mondaymotivation

#MondayMotivation - This week, upcoming trips!

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I often use upcoming trips as motivation. I know I have touched on this before, made Monday Motivation posts about it before, and yet here I am again. Right now, we’re looking to camp at a local state park at the end of the week, if my family can get a reservation. Right now, Texas Parks and Wildlife is updating their reservation system with a new, much better system that allows for specific campsite reservations which will change my life for the better. So, since my uncle works near the park we want to visit this weekend, he’s going to stop in and try to reserve something in person. Here’s to hoping. Even if it doesn’t happen, I’m going to head there to hike anyway.

On February 7, I fly to Minneapolis and then drive to Duluth. My buddy and I are taking our annual trip to his family cabin near the Boundary Waters. (If you haven’t voiced your support for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and want to, please do so!) We will get up there on Thursday night, pack it up, and then head to the cabin Friday morning. We’ll stop at the wonderful Gun Flint Tavern in Grand Marais, hit up the IGA and local co-op if they’re open, then make our way up to the frozen lake. I can’t wait to be off the grid, away from it all. I can’t wait to snowshoe, to drink Leinenkugel's original, and to spend some time with the trees and snow. We will head back to civilization on Sunday afternoon, and back to Texas on Monday evening. It’s going to be a great little first quarter reset.

Work is fine, life is alright, hiking is great, but I’m always up for a reset. It’s never a bad thing to shut off the tech for a minute and get back to real life.

These events/ideas/plans are getting me through the next two weeks. Also, the song I’ve attached at the beginning is one of my favorite songs of all time by my favorite band of all time. When I was in Seward and it was rainy as ever, I’d listen to this song on my morning walks around the streets as I waited for everyone to wake up. Every morning can be a beautiful morning, remember that.

Been friends since 2003, so more like family now. Doesn’t hurt that he has access to the cabin, kidding!

Been friends since 2003, so more like family now. Doesn’t hurt that he has access to the cabin, kidding!

#MondayMotivation - What's the big idea?

I was in the middle of a hike on Saturday when I started to feel the burn. This hike wasn’t particularly strenuous or anything, but there were some minor hills and it was a total of 10 miles. I was on mile 7 or 8 and I was thinking I need to get more hikes this long and intense in my life. I also thought I needed to include more strenuous hikes weekly and cardio into daily life. I thought I needed more healthy choices in my life and I thought I needed more random drives to random locations. In the peak of my hike, with light dancing off canyon walls around me, I had all the great ideas.

Today, while I made smart food choices and bought plenty of produce for the week, I didn’t do much in terms of cardio or exercise in any way. All of the big ideas I had during my hike usually don’t translate to reality, but I am going to do a few things inspired by them. I’m going to restart the Couch 2 5K program and continue on my quest to reduce my calories and increase my nutritious items. I’m going to visit more locations that require leaving in the middle of the night and I’m going to see more sunrises.

Motivation comes in many forms, sometimes it lasts and sometimes it fades. I’m hoping to run with the momentum (pun intended) from my hike on Saturday and at least half-ass try to be better at things. I want my hiking pants to fit better and I want that hoodie to be a little loose. I want to to have boundless energy and I want my body to hurt less after 10 measly miles. I want to run that trail from Saturday and hike even further every weekend. Big ideas that translate to a bunch of small steps that hopefully lead to big results.

Do you ever have big ideas during a hike or adventure that you have to find ways to translate into real life ideas? Feel free to leave a comment!

#MondayMotivation - My Favorite Hikes

Picking a favorite hike can be difficult, but I’d guess that any hiker has a few that always stand out as the most memorable. When I think of favorite or memorable destinations, I’m always drawn to Redwood National and State Parks, Olympic National Park, and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Public lands are always my favorite, but these three have such strong memories attached that I can’t stop thinking about them. An honorable, more recent, fourth choice would be Mount Rainier National Park because I haven’t stopped thinking about that place since visiting in October 2018.

