Monday Motivation

#MondayMotivation - More thankful in March (week 3)

MORE THANKFUL MARCH - week three

Inspired by the wonderful Pattie Gonia on Instagram (link here) and my group of outdoor blogger masterminds (Inner Compass) (Jenny the Trailhead) (Indoorsy Camper), I’m thankful for every outdoor experience no matter what it is. Everyone’s version of the outdoors is a little different, but as long as you’re following the laws of public lands and leave no trace, it doesn’t matter what you prefer. Live your best outdoor life. Love the outdoors in any way you can that suits your abilities and desires.

Some of my favorite ways to get outside:

  • Road trips - sometimes even without hiking because I don’t have the time

  • Camping - state parks, federal land, private campgrounds… it doesn’t matter!

  • Hiking - both (soon to be) backpacking, local trails, loops, in and out, short hikes, long hikes

  • Nature walks on paved paths in the metroplex through the various trail systems - there are a ton of birds to watch, that’s for damn sure!

  • Walking my dog in the neighborhood nearby and/or visiting the city park

  • Boating with the family on the lake - this includes just cruising, swimming, or any combination of the two

  • Sitting in someone’s back yard with a bonfire, having a drink, and listening to the frogs in the nearby creek

  • Standing outside in my freeway-adjacent parking lot staring at the sunrise - sure, it’s not ideal, but it’a all I got on a Monday morning before work!

I get outside as often as I can, in any form that I am able to do so. I love every minute I get, even if it’s not exactly what I dream of doing at that second in time. I know, parking lot sunrises probably don’t hold a candle to backcountry sunrises, but sometimes you just take what you get and you love it for what it is. So this week, be thankful for any experiences you get outside and own them.

Have a great week, get outside if that suits ya, and enjoy yourselves!

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#MondayMotivation - More thankful in March (week 2)

MORE THANKFUL MARCH - week two

I’m genuinely so lucky to know such wonderful people. Some are people I know well and see often, some are virtual friends, and some are long time best buds who I don’t get to see very often at all. I’m just lucky. I’m thankful. I have a circle of people who represent a wide range of life experiences and who bring different bits of expertise to the table when it comes to getting through all that life has to offer.

THE CLOUD

I don’t have the luxury of unlimited vacation time or funds, so I don’t get to see this wonderful circle of people as often as I’d like. Living in DFW metro area is a bit nuts, too, as I have family just 70 miles southwest and rarely get to see them because it just takes forever and battling traffic on a Friday night is almost more work than working for eight hours. These are all small problems to have, I know, and I realize it’s my cloud and not everyone’s dilemma.

THE SILVER LINING

Sometimes, I get to power through a Friday drive and visit my family at their respective houses here in Texas or even do the 20 hour drive to Northern Michigan. I am lucky because I have a flexible work schedule and paid time off so I get to utilize that time to visit with friends (new and old) as well as family all while seeing new places along the way. I have reliable transportation and I accumulate airline miles as well as set money aside for travel. The real silver lining is that I have people in all sorts of places and I’m lucky to be able to visit them and vacation at the same time. That’s winning at life, in my book.

My point, I knew I had one, is to treasure the relationships you build that work out. People, near and far and of varying connection levels are important and truly wonderful. You just never know who you’ll meet, virtually or not, so dare to be bold about it and make the connection. Say YES to invitations, say YES to offers, and say YES to life. Also, be the one that makes it happen and make an offer to your circle; advice I’m going to take more seriously this year.

Met some folks from Twitter and am lucky enough to be adventuring with some of them this year.

Met some folks from Twitter and am lucky enough to be adventuring with some of them this year.

#MondayMotivation - More thankful in March

MORE THANKFUL MARCH - week one

This month, and generally speaking, I want to work harder to motivate myself and others through being more thankful for something I already have. I personally lose sight of things when I get overwhelmed, and I’m sure that is a common reaction to stress. I’m going to try to focus on some silver linings of situations that are less than amazing, but unavoidable for me and maybe it’ll inspire you to see the other side of your situation.

THE CLOUD

Today, and probably for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be busy working. It is what we in the biz call “Greenhouse Gas Season” as all companies who have to, must report their greenhouse gas emissions before March 31. I’ve been doing this since 2015, which isn’t long, but the first quarter of the year is devoted to it and the work can consume my brain. It’s affecting my attitude and sleep, but I don’t know why and the only reason I can think of is that I’m doing the work in a new way this year and it’s taking a lot of getting used to overall?

