Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself

Rewarding ourselves is a key way to stay motivated. We all like rewards. They make us happy and motivate us to do more.

I enjoy the reward method. It really helps me to stay on track especially when my reward is something I really want or need.

Just like rewarding our kids when they finish their chores or do something extra kind for someone, we have to match the reward with the chore/task. If the goal you have set for yourself is something small, like making your bed every day, your reward should be something that matches your effects. A small reward for us girls could be buying you favorite chocolates, one hour of ‘me’ time, have coffee with a friend or maybe that nice fingernail polish you’ve had your eye on. For the guys, your small reward could be a new car magazine, go fishing for an hour, or get that new tool you’ve wanted.

If your goal is large, then the reward should be as well. If you have been working on weight loss and you met your goal weight, your reward should be fitting to such hard work and dedication. Maybe a new wardrobe is called for, or a nice weekend get-away, it could be a closet make-over for all the new clothes. Big goal equals big reward.

Here’s a list of reward ideas:

Gourmet coffee New work outfit Make-up, nail polish
Go to a park, take a walk Girls/guys night out Favorite sweet treat
Weekend get-away Manicure/pedicure Have a picnic
Go see a movie New hand/power tool A new gym bag
Visit with friends or family Professional shave for you men A quiet night at home to read a book or just play with the kids
Spend time doing a hobby Give yourself money for the small goal and save up for the bigger goal A new cook book to help you maintain the weight loss
A new CD Perfume/cologne Fresh flowers

 

Matching the reward to the task helps us stay focused till the end because we know there is something in it for us and not just the joy of completing the goal. It’s a bonus package you have set in place.

Yes, completing the goal is the main reward and it does feel fantastic when that goal is met. Having a reward for yourself helps us stay motivated and keeps us on track because we are looking forward to the reward and just not the end of the goal.

Try rewarding yourself for the small things and see if that helps you stay motivated for the next goal. Let me know how this works out for you. I would love to have your feedback.

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Setting A Limit

Setting A Limit

 

When you are working on your goals, it’s important to remember to set limits for yourself. You don’t want to over work yourself and get too tired to get through all the tasks you have set.

Setting a time limit is a great option. Such as only working on a project for 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. Putting this type of limit on yourself holds you accountable for your actions and can motivate you to get a task done.

A time limit is great for those small tasks that you are not looking forward to doing. Make it into a game and see if you can get ‘X’ chore done in 30 minutes. Putting pressure on yourself can be a great motivator.

Your time is precious, so don’t waste it. Utilize what time you have available and get the task done so you can move on to the next one. By doing this you won’t feel defeated because you wasted time. You will feel proud of yourself for accomplishing your goal.

If you are working on larger projects that may consume your day, be sure to rest for 10-15 minutes every couple of hours. If you do this, it will help you stay focused on your task and the work won’t seem so hard.

During your break be sure to walk away from the project. Go someplace that you can’t physically see the task. This will help relax your mind. “Out of sight, out of mind” so the saying goes. Be sure to quench your thirst and maybe grab a snack, if needed. Try not to think about the task/chore. Really take that break to free your mind and relax. When you come back from your break/rest, you will feel refreshed and more focused.

If your chore is a physical job, be sure to stay hydrated and set down to rest your body. Maybe prop your feet up while you have that ice cold water. Again, walk away from the job at hand. The body and mind both need a break when you are physically working.

Setting a limit could also mean that it’s time to walk away for a while. I am not saying give up. There are things we have to do every day that can be very draining. Just because you said you would work 2 hours every night on a project, doesn’t mean you can’t walk away from it for a day or two so you can get caught up on the everyday stuff. And then you pick up right where you left off. It’s ok to walk away when life gets in the way. It’s ok to walk away if you are stuck. It’s ok to walk away because you have to wait on the finances.

Whatever the reason is…..it’s ok. We all have limits and we need to step back sometime to get a better perspective or rest.  Make yourself a promise and keep that promise to yourself that you will get right back to the task in a day, a week, or a month. Don’t give up, just take a break and keep the promise to yourself.

Remember these are your goals you are wanting to reach. There’s no one set of rules for you. Set your limits, Give yourself a break and move on. It will all work out because you are focused on the task and you are willing to be flexible.

I know you can reach your goal. You are on your journey and I know you won’t disappoint yourself.  Don’t be so hard on yourself and rest when you need to.

