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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

11 Powerful Monday Mantras to Supercharge your Day

November 27, 2017
Monday Mantra

Staying motivated on a Monday–particularly the Monday after a holiday weekend–can be challenging. I’ve previously discussed helpful tips for having a better Monday as part of my Monday Motivation series. One of those tips included creating a Monday mantra, a word or phrase you can repeat that motivates and inspires you to push forward when things get tough.

Today I’m sharing eleven inspiring mantras to help you power through your day. The quotes I’ve selected below may not be reminiscent of yoga class, but they can still inspire, empower, and motivate you to be your best self.

My list follows below, but if you’re still looking for inspiration, be sure to check out these Quotes of the Day from Fairygodboss: 52 quotes to get you through every week of the year (organized by month!).

I hope this list inspires you to have a great day on Monday or any day of the week!

Monday Mantras

Inspiring Monday Mantras

1. “Great people do things before they’re ready.” – Amy Poehler

Monday Mantra

 

2. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday Mantra

 

3. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein

Monday Mantra

 

4. “Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

Monday Mantra

5. “The beginning is always NOW.” – Roy T. Bennett

Monday Mantra

6. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. – Oprah Winfrey

Monday Mantra

7. “Leadership belongs to those who take it.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Monday Mantra

8. “Fall seven times. Stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

Monday Mantra

9. “Light tomorrow with today.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Monday Mantra

10. “Someday is not a day of the week.” – Janet Dailey

Monday Mantra

11. “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

Monday Mantra

What’s your favorite mantra or inspirational quote? Let me know in the comments or on social media! 

 

Monday Motivation Working Parent

5 Tips for Staying Motivated as a Working Parent

November 20, 2017
working parent

Life as a working parent can be challenging. Balancing the roles you have as parent and professional can sometimes feel overwhelming. Even when you’re fully at ease in your life as a working parent, there are still times you may struggle with motivation.

It is easy to get overwhelmed at the sheer multitude of responsibility you face each day–to your employer or employees, to your clients, to your children, to your partner.

Getting lost in the micro details is enough to weigh you down. But thinking of the bigger picture can feel even more overwhelming. This is true especially when your children are young, and you realize you have another eighteen to twenty years of trying to keep your career on track while also helping your young people navigate the world.

My advice is not to think of the long haul. Plan for it, of course, but don’t let the gravity of the next two decades weigh you down. Take your life one breath, one minute, one hour, and one day at a time.

And try some of the following tips.

working parent

1. Find your village.

working parent

Connect with other working parents. It helps to find those who are at a similar life stage as you, but it’s also great to connect with those who have more experience as well. They will be the ones to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and the beauty of the journey.

Your more experienced friends will be living proof that there is life beyond the trenches, and they’ll likely also share helpful advice on how to navigate the challenges of being a young parent and professional.

On the other hand, your same-stage peers will know exactly what you’re going through while you’re experiencing it, and they’ll be there to commiserate and lend a hand when it’s needed most.

If you don’t already belong to one, consider joining or starting a Working Parents Group.

I’ve co-chaired a Working Parents Committee through the local chapter of my state women’s bar association for the past two years, and it has been a great experience to connect with other working parents and advocate for the rights of working parents and their families.

Commiserating with close friends is theraputic, but joining a formal group of people united under the banner of working parenthood can be incredibly motivating and remind you of the important work you do as a working parent.

2. Support others.

working parent

You’re probably thinking “I’m a mom. All I do is support other people” and I understand. But, what I’m suggesting here is that you use your knowledge and experience to make another working parent’s life easier.

This piggybacks a bit off of the previous point. While you should definitely lean on others for help, be sure that you are also a pillar of support in someone else’s life too.

For example, if you know a new mom recently had a baby or returned to work from maternity leave, try to remember how you felt at that stage and be there to support them, even in the smallest of ways.

There is an article by Sharon Holbrook for The Washington Post from 2015 that I love. The piece shares what it’s like to be a new mother and it gives practical ways to help a brand new mom like “bring food” but also “support maternal leave and postpartum care in the United States.”

As a mother, you have insights into a world that few are so privileged to know. You have the ability to support others in a way you know will be meaningful. Supporting other working moms (and dads) is a way to give back and show that working parenthood is a sisterhood in the truest sense of the word.

3. Carve out time for yourself.

working parent

Another way to stay motivated as a working parent is to carve out time for yourself.

Self-care is incredibly important for maintaining your health physically, socially, and emotionally.