I’m using these memories, these favorite places, to push myself to eat less and move more. I’m using these places as my motivation to save money, spend less, and plan for more adventure. These beautiful places moved me and are destinations I want to visit again. What are some of your favorite, or most memorable, places? What is motivating you this Monday?

Keep on pushing through, there is always something worth fighting for!

#MondayMotivation - I'm motivated by the mountains.

Flying in to Anchorage in the summertime affords an amazing view of the mountains. That was my initial inspiration for writing this post. From seeing those mountains, to seeing Mount St. Helens flying into Portland, or Mt. Hood flying out the mountains inspire me. I’m thankful for every little peek I get of them, being from such a flat area and growing up even further from real mountains.

In my current physical and mental state, I wasn’t able to do all of the mountain things I wanted to do at Mount Rainier last year and it really bums me out. I know what I want to do, I know how to do it, and I know what I want. I will not go back to Mount Rainier without doing what I want in terms of exploration. I will devote more time and energy to making it happen and so, I am motivated by the mountains.

I want to be physically and mentally ready for the mountains on my next adventure and I’m going to take smaller steps throughout the time before my next visit to get there. I’m going to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park and get in there, I’m going to hopefully visit New Mexico again, and then I’ll tackle the mountain I can’t get out of my mind - Rainier. I’ve seriously been unable to think about that park since I left. I mean, I can’t stop thinking about the Olympic Peninsula, Northern California, or Utah either… but, ya know.

I’m so lucky I’ve been able to go anywhere, really, and I know that. I am so lucky we have this land and I’m so grateful for where it came from and the people who inhabited it first. I’m anxious to get back out into nature beyond local trails, but that will have to wait for the right time - hopefully soon.

I hope you find something to motivate you to do the things you dream of doing.

#MondayMotivation - Learn Something New

This Monday, I encourage you to go learn about something you know little about. Knowledge can be powerful and is certainly helpful. If you’re into public lands, go learn about the Native People who were there first and their ongoing struggles to access the places of their heritage. If you’re into politics, go learn something about the opposing view to see where you can meet them if a compromise is necessary. Go learn the facts about energy, money, culture, whatever! I feel now, more than ever, we need to keep ourselves educated and fresh for the path forward. We don’t all have to agree, but we should want to understand. From understanding can come respect and love. We’re not all the same, but we are tied together because we live together. Here’s to learning more, understanding further, and working together to make life for one another better overall.

I don’t claim to be an expert on any topic I suggested, nor have I learned enough myself about everything I’m curious about in the world. I’m reading, listening, and asking questions to gain understanding. It is time consuming and you have to want to do the work to gain knowledge. Do a little at a time, take it piece by piece. Get yourself educated on a topic and see how you feel - empowered? helpful? Who knows. Good luck!

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#MondayMotivation - Holiday Time!

Christmas can be a joyous time of year, but remember your experience isn’t the same as that of someone else. Be kind to one another, maybe even more now than other days of the year. I’ve always been lucky, even when I couldn’t be with my friends and family on the day, we were able to celebrate another day. I’m not a religious person, so my take on Christmas is bright lights and gathering together to enjoy some food and drinks. Do what’s right for you, find your own happiness! If you need me (or someone in general), I’m an email/text/call away!

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#MondayMotivation - Take a Leap

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Always use your best judgment when taking a leap - both physical or metaphorical - because you can’t change your mind halfway through without consequences. I’m not the most private person, but there are certain aspects of my life I do not openly throw around because of past experiences, assumptions, or whatever. I work hard to maintain a professional style wherever I work, but as you start to bond with coworkers “life stuff” just becomes part of the standard conversation. This weekend I let my guard down a little and let them all in on part of my life I don’t volunteer to just everyone. I work with some good people, close to my age, who live in a modern world so I felt it wouldn’t be a total disaster. So far, so good. Maybe I’m the one who made a big deal out of something as simple as who I love, but when you have had to live in true fear you’re always a little cautious.

I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, good grief I’m still learning. I’m just saying, if you feel safe enough or well enough, taking leaps can lead to some good things on occasion. If you can, take a leap and see where it takes you.

