Face it, life can get pretty serious. Our to-do lists haunt us as we try to fall asleep at night, the perfect outfit for tomorrow can always be found crumpled up at the bottom of the laundry pile and the grass on the other side of the fence is perpetually greener, thinner and much more effortlessly energetic! It can be very easy to spin down the “feeling unmotivated” rabbit hole in the face of it all.
As sappy as it sounds, when I am feeling a bit bogged down by life, nothing cures me faster than spending some time with my niece and nephew. They are at the magical ages (3 and 7) when anything can be turned into a game and everything can be celebrated. Simply putting on socks is hilarious when accompanied by ravenous eating sounds (the socks are eating your feet – get it?) and followed with wild, thunderous applause for a job well done! Waiting for your bread to toast is the perfect opportunity to see how many times you can jump up and down on one leg and then take a victory lap around the living room when you beat your old record! I always find myself laughing at the simplest things when I’m with them.
I decided to add some of this fun into my own life to see if I could make the mundane everyday tasks of life seem a bit, well, less mundane. I have been trying to get to the gym more consistently, so I checked in with my inner 6–year-old and bought some stickers to put on my wall calendar for every day I successfully exercised. Seems silly, but sure enough, the thought of all those stickers lined up on my calendar has been just the motivation I needed. I worked out at least 4 days every week in December and loved being able to say (with some admitted smugness), “I went to the gym every Thursday this month!” It would have been easy to make excuses and slack off if all I was thinking about was the one gym session in the moment – that’s what happened so often in the past. Somehow, seeing those stickers add up to something that I could easily track and tally when getting ready in the morning, made it much easier to pack my gym bag and make good on the appointment I already made with myself in the calendar to go to the gym (more on that in a later post). Not to mention how great my calendar looked with all that sticker glory!
As adults, we often live in the what’s next/how could I do this faster/just get it done mentality. We check items off our lists and instantly add three more. We hardly ever take a moment to congratulate ourselves for a job well done. We wait for special occasions or someone else to say something before we take stock of the efforts we’ve made. Sure, we wouldn’t get very far in life if we dilly-dallied through tasks like a 5-year-old, but every now and then, go ahead and give yourself the sticker or the ice cream or the round of applause for that small something that you chose to do when you really didn’t want to. You’ll feel a lot better about what you just accomplished and, most likely, a lot more motivated to do it again. So the next time you take out the trash, especially when it’s cold and rainy and it really wasn’t your turn to do it anyway, just for fun, take a second to imagine a stadium full of people, cheering and applauding your remarkable efforts and take a bow, a deep extravagant MET Opera sized bow, you’ve earned it!
Post authored by Erin Jerozal