As a busy working parent, it can be difficult to find time for yourself, but you should still plan for it, even if it’s only occasional. Moreover, you should be sure to savor the small moments as well.

Those minutes you have to yourself in the car before work, during your child’s naptime, or before bed are all important.

Find time to exercise–even if it means having a tiny companion join you for jumping jacks. Let your partner know when you need a break. Even if you both have busy schedules, plan and coordinate together to ensure you get the time you need.

4. Make a reverse bucket list.

working parent

Another way to stay motivated: create a reverse bucket list.

Instead of writing all of the things you still want to do, make a list of what you’ve already accomplished.

When you barely have time to remember to check the mail, it can be easy to forget all of the meaningful experiences and achievements you’ve already had. Seeing them on paper can remind you that what you do matters, and that you are still the amibitious, motivated person who set out to achieve your dreams all those years ago.

5. Remember: This too shall pass.

working parent

Finally, when you’re struggling to stay motivated as a working parent, remind yourself that this too shall pass.

Eventually, the bags you carry will no longer be the kind under your eyes or the ones stuffed with diapers. They will once again be stylish and free of Goldfish crumbs.

You won’t always wake up in two-hour intervals and show up to work wearing two different pairs of shoes.

You will not always be at the same life stage, and once you do emerge, you will be a better, stronger, more experienced version of yourself ready to pass on your wisdom to the next generation of sleep-deprived mamas.

What are your tips for staying motivated as a working parent? Comment below or on social media!

 

 

Monday Motivation

10 Ways to Start a Monday Gratitude Tradition

November 13, 2017
Monday Gratitude Tradition

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s the time of year people start talking and writing a lot about gratitude. While we should always strive to be thankful and show gratitude, it can be difficult when life gets stressful.

Last week, I posted the 5 Tips for a Better Monday. Number 3 on the list was to create a Monday tradition–something you enjoy and that you’ll look forward to to make your Monday a little sweeter.

Today, I thought it would be fun to combine the topics of gratitude and Monday traditions and share some ideas for how you can start a Monday gratitude tradition.

What’s a Monday gratitude tradition?

A Monday gratitude tradition is not just forcing yourself to be glad it’s Monday. You can still hate Mondays. But if you’re trying to make the day more pleasant, finding other things for which to be thankful can make your day better. In other words, a Monday gratitude tradition is your way of sending positive energy out into the world and, hopefully, making yourself a little happier in return.

10 Ways to Start a Monday Gratitude Tradition

If you’re interested in starting a Monday gratitude tradition, here are ten ways you can get started. This is by no means an exhaustive list. The great thing about showing gratitude is that it’s personal, so you’ll be able to tailor and build on this list to suit your own preferences.

1. Write a thank you note.

Buy your favorite stationary and write a thank you note to someone every Monday. You don’t only have to write thank yous. You can send a note of congratulations, or just write someone to say hello.

2. Text someone you care about. 

Text your spouse. Text a friend. Text a family member. But when you do, ask how their day is going and listen. Keep the focus on them. You can complain about your workload and ask your husband to pick up that gallon of milk later.

3. Tip the barista. 

If one of your Monday traditions is to pick up your favorite latte, consider tipping the barista if you don’t already. It doesn’t just have to be the barista though. For any service you receive, be a little more generous than you otherwise would. Try to make someone else’s day better. It is their Monday too after all.

4. Make a donation.

Whatever cause is important to you, donate every Monday. Donate online. Donate at the cash register. Donate in person. Buy a few extra canned goods on your weekend shopping trip and drop them off on your way to work. You can do the same with clothes, school supplies, anything.

5. Compliment someone.

Easy enough. It’s not hard to find something nice to say about someone when you’re paying attention.

Monday Gratitude Tradition

6. Start a gratitude journal.

Journaling can be a difficult tradition to keep when life gets hectic, so make it one you stick to on Mondays. Jot a few lines down about what makes you thankful that day or week. If things get too crazy, just write down one word.

7. Start a gratitude collage.

Keep a bulletin board somewhere in your house or at work and pin things that make you happy. This is something you can involve your kids with too if you do it at home.

8. Shop local.

Visit a local shop on your lunch break, or during the day if you stay at home/work from home. Get to know the proprietors. If it’s your first visit, let them know and tell them how you heard about them. Supporting someone’s local business is a great way to give back to them and to your community.

9. Start a dinnertime conversation.

Ask your family what made them happy that day and share the things that made you smile. Even if you had a rough day, this will force you think of something to feel good about if even momentarily.