Keep coming back to my page. The next couple of weeks my posts will be related to staying motived and what you can do.


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Write Down Your Goals

Write Down Your Goals

 

In the last post we talked about getting motivated. I would like to dig a little deeper into the first suggestion, writing down your goals.

Putting your goals on paper is a great way to make then tangible; it’s something you can look at and hold in your hand. It makes them real.

Writing down your goals can make you feel accountable for your actions. If you write it down you feel like you have set things in stone and now you are responsible for that goal.

Let’s start with a very simple way to get into this routine of writing things down.

I suggest that when you wake up or before you go to bed, take 5 minutes and write down 3 things you want to get done for that day. Your list should be simple, achievable things you know you can do but still be a small challenge for you.

An example would be: do one full load of laundry (wash/dry/put away), make the kids lunches the night before, 20 minutes of working out, smoke one less cigarette for the day, and 10 minutes of quiet time (just for yourself).

I suggest you put this on your smart phone and set it as an alarm to go off every 4-6 hours. This will remind you of your list and may motivate you to get one of the chores off the list or just to get your phone to stop yelling at you.

If you don’t have a smart phone or you are just old school, like I am, write it down and put a copy on the refrigerator, in your purse/wallet, a post-it on your TV, in your car. Put your list everywhere you can see it. Keeping the list visible is a reminder, it may drive you crazy always seeing a post-it note, but think about how nice it will feel when you get to remove the list.

I promise after a couple of weeks you won’t have so many post-it notes everywhere and your phone won’t ring all the time.

Once you start with the small stuff and that may turn into a routine for you. You will be very proud of yourself for getting so much accomplished, it will motivate you to do more. It’s the small things that keep us going.

Start small and simple and before you know it you will be diving into those big projects.

Don’t forget to have a little fun with this. Let’s say every Friday you want to have one of the three things be something fun. As an example: go bowling, have family fun night, or go dancing. This can be your reward to yourself for accomplishing so much during the week.

Relax. Don’t pressure yourself. If you don’t get something marked off the list, just move it to the next day’s list. No big deal. Life gets in the way and we just have to make room for it. Be flexible, relax and have fun.


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Still Hibernating? Let’s Get Motivated!

 

It’s mid-January and it’s hard to stay motivated. I know some have set New Year’s resolutions, others may be wanting to try something new, and some may just want to complete what you already started.

Lack of motivation is the stuff that kills an idea, a dream, a goal or even your next step in your journey.

I have a few ideas that may help you get back into the swing of things.

Write down your goals: Make sure your goals are achievable. No need to shoot yourself in the foot before you begin. Example: You are public school teacher, it’s unrealistic to have your goal to be able to make 5 million dollars this year. (Winning the lottery doesn’t count).

If you have a very large goal, break it down into smaller goals. It’s easier to reach the small goals at a time then to reach the large one all at once.

Write down the small goals so you can keep the list as a reminder. When you achieve the small goal you can check it off the list. It’s so satisfying to reach even the smallest of goals.

You could make a goal chart for yourself. Put it where you will see it several times a day, as a reminder.

Before you know it, all the small goals are checked off the list and the large goal is right at hand.

Goal Achieved? Reward Yourself: After every set goal is achieved, you should reward yourself. Reaching a milestone is huge. You put so much energy and time into this accomplishment, you deserve a reward.

If you made a goal chart, I suggest the ‘sticker method’. I know it’s childish, but you have to admit it, you still like stickers. A sticker is a reward too.

If you want to go a little bit bigger on the reward system: I suggest after each achievement you reward yourself with something you want. Such as, a nice dinner at a new restaurant and bring a friend. You could reward yourself with something that will help your next goal.

Make your reward count. It will help you stay motivated for the next goal.

Set A Limit: This could be a time limit. There’s nothing more motivating than the pressure to get something done when the clock is ticking.

Set a limit for yourself. Maybe you can only devote 2 hours a day towards your goal. Your time is precious, don’t waste it.

Give yourself a break. If you have been using up all your free time and still nothing is done. You could be over working yourself. Take a break from it. We all can be stubborn about our goals and want them to be done tomorrow. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Be stubborn about your goals but be flexible with your methods. Take a small break. Once your mind is fresh and you have rested, you can get right back into it. It’s ok to pace yourself.

Don’t wear yourself out. You deserve a break too.

Be Prepared: If you know you have a big day tomorrow, being prepared will make your day more productive.

