Motivation. Determination. Priorities.

I was listening to the radio station I love the other day and a new show came on, which I am falling in love with as well, and three keys words from the show stuck with me. The three things that can drive us. Motivation. Determination. Priorities.

I know you know what these words mean but let's take a moment and really look at their definitions. It is good to do that at times. To get back down to the basics and build up from there. It can help us really focus on different parts of our lives.

Motivation: the reason or reasons to behave a certain way; the desire or willingness to do something

Determination: the firmness of purpose

Priorities: the things that are recognized as more important

The thing about me is I can hear or read something in one area of my life, say spiritual, and apply it in other areas, say my growing business dream. This was one of those times and if you have been following me a bit, I think you already know all I ever do is guided by faith. That is my foundation. But hearing these three words got me thinking once again about motivation, determination, and priorities.

If you have any goal or dream in life, these three words are your golden ticket, so to speak. You can't get to the finish line without all three. Motivation will only carry you so far as there will be days where that motivation will become challenged...not enough.

Yes, I am motivated to run every day. I am motivated to grow my business. But I will face days that are tough and where I will need to dig deeper and tap into my determination. It is the same as racing a marathon, after all, life is a marathon. You are motivated to sign up and run that marathon but you will need determination to get you to the finish line.

But even with motivation and determination, you may not get there if your goal and/or dream is not aligned with your priorities....and priorities change. Trust me, they change. Becoming a mother changed them. Becoming a mother of a third grader with extracurricular activities changed them. You can read about my changing priorities HERE but don't fret. It is okay for priorities to change. It is part of life.

I honestly believe, for each of us to grow into who were are meant to be and to achieve all that we are meant to achieve, we need to adapt, to change, to let the right priorities lead us. Then with motivation, determination, and priorities in place you will rock the boat...so to speak.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my prayer time today and being able to break down and cry out my sorrows to the Lord...and receive a wonderful hug in return.

Daily Bible Verse: From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. ~ Psalm 61:2

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1 easy step to increase your productivity

I am one busy bee juggling a lot and even though I have a lot of self motivation and drive, my productivity recently has been suffering.

I have always been someone who functions better in an organized space. Chaos drives me nuts! And I think most moms would agree, once you have kids chaos moves in. There are toys, blankets, homework, bags, stuffies, everything....everywhere! And as much as I am striving to teach my daughter to be tidy and responsible, I am also honest. Our home is small. Storage is limited. Space is limited. That in itself can make things chaotic even when we are cleaning up after ourselves. And I am equally guilty of leaving things out if I am going to go right back to them.

For the longest time, my volunteer work binder and supplies, my Beachbody business supplies, my bible studies and lector preparation supplies, and my full-time work from home supplies were stacked on the floor by the lounger between use. I was stepping over them every day on my way to and from the treadmill that has my next day's clothes, exercise ball, and towel stacked on it, reading material on it, and shoes in a bin beside it. Organized chaos.

Last Friday, as I should have been heading out the door with darling daughter to get to car's oil change done I announced, "I need an office". Darling quickly piped up, "When we move you can get an office!" All I could think was, I need one before then....before I lose my mind in this chaos. I need a place to work.

And then I looked around the kitchen and announced, "That counter! I want that counter for my office!" It took some thinking on where to move the items off of it and some juggling stashing areas in other rooms but I cleared the counter almost 100%. My personal coffee maker is still there. Yep, we have his and hers coffee makers. The funny thing is when we first moved in I envisioned this counter as a work area because its place didn't make it conducive for food prep, etc.

Darling daughter was more than excited to help me find office supplies when we waited 2+ hours for my car to be done and even more excited to help me set up the place. We even got her a chore chart! The final touch was under the cabinet lights that are held up by sticky tape, battery powered, and can be remote controlled. I got one over my office "desk" and another in my major food prep area where it was always kinda dark. There are two switches now in my kitchen and they operate both lights.

And with that one little step, setting up a work area dedicated to my work, my productivity has gone through the roof. I am more focused, I have my task list, everything is easy to reach, and I can live a project out versus stacking it up and it still looks tidy. It is my place. My power zone. And it goes beyond just my volunteer, business, and spiritual duties but my family duties with the chore chart and week's menu.

So if you are striving to work from home in any way, shape, or form, set yourself up a dedicated work area. No excuses, Do it. Claim a space of the home for you and make it yours. It doesn't have to be huge but effective.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my work office and that my family is so supportive of it.

Daily Bible Verse: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. ~ Colossians 3:23

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Changing the World - Will you join me?

I am blessed beyond belief to be part of this opportunity with my fellow Sweat Pink sisters. How cool is it to use our love of fitness and running to do good on Earth?! What would it be like If Girls Ran the World?

This October, I am joining If Girls Ran the World benefitting Save the Children with thousands of other individuals for a one of a kind adventure to collectively and virtually run around the world to benefit charities that empower girls globally. I strongly believe our future depends on our kids and they need us. I am excited to support Save the Children by raising money as part of my participation in If Girls Ran the World.