10. Read something that inspires you.

Finally, read something that makes you happy, preferably something that will take you beyond your own life. Sometimes we need to be reminded that there’s a bigger world out there and that we’re just a small part of it. Reading for even a few moments can inspire and distract you from whatever obligations may be pressing in your life.

What are some of your favorite ways to show gratitude? 

Do you have any special Monday traditions with your family?

Leave a comment here or on social media!

 

Monday Motivation

5 Tips for a Better Monday

November 6, 2017
Better Monday

If you’re reading this post on a Monday, chances are you already know why I’m writing it.

Even if you’re not, I’m sure you still do.

Mondays have a bad reputation.

Even when you love your job, it can be a challenge to go from living your best weekend life to navigating rush hour traffic and putting out fires first thing Monday morning.

One day you’re apple picking and trying a new restaurant, and the next you’re crying into your coffee, knee-deep in everyone else’s problems.

While you can’t change how your boss, your clients, or Mr. Speedy on the Interstate deal with Monday, you can change how you approach it.

Here are five tips to get your Monday off to a better start.

Better Monday

1. Make Sunday Count

Want a better Monday? Have a better Sunday.

Make time to relax, but also be productive.

Some things you can do to set yourself up right for the new week:

Meal prep. Plan the week’s menu, shop, and prep whatever food you can. Inspiration abounds online with recipes, food storage tips, and more. If you’re on Instagram, search #mealprep, and you’ll find thousands of helpful posts. If Instagram’s not your thing, a simple Google search will also send you in the right direction.

Get your wardrobe in order. That huge pile of laundry sitting in the guest room? Try to tackle it before weekend’s end. Make it a family affair. Then, plan outfits for the first few days of the week for yourself and your kids. Few things are worse than stumbling around bleary-eyed first thing Monday morning trying to find matching socks.

Lay out important things the night before. In a similar vein, if there’s something you’ll need for Monday, make sure it’s out waiting where you can see it. This can also help avoid a little blue tote situation.

Double check your calendar. On Sunday afternoon or evening, double check your calendar(s). Make sure there haven’t been any surprise meetings added since Friday. Check that you’re aware of and have a plan for all upcoming appointments, bill payments, and extracurricular activities.

Check your e-mail. If you’re not in the habit of checking your work e-mail on the weekend, try giving it a onceover on Sunday. Even if you don’t like what you see, you’ll at least know what to expect on Monday. And it might not even be as bad as you imagine.

2. Never Miss a Monday

Monday Workout

Another way to get your week off to the right start: never miss a Monday workout.

If you’re a regular exerciser and your rest day happens to fall on Monday, then OK, fine–don’t work out on Monday.

But if you have no reason not to, you should definitely try to establish a routine working out on Monday morning.

The endorphins will energize you. You’ll feel accomplished before the day even begins.

And research shows that exercise can also help beat stress–just what you’ll need on Monday.

3. Establish a Tradition

Monday Tradition

Another way to have a better Monday is to establish a tradition.

It doesn’t have to be something big; it just has to be something you enjoy.

Pick up your favorite drink from Starbucks. Listen to your favorite Podcast. Meet a friend for lunch. Plan your favorite dinner.

Whatever it is, make your Monday tradition something you’ll forward to.

Also, make it something easy so that you won’t be tempted to cancel.

4. Create a Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra

A lot of what makes Monday so tough is mental, so establish a mantra that will motivate you and keep you inspired all Monday long.

If you don’t have a favorite already, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found online. Pinterest and Instagram are obvious go-tos.

If you’d rather yours have a more personal touch, ask friends and family if they have any words of wisdom to share.

5. Pace Yourself

Better Monday

Finally, if you want to get your Monday off to the right start, pace yourself.

Even if your workload seems overwhelming, take a moment and breathe.

Take a short walk. Catch up on a favorite blog. Chat with a trusted colleague. Repeat your mantra.

Easing into your daily tasks will wake up your brain, shake off the Monday jitters, and get you ready to tackle the day.

What are your favorite ways to make Monday more pleasant? Comment here or reach out on social media!

 

 

Advice Career Monday Motivation

How to Find a Great Mentor Early in Your Career

October 30, 2017

There is a lot of advice out there about mentorship and mentors, namely, how to find one who is the right fit for you.

There are many schools of thought. Some argue that you should never outright ask someone, particularly a stranger, to be your mentor, while others support asking under the right circumstances.

I’m of the opinion that a mentor can come from anywhere, and if it means reaching out to a stranger whose work you admire, then go forth and ask.

