Motivation Through A Child’s Eyes

IMG_0532So it's back to homeschool at our house (double yuck) and I'm afraid we have all gone into it kicking and screaming and complaining and asking how many days until summer. Finally I said ENOUGH!  We are not going to approach every day as if we live a miserable existence. I simply refuse. We love homeschool. Period. It's time to change our thinking or it will be a very long miserable year.  I'm a motivational speaker  for gosh sakes – it's time to walk my talk.

Well, it's easier for Mom and Dad to take that approach than it is for a 9-year-old. So Will and I now have a new routine we have added to homeschool – creating a list of things we have to look forward to. It's amazingly simple, yet amazingly effective. We sit down at the beginning of the week and make a list of the things we are excited about – Chinese dinner and movie on Friday night, a new toy on Saturday if he gets his work done on time, lunch one day at Target if he aces his tests, a Scout meeting, three martial arts classes, and getting to do his homework at the gym while Mommy works out if he promises to have good penmanship.  For a 9-year-old it doesn't take much to get him excited.

Througout this process (which is working really well for now – I know we'll have to tweak it and change it up over time) I realized that I have been doing this kind of thing ever since I was little. No matter what my current situation, I always had a running ticker-tape of things to look forward to – things as simple as an upcoming birthday, to a cupcake at home with my name on it. Was I born learning to find things in my life to get excited about? Or did I learn it? I'm not sure. But it doesn't really matter. And I think this method might work for you too.

Are you facing a tough day? A tough week? A tough year? Start a routine of sitting down and coming up with a list of things you are looking forward to for that week. And if there isn't anything on that list – CREATE SOMETHING.  It doesn't have to be huge. In fact, it shouldn't be. Create small treats and luxuries for yourself that you can look forward to all day or all week. For example, I'm looking forward to getting some Scallion Chicken and an egg roll on Friday night after my son's martial arts class. I LOVE chinese food. And the fact that I'm waiting all week to get it, means I'm sticking better to my healthy foods the other days. It's also Netflix movie night with my son (his choice – dear God, please don't let it be zombies) so he's excited all week about that.  And you don't have to pick things that cost money. Maybe you want to tell yourself that on Saturday afternoon you are checking out from motherhood for a long bath, candles, and a book. You're allowed. Add it to your list. They'll live.

It's amazingly simple. But many of us stay in the miserable stage. I think because we're just too busy to stop and talk ourselves out of it. Or maybe because we don't have a routine. Well, here you go. Happy week!


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. I'm looking forward to lunch! Great blog, Kelly, and filled with truths. You probably already know research shows the best part of taking a vacation is the anticipation that leads up to the trip. I have my Bora Bora hut on my dream board….better cut back on lunch!

  2. No wonder we get along so well, Colette. Much of what motivates me in life is centered around food. It is amazing how good I will be for the promise of a cupcake. Yesterday I stood at a scout meeting in the back of the room talking to another mother about my new nutrition plan, and then left the meeting to take Will to Coldstone Creamery for dinner. Yes, we had ice cream FOR dinner. His eyes just about bugged out of his head when I suggested it. Needless to say, Daddy was out of town. And, needless to say, Daddy called at the exact moment we sat down to eat our chocolate sprinkle covered waffle bowls filled with chocolate cake batter ice cream with nuts and gummie bears. How does he do that? Busted us with ice cream running down our faces. And of course Will ratted us out the second he got on the phone with him. So much for little secrets between mom and son! And, yes, I realize that technically I shouldn't have Chinese food Friday since I just had ice cream yesterday. But that was my cheat dessert, not my cheat meal. And I still haven't had my cheat appetizer yet.

  3. Ha ha ha! Well, I can relate to ALL of this! I actually enjoyed my labor pains when I was giving birth to my son! Okay, maybe "enjoyed" isn't he right word, but I sort of "embraced" them, because I had the JOY of knowing that a reprieve with NO pain was coming next!  I know. It was a mind game. I played it and I won. But I LOVE this post, Kelly, because I forgot about this idea. We are in the middle of a remodel in our little apartment and everything from there is in my main house and everything is seriously cluttered and clumpy. I've allowed all this to get to me and am beginning to feel stressed.  So starting RIGHT NOW I am going to start looking forward to how GREAT it will be when it's over! Yippee! Thanks!!!   

  4. Cold Stone for Dinner!!! Now that's something to look forward to!  I love your honesty Kelly, especially taking Will there when Dad's out of town.  Kid's get so excited don't they? That no matter what the secret, they get so excited when Dad calls that the secret is soon out!  Fun fun fun.  Thanks for making me smile today – as usual!  No wonder you are such a great motivational speaker!!!

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