#MondayMotivation - December is here!

December is easily my favorite month. From my birthday, to winter, to the various holidays, and the best weather here in Texas. I’ve been a slacker, been really struggling to get out and stay motivated. Here are some December goals: 

  • get a good walk with the dog every day 
  • hike at least 5 times
  • eat out less and at home more
  • do a winter cleaning on the apartment before heading to Alaska for the holidays
  • read 5 books
  • listen to NPR more often
  • get into weekly routines that help keep me motivated and happy (hiking, walking the dog longer, cleaning, cooking) 

What are your goals this month!? Any fun travel plans? Let me know in the comments or start a conversation! Happy December! 

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#MondayMotivation - the joy of sleeping til 6!

I had all sorts of anxiety about work this week. It’s my second week at a new job, and it was an information overload during week one. I wasn’t totally freaking out or anything, but I wasn’t jumping out of bed with excitement to go in to the office. I heard some of the guys come in around 7am so I thought I’d shoot for 730 to test the water so to speak. Simply waking up at 6 has me less anxious, despite the uncertainty about the new job. I slept better, even after getting to bed late. While I lose the half day Friday I once had, I often just drank the afternoon away and ended up feeling gross. I’m looking forward to more sleep, a steady routine, and still having fun. Yeah, I won’t be able to fly out at 1pm anymore, but I will likely be more well rested to maximize the hours I do have.

I'm still going to spend my weekends the same way, I’ll just have to fly/drive through the night on Fridays again to make it happen. The beauty is, I can fly in Monday mornings and just come in later if necessary as work allows. Here’s to flexibility and maybe getting enough sleep!

What would you do with an extra hour of sleep? Are you a weekend warrior? If so, what are your tricks?

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#MondayMotivation - Try something new

Being an adult was not explained to me, and I’m sure it wasn’t explained to you. Choosing a job, or career path, was something that was sensationalized and it’s not nearly as glamorous as I thought it would be as a kid. There is a certain joy in finding something you love, though, and I think I’m getting closer to it as I make my way through life. Here’s to the changes, having the luxury to change, and having the support to change. I’ve never really left a decent job because I wanted to try something new, but when the opportunity presented itself I though I’d try. It may work out, it may not. I have good feelings about it all, really, but I’m no fortune teller. There’s always give and take when it comes to life, and I’ll be sacrificing some aspects for others, but I think it’ll be alright. I want to learn more and do more, so as I age I’m continuously employable. I didn’t always have the ability, skills, or luxury to change jobs to gain more experience. I’m grateful for the privilege. Not everything works out and not every bit of hard work is rewarded, but it’s the positive experiences that keep us all going forward. Happy Monday!

#MondayMotivation - Life Goals

My “little sister” and I were texting today about a family friend who makes her own schedule and is living the life we want for ourselves someday. I got to thinking, this could be my reality after a few more years of whatever it is I’m doing. Get a little bit further down the road, work towards finding that sweet spot, and eventually have the ability to work and do what I want. Even if it doesn’t work out that way, the goal is there and the motivation is real. Working from home, from the road, from anywhere is appealing to me and I’m officially taking steps to make it happen.

What are you doing to achieve your goals? What will it take for you to get there?

#MondayMotivation - After a day off...

I can find myself slipping into the negative “UGH, it’s Monday” routine. I’m fortunate, I get two days off in a row every week which means I can plan my life around a schedule. Some people, however, don’t have that luxury and get sporadic days off or no days off if they have to work several jobs. I sit here, thinking, thank goodness I have job and thank goodness I had two days off. Yeah, going back to work can be a drag after two days off, but Mondays (or whatever your Monday is) is just a buffer zone for the rest of the week. Think of it as the first time you do something, it starts off a little rocky but smooths out eventually. Some weeks never smooth out, I know, but without Monday, Tuesday would suck just as hard. It’s all about perspective. Getting through Monday gets me one day closer to my next set of days off. I’m not saying I’m cheerful and grateful all the time, but I’m really trying today by putting these positive thoughts out to y’all. Have a great week and find something about it you love!