THE SILVER LINING

I am learning so many new techniques with the work this year and at my new job in general. I can EASILY say that in the few months I’ve been on board, I’ve learned more than I ever did in two years at my previous job. Now, I’m not here to talk shit about it, it is just two different companies and their employee development focuses are different. As mentioned, I have an excellent support system at work with experts from all backgrounds who can usually help me fix an issue or answer a question quickly. This will all be over, also, and a new project will come along and I’ll be busy with that and I’ll have to remember things always keep going!

I’m going to try my best this week and I hope you find your way down the best path for you!

From this week back in March of 2016 (Lake Granbury - Granbury, Texas)

From this week back in March of 2016 (Lake Granbury - Granbury, Texas)

#MondayMotivation - Get Creative!

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This past week I took an online course to expand my creativity. I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t know what I believed about creativity, and didn’t know how I’d participate. Turns out, it wasn’t hard because the prompts and ideas were all so open and there was zero pressure. Without going on and on about it, just know that I took a ton of knowledge away from this course and it truly opened my mind to other ways to be creative.

The course had me doodling and writing daily, which forced me to slow down and dedicate time to thinking creatively. Taking time to be creative or to get my thoughts out was one of the best things. I wrote daily in my personal journal as well as the creative class journal I was keeping. It felt good to just write whatever I wanted, without needing to present it or do it a certain way.

Sometimes I get stuck on what to read/listen to/write/create next. Sometimes a little push or a search session on YouTube unearths something new. I got creative, and I’m now exploring new ideas and seeing things slightly differently.

How do you get creative? How do you get through a mental block?

#MondayMotivation - Going Forward

I’ve been on a quest to improve my overall health.  I’m eating less crap, moving more, and exploring my thoughts more thoroughly.  It’s been a great move, as I am feeling better and more motivated than ever in all aspects of life.  I’m using my newfound motivation to strengthen my financial health now too. I have been terrible about money management and have tried and failed with budgets and living within my means.  I’ve overextended myself and that stresses me out, which leads to overeating and laziness. So, since I’m trying to be more active and trying to be better, I’m going to work on managing my money in better ways.  I’m going to start with a simple budget and move on to more complicated things like actual long-term saving, home ownership, and investing. Financial health will mean I’m going to have to get creative with my travel and really prioritize places and people for the year.

Disclaimer: 1) I prefer car travel any day of the week. Flying can be the worst if you’re not frequent enough to have all the perks, so let me just say that my Outback is my number one. I’m not here to shit on flying, because most of the time it is fine, but… the scenic route and stuff. 2) I love camping more than hotels, but again, when flying to a destination camping is sometimes out of the question with time and planning. 3) I already utilize my Texas State Parks pass monthly, but I want to explore those trails I’ve not hiked and parks that have been on my list for a while. I’m also going to use the hell out of my Annual Pass and visit those NPS sites in Texas this year that I’ve been casually learning about too.

What are some things you’re changing on the fly this year? What is motivating those changes?

#MondayMotivation - Authentic Outdoors

I’m motivated by people who love the outdoors and love to spread the joy and knowledge associated with the outdoors. People who share their stories in a real way and don’t just sugar coat everything are my favorite people. Life isn’t like an edited photo, it’s a little grainy and sometimes the colors are out of balance.

A week ago I met with my people on a Skype call for a mastermind group centralized around being real, outdoorsy people who want their social media presence to reflect real life. I’m so lucky to be a part of a group of like-minded folks who love the outdoors in their own ways but love themselves enough to realize that maybe we haven’t always told the whole story or even the real story because we’ve been conditioned to present life in a polished, tidy way. Prime example is the previous sentence - this is how I speak in real life and run-ons are my life. I could clean it up but I don’t care to as it doesn’t REALLY change make it any better overall.

Thanks to the people who run the blogs/websites listed below for motivating me and speaking so freely over Skype on a random Sunday in January. You have improved my life and I look forward to becoming regular chatters about all topics outdoors. I’m no digital media expert, nor would I consider myself an influential person, but I do appreciate anyone who reads/enjoys my content. I make it for me, in some narcissistic weird way, but hope it’s received and can offer some form of inspiration or entertainment for YOU.

Christina: http://www.christinaskis.com/

Jen: https://jennythetrailhead.com/

Kristi: https://indoorsycamper.com/

Sara Beth: https://innercompassblog.com/

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead and I hope you find motivation out there, if not from this. Hike your own hike and live your reality.

#MondayMotivation - This week, upcoming trips!

From the album "As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide" available NOW. iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/as-... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7aOUkT... Physical Copies: http://www.saidthewhale.com

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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