Reasons You Should Be Enjoying a Hobby

I’ve been really thinking about why I started blogging and working on my own websites – because I enjoy it – and it’s become my hobby – or at least one of my hobbies – so I wanted to share a post that’s all about why hobbies are so important.

The Value of Having a Hobby
The Value of Having a Hobby image courtesy of Pixabay

Reasons to Have a Hobby You Enjoy

Did you know hobbies have a lot of positive benefits that can play a significant role in improving your quality of life? Read on for the details…

A Hobby Helps You Feel Enthusiastic

“Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” – Dale Carnegie

Everyday life can get you down – working – chores – all of it. Having a hobby gives you something that’s uniquely your own to look forward to and to enjoy.

Your Hobby Can Also Be Your Work

“I remember times of anxiety, ups and downs, and times of unexpected windfalls. But my parents loved what they did. And because their work was also their hobby, it taught me that work could be fulfilling.” – Rosamund Pike

You can make a career from your hobby. It has advantages and drawbacks. The main advantage is, even cruddy days doing something you love are better than the best day doing something you hate. The biggest disadvantage, in my opinion, is when you need a break, it’s a lot harder to step away because your livelihood is tied to your hobby.

A New Hobby Opens the Door to the Unknown

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” – Albert Einstein

When you approach a new hobby, you normally do it with your mind open to learning about something that interests you, but you don’t know a lot about.  That makes taking up a hobby a great way to experience the air of mystery and the blossoming experience that’s the root of all beauty.

A Hobby Increases Brain Efficiency

According to Prevention Magazine, hobbies that involve learning can change the brain’s structure and help keep your brain functioning properly, even if other age-related factors called neuropathies are negatively impacting you otherwise.

Thanks for reading, and tell me, if you want to, what are your favorite hobbies?

By: Laure Justice

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How to Keep Toxic People From Wrecking Your Motivation

No matter how much good you do for others, or how much progress you make in life regarding things you perceive as your own weaknesses, toxic people know how to swoop in like vultures and wreck it for you – but there are some things you can do to keep your cool and stay on your own path.

Maintaining Motivation in the Face of Toxic People
Maintaining Motivation in the Face of Toxic People image courtesy of Pixabay (Exercise step like the one I mention in the article – only mine is pink and purple.)

The Backstory Behind this Post About Maintaining Motivation and Not Letting Toxic People Get to You

I want to share the story of a recent trip I made to the local Goodwill store as an example of what I mean.

A random encounter with a totally toxic crone is the inspiration for these tips;

(I know, I shouldn’t call her a crone, but she wasn’t Cinderella, and if the shoe fits…) 

First, I have been exercising daily for 63 days now. I alternate resistance training with cardio, and I’m doing it for my health, and I have been looking for something to work my glutes and thighs, but I’m a budget shopper so I was at Goodwill.

My entire goal in exercising is to get stronger and be able to enjoy some active things, like hiking and riding a bicycle this summer – if I lose any weight – that will just be a happy bonus.

Whether I lose weight or not is completely irrelevant to me – I just want to be able to enjoy life and do active things without getting out of breath and wondering if my heart is going to give out.

Sure, if I do lose some weight, I’ll be happy about it, but it’s not my goal.

So, anyway, I found an exercise step at Goodwill for $4.50, and I thought, “Hey, that would be a great addition to my exercise gear!”  and I stuck it in my cart.

This short, chubby, older woman came up, looked in my cart, and asked what it was.

(What kind of idiot snoops through stranger’s carts at Goodwill anyway? That’s not normal!)

I explained it’s a step to use for exercising at home.

(Exercising… NOT losing weight – there’s a difference! Diffferent goals, different motivation.)

She replied that she had tried many times to lose weight, and her daughter had lost 80 pounds a few years ago, and they both gained it all back – and she went on to say that NO ONE EVER loses weight and keeps it off.

(Bold statement to assign her own failure and her daughter’s failure to every living person on the whole planet given there are 7.5 billion people living here, but… okay…) 

Finally, before she left, she looked me up and down to assure herself that I was, in fact, fat, then she wished me luck… and told me not to feel bad when it doesn’t work.

