MOTIVATION MONDAY | ROOM TOUR

Dog on my bed

Happy Monday, friends! 🤗 For my Americans, I hope that you are having a lovely Labor Day Weekend! I had a nice weekend myself, but am ready to tackle this new week!

Motivation, room tour? How does that fit together?

Well, it is relatively simple. I believe your space is a huge component to your level of motivation. That is why I wanted to share my room with you all today, as I have experienced this space = motivation problem myself.

When my family moved to Germany exactly 4 years ago, we moved into an apartment that was temporary… so we thought. Here we are in the same apartment 4 years later. It is small rather small, but we make the very best of it! 🤗

I have been in and out of this apartment. For about a year, I lived in another city and had my own apartment there and then I spent a long time living with my boyfriend in the states. Upon returning to Germany and switching universities, I moved back in with my parents.

Also, sidenote: Yes, I am 22 years old and I live with my parents. Big whoop. I live a simple 35-minute train ride away from my university and a 25-minute train ride away from work. It would never make financial sense to find myself an apartment in the city center AND for my parents to have an apartment in the area we currently live in. 

For the first stretch of time that I lived at home, before moving into my own apartment, I did nothing special to my room. I picked out a new bed and closet that matched. The rest of my furniture came from my bedroom in the states which was very different from what I have here. My desk became a place to pile things on. Laundry, shoes, dishes, you name it. I was just trying to overcome this temporary living situation that we all thought this apartment was.

Then, I moved out into my own space due to my previous university being too far away to commute to. It was little, but it was mine. My mom and I went apartment shopping and my parents helped me set up the apartment, just how I wanted it!

This is when I first noticed how having a space you love around you makes a difference in your productivity and motivation.

Then, I moved to the states for 8 months and lived with my boyfriend in his bachelor pad… While I loved being near him at all times, it was super clear that in the future we need to make some compromises to how we want to decorate. The darkness of his house was super cozy which led to me never being super productive at home, plus it hindered me from creating the content I wanted to because the bright, natural light was missing.

This resulted in me really wanting to create my space upon moving back home. And that is exactly what I did!

MY BED

Immediately, your eyes are drawn to my bed. It is a full-size bed with 4 drawers underneath for storage. Then, you see my workspace and sitting area.

My bed sets the tone for the room. It is white, but also has the natural wood elements that you will see throughout. The “box” you see at the foot of my bed is my hamper, within which I can presort my clothes for laundry day.

The bedside area is home to my IKEA shelf, all of my binders, and other random things. The stuffed animals on top have followed me throughout various stages of my life and are too special to stick into a box. My TV had no other home, but the window sill. It is also not properly hooked up, so all I can do is watch DVD’s, which is actually super handy!

MY WORKSPACE

Next up, my workspace. My desk is where all of the magic happens. Whether I am studying, blogging, doing my health & fitness coach duties, or just a sudoku puzzle, this is where I sit! My dad built it to sit on top of 2 filing cabinets which house all of my knick-knacks and paperwork.

The desktop itself is usually pretty clean and I try to make it pleasing to the eye. A monthly calendar that I downloaded from emmastudies.com lists all of my to-dos. The postcards on the wall all contain motivational quotes and the succulents give the desk some life. And I would not be able to work without plenty of writing utensils, especially my Stabilo pens!

MY SITTING AREA

When I moved into my apartment, my mom suggested we find a chair for me, as my apartment was too small for a couch. And we found this lovely wing chair! It is SO comfortable (I am sitting in it right now) and cozy. I can just reach up to the shelf above me and get some reading material, or I can grab something from my desk to work on as well. I have a power strip right between my chair and my desk that keeps all of my electronics charged and ready to go.

MY “GET READY” SPACE

What you don’t see right away when you walk into my room are my wardrobe and vanity! My wardrobe matches my bed and my vanity was a gift from my grandparents, several years ago. All of my clothes are in my wardrobe and the top of the wardrobe is great for some extra storage, even though it looks kind of cluttered.

My vanity is home to the majority of my beauty products. The stool I sit on it actually the ottoman for my chair. My grandpa made me a matching stool for it, but I needed something that could slide under the vanity when I wasn’t sitting there and a way that the ottoman would not be in the way in front of my chair – and it just so happened to work out perfectly!

YOUR SPACE = YOUR MOTIVATION?