Although I jumped on the opportunity to use my running, blogging, coaching, life to do good I didn't jump to the organization Save the Children without looking over all the suggested organizations, and yes, you could add one of your own if none fit you just right. But Save the Children did.

As this oppotunity came across my desk, I was finishing up reading a book on the corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, give drink to the thirsty, and bury the dead. I was praying on how I could better fill the needs of those who are not abundantly blessed plus I have always had a soft spot for kids.

What I liked about Save the Children as a non-profit is that they had their charity credentials up front and central. I work for a non-profit. I know how important this is and can analzye their reportings and liked what I saw. I also liked that they have charity badges of honor. If I am going to stand behind a charity, I want them to be a good charity. They passed my good charity test with how they manage funds, but what about their cause? What was that?

From their website, Save the Children "invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children's lives now, we change the course of their future and ours."

They operate in 120 countries, providing support for health, education, protection, disaster relief and so much more. This fit well with my desire to help the whole world....to extend my corporal acts of mercy to all the corners of the Earth.

The final step, my commitment for a fundraising goal in October when this campaign goes full-fledged.

I will run 125 miles with the goal of raising $250 - $2 per mile. I will achieve this through contributions from awesome people like you PLUS a percentage of my fitness and nutrtion coach commissions from now until October 31st will be donated personally by me. That gives you two ways to support this awesome cause - donate by following this link and joining one of my challenge groups by emailing me.

Not enough for you? You want to help more?

If Girls Ran the World is offering 3 race registrations to my readers. How cool is that?

To enter fill out the form below:

Please help me help them by giving whatever you can (every dollar counts) by following this link.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot! Virtually, ANYTHING is possible.

Daily Gratitude: I am so thankful God gave me the gift and passion of running to help others and to change the world, for the better!

Daily Bible Verse: "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed." ~ Proverbs 19:17


Insomnia Tips

Sleeping woes have been with me all my life. There seems to be an ebb and flow to it and I know some may argue stress or just getting older (silly hormones) but I can remember having issues with sleeping way back when in my younger years.

Tossing and turning is a regularity in my bed and like I said, it comes and goes. I go through bad spells but then can sleep like a baby through multiple nights. I have never really fine-tuned the trigger but yes, stress is one. Going to bed not really at peace is another. I am sure hormones come into play these days. Excitement, jitters, and what I eat, drink, and do can all be factors. But this post isn't about the cause of insomnia but what to do when sleep eludes you.

Here are a few tricks that have helped me (and forget counting sheep...I get way too focused on the counting that it KEEPS me awake and alert trying to keep track of those cute little sheep hopping over that white fence in the middle of a lovely field of yellow flowers).

Change your sleeping position. Go to another room or flip upside down. Anything, just change it up. I would often just move my pillow to the foot of my bed as a kiddo, wrap the blankets around me differently, and before I knew it, I was asleep. Just don't ask me why it works. But it does in many cases.

Talk yourself into calmness and sleepless.
I can't count myself to sleep but I can talk myself there. I get more into it the the harder time I am having sleeping. I start with my feet and move up. "My feet are getting very sleepy. My feet are getting very sleepy. My feet are getting very sleepy. My feet are falling asleep." "My calves are getting very sleepy. My calves are getting very sleepy. My calves are getting very sleepy. My calves are falling asleep." "My knees are getting very sleepy. My knees are getting very sleepy. My knees are getting sleepy. My knees are falling asleep." For those really tough nights when I get more detailed I may move from toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees. You get the point. Move up your body talking your body parts to sleep and quite often I never make it to my head. If I do, I try again more detailed.

Music. Yes, music has always lulled me to sleep and I blame my parents. They always put me to sleep with music. I remember being at a neighbor's house when my younger sister was being born trying to sleep with no music. Not a happy time! My older sister ended up getting a cassette player with Hello Dolly and I was snoozing in no time! Today it isn't Hello Dolly or a cassette player as my iPhone is perfectly capable. I have an app of relaxing tunes that you can schedule to stop after x-amount of time but often it repeats the rhythm too much and can drive me nuts if I am already frustrated with insomnia. I also have the Immaculate Heart Radio app and can stream their Sacred Music channel. I LOVE this but my only woe is that it keeps on playing until you tell it to stop. I have fallen asleep to it many times and hours later turn it off and go straight back to sleep. I just wish it had a timer. Hint, hint Immaculate Heart. BUT...they also have a rosary page on their site and app and recently I have loaded that up when sleep eludes me. The rhthymic prayers, soothing voice, and reflecting on the mysteries of my faith can calm my mind and sleep comes. I do feel guiltly at times for falling asleep and not actively saying the rosary but in all reality, I think God is okay with that. He knows my heart.
How do you lull yourself to sleep?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the great night of sleep I had last night.

Daily Bible Verse: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. ~ Proverbs 6:10