Still, whether reaching out to someone you know or a complete stranger, I believe there are certain guidelines you should follow to to maximize your chances for success. Below are eight of them.

1. Network on your own terms.

One of the most important things you can do to find a potential mentor who would be a good fit is to network on your own terms. By this I mean, if happy hours aren’t your thing, or if you’re a parent who has to immediately rush to daycare after leaving the office, then don’t think of weeknight happy hours as being your only option to network with other professionals.

Look for other opportunities to connect, either formal or informal. If there is a morning or afternoon event, try making that instead. Sometimes professional associations host weekend events, which can also be a great opportunity to connect with someone you might have otherwise missed.

Also, don’t limit yourself to formal gatherings. If there’s a person or group of people you’re really interested in meeting then reach out directly to them and try to set something up. Don’t rely on the obvious paths–forge your own.

2. Learn about your community. 

Make an effort to learn about the community in which you practice or work.

For example, if you’re an attorney, most state and local bar associations have newsletters or bulletins they issue on a monthly or quarterly basis. They’re filled with stories and accolades about new and experienced attorneys, events, and initiatives.

Reading these publications is a good way to get a sense of your professional community and those who practice in it. You may take a particular interest in someone’s work or career trajectory, and if you do, reach out to them and let them know you appreciate their work.

Even if they don’t become a mentor, you’ll at least have made a new professional acquaintance.

3. Establish genuine connections.

A true mentor-mentee relationship is never forced, so always strive to establish genuine connections with people. Don’t try to force a relationship with someone because you think they’re important and would be good for your career.

Similarly, don’t dismiss someone because you think their position is unimportant.

Treat everyone with respect and don’t try to change your values to match those of the person with whom you’re hoping to connect.

4. Put yourself in their shoes.

If you’re interested in connecting with someone you view as a potential mentor, be sure to put yourself in their shoes when reaching out to them. If they’re a working parent, don’t suggest meeting for dinner at 6:30 P.M. on a Friday.

On the other hand, if they suggest that time, and it also works for you, then go ahead and meet with them then.

If the person works in a busy practice downtown and you’re located 20 minutes away in the suburbs, when making plans, don’t expect them to come to you in the first instance.

Also, when scheduling plans, don’t wax on about how busy your schedule is when trying to find a time that works. We’re all busy professionals, and it’s very likely that your potential mentor has an even fuller calendar than you.

You’re hoping this person will bring value to your life, so put yourself in their shoes, and try to make it easier for them to connect with you. Which brings me to my next point.

5. Bring value to the relationship.

A mentoring relationship is a two-way street. Often times, the mentor is someone who is older, wiser, and has spent many more years in the field. You may see them in a warm, guiding light, but don’t treat them like they’re a parent and you’re an overgrown teenager.

When you meet for a meal, don’t expect them to pay. If they offer, which is common, you can still offer to pay your way, but accept if they insist–you don’t want to turn a nice lunch into a tug-of-war over the check. You can volunteer to cover the next one.

Similarly, don’t consistently take anything without giving back–advice, assistance, gratitude. You may be early in your career, but you still have value to contribute.

Always be willing to share and bring value to your mentor’s life.

6. Know your goals.

What do you want out of the relationship? Don’t expect your mentor to steer your course. Be prepared with concrete goals and ideas for what exactly it is you need.

Similarly, if possible, know your mentor’s background and values. If their values don’t match your own, they might not be able to help you in exactly the way you’re hoping.

Of course, don’t completely disregard them because of this, but realize they may not be the right fit as your mentor.

7. Trust your instincts.

Sometimes you just know a person would be a good fit for you as a mentor. You’ve seen them countless times, have interacted with them, admire them, and just know that they are the inspirational leader you need in your life.

If there’s someone like this with whom you’ve established a connection, and who has taken an interest in your life and career, trust your instincts. There are a few great mentors I’ve had in my life who have come about just this way, and I still tremendously value those relationships.

8. Don’t be afraid to get rejected.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get rejected. When you’re reaching out to someone new, there’s always a chance that they won’t be interested in meeting with you. Similarly, there may be someone you’ve already met who just isn’t interested in getting to know you any better.

Or, maybe you’ve already started a mentoring relationship with someone, and have begun to realize it isn’t a good fit. That’s OK. Don’t be afraid to get rejected. You’ll have a lot of wins in your life, but they won’t come without losses.

Rejection will help you grow as a professional and ultimately will help you find the right mentor for you.