Motivation Thoughts

Motivating YOU to get things done!

New Year New and Improved You

Weird Years

Let’s face it, the last few years have been really weird for all of us. But, the holidays are near, and that means a time of re-envisioned enthusiasm for ourselves and the world. But, we have hurdles to get through, including starting a new year full of uncertainty after the distraction of the holiday season. Here are six ways to put yourself in a position to take 2024 by the reins so that you are in control of your mind and body.


Physical fitness is paramount to your self-confidence and self-esteem. But, if you’ve never worked out before, you may feel more intimidated than enthusiastic. Start small, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. In a recent post, Motivation Thoughts notes that exercising with a friend was a great way to keep yourself going.

Change Careers

If you can’t see yourself punching the time clock in the same place for another year, it’s time for a change. Even more intimidating than exercise is the prospect of quitting your job or starting a business, especially as an established adult with a mortgage and family to care for. But, there are plenty of opportunities out there, especially if you already have something you’re passionate about, such as painting, childcare, or consulting. ZenBusiness offers advice for those over 50 that are looking to change jobs, including making sure that you have an exit plan and getting closely acquainted with today’s technology.

Prioritize Positivity

Mindset is important in everything you do. Not only does thinking positively help you turn your dreams into reality, but it also perpetuates growth and largely influences your entire life. Motivation Thoughts has discussed this topic before and even explains that negative thinking can trigger mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Avoid negative influences and situations, and learn how to look on the proverbial bright side, even when things seem dark.

Take a Vacation

Even though you likely had at least a week off through the holidays, it’s time to start planning your next vacation. November and December are busy, with family and friends coming in from out of town, Christmas presents to buy, and parties to attend. There is very little time to relax. But, according to Travel + Leisure, going on vacation may be just what the doctor ordered. Time away from work increases mindfulness, reduces stress, and can even put you in a good mood for weeks after your return.

Find New Friends

The people we surround ourselves with throughout the entire year influence how we feel about ourselves. Open yourself up to new possibilities by finding new people to bring into your life. Even though you may be slightly outside of your comfort zone, new friends provide an opportunity for a fresh start that will bring joy to your life, especially if you’re in the 50+ crowd.

Diversify Your Plate

Are you tired of feeling bloated, having less-than-perfect skin and hair, or want to slow down the hands of time? Change your diet. Eating the right combination of foods, including fruits and vegetables, will be a welcome change for your body from the sweets and treats of the holiday season. Talk to your doctor or find a nutritionist that can help you formulate a plan that works for you, your dietary needs, and your activity level.

Everything we do each day affects our confidence and our happiness. And, although you’re likely still elated from the magic of the holiday season, you have another 10 months before you get to do it all over again. In the meantime, make 2024 the year you shine by giving yourself the gift of taking care of your needs.

flex your muscles for yourself

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Alternative Recovery Methods for Those Battling Addiction

The Fight’s Not Over

The principles and practices of mainstream 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous work for only one-third of their participants. Many who try these programs are often left feeling hopeless in their fight against substance abuse. However, if conventional programs haven’t worked for you, the fight’s not over. Motivation Thoughts encourages you to try out these alternative recovery methods that could very well help you defeat your addiction.

Alternative Programs

There are several secular programs that emphasize self-empowerment through support groups. SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) applies cognitive behavioral therapy and teaches that addiction can be overcome by rational thought. SOS and LifeRing are programs that teach self-help and hold complete abstinence as the number one priority — ”no matter what.”

Women for Sobriety is an organization that focuses on providing women with a safe and nurturing environment, and its 13 principles emphasize personal responsibility and positive thinking. Both are great options for those who don’t mesh with the 12-step philosophy.

Alternative Treatments

If it doesn’t look like a program of any kind is your thing, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to get better. The inconsistent success of rehab programs has been a concern for some time now, and there are various non-program treatments available that can help in your battle with substance abuse. For instance, meditation can help regulate mood and lower levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”). Practicing mindfulness is also a way for substance abusers to confront their thoughts and feelings, which is a vital step toward overcoming addiction.

Art and music therapy are other ways to aid your recovery. The creative process of drawing, painting, or playing an instrument has been known to help recovering addicts come through the other side of depression, anxiety, and anger. Pet therapy, gardening, acupuncture, and many other treatments have also been known to be effective.

When to Avoid Alternative Methods

One important step in finding effective recovery methods is doing your research. While there are many new legitimate treatments, there are just as many questionable and ungrounded ones. Research and talk to people with experience to make sure the program or treatment you’re considering is validated. If it seems sketchy and will require your life savings, chances are you should avoid it. Also, avoid programs or treatments that could lead you back to addiction.