Yes, my friends, it does. If you do not feel good in your space, I doubt you will be cranking out tons of great work. And when you feel good in your space, I find that it is easier for me to concentrate on the task at hand.

I also believe you need to reevaluate your space often. Working in your room can provide a lot of distractions, so it can be helpful to find a café nearby or a library to work in as well. Creating the right atmosphere with the proper decor, good playlist, and some snacks to keep you full enable you to be super motivated and productive to check off all of your to-dos!

Especially to those of you who are just moving into your new space for the fall term, take some time to create the right vibe for you to get the most work done. It may seem like you are over-doing it, but I promise, it will make you feel 10x more comfortable and motivated!

What is one change you can make to your room to help up your level of motivation?

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

MOTIVATION MONDAY | THE CHOICE

Sunflower field

You have the choice. The choice to be happy or sad, smile or frown, progress or plateau. Do you realize how powerful having the choice is?

Let’s ease into this.

Not too long ago, I watched an episode of Darren Daily called “Stop Trying to Find Yourself.” I read the title and was offended. I am a 22-year-old college student, what else am I supposed to be doing? But I clicked play anyways and was plastered about how wrong my mindset was. The gist of the video was, you don’t find yourself, you create yourself. This means, that I, Lena Marie, have the choice. 

Life is a series of choices. Choices that make and shape us.

This seems like such a “duh” moment, but look into your soul for a second and be honest with yourself. Are you taking the power of having the choice seriously?

I was not.

I find excuses and shove blame onto others or circumstances without even batting an eye. But, what good does this do? The guilt is shoved on those excuses in that moment, but when I understood this lesson, the guilt was so heavy on my shoulders because I realized that I consistently have the choice to overcome something difficult, but instead, I choose the easy way out.

And that is not who I want to be.

I want to be strong, unwavering, and accomplished.

So here are a few examples of how I am taking charge of having the choice in various parts of my life.

Health & Fitness 💪🏼

I LOVE being healthy and fit. It makes me feel amazing and so confident! But, I am SO quick to find excuses in this area of my life.

My body feels tired and sore? Then sounds like I need a rest day. Obviously, you need to listen to your body and know your boundaries. But, I give into the “listen to your body” thing way too fast and use it as an excuse not to get a workout in.

There is chocolate in the cupboard? Well, it’s food too and should not be wasted! Of course, I need to eat the whole bar now! Yes, we deserve a treat from time to time and balance is key, but I regularly go overboard. If it’s in front of me, I eat it instead of practicing self-control.

I choose to take control of my health and fitness habits. Only when I take care of myself, can I take care of others too.

School & Work

After a long hard road of soul searching to understand what I am passionate about I am finally pursuing a media degree. I am lucky enough to have stumbled upon some amazing opportunities that can get me somewhere in life. All too quickly I allow laziness, fear or imaginary stress swoop in and take charge.

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, oh my! What a welcome distraction to the hard, hard work I am putting in, I deserve a break. And off I go swimming in the black hole of the internet losing precious time that could be spent creating my own little empire. Yes, we all need breaks, but we can choose how long they are and not let them overtake everything. That is why I enjoy the Pomodoro technique and often use it when I am working on difficult tasks.

I recently had to make a tough job choice. Basically, I had to choose between plateau or progress. It was either stay in a role not totally relevant to my future or face the hard conversation of giving 2 weeks notice and take the role that seemed to be full of potential. It was hard, but I chose the latter!

I choose to overcome distractions and excuses when it comes to my educational and professional path. Only then, can I rise to the level of professionalism that I dream of reaching.

Life

Life happens and we have to roll with the punches, but we can choose how to react. And this my friends is where I have the most work to do.

I got a cold and I JUST healed my ankle. I just had a cold! Why me again? Can’t it find someone else to bother? I have to work, I have a to-do list! And boom emotional breakdown. I am the victim of a FREAKING COLD! Obviously, it could be much, much worse. But instead of accepting the situation, I chose to be the victim.

Time is never on my side. I get up early enough and all of a sudden I have to leave in ten minutes! I’m still just wearing a towel, my hair is sopping wet, I didn’t eat breakfast, I don’t have a lunch ready and CRAP, I need to get gas! Poor me, why me?! Ugh, why does this always happen to ME?! Again, I am the victim. Hadn’t I chosen to watch all of my Snapchat stories, scroll my entire Facebook feed and take a long shower, none of this would have happened.