#MondayMotivation - Find your mountain

I want to backpack in or around Mount Rainier National Park the next time I go there. So, until solid goals are set, the motivation for any exercise or healthy habits is this photo:

Find your motivation and get to it. I really needed this little adventure to kick my ass into gear. I feel alive again, truly! I am thankful to have people in my life that were willing to show me these places that keep me wanting to be better as a human.

#MondayMotivation - upcoming hikes!

As much as I love the cloudy days, I’m excited to see some sun in the forecast for the Pacific Northwest this coming weekend. I’m always prepared for rainy hikes when I’m up there, but I’ll take the sunshine if it shows. I’m motivated this Monday by the memories I have from previous trips to Olympic National Park. I’m looking forward to hiking in trees and fresh air on Saturday and Sunday. I haven’t hiked in a while, and it surely wasn’t very fresh feeling the last time I did. I’m excited to meet a new friend who will guide me through the area and hopefully future hikes!

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#MondayMotivation - Take a break!

Take a break, get up from whatever you’re doing if you can, and walk around. Or if you’re standing all day, go sit down for a minute. Just take a break. Stop reading the news for a few minutes and look at some cat videos. Whatever floats your boat and fits your situation.

During the work week, I get up every hour and do a lap around the office. Sometimes, if I have the time and/or the weather is nice, I take it outside and do a lap around the building. I used to walk on my lunch hour, but I’m taking shorter lunches because I want to be here less and anywhere else more.

Find what works for you. When I’m at home, I try to take the dog on a longer walk for at least one of the three or so he gets in the evening. You deserve a break!

#MondayMotivation - Let it go!

If you can, let that shit go. Stop and think, is it worth holding on to this baggage? Is that point necessary? I have to do this a lot, and can stand to do it more, but letting go is the BEST feeling. SO, let it go if you can, and if you can’t I’d suggest finding a way to confront/deal/breakdown whatever the issue is. Here’s a picture or two to distract.

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#MondayMotivation - Good Stuff.

When my friends and acquaintances share their health or life progress and push forward even if it’s difficult or painful, it’s inspiring. When I see the person who is struggling as hard as me but still going during lap three, I’m inspired, When that lady at the Target checkout was just so chipper and patient, I was inspired. I’ve been finding motivation at every turn, and I think it is mostly because I’ve adopted a better attitude towards everything.

I really have to work hard to forge my own positive attitude, as I’m sure many do, because of the negativity surrounding us in our various circles of life. I don’t always succeed, but I’ve been very good about just being the “silver lining” guy or staying away from things that spark negative mindsets.

I’m drawing inspiration from things and people in new ways, taking notes all the time, and trying to find more people to connect with on a real level. When I’m positive about one thing, it bleeds over into another and I’m back on track with everything in no time at all.

Other Motivational Items this Monday:

  • Cool, rainy weather in Texas has made me feel ALIVE! Bring it on.

  • It’s Autumn… ‘nuff said.

  • This is the FINAL week of being gone ALL week for a while. Just normal, short trips ahead.

  • There’s a new Singletrack to listen to while driving around all week.

  • I only have about 6 more books to read before 2019!

#MondayMotivation - Go forward and get ready!

Thanks for unintentionally motivating me

Inspiration can come from many places and this time it was a simple message from someone in the online outdoor community who I admire so much and want to camp/hike with eventually. I don’t think the message was intended to be motivational, but here I am writing a little blurb about how it lit a fire under my ass.

Keep going, work harder

I really want to be able to start somewhere at dawn, hike all day, gain thousands in elevation, camp, and hike back out. I think the pros call it “backpacking” or something, but yeah, that’s what I want to seriously get in to and I’ve been saying it for a while. This fall the plan is to hike to Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park as well as do several practice backpacking runs in local state parks with “primitive” hike-in sites. I’ve never been more motivated to do these things because next year, I want to head to the real mountains (you know, the ones with snow on top and stuff out west) with people and feel completely limitless.