The Importance of Exercise

No matter what program or treatment you decide to try, exercise is sure to be a supplement. When done consistently and with common sense, it holds countless benefits for your body and mind, and it’s one of the best overall things you can do for yourself during recovery. Exercise helps heal the body and mind and promotes positive self-image.

While working out by yourself is beneficial (such as going for a run or exercising to a video on YouTube), doing it with others is even more so because it’s a great way to form new friendships and build community. Consider joining a fitness and nutrition class at the gym or signing up for a recreational basketball team. Look into kickboxing, yoga, or some of the many other classes available. Start small if you have to — even if it’s walking for 15 minutes a day. Don’t overthink. Just get started.

When to Consider Inpatient Facilities

While some people find their strength through alternative recovery methods, others need the help of more traditional treatment at some point during their recovery journey. If you are at a point where alternative approaches like mindfulness, exercise, or peer support groups are not enough, don’t be afraid to seek inpatient help. There are free inpatient rehab centers available that can provide you with a structured framework and therapies that have been shown to work time and time again. As addiction is a complex disease, it is essential to seek out professional help when dealing with substance abuse, and traditional treatment options offer the best chance for success.

Find Your Footing with Alternative Methods

If conventional programs haven’t been effective in your battle against addiction, it doesn’t mean you can’t win. Look into alternative programs that offer a similar structure with a different approach. Consider treatments like meditation, art therapy, and others. Remember to research to make sure each method is validated. Whatever path you take, get a healthy fitness routine in place. Remember: The fight’s not over, and there’s always a way to win.

Are you looking for articles that can inspire and motivate you? Then add Motivation Thoughts to your weekly e-reading list!

Time-Saving Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs to Incorporate Self-Care Into a Daily Routine

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In today’s fast-paced, high-stress business world, it can be easy to fall into the trap of sacrificing your own needs to focus on your work. However, entrepreneurs must practice self-care to keep their sanity and continue operating at full capacity. These time-saving tips from Motivation Thoughts can help you with self-care without making your already busy schedule even more hectic.

Self-Care is Motivating

It’s easy for many people to mentally rebel against things they know they should do, even when those things are good for them. Fortunately, there are effective ways to overcome your own inner rebelliousness to engage in self-care practices. Experts recommend providing yourself with a rationale for engaging in various self-care activities, as well as focusing on small, sustainable choices instead of major changes. It’s also suggested to provide yourself with grace back acknowledging your inner conflict.

Give Yourself Time in a Crowded Schedule

It’s easy to get so involved in work that you forget about self-care. Try working from home every once in a while; it helps you maintain a healthy balance between your personal and professional life. To keep things simple, use co-working spaces when you can. Set aside half a day per week when you block off time specifically for self-care activities, such as exercising or doing yoga. Plan one night each week to spend with your partner or other family members.

When just starting your business, it’s tempting to say yes to every opportunity. Whether it’s a potential client or an event, saying no can be challenging, but you risk collapsing under stress and work if overloaded. Learn how important it is to prioritize yourself over your work.

Get Your Body Moving

A workout from home is all you need to keep your body in tip-top shape. Try incorporating yoga into your daily routine, or do a quick interval circuit at home on your own. You don’t have to join a gym; try doing burpees and pushups if you want an at-home full-body workout. If those aren’t challenging enough, put on ankle weights while doing pushups.

Re-Energize Your Home

A busy entrepreneur should prioritize work-life balance and stress reduction. One suggestion is to alter your living space to enhance wellness. Adjustments such as adding houseplants, clearing clutter, and increasing natural light can have a positive impact.

Finding Support

If stress and anxiety are taking over your life, seek out mental health support. Services for mental health are available online. Online therapy is more private and secure, and it’s less time-consuming. Select from a larger pool of qualified professionals, eliminate travel time, and save money on mental health care when you opt to see a therapist online. Look at therapist costs online, though many therapists also provide brief, complimentary consultations to see if you feel comfortable with them.

Sometimes, you may need a helping hand to make self-care part of your daily routine. Hiring a personal assistant is an option if you’re too busy running your business. You can also hire someone else (for instance, a housekeeper) who can take on some of those time-consuming chores that keep you from focusing on yourself.

Business Perks

Creating an LLC can benefit your firm and reduce stress because it reduces paperwork and personal liability, improves flexibility, and offers tax benefits. Filing on your own or using a formation service lets you avoid paying high lawyer expenses. Before proceeding, ensure you’re aware of the laws in your state as each state has its own requirements for forming an LLC.

Once you’ve established your business, advertising on social media is a great way to find customers. It’s easy, too, by using a Facebook ads maker to create your ad graphics. In minutes you can customize your choice of templates with your own designs and text. Once you’ve created a look you like, just download it to use.

Incorporating Self Care

If you’re constantly busy, there are still things you can do in your daily routine that incorporate self-care. Use these tips to find ways to address your self-care practices during your busy day. For more motivational tips and practices, visit Motivation Thoughts!