In the evening, try to get some things done. Pack the kids lunches, throw a load of laundry in the washer, or do the dishes. You can get your clothes ready for the next day and pack your bag for work. These little things take up your time in the morning and takes the energy that you need for the next day.

Since you are working on your goal: Have the things you need to help you reach that goal for the day or even for the week. Not having the tools you need to begin your goal/task can suck the motivation right out of you.

Being prepared can make your task easier and take away some of the anxiety you may have.

Ask For Support/Help: If you are struggling or have no motivation, ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help. Remember: it takes a strong person to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. We all need help sometimes and having a friend/colleague to confide in can make you feel supported and give you new insight.

You never know what will happen or what help you can get, till you ask.

Accountability: It can be tough to hold yourself accountable for your own goals. Especially when we are not motivated.

Scream your goals/dreams from the roof tops. It hard to lose motivation when so many people are waiting on the next step from you. It makes you feel responsible and can keep you motivated.

Ask a friend/colleague to hold you accountable. This means you will have to share your goals with them. You will need to let them know your timelines, what you want to accomplish and what you see at the end of all the hard work.

You check in with them once a week, a day, a month. Knowing someone is waiting for a progress report is definitely motivating.

End Results: Keeping the end result in your mind can help you stay motivated and on task. It’s a daily reminder of what you want to get accomplished. Think about how good it will feel when you have accomplished so much.

Write down the end of your goal. Write down what you expect, how you think you will feel, what it might look like. Keep this someplace close to you. This way if you are lacking that motivation, you can use this as a reminder of what you want and why you are working so hard.

Don’t give up! You owe it to yourself to keep trying. Don’t let all that hard work you have already invested go to waste. Just like Dory said from the movie “Finding Nemo”: Just keep swimming….

Whatever your goal is, I know you can get it accomplished. Keep your eye on the prize.

I want to be your cheer leader too. Let me know what you tried and how it worked for you.

 

 


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Help With the Winter Blues

Winter time is hard on so many people. It seems like the sun doesn’t shine as bright or often. You feel yucky or what my family calls “The Blah’s”. The day seems to drag. It gets dark very early and you feel like your day is done once the sun sets.

It’s hard getting out of that funk you’re in. You get up in the morning and its dark outside but yet you say to yourself: Today is going to be a good day. Before you know it, you are right back where you started, with “The Blah’s”.

I get “The Blah’s” too during the winter. It’s hard to feel better when it’s so yucky outside. These suggestions are things I have tried and do to fight that winter battle.

I do not have a cure for the winter blues but I do have some ideas that have help me.

Let natural light into your home. It may be below zero outside but the sun is shining. Let the sunshine in. It warms up the house and it can make you feel better. Even if the sun is not out, open up the blinds anyway. Natural light does wonders for the mind and soul.

Exercise: Daily exercise will make you feel better. Even if it’s a walk around the block. Too yucky or cold to go to the gym. Exercise at home. Use your stairs as a stair master, Dance to some music for 20 minutes, use a gallon of water for weights. Use your imagination to get some exercise for the day. Even if it’s for 10 minutes.

Set a to-do list: Write down some things you have been putting off. Such as: Need to clean the refrigerator, need to sort photos, read all magazines in the house, or finish that sewing project.

Not sure where to start? Use your imagination. Start a bucket list and promise yourself you will complete # 4 by the end of the month. You get the idea, just set a goal and try to get it accomplished. That always makes me feel better and it motivates me to do more.

Fresh air: I know its cold outside. Bundle up, take some coffee/hot cocoa with you and take a walk. You don’t have to walk far or for very long. Walk to the end of your street or take a few laps around the house. Take your phone or camera with you on your walk. Takes some pictures of a dog playing in the snow, or the sunrise/sunset.

Clean out your car. If you are like me, I have empty water bottles, a scarf, and an empty tissue box in the back seat. It should only take you 10 minutes or so, but you will be outside and maybe you can get something off your to-do list done.

Volunteer: Giving your time is always a good thing. It’s great for your mind, body and soul. Best part is, you are giving back.

Go to your local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or your local humane society, see if they could use some help one or two days a week.

Check in on your elderly neighbors, see if they need anything. Sometimes it’s hard for them to get out in the cold or snow. Maybe they don’t have any relatives to help. Maybe they just want someone to talk to. Take some hot tea with you and visit. You will be amazed at the stories the elderly will share.