Other things that are motivational this Monday…

  • Cooler weather, though it’s still really damn humid

  • Fall hiking and camping ahead

  • Family camping weekend

  • Potential trips to Minnesota and Washington in October

  • People that just keep livin’ and making the best of life

In other news…

I’ve been on a quest to get healthier and I’m at week 10 with a little bit of a stall, but that’s being revamped too. I’m not exercising enough and I’m not even close to hiking enough. It’s been hot and miserable and I’ve been relying on it as my go-to excuse. I’m sure there’s a pattern of this behavior, if I looked back, because this is how I operate. I get lazy, bored, blah blah blah.

It’s not about the pounds for me and I need to convince myself of that. I just want to be healthier and able to go up that mountain or live past 40. I’m not an all or nothing guy and I shouldn’t treat adjustments to eating and exercise that way either. Everything in moderation, avoid excessive crap, at least walk an hour a day, and continue training for the 5K.

I’m not sure if this is motivation for you, but know that I’m rooting for you in whatever you’re doing and I’m here to say GET IT! Work hard, forgive yourself, and keep going!

#MondayMotivation - Personal, but maybe relatable?

This is from my road trip to Texas, in 2011 when everything changed for me.

This is from my road trip to Texas, in 2011 when everything changed for me.

**This topic is personal, revealing, and leaves me a little vulnerable. I beat myself up a lot about money, debt, and piss poor life planning but I'm excited and motivated about it all now.**

My first vehicle purchase, at an interest rate I'm not comfortable discussing. After moving and getting a new job, this was the next big credit builder for me. I loved this little car, and in hindsight, I love it even more now.

Having an end goal, a payoff date, or just a solid plan to get to the end of a financial path is exciting. I've spent years paying on my student loans and I finally have an end date in sight. It's not near, and it's still not the most ideal, but it's a finite date in which they will be paid off and in my past. By the time I'm 50, in 16 years, I'll be free of student loans. By the time I'm 40, I'll be free of personal and auto debts. The thought of these end dates really motivates me and excites me in terms of the new possibilities. In the next ten years, I may be able to buy a house, move to another state, or buy a small camper. Who knows?

I'm making a point to focus on the positive aspect of this, but don't be silly and think I'm immune to the negative thoughts. I still have hard days when I think it'll never go away, when I think I'll never be done. Some days feel like I'm in a hole and I just wish someone would bury me - that's dark, but it's real. I'm choosing to focus on the fact that, thanks to refinancing, I have an end date for my student debt. Thanks to refinancing, I have an end date to my personal debt. Thanks to improving my credit, I have a very low interest rate on a car that hopefully lasts me until my student loans are paid off. The hardest part in all of this is knowing I did this to myself. I made all of the choices to buy the crap or go to school. Some things in life are unavoidable, but that is not that majority of my problems. Coming to terms with habits and setting goals really helps me stay out of the negative mindset regarding finances.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015: I was laid off from a job at a company I thought I'd be at for a while. I didn't love the job anymore, but I certainly didn't hate it enough to just leave without other options. Sigh. This was a whirlwind of a time. I had to cash in my 401K from the past 5 years and still barely made it through the 3-4 months without an income. This experience forever changed me. I didn't have an "emergency" fund nor did I have other sources of income, and I still don't have either of those yet but it's a goal.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015: I was laid off from a job at a company I thought I'd be at for a while. I didn't love the job anymore, but I certainly didn't hate it enough to just leave without other options. Sigh. This was a whirlwind of a time. I had to cash in my 401K from the past 5 years and still barely made it through the 3-4 months without an income. This experience forever changed me. I didn't have an "emergency" fund nor did I have other sources of income, and I still don't have either of those yet but it's a goal.