Self-Care Methods for Introverts That Really Work




Self-care practices for introverts may vary widely depending on the person, but taking steps to make your mind and body healthier is always a good thing. For those who have social anxiety or just have a hard time expressing their needs, finding self-care methods that work can be frustrating; however, there are several uncomplicated things you can try to get your physical and mental health on track, such as giving your living space a deep-clean or starting a fun new workout routine at home.

Here are a few tips for seniors needing to downsize from Keep the Fire Lit regarding changes you can make to your environment and lifestyle that will help you feel better. These tips can help anyone needing to downsize.

Banish Negative Energy

Your home should be a relaxing place to rest and recharge, and if it’s full of clutter or isn’t as clean as you’d like, it might be difficult to focus on your health when you spend time there. Clear out that bad energy by giving your home a good deep clean, opening the windows to let in fresh air and light, adding beneficial greenery, and decluttering each room. Getting rid of items you no longer need can help you get organized and free up some space, which in turn can help reduce stress and anxiety so you can relax when you’re home.

Prevent Isolation

Cleaning and decluttering are especially important if you spend a lot of time at home, as many introverts do. If you also work from home, however, the state of your environment is only one aspect of boosting your mental health; you also need to consider how often you’re alone.

Social isolation can lead to depression and can exacerbate certain disorders and addictions, so it’s crucial to take steps to stay connected. You might set up a video chat with friends or family, take your laptop to a coffee shop to work for a bit, or arrange for a lunch date with someone you haven’t seen in a while. These activities can be challenging for introverts, but it’s important to push yourself out of your comfort zone a little sometimes.

Find Your Dream Job

Whether you work from home or in an office, your job can have a major effect on your mental health. If your current situation isn’t allowing you to focus on your needs and you’re ready to look for something better, don’t put limits on yourself. Think about what your dream job entails and go after it!

Prepare for the interview by doing some research on the companies you’re interested in, as this will help the process go smoothly and prevent anxiety on your part. You can also ask a friend to help with a mock interview so you can practice your answers. If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, you may be dreading the process, but with a free online resume builder, you can use a template that allows you to customize a professional-looking final product with your own copy.

What if your dream job requires a degree or certification you don’t yet have? No problem! Many universities now offer programs entirely online, which allows you to release some of that anxiety about sitting in a classroom with a bunch of strangers. An undergraduate degree in Information Technology can open a lot of doors since we rely so heavily on computers and smartphones.

Pick Up a Hobby

How do you spend your free time? Once your living environment and job are where you’d like them to be, think about how you can bring some joy into your downtime. Picking up a new hobby can help you boost your confidence and self-esteem, meet new people, and build new skills. You might learn how to speak a different language, take a music class or tutorial, or get creative with a drawing app that’s easy for beginners to use. There are tons of hobbies to choose from, so don’t be afraid to try a few and see which one you like best.

Caring for your physical and mental health can be a challenge even on a good day when you’re an introvert, so try and be patient with yourself as you make changes to your lifestyle. Use online resources when you feel you need a little help, and stay in contact with friends and loved ones for support. Take advantage of other online opportunities, like working from home and online degree programs to reach your goals.

Do you struggle with motivation? You are not alone. Keep the Fire Lit is all about staying motivated even when things are tough. Visit us online today to read inspiring articles to keep your motivation high. This particular article is about journaling, which may well suit many introverts.

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How to Start a Business as a Busy Mom

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk: because you are a busy mom doesn’t mean that you don’t have career aspirations. It can be difficult to juggle family obligations when you want to start your own business, but it is possible to be both an entrepreneur and a mom. If you want to turn your dream of working for yourself into a reality, use these four tips from Motivation Thoughts to become a successful business owner as a busy mom.


Decide On a Business Model

Your business model dictates everything about your company. You should carefully choose the legal structure that will most benefit your goals. You can run a social media side gig or open a retail store. You could open a business matching virtual assistance to companies that need administrative help, or you can start an accounting company. The opportunities are endless, but it is important to dictate what you want to do and how you plan to accomplish it. This will determine whether you need to form a limited liability corporation or a doing business as a company.


Write a Business Plan

You don’t necessarily need a business plan to run a successful company, but one study shows that having this type of document increases your chances of success by 30%. A well-written business plan is your blueprint for growth. It identifies your vision for the business and helps you define concrete goals that will allow you to build your company. Drafting a business plan can help you define your brand voice so that you stay true to your vision as your business grows. A good plan details:

  • Your company’s structure
  • How you sell products and services
  • How you’ll secure funding

Your business plan should also mention how you plan to market your company. One way to do this is to shoot good product photos. You can easily remove the background from images to customize them.

