I am all about schedules and routines. Routines and schedules. I remember disliking the first week of classes at JMU because I didn't have a set routine. It took at least a week to figure out who you would eat with and when and where, when you would have study breaks, coffee breaks and nap breaks (oh boy, I wish I had nap breaks... ohhh college, I miss you so). Then it came down to actually finding the classrooms... and your professors' office (that was a real doozy).
You can even see that on Summer Wind, I am all about routines. 99% of the time I post Monday-Friday, religiously. Each post goes live at 6:00am ET and giveaways are almost always on Monday mornings (hint, hint for those of you who haven't figured that out yet).
I love blogging. I love that I can look back on the past 3 and a half years and see my interests shift and grow. I love that if I wanted to, I can look back to my sophomore year of college and see what I was wearing any given day.
I also love meeting people through blogging. Making connections with people all over the country who have similar interests is rewarding and inspiring.
I realize that blogging is not for everyone. It is a big commitment and requires a lot of time and effort. I get asked the same questions over and over again and one of the most frequently asked questions is "how do you keep it up?".
Well, my blogging friends, here is my list of ways to stay motivated. This list doesn't necessarily just apply to bloggers, you can apply a lot of these ideas and tips to other aspects of life as well...especially for those of you going through finals right now (I hate to admit it, but I even miss finals... I guess I'm nerdy like that!)
Create a great playlist
This all depends on what you're doing. For blogging, I can listen to anything. When it came to studying for finals, I usually depended on Pandora jazz or symphony stations, although, my roommates can vouch that sometimes in September I would have Frank Sinatra Christmas playing. Music keeps me going. Recently, I have been blogging to the sounds of "Gone, Gone, Gone" by Phillips Philiips. It's catchy and I think the lyrics are perfect.
Playlists are also great for people who aren't morning people (aka. ME). I get up super early and have an hour commute each morning. A catchy, upbeat and "fresh" playlist helps me to start my day happy and motivated.
Make a list
Lists on lists on lists is my motto. I like to have a running list of blog ideas. I have one in the notes section of my phone, a "sticky note" on the desktop of my computer and a physical list that I keep in my Lilly planner. In college, I did the same thing. I wrote a daily list of what I had to accomplish. At work I always rely on lists as well. Plus, who doesn't love crossing things off of their lists?!
Read a great quote
There is something about a quote that can really inspire you. I stockpile quotes and then browse through them when I am in need.
Gain some perspective
This is really pertinent for college students going through finals. When you are miserable studying and writing papers at all hours of the day and night, there is a lot of pressure that can make you just want to quit.
As a college student, you are so lucky to be attending college and getting a degree. Some people would give anything to be studying for finals and earning their degree.You have worked hard to get where you are fortunate enough to have such a great opportunity, so why not do the absolute best you can?
Sometimes, I would much rather lounge and watch a movie after work than blog/answer e-mails... I think every blogger out there can attest to this. However, I think about the 880+ past posts I've written and think to myself... I've done it 880 times before, so why stop now?
Take a break
Sometimes, letting your mind wander is when the best ideas come alive. At school, I would watch an episode of a show, have a snack or get some caffeine. Usually, now, my break is dinner (that sounds so boring, yikes!).
I cannot get motivated or inspired if things are cluttered. I remember at school, mid-study session or paper writing session, I would break out the Lysol wipes and go to town. I once cleaned out my entire t-shirt bin and was known for changing my sheets... constantly. Afterwards, it felt so good and my space felt refreshed. Post-grad, I am always organizing and getting things ready for the next day. Every night right before I go to sleep, the feeling that things are clean/organized and ready to go for the next day has me convinced that I sleep 1000000x better.
What keeps you motivated? Have a fabulous day!