Since you are out already shoveling your own walk/drive way, take a few extra minutes and shovel the snow off someone’s walk or drive way.

Take a sick friend some food. If they have been out of work for a couple of days, I’m sure they would love the company and really enjoy a meal they didn’t have to fix.

It feels good to help others in need. For me, it feeds my soul. I feel great every time I do any of these things.

Listen to music: Music is fantastic for your well-being. Listen to music on your walk or exercising. Bring out the old CD’s or that playlist you made from the music you listened to in high school and just have fun. How about that new group you like but have only heard one song. Download the CD and let it play all the way through. Music can give you a little energy to get up singing and dancing along. It could motivate you to get something off your ‘to-do’ list.

Get organized: Since you are already stuck at home, why not get a room organized. You could get that junk drawer cleaned out and throw away some junk you don’t need.

Go through all your closets and dressers and get out all the summer clothes you didn’t wear last summer. Take them to your local charity or Good Will. Sell them on-line. Put them in a tote/bin/bag and plan a garage sale when the weather is nice.

Take one drawer/closet/room at a time and before you know it. The house is organized.

Buy fresh plants/flowers: Bringing in flowers that have bright colors are beautiful to look at and the aroma is even better. Reminds you of spring time or summer.

Getting a plant is also good. Having some greenery the house is a breath of fresh air. Taking care of something is always good. You get to watch it grow and greenery reminds us of summer.

Clean eating/plenty of rest: I try not to eat so much junk food in the winter. It’s so easy to grab a bag of chips and just munch away. Since its cold outside you are less likely to burn off those extra calories. Try to make better choices. Stay away from foods that make you feel yucky. Eat your fruits and veggies. It will make you feel better.

Getting plenty of rest will help you feel more energized in the morning and throughout the day.

Try something new: This one can be tough. You already feel bad and you really don’t want to do anything anyway. I suggest you at least give it a try. You could take a class. How about a dance class, a cooking class, yoga, learn to play musical instrument, teach yourself how to sew.

Take a look at your bucket list and see if this is something you can check off the list.

Trying something new can take you out of your element and be scary. You may meet your spouse, develop a new friendship, you might learn a new skill/trade/craft.

You have nothing to lose except the winter blues by giving it a try.

I hope these suggestions work out for you. Leave a comment if you try any of the suggestions. Let me know how they worked out for you.


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Have a Sweet Tooth?

Ever have one of those days where you have a sweet tooth and nothing seems to hit the spot?

I think I have the cure for that.

This treat came from the necessity to feed my aunts/uncles.

Let me give you some background. My mom is one of fifteen children. Yep, my grandma had 15 kids. Crazy, I know. My mom was raised in the 40’s and my grandpa was a preacher. Preachers back then didn’t get paid very much, putting food on the table for 17 people was tough. My grandma had to be a genius to figure out how to stretch a meal to feed so many. I have to say, she did a great job because they did not starve. My grandma and mom both say: there is always something to eat, you just have to use what you got and a little imagination.

This is still one of my favorite things to eat. I have passed this on to my son, my siblings have passed it down to their kids as well. We all love it.

Are ya ready?????

OK, here’s the recipe.

Take a slice of bread and toast it. 20150115_12012220150115_120353

Once toasted put peanut butter on toast (preferably still hot where the peanut butter kind of melts on toast).20150115_120410

Last but not least.  The most important ingredient:  put a thin layer of brown sugar on the peanut butter.20150115_120501

Then enjoy!!!! 20150115_120539

I know it sounds nuts. But give it a try. It will curb the biggest sweet tooth. I promise.

Can you imagine my grandma in the kitchen, listening to her kids complaining because they were hungry? She’s looking around and sees a loaf of bread. Thinking she can’t make sandwiches because there’s not enough bread to feed 15 kids, but there is enough for everyone to have one slice of bread. Meat in the house was a luxury. She sees peanut butter on the counter. I can imagine she is thinking: Ok, now what can I put with peanut butter? And the only thing left is the brown sugar. So she puts the treat together and hands it to the eldest son. I bet he thought his mom was crazy. He was too hungry to curl his nose up at what was in his hand. He takes a bite and to his surprise, it’s pretty good. Then the rest of the kids’ line up and the rest is history.

To this day all of my cousins, great cousins, nieces and nephews love this treat.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.