Tag Archives: Motivational Monday

New Day – Motivational Monday!

Welcome to Motivational Monday! A safe space to lay it all out on the table- no one is perfect, and every one needs a boost now and again. What time is better than on Monday, that sunny little bright spot of the week? Pull up a chair, keep an open mind, and let’s start this week right!

We did it! We made it to the last Monday of 2014 which is also the last Motivational Monday post! The thought today is this- with the New Year’s eve coming up and with that all the resolutions and the feeling of renewal- why don’t we strive to feel and act that way every day? Yes, the start of a new year is a good time to reflect and look toward the future… but every new day is a new chance to change your path and your attitude.

So today, every day, and for the new year, keep this in mind:

You are your own person and you are needed in this world. You have so much to give and you are loved. Be yourself because everyone else is taken. Be adventurous, be brave, and be kind. Work hard, stay humble, and never give up. Life is too short and too precious to have a bad attitude. Grudges are a waste of time and happiness. Laugh when you can and apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Strive to do your best and you can always be proud.

Happy Monday, and Happy New Year!

 

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Be Thankful – Motivational Monday!

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Welcome to Motivational Monday! A safe space to lay it all out on the table- no one is perfect, and every one needs a boost now and again. What time is better than on Monday, that sunny little bright spot of the week? Pull up a chair, keep an open mind, and let’s start this week right!

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

With the hustle and bustle of the season surrounding us, it is necessary to slow down and reflect on what is really important. The true meaning of Christmas, family and friends. While the media may focus on retail sales and last minute gifts, the holidays are a wonderful season for reunions, love and selfless giving.

In our western world it seems there can be a bitter sweet aftertaste of needing, wanting and never being satisfied. What if we focus on what we do have? Christmas should be a time where we put gratitude over materialistic wishes and learn to be happy with what we have- and who we are sharing it with.

Happy Monday, and Merry Christmas!

 

Start Doing – Motivational Monday!

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Welcome to Motivational Monday! A safe space to lay it all out on the table- no one is perfect, and every one needs a boost now and again. What time is better than on Monday, that sunny little bright spot of the week? Pull up a chair, keep an open mind, and let’s start this week right!

What will you start today?

You’ve dreamed about it, imagined the outcome, maybe even thought about what it would take to make it come true. What’s stopping you?

If not today, why not make it your New Year’s Resolution? Stop wishing and start doing.

Happy Monday!

 

Willpower – Motivational Monday!

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Welcome to Motivational Monday! A safe space to lay it all out on the table- no one is perfect, and every one needs a boost now and again. What time is better than on Monday, that sunny little bright spot of the week? Pull up a chair, keep an open mind, and let’s start this week right!

This week’s theme for Motivational Monday is willpower. With Christmas coming up fast and with it parties and lots of sugary and fatty foods, willpower is important to be sure to not over indulge. Recently I read about willpower in my book ‘The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business’ by Charles Duhigg and I would like to share a few points.

Duhigg writes of an experiment that Mark Muraven conducted as a psychology PhD candidate at Case Western. The premise of the experiment was to test taste perceptions, but in reality it was to force students- but only some students- to exert willpower. Each person was presented with a plate of cookies and a plate of radishes on a table. Half was instructed to eat the cookies and not the radishes, the other half was to eat radishes and not the cookies. Muraven’s theory was that ignoring the cookies would take willpower and ignoring the radishes would require hardly any effort at all. This went as planned. Then the researcher reentered the room and told the participants that they needed 15 minutes for the sensory memory to fade, and in the meantime they could complete a puzzle while they waited.

