The power of reading

When I was a kid my parents taught me to enjoy reading and I barely watched TV. We had so many books at home that they barely fit in the shelves and the storage box we had under the sofas. And we still went to the library every couple of weeks to get new material.

I remember staying there 2-3h sometimes going through books, reading and deciding which ones I was going to take home. And I used to bring 3-4 books EVERY TIME. That was when I was between 8 and 13 years old.

One of the requirements to pass my Spanish class when I was 10-12 years old was to read at least one book every 3 months. One book in three months, guys!

The teachers asked us to bring some books to class so everyone had access to them. At one point I was really into Agatha Christie and her mystery novels, so I took one that one of my classmates had brought. When I got home I started reading it and I didn’t stop until I was done with it. I was so into the story I couldn’t stop reading! The next morning I went to the teacher and asked her for another book. She looked at me and she told me “Wow, you don’t read books, you devour them!” I don’t know if it was the tone or the look on her face that made feel almost guilty of reading so fast.

Sorry I’m not sorry.

Book shelves

I discovered most of the Disney stories from the books, instead of watching the movies as the other kids. For the first 4 years of my life, actually, we didn’t even have a TV. And I think that’s one of the best things that could ever happen to me. Even when my parents had the money and bought a TV, I didn’t usually watch it that much. My parents encouraged me to read before going to bed, when I was bored, when I had nothing else to do or any other time.

When I see kids now, they have their heads into their phones, tablets, laptops, TV or other devices. That is pretty sad. And I’m not even going to talk about all the problems that come from looking at a screen all day.

After High School I stopped reading that much and I’ve been a few years barely reading, but now I’m going back to it. I have put myself a reading goal of 3 books per month (right now I’m doing 1.5) and that’s something that I really want to accomplish. Reading has so many benefits, like providing mental stimulation, stress reduction and vocabulary expansion. And it has always had the power of taking me to other places, like my problems are on break for a while. It’s also a very good option for these rainy days. Just curl up with a blanket, a warm drink and a good book.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris…

Do you like to read? Which book are you guys reading at the moment?

Motivation Monday #3

For the third Motivation Monday I wanted to share with you something that I usually do when I have one of those days when the only thing that I want to do is go back to bed and stay under the covers. I’m talking about looking at some inspirational quotes.

When I see some inspirational/motivation/cute quote on the internet I usually save it so I have access to it later. Lately, I’ve been using Pinterest a lot, I have reorganized it, renamed boards and pinned a lot of interesting stuff.

Today I’m coming to share here a few of the motivational quotes that I love. There are many of them, but I’ll try to keep the post under 10 pics. If you click in any picture it will take you to the pin and you can take a look too to my Love Words board, with 130+ pins.

Let me know in the comments your Pinterest profiles or the boards that you like the most so I can check them out too!

I hope you guys have a great week!

PS: Also check Motivation Monday #1 & Motivation Monday #2

How to Deal with Lack of Motivation

Missing motivation. Reward if found

I feel I need to be honest here… Last week I had a major lack of motivation to do anything. Really, anything. I don’t consider myself extremely active, but I like to do stuff. And if I want to do something, I will do whatever needs to be done to get it. For the last 10 days (a little less, maybe?) the only thing that I wanted to do was to lie down and watch some TV show or something on my laptop (can I just say how disappointed I am on Netflix taking off My Fair Wedding? Ugh…). I can’t say I didn’t do it. I did some other things too, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

First, I was really “happy” to be a woman, if you know what I mean. Then, last Monday I went to a medical exam and they gave me a shot for tetanus and something else that I don’t remember. The doctor said it might hurt for a couple of days, but I didn’t believe him. Holy cow! On Wednesday I had to take something for the pain because that was hurting so much I could barely move my arm!

I guess not being well physically made me not be motivated to do anything, so I just rested and tried not to beat me up for not doing the things that I had on my list for the week.

Yesterday, though, I decided that it was time to move and I did a to-do list on my head.

To-Do ListAlso, on Tuesday my parents are coming from Spain to stay with us for two weeks, and there’s some stuff that needs to be done (hello, house cleaning!).