Create a Schedule

When you work from home, it is sometimes difficult to maintain a good work/life balance. While you are working, you may be thinking of all of the chores and activities you are missing out on. While you are spending time with your kids, you may be focusing on work tasks on your to-do list. Achieving a good work/life balance can be difficult, but it can help to create a schedule. Try time blocking to see how many work tasks you can complete while your kids are at school so that you can spend time with them in the afternoons when they get home. You can also set timers that allow you to complete small work tasks within an allotted amount of time before spending time with your kids.

Learn What Works for Your Needs

It’s hard to work from home when you have kids. It can be especially challenging when you have toddlers who have not yet started school. You need to find a way to work around your kids’ schedules so that you can run your business smoothly. You may not be able to hold traditional work hours, so find what works best for you. You may do most of your work at night while the kids are sleeping. You may also need to hire a nanny to give you a few hours each day to focus on your work. Find a solution that allows you to care for both your family needs and work obligations.

Being both a mom and a business owner is challenging. You must find the business model that works best for your unique needs. If you use these four tips, you can launch a successful business as a busy stay-at-home mom.


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Strategies for Becoming a Better You

We all want to become the best versions of ourselves. There are many methods of enhancing our minds, bodies, and souls. Perhaps you crave taking personal development to the next level but have no idea how. Push outside your comfort zone and try a few of the following suggestions. They might increase your self-confidence, improve your happiness, and turn you into a more capable individual.

Maintain Self-Care

The way we look after ourselves is a self-reinforcing loop. If we become slack in the cleanliness department, we begin having negative thoughts concerning ourselves. When these lines of thinking turn into a habit, they’re often tough to break. The reverse is also true. Tending to one’s hygiene develops an enduring sense of overall wellbeing.

Launch into a workout routine that leaves you feeling stronger. You don’t have to join a fancy gym to get fit. You can design an effective exercise regimen without a trainer or expensive equipment. Scientists have determined that massages generate a 30% increase in serotonin and dopamine. Periodically treat yourself to a rubdown. Besides rejuvenating strained muscles, you’ll enjoy a more positive mental attitude.

If you have adult acne or another skin issue such as eczema, visit a dermatologist. Ask your hairstylist about low-maintenance looks. Overhaul your wardrobe. The objective is to look in the mirror and like what you see. Appreciating your appearance has an enormous psychological impact.

Seek Knowledge and Gain Skills

Most of us have a topic we’ve been harboring a desire to explore. Whether you want to become educated about history, science, music, or zoology, books on these subjects are available online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Libraries and online resources are more cost-effective options, as is availing yourself of book-trading websites.

Perhaps you’d rather be active than spend your time reading. There are plenty of skills worth acquiring. Try an art form you’ve never attempted, such as pottery, drawing, or painting. Take up a physical activity, like horseback riding or water skiing. Classes that teach you these abilities will put you around others, thus enhancing your social life. Ask an old friend to become a hobby buddy if you long to rekindle a relationship. Alternatively, connect with a group of chums and tackle mastering abilities as a unit.

Find a New Career

Holding down an unfulfilling job is depressing. Fill your days with employment that means something to you. The emotional satisfaction that comes with work you love is enormous. There’s no time like the present to make a change. Put the wisdom and qualifications you’ve earned to good use. Don’t let fear hold you back. Forget about how much money you’re earning and redefine success.

One path is becoming part of a charitable organization. Another is working freelance jobs from the comfort of home. Both scenarios require you to have a resume that stands out. It’s easy to get started with a resume builder that lets you pick from a wide variety of professionally built styles. Once you have one that matches your personality, all you have to do is add text. Select a font color that’s bold yet readable. Include photos and illustrations for additional oomph.

Take concrete steps toward becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be. Whatever your hesitations, they’re worth overcoming and subsequently experiencing the rewards.

Community Service Ideas for Volunteers of All Ages

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Volunteering is something nearly anyone can do, and in many cases, from anywhere in the world. But finding the right opportunity isn’t always easy, especially when there are so many wonderful organizations in need of volunteers.

To help families make a difference both locally and globally, Motivation Thoughts shares a few community service ideas in the sections below. Whether you’re looking to help online or in person, you’ll find everything you need within this short but helpful guide.

Look for Family-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities

There are so many things families can do to make their communities better places to live. Here are just a few volunteer opportunities for households to consider.


  • Help out a local organization like Habitat for Humanity, Furry Hugs Inc., the Brenner Children’s Hospital, or American Red Cross.
  • Reach out to your local church. Many churches need help sharing the gospel, helping refugees, and serving the community.
  • Food insecurity affects more than 40 million Americans, but your family can help to fight hunger by starting a community garden, donating to food banks, and organizing fundraisers for local hunger-relief groups.
  • Volunteer online to help local and global causes. StoriiTime, Adopt a Nursing Home, and Bookshare are just a few organizations in need of virtual volunteers.