I choose not to be the victim. Again, life happens and we have to roll with the punches, but we can choose how to react. I choose to react with positivity, even when it’s super hard.

The choice.

A phrase that has quickly become one of the most powerful in my vocabulary. On this Monday, I want to empower you to make the choice to become who you want to become. Definitely, listen to the words of others along the way, but most importantly, listen to your heart. Your life is in your hands and in your hands alone. Let this serve as a nudge to get out there and chase your dreams.

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

MOTIVATION MONDAY | GET ORGANIZED

Organized calendar and notebook

Pardon me if I am the bearer of bad news, but it’s Monday! I doubt I am the only one waking up with the Monday blues this morning. BUT, I do know that I can make today a great day. And step one to doing that is getting organized.

Exactly that is what I am here to talk to you about today! Whether you are headed back to school for the fall term, in need of overcoming the pile of work on your desk or just feeling lost within the day to day to-dos… I have your back!

There are 3 steps to getting organized. Yes, just 3. Follow them and you will be on the path to being the most organized person on the block!

STEP 1: Find your method.

Are you a lover of the digital age? Or do you love the feeling of a pen rolling over paper? Or do you prefer a mix of both? Whatever you like, choose it and stick with your method!

In today’s highly digital world, there are SO many great organizational tools at your fingers tips, literally. Whether it’s Apple or Google’s version of Calendars, they are both intuitive and sync among devices. The same goes for apps such as Evernote. You can create notes, checklists, vision boards, and much more that you can sync and easily have access to on your computer or phone.

We also are in the midst of the era of bullet journaling and creating the perfect planner. Whether you purchase the classic Leuchtturm 1917 notebook to create your own bullet journal or configure your own Erin Condren planner, get a pen that you love and use it!

Or, do a combination of digital and paper. I personally fit into this category myself! For events and appointments, I use my Calendar app on my iPhone. It is just easier for me than carrying a notebook around everywhere, let alone writing every event in it! But, when it comes to my to-dos, a notebook and nice pen need to be at my disposal.

Point is, pick a method and stick to it. If you notice that you might be better off with another method, then switch it! But don’t waste your time pimping out your new bullet journal if you will never touch it again.

STEP 2: Brain dump.

Ok, you have your method chosen, right? Now it is time to dump the contents of your brain. Chances are you are are either running around like a chicken with its head cut off, or you are close to it. All of the things you have to remember are driving your crazy!

This is the perfect time to sit down with your notebook, laptop, or both and start jotting everything down. I find this the most relaxing exercise ever! Slowly, my mind clears up, but at the same time, I still have all of those thoughts captured. 

Figure out a way to categorize your thoughts. How do they belong together? For me, I categorize my to-do’s into school, work, coaching, blogging, and life! Several little categories help me not get overwhelmed! This is about finding what’s right for you. So, maybe one big list is all you need!

STEP 3: Make it a habit. 

Ok, step 1 and 2 have been fairly simple, right? Well here comes the doozy. Making this a habit… This is your make it or break it moment. There are plenty of studies of how long it takes to make something a habit, but here is my advice to you. Use that phone to your advantage and set a reminder! Every day, take 5-10 minutes and have a mini brain dump! And over the weekend, take a bit longer to brain dump, set some goals for the week, and plan ahead!

So there you have it. 3 steps to being organized. Sounds easy, but it’s far from it. It takes hard work, just like everything else in life. And really, this is just getting your thoughts, priorities, and to-dos organized, this doesn’t involve actually doing them!

But this is the start. The start of being motivated to tackle your tasks. The start of completing those tasks and gaining more motivation to keep working hard from them!

What are your go-to organizational tools?

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes.” – Terry Guillmets

*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing from these links you will not be charged more or less, I simply receive a small commission. For more information, please see my disclaimer

MOTIVATION MONDAY | FIND YOUR CHEERLEADERS

Hello and happy Monday to you all! Today marks the first full week of the month of August, so let’s get motivated to crush this week!

Today I wanted to dig a little deeper into the point I mentioned in my first Motivation Monday post about staying motivated and that is “find your cheerleaders”.

I listen to Darren Daily. Darren is an author, public speaker, mentor, among lots of other things. But most of all, he is a coach. One of his daily mentoring videos struck a chord with me last week. He said, “you don’t find yourself, you create yourself”.

