Tag Archives: motivation

What I learned today while I was doing the Ironing…

I hate ironing.  I leave it until there is an enormous pile of it or my husband is muttering about having nothing to wear to work.  I really, really dislike it.


In the past couple of months I have tried to keep on top of Mount Ironmore by making the occasion something to look forward to.  I have been catching up on the TV that I never seem to have time to watch, or those programmes that I fancy watching, and my husband really doesn’t.  Today, technology did not make my life easy.   Something crashed and it wouldn’t let me stream the TV show I wanted to watch on my laptop while getting hot over the steam iron.

I tried to listen to the radio, but that wasn’t going to cut it today.  Then… I had the idea… what about watching a couple of TED Talks?  Okay.., more than a couple of them… the ironing pile was HUGE.

TED talks

Do you know about TED Talks?  Basically they are lectures given by inspirational people which teach you something… What is not to like?  I get to take my mind off the fact I am doing the worst chore in the house and I learn stuff.  Great deal.  Plus, I actually know someone who did a TED talk (Mortgage Free in Three) and it was AWESOME.

So, the first thing I learnt was about how your frame of mind and your perspective can actually make exercise easier and better.  That talk was 14 minutes and some seconds long.


The second thing  I learned was why keeping biodiverse habitats is so important, and actually really clarified why I am so passionate about herbalism.  This is the talk I want to share with you.  This is about 14 minutes long as well.

Humble Plants that hide surprising secrets

The third talk was about emotion and how it motivates people.  It was one of TED’s top 20 best talks ever and it was amazing.  Goosebumpy in fact.  I need to process it before I tell you all about it… but I am sure I will.  What a fabulous talk.

completed ironing

And even better – in just over 1 hour… I have ironed 9 work shirts, 2 French cuff shirts, 2 dresses, 1 skirt and a pair of trousers.  Oh and a short sleeved shirt.  Yay!  Mount Ironmore is no more… Hubby will have work shirts for the next couple of weeks… and I got topped up on motivation and inspiration.  Fabulous, fabulous mornings work.


The fine art of motivation…

I could do with a firm kick up the bahookie today.  Despite going to bed at a reasonable hour and sleeping the whole night through, I woke up feeling sleepy and with absolutely no motivation whatsoever.  To do anything.  Sadly, my to do list has other ideas and I have absolutely masses that I should be getting on with.  Including writing this blog.


Therefore, my research and blog writing today will all have to do with finding motivation when you have absolutely no reserves left.  Shamelessly self serving, but as I look at it, killing two birds with one stone.

My starting point is usually why I need to do something.  I personally find that if the reason for doing something is not one I can argue with or pick holes in, then my highly developed sense of guilt will get me going and I will do it.  This is useful for cooking the evening meal and doing the laundry (especially if we are at risk of having to go naked into the community!) but not so much for pushing the vacuum around the house.  I can justify procrastination of that for a long, long time!!

why you started

So, my next step is to decide to prioritise the list.  For example, I have already decided that thoroughly cleaning upstairs and down is not going to happen today.  But the downstairs is the bit that gets seen most, so I probably need to do that.  Just in case we have anyone dropping by unannounced or something over the weekend.  Okay… motivation levels rising.

15 minutes

If that still hasn’t worked then I crack open my old favourite.  I am a huge devotee of Flylady (can be found at http://www.Flylady.net) and all she has to say about how to clean your house.  One of her watchwords is that you can do anything for 15 minutes.  Anything at all.  And she is right.  When I was working in an office, I would often say to myself “Right Clare… just work 15 minutes on this reconciliation, or this accrual journal, or this budget report” and 1 hour later (because I had got into the job and it was going well) I had finished the whole job.  Sometimes you can blow the job out of proportion in your own mind and it becomes a terrifying chore when really it will be done in 15 minutes or less.  I find this works particularly with the dishes.  No, really.  It never takes as long as you think it will.


My research has turned up some other strategies.  Including one which has made a lightbulb go off in my head.  Routine.  This website I found is written by a former professional sportsman and he said in order to be motivated to perform well, even if he was feeling a bit off, he relied on a pre-event routine.  Looking at my cleaning rota, I realise that because of other things going on in our life at the moment, the routine that had this house shining has gone by the wayside.

