Monday, February 22, 2016

how to get motivation when you have zero

I'm finding that there are many things that contribute to my lack of motivation, fear of failure being a big one. I've had to find my own ways to motivate myself every day so that I can go to sleep feeling like I've accomplished something meaningful. This process of learning to motivate myself has been a work in progress, and I'm still trying to improve (aka today I went home 5 hours early from campus...oops) but I hope that sharing some of my tips here will be of help to someone.

1. Make lists of the baby steps, and cross off completed tasks.
I make lists of the big tasks I have to do (research paper, visiting teaching, study for midterm), but more importantly I make lists of literally everything I need to do that day. I write down tiny things like take out the garbage and trim my fingernails or put on shoes (k not that last one but you get the idea). Because when I've completed a task, I get to cross it out! And you know how awesome it feels to cross something off. I actually feel more motivated to do something else on my list once I have checked something off. Before I know it, I have actually crossed off one of my big tasks along with a handful of the small ones!

2. Just start it.
I had an order for one of my lds temple watercolors recently, and for some reason I was having such a hard time just painting the dang thing. I put it off for days and days for a moment when I "felt like painting." But... that feeling wasn't coming. On Sunday night, the guilt of not having crossed anything off my list except "go to church" was hanging over me, so I knew I had to paint that temple if I wanted to feel good as I fell asleep. So I got up, begrudgingly. I went into the study room. I cut a piece of paper, filled up my water dish, and sharpened my pencil. And guess what... I magically felt like painting!! I got it done in like 20 minutes and wondered why I thought I didn't want to paint all week, because painting is awesome. It turns out that for me, starting is the hardest part. If I can just grit my teeth and start something, the momentum builds and I can actually finish.

3. Serve/Volunteer.
I have a lot of things I have to do every week, but I try to remember to schedule in time for volunteering, because the job satisfaction is MUCH higher. Going to the temple (I don't go every week yet... but that would be awesome), doing TRC at the MTC and other volunteer stuff, making a treat for your people, and sending a message to or calling someone you haven't talked to in a while will make you feel awesome, which creates the juice inside you for accomplishing more tasks. We probably think we are too busy for that kind of thing, but I find my productivity is much higher when I have actually done something for the benefit of another person that week.

4. Create checkpoints
Splitting up your tasks, or even your entire day into checkpoints can make the day seem more manageable. In my planner, I write down the things I'll be doing every hour (class from 9-10:15, work from 10:30-2:30, meeting at 4), and once I have done it, I get to put a huge checkmark through it. Time will pass inevitably, so why not check off the thing you would have been doing anyway!

5. Get enough sleep, and get up early, and get organized.
I've been in a super good habit of getting up and starting my day early (I consider the 7 o' clock hour to be early enough for me, haha), but it has to start with me getting to bed by midnight. Or else waking up in the morning is a dramatic experience. I think the culprit of going to bed too late for a lot of people is the distraction of social media (or netflix and tv, probably). If I plug in my phone around 10:30 and try not to touch it anymore, I find it's so much easier to go to sleep at a good time. Scrolling scrolling scrolling... bad. Spend that time instead organizing and tidying up your living space. Seriously, 20-30 minutes of straightening up every day goes a long way and makes you feel so good!

6. Treat yo' self.
Reward yourself when you have done something hard. Eat a chocolate or take a short nap or watch an episode of Friends or go on a walk or go buy a little succulent for $1. Pretty sure occasional breaks are good for you.

Hopefully one or more of these tasks is beneficial for you. Does anyone else have any genius ways for getting motivated? Because I could always use some more!

And yeah, I still use an RM planner... shake my own head.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

reading list

I haven't had very much time for pleasure reading while in college... but somehow this semester I have made time for it! (maybe because it's my last semester and I'm like "what are grades?")
Here's what I've been reading so far this year:

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
I recently had to reread it for a research project I was pretty excited because it's one of my favorites.

Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
Love me an episodic narrative. When Anne accidentally gets Diana drunk on the raspberry cordial it is just too much hahaaaa!

Following Christ - Stephen E. Robinson
A beautiful book that gave me further insight into the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what my day-to-day purpose is.

Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton
At least read the blog if you don't have access to the book! So funny and cool and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Should have read this one in high school I think but probably sparknotes-ed it. I can't believe I did that though, because this is one of my new favorite books! I like dystopian-type stories because it makes me appreciate what I have a little more, I suppose.

Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Pretty funny at times in like an 18th century kind of way. Also it's a classic and I had never read it.

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other - Sherry Turkle
A must-read, really. I think when we become aware of what we are expecting from technology and what we expect from people, we really re-evaluate where we spend our time and when we should set our phones aside for a while.

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 11, 2016


such a happy, sunny, beautiful, perfect day. 
i want to always remember it.
and all the days since becoming mrs b.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


We are kind of into designer chocolate over here. Shae takes dark chocolate VERY seriously, and we like to keep a bar in the fridge so we can eat just a few bites after lunch or dinner. Here's what happened last night:

Me: You can have the last little bit.
Him: Let's split it.
Me: Ok, are you sure?
Him: Yeah, I like sharing chocolate with you. It makes it sweeter.

Hahaaa... is he even real!?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Roald Dahl

One of my new years resolutions is to read (or re-read) all of the Roald Dahl books in 2016, as this is the year he would have turned 100 years old!

During the summer I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Shae over Facetime. That one is my most favorite.

Friday, February 5, 2016

a sample of my january playlist

Synesthesia - Andrew McMahon.
He's my favorite artist at the moment. I like listening to his stuff at work with the surround sound in the color room. But his stuff might sound even better through headphones? I don't know.

I don't know what that song title actually means cuz I am always going to be 5 steps behind on slang.

Space Oddity - David Bowie
I added my favorite Bowie song to my playlist when he passed away.
I'm not an incredibly devoted Bowie fan like many people appeared to be a couple weeks ago. But I do admire his boldness and pioneering efforts in the music industry.

Running for Cover - Ivan & Alyosha
Reminds me of City & Colour? Nice.

You Know Me - Air Traffic Controller
I just have to say thanks to Spotify's Discover Weekly for this one. It made my heart beat differently, so THUMBS UP.