This lesson holds incredibly true for motivation as well. We all want to “find” motivation, but actually, we have to intrinsically create it. External stimuli will only support the motivation that you have created.

And one of these external stimuli that I find extremely crucial to staying motivated is having your own personal cheer squad. Ironically, I say you should “find” your own personal cheer squad, but really, you create it!

But what does this mean?

This means that you create a group of supporters who:

You trust. ❤️

Through thick and thin, you need to know that these people will be there for you. You need to know that they want to see you happy, successful, and always striving for your goals.

Have your best interests at heart. ❤️

They are honest, critical and compassionate. They want the best for you and will voice their opinions. If you need a push, they will give you one, if you get lost, they will reel you in, if you achieve a goal, they will celebrate it with you.

Treat you the way they want to be treated. ❤️

They give you what they know you will give them. You cannot expect to have a group of cheerleaders when they cannot be sure that you are cheering them on too. Using is abusing. Never use anyone to your advantage or allow others to use you.

Are not afraid to be honest. ❤️

You need to know whether you are doing the right thing. And these are the people who can reassure you or be brutally honest and tell you how it really is. Do they think you are taking the wrong path? Do they think you have more potential than you believe you do? Your cheerleaders are not scared of being honest with you, even if your reaction may be anger or tears.

Love you. ❤️

Your cheerleaders love you. And for that reason, they want the very best for you and will support you in any way they can, forever and always.

All of our cheerleading squads look different. Some are big, some are little. Some are composed of family, some are composed of friends. What matters is that you are confident that they have each of the qualities I have listed above.

My personal cheer squad is made up of family and some close family friends. But, there are 3 core people who I trust, who I know have my best interests at heart, who treat me right, who are not afraid, to be honest, and who love me. That would be my mom, my dad, and my boyfriend. These 3 individuals are people who mean the world to me.

I am incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people so close to my heart, but we don’t all have that! You can find your cheer squad all over the place though. Through accountability groups, like the ones I run for my coaching business, bible study groups or just going out and mingling with people, you can quickly meet people who will be in your life forever.

And there is nothing more special than having a personal cheer squad to share your journey with.

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

MOTIVATION MONDAY | KNOW YOUR DREAMS

Sitting on the balcony

Happy Monday friends here is your dose of motivation to get your week started on the right foot! Surely, I am not alone in being in awe that it is July 31st, right?! This is the perfect time to set your August goals! 

Last week, in my first Motivation Monday post I talked about how I stay motivated. Point one on my list was “know your dreams”. This is a doozy, so I wanted to hone in on this point a little bit more. Today, I will share a how I have learned to keep my eyes on my dreams!

The most important thing, in my opinion, to make your dreams a reality is to keep believing. My pride is a little bruised at the moment. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you saw that I took a tumble down the stairs this weekend and went to the ER for the first time in my life. Thankfully, I got away with a bad sprain. For how hard I fell, the swelling and the pain, I was expecting worse. But now, I am stuck at home for the week keeping my foot elevated and hobbling around. Why am I telling you this? Because I feel demotivated and setback from reaching my goals.

Working is how I earn my money. Money is how I reach my dreams. Right? Not really. Sure, money helps! But it is not the answer to everything. Knowing your dreams and eventually achieving your dreams has to do with the belief and perseverance that you can do it! So keep believing!

Another huge component is your mindset. I talked about this last week in another post, where I mentioned that I used to let all of the negativity reel me in. Not only did this not help me in believing that I could reach my dreams, but it also set me up with a negative mindset of my own. After several subtle hints from people around me alluding to my negative attitude, I realized I needed to make a change. I am stubborn though and could not just flip the switch from a negative attitude to a positive attitude.

I had to work for it. After reading a lot of personal development books, I believe I can say with confidence that my mindset, for the most part, has really bettered itself! Sure, a weekend like this past one knocked a few points off of my pride. I could give you a whole list of the negative aspects, but gosh am I thankful that my injury is nothing worse!

Being thankful is another component to “knowing your dreams”. The one thing I have learned a lot about through my reading is the Law of Attraction. Books like “The Secret”, “You are a Badass”, “No Excuses!”, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, “#Girlboss”, among several others all refer to or solely focus on the magic of the Law of Attraction. It is simply a law of the universe that states “like attracts like.”