This puzzle was actually the the most important part of the experiment. It was impossible to solve, and so the researcher watched to see how long the participants would attempt to work on it. ” The cookie eaters, with their unused reservoirs of self-discipline, started working on the puzzle. In general they looked relaxed. One of them tried a straightforward approach, hit a roadblock, and then started again. And again. And again. Some worked for over half an hour before the researcher told them to stop. On average, the cookie eaters spent almost nineteen minutes apiece trying to solve the puzzle before they rang the bell. The radish eaters, with their depleted willpower, acted completely different. They muttered as they worked. they got frustrated. On average, the radish eaters worked for only about eight minutes, 60 percent less time than the cookie eaters, before quitting.” The point of this is that willpower is like a muscle, like the muscle in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.

Duhigg asks how far this analogy extends. Another experiment by two Australian researchers , Megan Oaten and Ken Cheng tried to answer that question by creating a willpower workout. They enrolled people in a physical excercise program that lasted two months. They were put through an increasing amount of weight lifting, resistance training and aerobic routines. After two months they were not only in better physical condition, but were healthier in other parts of their lives as well. Before the experiment most of the subjects were self-professed couch potatoes. However when the test was over they smoked fewer cigarettes, consumed less alcohol, caffeine and junk food. They were spending more hours on homework, fewer on watching TV and were less depressed.

They wondered if exercise just made people happier and less hungry for fast food so they designed another experiment. This time they signed up twenty nine people for a four month money management program. “They set savings goals and asked participants to deny themselves luxuries, such as meals at restaurants or movies. Participants were asked to keep detailed logs of everything they bought, which was annoying at first, but eventually people worked up the self-discipline to jot down every purchase. People’s finances improved as they progressed through the program. More surprising, they also smoked fewer cigarettes and drank less alcohol and caffeine- on average, two fewer cups of coffee, two fewer beers, and, among smokers, fifteen fewer cigarettes each day. They ate less junk food and were more productive at work and school. It was like the exercise study: As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives- in the gym, or a money management program- that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.”

Todd Heatherton, a researcher at Dartmouth who has worked on willpower studies said that this is why signing kids up for piano lessons or sports is so important. It has nothing to do with creating a good musician or a five-year-old soccer star. “When you learn to force yourself to practice for an hour or run fifteen laps, you start building self-regulatory strength. A five-year-old who can follow the ball for ten minutes becomes a sixth grader who can start his homework on time.” Also, “When you learn to force yourself to go to the gym or start your homework or eat a salad instead of a hamburger, part of what’s happening is that you’re changing how you think. People get better at regulating their impulses. They learn how to distract themselves from temptations. And once you’ve gotten into that willpower grove, your brain is practiced at helping you focus on a goal.”

So this season make healthy productive choices and see the results reverberate into other areas of your life!

Make One Change – Motivational Monday!

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Welcome to Motivational Monday! A safe space to lay it all out on the table- no one is perfect, and every one needs a boost now and again. What time is better than on Monday, that sunny little bright spot of the week? Pull up a chair, keep an open mind, and let’s start this week right!

This week’s Motivational Monday is from the Natural Health Magazine, November/December edition, written by Emily C. Johnson.

‘You’ve been told to count your blessings more times than you can, yes, count. But who has 20 minutes to meditate on all the good in life when there are more pressing things to stress over, like blizzard-related flight delays? “There is an evolutionary advantage to focusing on the negative- your body and brain want you to pay attention to potential threats so you stay safe. But research shows that our mood improves when we dwell on gratitude,” says Erin Olivo, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in New York City and author of the new book Wise Mind Living. Better yet: Taking just a second to be thankful when good comes your way can turn you into a full-time optimist, Olivo calls these time-outs “micro-gratitude moments.” They can keep your mood elevated all day, even trouncing anxiety and depression, research shows. Here’s how to rewire your brain to a life-is-beautiful setting.

Picking up on the positive in your life doesn’t mean waiting for something amazing to happen. “It’s about the small things- whenever you find yourself smiling, really take in why,” Olivo says. “When you push the button for the elevator and it opens right away, notice that ‘Yessss!’ that goes through your head.” Give those mini high points the same attention that you give a missed train home and you’ll be grinning instead of wincing in annoyance. You can even jot them down to refer back to and reflect on. After a few weeks of adding to your good-stuff list, the practice of noticing serendipity will become second nature. It’s like building a positivity muscle!

