those tasks after you.

Do you have any relaxation or time management tips to share? What is your perfect idea of relaxation? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Check out the video – same topic but not the same content!

Writer Tool Kit: Writing Reference Book Review

Are you looking for a writing reference book to help you write a novel in 3O days? Today I am reviewing a book that claims to be a fool proof system for doing just that.  I will share the pro’s and con’s and my personal experience with BOOK IN A MONTH by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D.

Read on or click the link to watch the video.

Writers Tool Kit: A book in a month review on You Tube

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The Idea:

This book is designed to take help you set realistic goals, track your progress and manage your time. It takes you from developing your idea to outlining your story and creating your characters and plot.

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It follows the 3 Act Structure and helps you create a draft based on specific turning points and helps build in foreshadowing.

What I love:

  • Detailed trackers and worksheets
  • Lot of tips for staying motivated and staying on task
  • Weekly breakdown of writing focus and goals.
  • Daily breakdown of writing focus and goals.
  • Easy to read and follow
  • Workbook style

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What I did not love:

  • I expected a more detailed guideline. I would have liked specific daily word, scene, or chapter goals instead of work on Act 1, 2, or 3 this week.
  • The size of the the book makes actually writing in it difficult. The boxes are too small for my handwriting.

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Overall this is a good book with a wealth of information and a system that is easy to follow and motivational. I recommend reading or at least skimming through the entire book before you start you 30 day writing. Then create a more detailed writing plan that breaks your daily writing into specific word count or scene goals based on the time line provided in the book.

Bonus:

This book has stickers that you can use to track your progress. This book is designed to be written in and used as a paper reference as you write. If used as intended you should have all of your plot, character, and outlines detailed inside the book to refer to as needed while you write.

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Keep in mind that this is creation of your first draft. At the end of the 30 days you will have a finished manuscript that is ready to start revising and editing.

Do you have a writing reference book, app, or tool that you use to enhance your writing lifestyle? Is there a book, tool, or app you would like to see featured? If so please share in the comments.

Have a blessed & delightfully bookish day!