Donate Items to Charity

Whether you have unwanted items to dispose of or you’re looking to put your artistic abilities to good use, your donations can help to support charitable organizations and their missions.

  • Have unwanted craft supplies, CDs, books, candles, greeting cards, and stationery? Donate them to sites like Reconsidered Goods.
  • Assemble and donate care packages to military members.
  • Schedule a free donation pickup to dispose of everything from furniture and clothing to mattresses and used vehicles.
  • Donate handmade goods to charitable organizations such as Days for Girls, Quilts of Valor, and Project Linus.

Launch Your Own Charitable Organization

Want to take your volunteerism several steps further? Launch your own nonprofit organization!

  • Learn how to start a 501(c)(3) charity. Several types of 501(c)(3) charities include religious organizations, animal rescues, museums, zoos, and private foundations.
  • Boost your business and leadership skills by enrolling in an online degree program.
  • Recruit the best volunteers to help you achieve your nonprofit’s mission.
  • Raising money for a global need? Whether you’re sending money to Nepal, India, Mexico or anywhere else, ensure the funds you raise are directly sent to support your cause by using remittance services that offer secure transfers.

While helping your community benefits those who live and work in the area, it also strengthens families, teaches kids responsibility, and increases happiness and self-confidence. Plus, there are many volunteer opportunities for families of all ages — even if you can only commit an hour or two each week. Each and every act of volunteerism makes a difference!



Setting Healthy Goals as a Family

motivation relaxation healthy


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For many of us, eating well and exercising becomes a difficult challenge as our family grows. There is hope, however, as studies have shown some benefit to tackling health problems as a family. Busy family life does not have to end your perfect annual checkups. There are many ways to incorporate healthy choices for all of your ragtag crew; Motivation Thoughts shares a few here:

Eat at Home

As our families grow, healthy food often gets cut from our plans. When our daily nutrition includes a breakfast bar on the way out each morning, a processed microwave lunch, and fast-food dinner, it’s no wonder we feel like we’re running on empty! That adds up to more salt, fat, and simple carbohydrates we don’t need, and not enough of the nutrients we do. With a little planning, eating food at home can become second nature.

Try prepping a few meals over the weekend so you can simply heat them up when you get home. Soups, stews, salads and even casseroles can be prepared in advance with minimal time away from your weekend relaxation. There are lots of great sites, like Better Homes & Garden, that offer recipes and tips on feeding a family quickly.

Get a Dog

Yes, seriously, get a dog. Yes, they are a huge responsibility. Yes, they may eat your shoes. But studies show a direct correlation between physical activity and dog owners. In essence, if you have a dog, you have to get out and walk more. This leads to an increase in activity across the board.

Of course, there are many reasons you may not be able to get a dog of your own. For example, perhaps your apartment building doesn’t allow pets or perhaps someone in your household has an allergy. If that’s the case, seek out other ways to spend time with animals. Become a pet sitter — checking in on or staying with dogs whose owners are out of town. Volunteer at an animal shelter or offer to help out at a local vet’s office. The benefits of spending time with animals are truly great so find ways to take advantage of them if you can.

Exercise Together

In martial arts, they say “the family that kicks together, sticks together”. There are many activities, including martial arts, that offer family classes. Some gyms have Zumba or Yoga classes for families. Other families may enjoy outdoor adventures like rock climbing and whitewater rafting. Whatever you’re into, doing a healthy activity together not only makes it more fun, it makes your healthy habit more likely to stick, according to Science Daily.

What if one parent works 2nd shift, or another travels regularly? If scheduling time together is difficult, try coming up with a family challenge that everyone can add work toward in their own time. For example, you could set a goal for total miles logged running or on a bike, or hours meditating. Choose an app to help you track your team’s progress and encourage each other. Make the team challenge sweeter by agreeing a reward you’ll have when the challenge is met!

Be a Cheerleader

Let’s face it; your family members aren’t always going to be interested in the same thing, especially during the dreaded teenage years. That’s where you shift from being on the same team to being each other’s cheerleaders. Create a culture of enthusiasm and support for each other’s achievements.

When your kids are small, come to practices and put the phone down. Show up to the game and scream your heart out (with positive encouragement of course). Tell them you’re proud of them, even when they flub that last pass. Don’t stop with making it all about rooting for the kids. Moms and Dads need encouragement, too: whether Mom wants to try the Ironman race, or Dad hopes his softball team makes it to the city championship. This can apply to your meals as well. Take turns choosing recipes and cooking meals. When someone says “let’s just get takeout,” the rest of the team can pitch in to put the broccoli and chicken in the oven, so the family keeps working toward their healthy goal. By creating a culture where each family member is valued, you all get a turn to be cheered when you soar and picked up when you fall. What could be better?