(At no point in the conversation had I said a SINGLE WORD about weight loss – that was this random stranger’s BAGGAGE, not mine.)

I smiled and nodded, all the while imagining myself smacking her with said exercise step – I didn’t though – I prayed for her black, ugly soul to gain some insight, for her to evolve into a decent human being that doesn’t need to crush others for no reason, for her daughter to escape her insanity, and for the toxic woman’s rotund, stubby body to gain at least 80 more pounds.

(I know, not the world’s nicest prayer, but I truly meant the nice parts, and at least I didn’t hit her with an exercise step…)

The encounter got me thinking about how many toxic people we come into contact with, and how deeply they can affect us when the only thing they are really doing is trying to reduce the pain and disappointment they feel in regards to their own pathetic lives.

If my only goal in exercising had been weight loss, though, this encounter might have sent me home crying with a  chocolate cake and left me giving up my efforts permanently.

The toxic woman would have likely defeated me if she had managed to correctly guess my goal in exercising, so I guess I was lucky that her baggage about not losing weight was different than my own.

Ways to Keep Toxic People From Wrecking Your Motivation

I’ve already hinted at the first two ways I want to suggest for preserving your own resolve in the face of abuse toxic people.

  • Pray for them, or send out good vibes if you’re not a praying person. Put your own anger aside long enough to truly wish the other person well. You can do that by praying for them or by simply sending some good vibes their way. It doesn’t matter if that person knows you wish them well, in fact, I think it’s better for YOU if they don’t. It’s for your sake. It helps you let it go of the hurt, offended feelings so you can move on.
  • Don’t own someone else’s emotional baggage. Realize that no matter how wrong they are, they just reflecting their own pain onto your situation. It has NOTHING to do with you. Sure, it’s still aggravating, but don’t pick up someone else’s baggage, let them carry their own burden.
  • Trust your own goals and motivation. Focus on your goals, and your reasons. If you don’t have a strong goal or a strong reason, think of one. Life is an ongoing process, and if you let one toxic person wreck your path, then they’ve won. You deserve to forge your own way, for your own reasons.
  • Vent and let off steam if you have to. Find a way to get it off your chest and just let it go. I’ll admit, that’s what I’m doing with this blog post, and if blogging about it would help you, feel free to snatch the idea.
  • Use what you’re feeling to help someone else. Nothing refocuses you quicker than reaching out a hand to help someone else. Use your words to share how it felt, teach your kids to eat healthier, or do whatever you feel right about to help someone else live a better, healthier, more positive life.

I wanted to turn what I was feeling after this encounter around and turn it into something positive that would have a chance of helping someone else. So, I tried to put a little humor in it.

Thanks for reading, and while I hope you don’t ever encounter anyone toxic who makes you feel small and worthless like that toxic, nasty woman tried to make me feel, if you do, keep these things in mind and give them a try.

 

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Weekly Motivation Note Card

Motivation and positive thinking are finely tuned, highly functional muscles in the body, spirit and mind that are often neglected. Just as you would not go to the gym once and expect to be extremely fit and healthy, you can not simply read a self-help book, or do one set of affirmations and anticipate motivational success.

Motivation Note Card Tips
Motivation Note Card Tips image courtesy of Pixabay

How to Use the Weekly Motivation Note Card System

By IWrite4U!

The Weekly Note Card is a great organization habit to keep you focused, goal-centered, and driven throughout each week. The idea is that you fill a personalized note card each week with a positive quote, goal, reassurance, affirmation and where you would like to be at the end of the week and then carry it with you at all time and reference it throughout.

What You’ll Need

In order to get started, all you will need to purchase is a pack of standard 3×5 note cards. I prefer packs that offer a variety of colors so I can use the different colors to have different overall meanings, for instance:

Red Card: a very emotionally exciting color, red actually increases respiration and heart rate – I will use if I have a big week of projects or major test or presentation
Yellow Card: associated with joy, creates a warming effect – will use if it is a rainy week or there is possible gloom on the horizon
Green Card: symbolizes growth, harmony, and freshness – will use if I am feeling stagnated or anxious

How to Make it Work

Once you have your selected your preferred card it will be time to fill it! Try to lay out a schedule for yourself in when and where you create the card and also reference it at home. I find that Sunday evenings work best for making the new card for the week as it lays out your mental road map. In practice, I will keep the card on my nightstand if I am home, or on my bathroom counter, so that it is the first thing that I see when I wake up and last at night.