Time to get it back on track and fast!  Our lives are hopefully going to change dramatically in the not too distant future and I don’t want to be stressing out about the state of the house, when if I had stuck to my tried and tested routines, I would be right on top of everything still.  So, it is time to get my backside off this chair and get on with the house chores.  No matter how pointless it currently seems to be!

weekend 2

Hope this has helped you get motivated to do the one thing you are avoiding doing – imagine the great feeling you are going to have over the weekend if you have scratched the horrible job off your to do list?  There… that is another motivator!  Off to grab the vacuum and chase the dog around the house with it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Some times the inspiration just flows…

Today is luckily one of those days.  Wednesday totally wasn’t, so I apologise for not blogging then!


I think the inspiration is flowing because I actually managed to sleep last night.  Right through.  From 10.15 pm to 6.30am.  Absolutely blissful!  This is big news for me.  My sleep patterns have always been erratic, so a solid 7 hours is a cause for celebration.


So how have I been inspired?  Well, this blog post first of all.  And some projects on the house and garden as well.


Inspiration is vital for any kind of movement forward, in projects, ideas, solutions for problems, diplomatic solutions…  some more than others.  Chances are you don’t need inspiration to go and weed the beds in the garden.  You need the motivation to get off the sofa and just do it.  The inspiration part comes when you are thinking about what bits go where in the garden, or how to fit the vegetable plot into the space.  The motivation to go out and do the heavy digging… ummm…  I need to find that for later.

lightbulb moment

So how did the inspiration strike me today?  I was cleaning the kitchen.  Not just giving it a swish and swipe but seriously cleaning the kitchen and scrubbing it.  I often find that inspiration strikes when you are doing drudgery sorts of tasks.  It rather seems like your conscious mind is taking something of a holiday and your unconscious mind takes over and gives you a cracking idea.  Well, at least this is how inspiration strikes for me.


And today, the “flash” was on how to update the kitchen without the need of ripping it all out and starting again.  So it is paint colours, what I want to do, how I want to do it.  I tell you, I am so excited by it all.  Heaven knows when I am going to get to it you understand… but at least I have an idea of what to do.  Lots of research to do as well.

buttermilk yellow

I hope you all have a very inspired weekend as well.  Let me know what ideas you get!


Going back. Again.

Today, I start back at the gym.  I gave up going to the gym back in November when I got ill, with that we think was glandular fever.  I am heading back to the gym, like lots of other people, after the post-Christmas New Year’s Resolution rush to get fit.  My plan is to use the combination of exercise and portion control to get fighting fit in preparation for becoming a Mum via adoption.

50 reasons

On the basis that if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got, I am searching for Motivation to help me when I get the inevitable attack of the CBAs (Can’t be Asked).  Where do I go for short sharp inspiration?  My favourite Pinterest of course!  It came up with the goods.  50 reasons to exercise.  I won’t trail through the whole 50, because otherwise I will spend all my day at the computer, and not go to the gym!  Here, instead, are the edited highlights.


Exercise makes you feel happier through the release of endorphins.  It improves your self esteem, because you are achieving something as well as making yourself look better.  If you are studying and want to boost you learning, then get with your books and get on the stationary bike!  Exercise lifts your mood, keeps your brain fit, reduces stress and boosts your immune system.

exercise advice

It also apparently has anti-ageing effects and boosts your creative thinking.  It improves sleeping patterns, helps to control addictions, improves your eating habits and improves your posture.  Exercise can also keep you focussed in life and strengthens your bones.


If you exercise regularly, your cholesterol levels improve, you lower your risk of certain cancers, you can lower high blood pressure without resorting to drugs, it reduces your risk of diabetes, can fight the onset of dementia, eases back pain and decreases the risk of osteoporosis.


Some obvious ones now.  Exercise increases your energy and endurance, improves sport performance, improves pain resistance and lessens fatigue.  Also, aerobic exercise improves oxygen supply to blood cells.


Do I think that these reasons will help motivate me?  Well, hopefully.  I also need to keep my eye on the prize;  I want to feel like I have the energy to keep up with a small person (or people) when they come into my life.  I also want to feel better about myself.  But the main thing I have to remember is to break the habit of a lifetime and not do too much, too soon and burn up or burn out.


So, on that note, I am off to try out the exercise bikes (slowly), maybe the treadmills (for some walking) and get in the pool and do some lengths.  After all that, I am going to treat myself to a sit in the steam room!