I honestly don't care if I ever own a home, and who knows if I'll ever be able to do so, but I have days when I really want one. I know the value and I know the benefits, but it's not something I must do to feel fulfilled in life. I will aim for that goal, and at the very least, have some money saved for some purpose or another. Speaking of saving, I'm working on a few things related to that which also motivate me. I'm saving for a kayak and a bike in 2019. This is also the first time, in a long time, I have money in my savings account. Again, it isn't much, but it's a start and it's automatic so I don't even have to think about it or pretend not to spend it.

I still have months when I eat out too much, weeks I use too much gas, and days I buy stupid shit online just because. There will always be a desire for travel and adventure, and that doesn't come without cost. There's the whole deal with most of my family living 1300 miles away that also requires funding as well as friends getting married across the country. There will always be a bill or surprise expense I'm not excited about but I'm getting better about managing my financial anxiety. Learning to be content with the things I have and taking small steps to spend more consciously really helps. I read a book by Cait Flanders called "The Year of Less" and it it helped spark some introspection about what we need and what we have and how they relate. I'd highly recommend it for anyone looking for a little inspiration into finance, consumerism, or simplifying their life. This is not a sponsored post, at all, I just loved the book and her general message as a human in this world.

I had interviews, in 2015/2016, but had no luck until someone I knew knew someone else who had a temp/contract job for me. It was a step back, way less money, but I jumped at the chance. I was also eating my feeling hardcore at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016.

I had interviews, in 2015/2016, but had no luck until someone I knew knew someone else who had a temp/contract job for me. It was a step back, way less money, but I jumped at the chance. I was also eating my feeling hardcore at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016.

I'm hoping you can find motivation from my words. I'm not here to brag or ask for pity, I'm just here to share my story and hope that other people feel more comfortable in their situations because it is a real story. I have been following a lot of podcasts and blogs about finance, but most of them just made me even more depressed about my situation. Know that there are people out there who feel completely screwed and that life is an endless pit of hell, but there is hope if you just start crawling out. It's taken me over seven years to get my credit score up and it's only been in the past couple of months that I've felt like I can pop out of the water for air long enough to stay alive. For someone who struggles with finances, and has struggled for the past 15 years, it's been a process and I'm still learning. Be positive, be realistic, and be ready to make changes. May you find motivation this Monday. There is no set path that is suitable for everyone. You and I may have different timelines in life, and that is quite alright. It took a long time for me to come to terms with the fact that my 30 wasn't the same as someone else's 30. It's the best realization because it is true freedom.

Contact me if you'd like to continue this chat and or swap stories and stuff.

#MondayMotivation - Refreshing!

It's Labor Day, but I wrote this days before because I'm currently not at my computer. You wouldn't have known that if I hadn't just told you, but here we are...

Find something that refreshes your soul. Every now and then, I get a little stuck or a little down and I need to do something to refresh my life. I have been in a hiking slump, because of the gross Texas summer, but I've been lucky enough to get away a few times and it really re-lit the fire under my butt.

Things that I find help me refresh:

  • A good book or audiobook - I did this last week and went through two great books and just felt a part of my brain wake up that had been sleeping
  • New food - eat something different or learn to make something (new) or different than your normal, every day food. Find a new flavor - change it up!
  • Go watch a movie - find a movie to get lost in or something to offer a new perspective like a documentary or a dumb comedy. Amazon or Netflix both have a bunch of random stuff.
  • Travel - if you can afford it, go! I do cheap little camping trips that are nearby when I really need to reset and refresh. I've done flights, too, and I find those help when they're in the budget.
  • Join a new group - find new people to hang out with! REFRESH that friend group! I'm in the process of finally meeting up the meetup people...after months of anxiety.
  • Join a cause to stand up for - Find a candidate or cause and work in support or spread the word! It can be revitalizing to share your beliefs, in an appropriate way.
  • Take a course - I'm currently taking a course on writing a website so that maybe someday I can modify my code to make things more person. It's a lot more difficult than I though, but it's definitely fun to challenge myself - very refreshing.

What ways do you refresh your life? What really gets you going? I hope, if you need a refresh, that you find something that works for you. Feel free to share it with me!