The Law of Attraction thus encourages using tools such as gratitude, affirmations, and visualization to help you know, believe and achieve your goals and dreams. I have incorporated this into my daily routine. First, I read some sort of motivational book for about 15 minutes every morning and then I go on to list out my gratitude and affirmations for the day either on a piece of paper or in my 5 Minute Journal app. Lastly, I have a vision board that I either look at or spend a few minutes thinking about!

Initially, this sounds somewhat insane, but once you do your research and see how many people actively use the tools of the Law of Attraction and what they have achieved, there has to be something to it! And just these people keep me pushing for my dreams too.

And lastly, I ask myself a simple question when I am feeling unmotivated or lazy: what would successful people do? This too sounds silly, but it really does get me going quick and my to-dos are taken care of quicker than I thought possible.

Throughout this entire journey to my dreams, I obviously could not get anywhere without my personal cheerleading squad or the belief that God has an awesome plan for me and my life. But when it comes down to it, these are your dreams. It is up to you to make them happen. No one else can do it for you.

I hope that this insight on how I “know my dreams” and keep reaching for them was helpful. Happy dreaming and an even happier Monday! 🤗

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“Don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everyone else.”

*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing from these links you will not be charged more or less, I simply receive a small commission. For more information, please see my disclaimer

MOTIVATION MONDAY | STAYING MOTIVATED

My desk

Motivation. It is something that we all want, but not something that we really know how to achieve. Some days it’s there, some days it isn’t.

To be 100% honest, I definitely lack motivation a lot of the time. I get discouraged easily and don’t manage my time well. And even if I know that I have a spectacular opportunity that I need to work for, the mountain to that opportunity just seems so stinking big!

For this reason, I have decided to start a new series on the blog called “Motivation Monday”. Personally, I need some tough love to get my act together and getting fired up and writing a post like this will push me to do just that! And if I am being real, a lot of these posts are going to be exactly what I, the person writing these posts, need to hear! I will be benefitting just as much, if not more than you!

So today, I wanted to talk about a few of the things that keep me motivated on a daily basis! They are small things, but can most definitely have a big impact on your day.

KNOW YOUR DREAMS 💭

What do you want to achieve in your life? This does not mean graduating or traveling to a specific spot. This means, in your wildest dreams what will life look like for you? This is a lofty aspiration, seems so hard to make happen, but I promise that it will make you smile. And when you are smiling and thinking happy thoughts, it sure is not as hard to hit the ground running and get sh*t done (pardon my language).

FIND YOUR CHEERLEADERS 🎊 🎉

Reach out to your family, friends, and coworkers and tell them what you need. Be real, be honest! It is so helpful to have a group of people to hold you up and keep pushing you forward, even when think nothing is happening the way that it should be. I truly would not be where I am today if I did not have my squad of cheerleaders cheering me on.

HAVE A ROUTINE ⏰

Create a process of how you get into the day. Not only will this become a habit, which makes it easier and easier to do at time goes on, but you are able to create a routine that sets you up for success. This can be as nitty gritty or loose as you desire, but I have learned that it is 10 times easier to get out of bed in the morning knowing exactly how the start of my day will flow. I also bundle certain tasks together. No matter what time it is, if I start with task 1, I bundle task 2, 3, and 4 together with it. This is a highly individual thing, but it really has made a difference in my life.

MAKE LISTS 📝 

Whether you just have a notepad or an organized planner, write things down! For me, there is nothing more motivating than being able to cross things off of my list. A pet peeve of mine is when you tell someone something and they don’t write it down. How can you be sure that they will remember? Don’t be that person. Nothing is more demotivating than being caught forgetting something important because you thought you would just be able to remember.

CLEAN UP YOUR LIFE 🙅🏼

I talked about this in my Spring Clean Your Life post a while back, but honestly, throw away all of the stinky things! This can be clothes, pictures, or even people. And what I find even more important, is cleaning up your digital space. If something upsets you, makes you feel poorly about yourself or reminds you of something negative – unfriend, unfollow, unlink and say goodbye. You don’t need that kind of energy in your life. On the other hand, fill up your digital life with positive role models and people/things that make you feel happy and empowered.

These are just some of the core things that keep me motivated every day. Every Monday I will be sharing things that not only keep me motivated, but that will hopefully motivate you too. Every little push helps and I promise, one day those goals will all be yours!

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”