This concept can be about bigger-picture items as well, like Mom or Dad going back to school to continue their education. Going for that elusive advanced degree shows the rest of the family resilience and determination when it comes to self-improvement and confidence building. This endeavor doesn’t have to drown you in debt or take up all your time — in fact, taking coursework online makes it easier, more convenient, and more affordable than ever. Going for an online master’s degree from University of Phoenix, for example, opens the door to more than 26 programs offered 8-10 times throughout the year, and tuition is locked in so there’s no increase in expenses as you complete your studies.

Keep Your Community Safe

Play an active role in your community. Make sure children in your area have safe places to gather and play. Get to know other families in your neighborhood and work together to clean and maintain local parks. Teach your children about the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, and help them develop the skills to withstand peer pressure. Work with other parents and your children’s teachers to take power away from bullies. Always keep the lines of communication open so that you’re aware of your children’s concerns.

Staying healthy as a family is a goal best attempted together. It will enrich the fiber of your bond and memories. As with any team, the more you work together, the more you’ll succeed!

Have Fun and Learn a Healthy Skill with Your Friends than watching another episode of a show or going to the same restaurant and ordering the same appetizers and drinks you always get, maybe it’s time for you and your friends to try something completely different. As many people continue to return to some pre-pandemic habits, now is the perfect time to break out of old ruts and try something new. Improving your health, a nutritious diet, and picking up a new healthy habit are all great places to start.

Healthy habits and skills are always a wise investment of time, and they can offer long-term benefits. Motivation Thoughts presents the following tips for improving your health and positive outlook simply by learning a new skill.

Learn a Sport or Healthy Hobby

Often we think about learning a new sport as something that happens in childhood, but you can learn a new physical activity at any point in your life. You can try your hand at volleyball, ultimate frisbee, paddle boarding, or even pickleball. Imagine you and your friends starting a mini-baseball game or having a rousing tetherball tournament in your backyard, complete with trash-talk and a scoreboard.

If you are more interested in individual sporting pursuits, it may be fun to try a new type of workout that you can access online, such as kickboxing or Pilates. You may find that trying a dance routine energizes you, and learning new moves will give you more confidence when you go dancing. When it comes to increasing your fitness and getting healthy, there is no wrong way to do it. Getting active will help improve your physical and emotional health.

Less vigorous healthy hobbies you could try are meditation, yoga, or stretching routines to improve circulation and blood flow in your body. Even learning new breathing techniques can help improve your health and expand your lung capacity. You can learn new skills online or take a class at your local yoga center. There is no end to the types of classes you can take, whether you opt to do it on your own or with friends.

Take a Class for Fun or Higher Learning

If you have thought about taking a class, either in-person or online, there is no time like the present to put that idea into action. Taking classes can be fun and enriching, whether you are signing up for an art class, taking taekwondo, or planning to enroll in a field of study, like cyber security.

Or you may decide that it’s time to fulfill that dream and go for a master’s degree in information technology or library science. Online learning that can be done at your own pace makes college even easier to consider since you’ll be able to maintain your current responsibilities while working to advance your career.

When we push ourselves to learn new skills and healthy habits, we can improve our minds while having fun. If taking a class feels out of reach right now, think about some independent learning or try out a few workshops.

Staying Committed to Lifelong Learning and Fun

Breaking out of old, inactive ruts can take time. Set a goal with friends to improve your health and learn new skills together. Whether you take a course online, take a swing dancing class, or study how to write code, learning offers a variety of rewards. Strive to make learning a goal throughout your life.

Commitment to health and wellness is also an important aspiration. Learn new ways to exercise, cook healthy meals, advance your career through a new degree, learn how to paint or sculpt, or commit to daily meditation. Whatever your choice, you can rest assured your mind, body and soul will benefit.

This is a guest post by Emma Grace Brown



Housework Fun?


Houseworks (Photo credit: the Italian voice)

Housework or room work, depending on whether you have you own home or just use one room is often considered a necessary (or unnecessary) evil, designed to keep you from having fun! Funnily enough, if you do it bit-by-bit, it can actually HELP you have fun, improve your creativity (who knew?) and improve your health, both by reducing stress levels and by helping you keep fit through moving.