Allow yourself to be creative in your composition but try to stick to the card format of:

Affirmation: Speak in the first person and be specific. Some examples:
– I am in charge of my mood
– I have everything that I need to make this a great day
– When I breathe I inhale confidence and exhale timidity

Positive Quote: Search and select something that resonates with you. Some people keep books they quote (Bible, Collections, Poems) or some just reference web searches – either works!

Goal: What would you like to accomplish this week?
– Spend more time with kids
– Take wife out on date

Thing to work on: What would you like to see different in yourself?
– Be more patient with your employees
– Be humble about your successes

Compose your card and keep it on your person at all times throughout the week (wallet or purse works great). Whenever you have a moment pull out the card and reference it and overlay it with your present moment to check in and exercise the ambition and positivity muscles. At the end of the week, look into what you could have done better and where you ended up, and use it as a platform for your next card! Have fun with the practice and enjoy the positive growth that is summoned within you!

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Tips for Gaining Motivation From a Fitness Magazine

Every month it comes… the day your favorite fitness magazine comes out, and you get a fresh burst of motivation and some great new ideas on exercises to improve your fitness level and maybe even some great recipes for nutritious food that won’t pack on the pounds.

Men's Fitness MagaineThen you finish reading through the magazine and set it aside after maybe trying a couple of the exercises and thinking about the suggestions in the magazine, and the motivation you got from it is gone as soon as you put it down.

It doesn’t have to be like that, though – you can use some things you learned in elementary school or (if you’re a techy type) a computer program – like a slideshow – to make sure the tips from that magazine help you keep your motivation level up.

Tips for Gaining Motivation From a Fitness Magazine

Make a Fitness Motivation Poster

Fitness RX for Women MagazineIf you don’t mind cutting up your favorite magazine, hang up a poster board (you can get everything you need for this at the dollar store.)

  • Cut out pictures of the models doing exercises you want to try.
  • Glue or tape those pictures near the edges of the poster board.
  • Then, cut out tips you want to try and attach them in the center of the poster board.
  • If you don’t want to keep the entire magazine after cutting out your favorite motivational parts, make sure to cut out any articles that inspire you and recipes you want to try before recycling the remaining part of the magazine.
  • Make your motivational poster as eye-catching as possible by adding some glitter glue around the photos, or use poster paint or even a permanent marker in your favorite color.
  • Add new images and tips to the poster any time you want – and if you find some things don’t inspire you for very long – just attach new ones on top of them.

Make a Motivational Slideshow

Making a slideshow is a great option for people who prefer digital magazines or for people who don’t want to cut up a magazine.

  • You can use PowerPoint or any slideshow program you like using to do this.
  • Just like making a poster, choose images of exercises and things that inspire you from the magazine.
  • Copy and paste them into your slideshow, then set it to run like wallpaper on your computer or device.

These two methods put the things that inspire you to be more fit and healthy in front of you on a daily basis, so your favorite fitn

 

 

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4 Tips to Stay Motivated the Second Day of a New Fitness Plan

The first day of a new fitness routine is (usually) easy – you’re excited about the healthy new body and lifestyle you’re going to have and maybe even planning out the new clothes you’re going to get – but then the second day arrives…

Fitbook: Journaling for Motivation and Weight Loss
Click here to check this out on Amazon!

If you worked out hard the first day, you’re probably waking up with sore muscles. 

Then, you hop on the scale to see how much weight you lost from your amazing first day of a new diet and you find out you gained three pounds.

There goes the motivation, but this is the wrong time to give up if you really want to be fit and healthy, so you need to find some ways to stay motivated through the second day and through any future days that are rough.

4 Tips to Maintain Motivation for a New Fitness Regimen

Have a backup plan (a simple one) that you can easily push through when you aren’t feeling motivated – or when you’re sore.

