Life as a #GirlBoss ain’t easy. We work hard af, and whether you work for yourself or someone else, staying motivated every single damn day ain’t always easy. I’ll admit that even now that I work for myself full-time — a place I worked my ass off to get to for years — I still have days when I find it hard to get out of bed in the mornings or even muster the strength to get through the first of many, many emails.
When my friends at StickerYou asked me to create a customized ‘Mantra Box’ filled with stickers, temporary tattoos and even magnets from their site, I was so down. Why? First of all, the inner kid in me was super stoked to get to play with stickers again (I obvi used to collect them), and, second, I loved the idea of surrounding myself with the mantras that help keep me going because we all need those reminders sometimes.
This got me thinking about what else I do to stay motivated to get shit done, especially when I’m the only one around to motivate myself. In partnership with StickerYou and their #StickWithIt17 campaign, here are 12 of the things that help me stay motivated every day, plus a look at some of the fun things I ordered for my personal mantra box!
Of course exercise is great for my body, but it’s essential for my mind, too. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve always been more of a night owl than an early riser, but, often I don’t feel like I’m really ‘awake’ until after a good sweat session. Although my schedule doesn’t always allow me to get to the gym every single day, I do my best to make regular fitness a priority. Every time I leave the gym I always feel ready to slay the day, no matter what I’ve got to get done! For more on how I stay committed to the gym, check out my post on 10 things that help me stick to my fitness goals.
2. Positive Thinking
I don’t know if it’s the Scorpio in me or what, but my brain can easily get bogged down with dark thoughts. Personally, I have to work hard to keep those dark clouds at bay and make a real effort to focus on the positive, rather than the negative. I have experienced the power of positive thinking, and I truly believe that focusing on positive thoughts, as well as goals, has helped me achieve a lot the greatest things that have happened in my life thus far. This includes landing a job at ELLE UK out of nowhere, buying a house in downtown Toronto at 25-years-old, and being able to hand in my notice at my 9-5 job to work for myself full-time. Sometimes positive and powerful thought can be as simple as inner yelling at yourself that “YOU. CAN. DO. IT!!” Which may or may not be a mantra you’d want to create for yourself from StickerYou. I mean, I’d like that decal on my bedroom ceiling to help me jump out of bed every morning.
3. Great Music
Don’t let the words ‘Great Music’ fool you, what really gets me motivated to power through work in the mornings, or any time of day really, is the pop-iest of pop hits. That’s right, I literally have Google Play Music’s ‘Today’s Pop Hits’ playlist on repeat on most days. If not, I change it up by pulling up either Britney Spears’ or J.Lo’s greatest hits on YouTube. I can assure you my music-snob boyfriend just loves it.
4. To Do Lists
My life revolves around calendar reminders and To Do lists to help me remember to get shit done. Personally I find I tend to work faster when I’ve got a To Do list in front of me, and find it oh so rewarding to cross off as many items as quickly as possible. Since I’ve always got a number of note books on the go at one time — all filled with my many, many lists — I thought it would be fun to customize them with my very own ‘Gracie Carroll’ logo stickers which, subsequently, has made me feel very cool and important. I highly recommend getting your own stickers made through StickerYou and putting them on EVERYTHING.
5. Batching My Time
With never-ending To Do lists, sometimes I can find it overwhelming to know where to begin. If you haven’t figured it out already, I suffer from anxiety. One way that I deal with this is by breaking things down into more manageable amounts of work and blocks of time, with clear breaks when I can come up for air aka a visit to the gym, a lunch date, or a walk around the block with my new doggy, Olive.
6. Outsourcing & Delegating
A friend recently asked me why I choose to hire people to help me, when I could do it myself and make save the money. Although I could understand her point, to me, trying to every single damn thing for your own business is not a smart way to grow your business. After all, my end goal is to eventually live on an island somewhere doing absolutely nothing but oversee my awesome team from afar. Although I’m still extremely hands on with everything I do, being able to move things off my plate little by little has helped free up some of my time and make me more efficient.
7. Visual Mantras
Having visual mantras around is just as important as having the mantras that you chant to yourself because sometimes your brain might forget to remind you that you’re a total badass, and can accomplish anything. When this is the case, it’s ever so helpful to see it right in front of you. I don’t have an extremely specific list of mantras I rely on, so I was totally happy to pick and choose from the fun ones I found ready and waiting on the StickerYou website. Some of the ones I chose include #NoExcuses, Girl Power, Choose To Shine, and Sweat, Smile, Repeat. To see more from their selection click HERE.
8. Taking Time To Myself
I loved reading this Linked in article on ‘Busy is the New Stupid’ and how it highlights the fact that as a society we’ve come to “glorify busy”. Sure I’ll admit that I use the word ‘busy’ far too often, and I may not be an expert when it comes to prioritizing my time, but, I do understand the importance of prioritizing ‘me time’, even when I’ve got a lot to do, and I don’t apologize for it. I really don’t think that running yourself into the ground every day is smart way to prove your “busy-ness” or “success”, in fact, I think it’s really dumb to do so. Your performance relies heavily on your physical and mental well-being, so make sure you take time to care for yourself in a way that makes you happy, even if that means laying on the couch and watching Netflix.
9. Rewarding Myself
Similar to when I was a kid and my parents would say if you get this grade and then we’ll get you that thing you want. Or, if you do these chores will let you go do those things you want to do. As an adult, I set little goals for myself, that, if and when I achieve them, will get rewarded with something my heart desires. A designer bag? A fun trip? A fancy meal out? Any of these things are what I’ll allow myself to indulge in when I feel as though I’ve accomplished enough to truly deserve it.
Even though on most days by the time I pick up the book on my bed side table I get through about half a paragraph before I pass out, I find that reading regularly is always a great way to get me motivated. Some of my favourite books to read are written by the boss babes I admire most such as Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Sophia Amoruso and even Kelly Cutrone. Not only have the books by these women inspired me as an entrepreneur, but, their hilarious voices also inspire my writing. When I don’t pick up a physical book, I try to read at least one inspiring article a day.
11. Conversations In IRL
Being able to work from home is one of my favourite things about working for myself, but the reality is that sometimes I’m by myself for far too long. The conversations in my head with myself can only go on for so long until I feel like a little loopy. Sometimes I start to doubt myself and what I’m doing, which is when I set up a lunch or coffee date with a friend to get myself out of the house. I always feel so excited and inspired after having conversations with people in real life, sometimes even when it’s with a total stranger! Real, human interaction is a great thing, guys.
12. Animal Therapy
Even when I still worked in an office from 9-5, I asked if we could get an office pet nearly every day. Personally I think that animal therapy is one of the best things ever to help get you through the work day! I’m so happy that I know have two fluffy little fur babies running around my house that I can take cuddle breaks with, or even cuddle while type things out like this post! Now that i think of it, I wish I had stickers made of their furry little faces to stick on everything on, because you can totally do that on the StickerYou website!
I hope this post helps you with your own motivation and to #StickWithIt17! To create your own ‘mantra box’ from StickerYou and get 25% off your order click HERE to get started and use code GracieStickWithIt17 at checkout until March 31st, 2017!