Getting Out in the Morning

Finding it difficult to just get up and get out each day? You just need to remember 4 things:

  • Get up
  • Get dressed
  • Get fed
  • Get out (or get on)

Getting up, is basically that – get yourself up out of bed. Yes, I know it might be cold or raining, or not the kind of weather you like, or you may be tired. Napoleon Hill had a good tip for getting out of bed when you have acquired the habit of hitting the “snooze” button over and over.  He set his alarm clock and when it went off, he said to himself, “I’m getting up NOW!” For the first number of times, he used the word “Now” ONLY when he was getting out of bed right then. Eventually he ingrained the habit of getting up on the word “NOW” so well that as soon as said it to himself, it worked – he got up straight away. I tried that tip many, many, years ago and got it to work for me very well. If you have difficulty getting up in the mornings – persevere with this tip and you will be able to get up easily too. Another site that you might like to check out is

Get dressed, again, is simply – get your clothes on (and get washed). If you find yourself racing round every morning looking for something to wear, then start the previous evening, by setting out the next day’s clothes or hanging them all together in your wardrobe. Why do it the night before? Well, at least you will know then whether you have something suitable to wear and it gives you time to prepare something, if not. This alone can reduce stress! When I was in work (I’m now retired) I used to set my work suits out in order in my wardrobe on a Sunday evening. I had 5 outfits for work and I varied them with different tops. Each evening, when I came home, I took off my work clothes and put on my freedom clothes. The work clothes were hung up straight away in the wardrobe but at the other end, so they didn’t get worn again the next day. I just lifted underwear out of my underwear drawer and set it on top of the dresser, then I didn’t have to search for anything the next day – it was all there.

Shoe polish with a shoe brush.

Shoe polish with a shoe brush. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TIP, keep a shoe polish sponge, one of the “instant” ones, where you take your “work” shoes off and use it on them straight away., before setting them down for the night. Your shoes will always be ready and the polish works better on a warm shoe. (Let them dry first, though if they have been out in the rain or mud.)

Get fed – this is important. Get some decent fuel into your body to get it started out right for the day ahead. Scrambled or poached or boiled eggs are quick and easy. Whole grain cereal or wholemeal bread are also good choices. If you know you never have time to eat in the morning, then why not prepare something you can take with you? A banana or hard boiled eggs are easy, useful options to grab and go.

Boiled eggs

Boiled eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Get out – well, you’re ready, so get going! If you have to take a bag or papers or a computer with you – set them out the previous evening and put them in a spot near where you will pass on your way out the door. You may need some other things with you too, keys, glasses, wallet – those are the main things. Check them the previous evening and have them all in one place ready to go. Get on – that’s for people who work at home and don’t need to go out to get to work. You’re ready to get started, so get stuck straight in, whatever it is you need to do, housework, study, child minding, your home-office work – the sooner you get stuck in, the sooner you will be done, ready for fun!


5 reasons why Granny SHOULD nurse the baby

As it’s most likely you are the granny, helping your offspring out I will use PD to stand for Precious Daughter / Daughter-in-law and PG to stand for Precious Grandchild. But if you are not the granny, don’t let that stand in the way of being able to help a new mother!

Nursing the baby to sleep
Nursing the baby to sleep

1. If PD is nursing PG herself, PG will associate the smell of PD with being fed and may want to nurse almost continuously. This can be exhausting or maybe even painful for PD.  Holding the baby while PD has a chance to get dressed, have a bath or move around the house will help her to recover better and will encourage PG to go to sleep for a while.

2. PD may be a little unsure with a new baby, especially if PG is her first child. She may be happy to have some uncritical help with bathing or changing the baby. A spare pair of hands seldom comes amiss, provided you support PD in what she is doing and don’t criticise. Things may have changed since you last held a baby, so help PD follow what the midwife or health visitor has suggested, if she wants, rather than criticising “new-fangled ideas”!

3. PD will need to keep drinking fluids, including water and maybe warm drinks. It may be helpful to hold the baby if PD is getting herself a hot drink, so she can drink it while it’s hot without risking the baby getting hurt.

4. PD may need to get more rest and PG may need to be held. Letting PD get some sleep or a bit of time away from PG if necessary can save her sanity and help her return to full health that much quicker. Daddies or partners can be very helpful here in holding their own precious child while mum gets rest.

5. PG may be a bit colicky and need held upright to help get wind up. PD may be glad to take turns at burping PG, especially if it has been a “bad night”! This also relates to tip number 1. PG may be trying to feed continuously from PD, without giving themselves a chance for a rest between feeds. Being held by someone else can encourage PG to take a rest from feeding, maybe get some sleep and help that colic settle down.

10 Tips for when Granny should NOT nurse the Baby

These top tips will help you to help the new parent(s) and you can also use them if you are helping out a neighbour or a friend or are even doing voluntary work helping new single parents. It’s most likely that you are a Granny helping your precious daughter or daughter in law with your new grandchild, so I am going to refer to the new parent as PD (precious daughter / daughter in law) and the new baby as PG (precious grandchild).