  • For exercise, this can be as simple as taking a short walk or choosing a few of your favorite songs to listen to while you dance around the house – not every workout has to be intense.

Plan for healthy eating and snacking ahead of time.

  • For your diet plan, have on hand (or get) some healthy foods you can eat without a lot of preparation time, so you aren’t so tempted to grab a bag of chips or cookies when you’re hungry or tired – but if you do nosh on a bit too much ice cream – so what – it’s just one snack – so go ahead and enjoy it, then get back on track afterwards.

Feed your spirit while you are changing your physical state.

  • Add some positivity exercises, such as affirmations,  meditation, or meditative yoga to your plan to make a holistic fitness plan – increasing your positivity is only going to help you in the long run.

Have realistic expectations because change can be rapid but it doesn’t happen overnight.

  • This is where you need to give yourself a break — if you have fitness problems, they didn’t develop overnight and it’s going to take some time to put them behind you – plus most weight problems have some emotional baggage behind them that you need to address for successful weight loss and to have a healthier lifestyle.

Stay Motivated! You Can Do It!

Life changes can be hard, especially when you’re talking about something like weight or a fitness issue because they often are so intrinsically linked to emotional pain, so it’s really important to build success into your new fitness regimen if you want to succeed,

Stay motivated through the second day of your new fitness plan, and through every day, and you will find it much easier to reach your fitness goals.

 

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How Not Knowing About Motivation Can Make You Fail

I woke up this morning, and I didn’t want to do anything but sleep some more, and I’m betting I’m not the only one who woke up today with no motivation and a major desire to procrastinate for a while.

So, instead of sleeping in, I got up and decided to see how my urge to just give in and let the day win could be used to help someone else who might be feeling the same thing – so here’s what I’ve found.

Dictionary Definition of Motivation

Motivation is, according to Dictionary.com:

  • the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to actin a certain way
  • the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something
  • something that motivates; such as inducement or incentive

In simpler terms, for the purpose of this short discussion, motivation is what causes you to act and make your life better.

By contrast, lack of motivation is what causes you to procrastinate – it stops you from getting things done and making changes in your life.

Motivation Versus Procrastination

Stop Procrastinating - Gain Motivation
Click here to buy this book!

Motivation is practically the opposite of procrastination, and here’s why… without motivation, without something propelling you forward – whether something internal (like intense desire) or an outside force (like the need to work so you can buy food) – you have inaction… you have procrastination.

  • For people who struggle with motivation, procrastination and a feeling of failure can be a lifelong problem, but I’m here to tell you that you can beat it.
  • It’s a choice, and it’s your choice to make every day.
  • Did yesterday go how you wanted it to? No? That’s okay, today is a new day, so choose one small thing to do first, then just – do it.
  • You’ll feel better, as long as what you have to do isn’t horrible, and even if it’s horrible, it will be done and out of the way so you can move ahead to whatever is next for you.

Why Do People Procrastinate?

A lot of things can make people procrastinate, such as:

  • Past failure or a negative experience
  • Depression
  • Getting overwhelmed or going through too much change at once
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling a disconnection between goals and end results

How to Stop Procrastinating

To stop procrastinating, you need to do exactly what I did when I started writing this article…. you need to act and just start doing the thing you’re putting off.

  • You don’t have to look at it as a chore, and you don’t even have to decide to do the whole thing – in fact – there are times when it’s better to give yourself permission to just work on something for ten or fifteen minutes.
  • Break big, long-term goals into manageable parts.
    • For example, writing this or any article today felt impossible when I woke up, but I thought about what I wanted to write about, researched what felt important about the topic based on what I was feeling, and how motivation and procrastination are such opposite things, and I wrote about each thing and shared what I found and what I feel and believe about them, and I have written over 500 words about the topic, hopefully you’ll find something here you can use, but if you don’t – I leave the comments open – just ask away – I would love to help you find some motivation to do whatever you need to do.
  • Compared to total inaction – which is what you get if you procrastinate – small action is significant – and it is the first step toward winning the race.

So, what about you? What can you do today to kick-start your own motivation?

 

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