One thing that you need to know when you don’t feel like doing anything is that maybe your body needs a break. And that’s totally fine. Your mind might appreciate the break too, so don’t beat yourself up. Now, don’t take that as if you could stay in the sofa forever and spend the rest of your life watching Friends on Netflix. I mean, that’s just not right. And, believe me, at the end that’s the worst thing you can do for yourself. I might write about the story of that crappy summer a few years ago…

Remember Newton?

When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.

That being said, the more you stay in bed, in the sofa or being lazy anywhere else, the more you want to stay in bed, in the sofa or being lazy anywhere else. Sounds familiar? And what’s the solution?

MOVE! Start doing things, even if you don’t really feel like it.

Lauryn, from The Skinny Confidential, recently said that one of the ways to start being motivated to do something is to just “fake it until you make it”. That doesn’t mean that you have to be all smiles and look like you just came from Lollipop Land. Step by step. You want to go to the gym but you lack motivation? I totally understand you. Try putting on some gym clothes when you get up in the morning, so you are a little closer. I usually like to have bright clothes for the gym. They just make me happier! I actually have some phrases written in the mirror of the bathroom so that I remember to smile more and see the better things on the day. Now, don’t expect to be super happy the second day, it might or it might not happen. Just give yourself some time. Doesn’t it make sense?

I can, and I will

You can also reward yourself. Like, if you need to clean the house but you don’t really want to (sorry, nothing else comes to my mind), you can say to yourself that you will sit and watch an episode of your favorite TV show or you’ll get some special treat when you’re done with a part of the task.

This morning, that’s pretty much what I did. I put my gym clothes on, had breakfast and set on some music to make it easier to go through my to-do list. Not that I’ve finished, but I have actually accomplished a lot!

Have you felt unmotivated lately? What are your tricks to overcome that feeling?

How to Stay Motivated #2

If you missed it, How To Stay Motivated #1

In this second post about how to stay motivated I’m going to talk to you about a couple of things that I have been doing the last few years to stay motivated in different areas of my life.

  • If you have a diary, agenda or notebook that you use in a daily basis, print out some motivation phrases or pictures to remind you of your goals. You can also just write the phrases with colorful letters if you don’t have a printer or you don’t want to use one.

Agenda

  • Last year I purchased a few dry-erase markers so that I could put some phrases in the bathroom mirror. You can use them to set a list of weekly goals, to draw a smilie, set some reminders or as motivation. Now I just wished I had thought of that before!

Color Markers

  • Use your desktop wallpaper of the laptop or your smartphone as a motivational blackboard. You will have access to all the power of a phrase or an image anytime you need it.
  • I also keep a folder in my laptop with a bunch of motivational phrases that I have been finding over the net. It is a good source of printables whenever I feel I need some extra strength!

Mirror I’ll leave you a few printables below so you can add them to your motivation collection. Feel free to save them and pin them! *Please have mercy; they are my first “creations”. I’m sure I’ll improve over time… LOL* Click on the image to save them Have a good week! 🙂 Big dreams Not how my story ends Winners never quit River persistence Not easy, worth it

How to Stay Motivated #1

There are people that seem to be always motivated to do whatever needs to be done to reach their goals. I like to think of me as a person that works hard to get what I want in life. I always wanted to come to live to the United States, and so I did.

It came a day when I decided that I was not going to wait anymore and I started looking for ways to get a visa and come. Even if I found out that it was going to be more difficult than I anticipated, I continued and kept looking.

I spent several months searching on websites, contacting agencies to get information and applying for jobs, although results were not what I expected. One day, though, I got an email that made me jump off my seat and gave me the hope that I needed.

I can, and I will

If I had stopped when I found out that it was going to be difficult to get a company to hire me, I would still be stuck in a crappy job, getting a crappy salary and I wouldn’t have met my husband! Who would have thought?

Great things never came from comfort zones

I don’t want this to seem like I’m always motivated. Way far from that. I work for what I want in life, but there are many things that can be improved. I wanted to start studying a couple of languages a few months ago, and I haven’t. I wanted to work out regularly, but I’m far from doing that. And the same happens with a few other things.

I never lose. Either I win or I learn

I am starting a new series of posts that might help you (and me) to stay motivated whenever we set a goal, whichever it is.

Stick around!

Pictures: Pinterest

More posts in this series:

How to Stay Motivated #2