“Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

Life is a mystery, its challenges, many. How do you keep yourself going when you begin to droop a bit? Here are some suggestions to keep you fresh and moving forward away from stress, away from indecision, away from lack of decisiveness, away from gloom.

Find Ways to Smile More. Give smiles to your work associates, your children, your boss, your customers, total strangers, even. You know how good an acknowledging smile means to you, so why not extend that great feeling to others. You’ll end up feeling more motivated.

Focus Without Distractions. You have to clear the deck of all distractions so your focus can be laser pointed and your work filled with the spirit of inspiration. Have a list of #1 Priority and #2 Priority before you begin, so you don’t waste time figuring out what to do after you’re pointed. This way, your day’s work will be optimized by doing the right things from the right sweet spot.

Explore New Ways, New Paths, New Methods. Have you ever danced while washing the dishes? Why not? Have you ever worn black glasses with phony eyebrows and fake noses and looking at kids in school buses as you drive past? You’ll love their astonishment. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut. Mix things up into a new order. It helps us stretch and open our creativity. It’s how you nurture your soul and encourage it to grow.

Don’t Do It Blindly. Do It For Your Big Dream. Your day is filled with tasks. If you don’t like the task, it will not support you in your life, so get someone else who does love it to do it instead. Keep your Big Dream in mind, and weigh all tasks against it. Ask yourself “Why?” when you’re given a task. What’s your good reason for doing it? If it has some good meaning that supports your dream, do it. When you know the why behind tasks, it makes them easier, will help you do a better job and enjoy it more.

Journal about Progress. Our feet point forward and that’s not an accidental design. Forward is our direction. You make take big leaps, or you may do the centimeter shuffle. Every small step forward should be recognized and applauded. Your appreciation alone will help you keep taking the next step forward, so at day’s end, look back and applaud your small steps. You’d be surprised how much there is to recognize and appreciate. Give yourself a little Praise Break after you complete some particularly difficult task.

Ask for Assistance. Do you like to help people? They like to help you. So don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re weary, puzzled, or out of ideas. It will inject freshness into the idea and you’ll feel loved. It’s a small bit, but an important one.

Know What Motivates You. There’s a lengthy discussion about writing with music playing or writing in silence. I prefer silence and music is distracting while I’m writing. Take a look at what motivates you while you’re working. Moms, can you play music while you’re cleaning house for the peppiness of it? Do you love entering your office and smelling a favorite fragrance? Does your desk face toward the out of doors? Whatever motivates you should be indulged because you’ll become more efficient at your work when you do.

Get Comfortable With Saying “No.” You never have to offer anyone a reason for your good reason for saying “No” even if they ask you. Practice this one a lot until you get comfortable because you have discovered the world didn’t come screeching to a halt when you said “No.” You can thank them nicely for their offer, or you can provide some other option to solve the situation. “No, I’m not the best one to head that project, but I know Marcia would be great at it and would love the challenge.”

Pace Yourself. You’ve only got 24 hours and your energy – while it can be renewed along the way – should be respected. You can prioritize tasks to coincide with your high energy points. Mine is in the morning. Take a five-minute walk around the property where you work to get some fresh air and shake the cobwebs out. Your energy will renew itself. Late afternoons are a great time to put this into place.

Find a More Fun Way to Do the Job. I know a lady who lived in an apartment temporarily, and she hated to take her laundry to the Laundromat. She tried really hard to find something good about that task and discovered that she loved to put her arms in the soapy water. The job became more fun. If you’ve got something you don’t like to do, look for some unique and different way to get it done. You could be rewarded for your inventiveness and efficiency.

Do the Worst Task First. If there’s something on your #1 Priority List that makes you grimace, promise yourself you’ll do it first and get it out of the way because you know after that, it will be pure enjoyment. Some tasks just are necessary, and if you can’t find a new way to approach one you dislike, just get it done first.

Maximizing your time and your processes will allow you to keep taking those steps forward, regardless of their size.

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