“Program a reminder on your phone to go off three times a day, prompting you to make note of little things that have made you happy,” Olivo says. Or pick a daily trigger, like heating up your lunch, and take stock then. If you haven’t yet tallied any tickled-pink moments, pause to remember your smoother-than-usual commute- or treat yourself (e.g., with a Youtube video like “Pughuahua Eats Watermelon”) so you have something to smile about. “Bank these positive minutes, and you’re more likely to think to yourself at night, Today was a good day, and mean it,” Olivo says.’

Happy Monday!

 

Give Thanks – Motivational Monday!

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Welcome to Motivational Monday! A safe space to lay it all out on the table- no one is perfect, and every one needs a boost now and again. What time is better than on Monday, that sunny little bright spot of the week? Pull up a chair, keep an open mind, and let’s start this week right!

In honor of Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, today’s Motivational Monday was taken from Healthline.com in an article titled A Dose of Gratitude: How Being Thankful Can Keep You Healthy, written by Robin Madell

What if there was a solution to stress so simple that it involved nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life? In fact, there is. That solution is called gratitude.

Studies have shown that people who regularly practice feeling thankful have a leg up when it comes to their health. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis, has been a leading researcher in this growing field, termed “positive psychology.” His research has found that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits.

Emmons’ findings, along with those from other researchers such as Lisa Aspinwall, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, suggest that grateful people may be more likely to:

  • take better care of themselves physically and mentally
  • engage in more protective health behaviors and maintenance
  • get more regular exercise
  • eat a healthier diet
  • have improved mental alertness
  • schedule regular physical examinations with their doctor
  • cope better with stress and daily challenges
  • feel happier and more optimistic
  • avoid problematic physical symptoms
  • have stronger immune systems
  • maintain a brighter view of the future

With that list of benefits, who wouldn’t want to try it? To get started giving thanks, consider integrating some of the steps below into your daily life.

Focus Attention Outward

Your attitude plays a large role in determining whether you can feel grateful in spite of life’s challenges. According to Emmons, gratitude is defined by your attitude towards both the outside world and yourself. He suggests that those who are more aware of the positives in their lives tend to focus their attention outside of themselves.

Be Mindful of What You Have

You may assume that those with more material possessions have more to be grateful for. However, research suggests otherwise. Edward Diener, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, found that a high percentage of affluent people in Japan report low levels of life satisfaction, just as those living in poverty in India do. These findings suggest that it’s not how much you have, but how you feel about what you have that makes the difference.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Recording what you feel grateful for in a journal is a great way to give thanks on a regular basis. Emmons found that those who listed five things they felt grateful for in a weekly gratitude journal reported fewer health problems and greater optimism than those who didn’t. A second study suggests that daily writing led to a greater increase in gratitude than weekly writing.

Reframe Situations as Positive

It’s not actually a challenging situation that is upsetting. It’s how you perceive the situation. The next time you find yourself complaining about life’s hassles, see if you can mentally “flip the switch” to frame things differently. For example, rather than getting down about missing an opportunity, try to see the positive side. You might now have more time to direct towards other priorities.

Happy Monday, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Brave Enough – Motivational Monday!

Welcome to Motivational Monday! A safe space to lay it all out on the table- no one is perfect, and every one needs a boost now and again. What time is better than on Monday, that sunny little bright spot of the week? Pull up a chair, keep an open mind, and let’s start this week right!

Today’s a two for one- a funny video with a positive message for the week. These adorable clumsy baby elephants are hilarious to watch and also show us their bravery. They fall, but keep getting back up. So start out this week with a laugh, and don’t let a step back keep you down. It is the falls that teach us how to keep going. Happy Monday!