baby yawning
baby yawning
  1. No matter the state of the house, do not criticise anything. You are there to help, not point out mistakes or shortcomings. Keep your lips buttoned, unless you are praising something.
  2. You are there to support PD. You are NOT there to look after PG. Unless your health or your disability totally prevents you from physically helping with the housework or PD is ill – let PD look after the baby. They need to bond and right now is the best time. Nursing PG in order to let PD “get on with the housework” is SELFISH. PD needs rest, to feed and change the baby and to bond with PG. You will have plenty of time in the future to get to know your new grandchild and you may be needed to nurse the baby for a short while anyway, while PD uses the loo or gets dressed.
  3. When you first go into the house, check whether PD needs water or a cup of tea or coffee and something to eat. The first priority is to make sure PD is healthy and nourished.
  4. The next most important task is to check whether something is available for the day’s main meal. It may need to come out of the freezer or it may need to be made. It may even need a phone call or a trip to the shop to get food in.
  5. You can vacuum if you are short of something to do!The next most important task is the laundry. There is always laundry! Get a wash started in the machine. If you are there long enough, you may be able to get it into the dryer or out on the line or hung on airers before you leave. If you hang it out on the line, you will need to bring it in BEFORE you leave that day, because PD will either forget or not have time. If there is dry laundry hanging around, fold it and put it away. It is best not to take laundry to your own house, unless it is an emergency.
  6. Now you can get any dishes done, either in the sink or load the dishwasher. You may need to put dishes away or empty the dishwasher before you can wash more.
  7. Check whether the bed has been made and if not, make it.
  8. Check whether the bathroom needs cleaned. The main things are the sink and toilet and checking that there is enough loo roll / toilet paper.
  9. Empty any waste bins / trash cans.
  10. If you have any time and energy left, vacuum the stairs and landing and living room, or for the kitchen or hard floors, sweep and mop. You don’t have to do all of this every time you go. If this type of work is exhausting for you, or you have limited time, choose one area for each visit and do that. Choose a different area the next visit.
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Your old kitchen looking new!

renewing your kitchen

getting your kitchen to look like new

Are you ashamed of a mucky, messy, filthy kitchen, maybe even looking like a hazardous area? It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend money and time on ripping it all out and starting again. After all, if you keep to the same habits, it won’t be long before your new kitchen will look just like the old one. Add a few small new habits on a regular basis to your day and you might find your old kitchen looks like new.

If you have a dishwasher – empty any clean dishes out of it and put them away. This should take no longer than 5 minutes. Now, if there are any dirty dishes lying around, stack them in the dishwasher and start it going. Again, this should take no longer than 5 minutes. Just by itself, putting away the clean dishes and stacking dirty ones in the dishwasher will help make your kitchen look cleaner and tidier. And it will do a lot for the hygiene too.

get the dishes done

Water dripping in the sink

If you don’t have a dishwasher, then wash your dirty dishes and RINSE them under the cold tap and leave them to dry for a few minutes. By rinsing them, it removes any suds left on them and therefore any grease that was in the suds and so it cuts out having to use a towel to dry them. While they are drying, run a fresh bowl of hot sudsy water and put the next lot of dishes in to soak. If you still have more dirty dishes, stack them neatly beside the sink. Put away the clean dishes, then wash the next lot and rinse those and leave to dry. Keep moving those clean dishes into the cupboards, putting the next lot of dirty dishes in to soak and stacking the next lot of dirty dishes beside the sink. This clears your table and working surfaces quickly and helps make the kitchen look cleaner and tidier. Depending on how many dishes are lying around, it might take 15 – 30 minutes to do this the first time but if you make this a regular habit, the dishes will get clean and tidied away in a very short time.


Once your table is clear of dirty dishes, see if you can clear it of anything else. Can you put condiments (salt, pepper, etc) away? Is there any milk left out, or anything else that needs to go back in your fridge? Have you table mats out that could be wiped and stacked? Are there any old magazines or newspapers that could be dumped or recycled?

Once the dirty dishes are off your counters, give your counters a wipe to remove any crumbs.


Once all your dishes are washed and either put away or draining after being rinsed, wipe out your sink. You may want to clean it a couple of times a week, but clear and rinsed is a great start. If any food particles have got stuck in the outlet, clear those. It only takes a few seconds and it helps the water drain away faster.

Put your dish towels tea towels, etc in the wash and put out fresh ones.

A clean kitchen can be easy to achieve with a few quick regular habits that become like second nature once you have practised them for a few days. Look at your kitchen with fresh eyes. It may not be a new kitchen you need but a few new small habits that will make your kitchen look like new and keep your family healthy.

Cleaning the Bathroom

Would you let your next door neighbour in your bathroom? Would you panic if you had to call in the plumber? If you would like a clean fresh bathroom in only 5 minutes a day, then work out a routine for doing a different small area each day. There are some parts that need done EVERY day – the wash hand basin and the toilet. The bath or shower should be done after you use it. A quick spray with a bathroom cleaner and rinse down takes only a minute and leaves these fresh and clean. The rest of the bathroom can be divided up to do a small part each day, maybe under the sink one day, one set of tiles another day. The whole routine should take less than 5 minutes each day.

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