list-making1Ok so I’m living alone now, which means I’m not cooking for myself much, unless of course you consider opening a bag of lettuce, a can of tuna and a container of soup as cooking. To my credit, I do warm the soup, and even on the stove! I don’t do microwaves.

I already spent a lot of time alone before I moved, but my time in solitude has reached epic new proportions, and I know that unless I get myself into better motivational shape, I’m going to end up sliding backward toward you-know-what (I’ll give you a hint – the word starts with d and ends in epression).

We don’t want that. We really, really don’t want that.

Suzjones of It Goes on suggests we give annual self-praise for the things we’ve accomplished, and I commented that I would do that soon, here in this blog. I will!

But you know what I honestly want to do right this moment – what makes me giddy at the prospect? I want to create a list of my future accomplishments, because my future is a place where I am perfect and go running each morning and eat only raw food and meditate twice a day and never ever forget to apply ample amounts of night cream to my face and neck before bed.

I have a list fetish, you see. I love making lists of things I’m going to do – of daily habits I will most certainly and most successfully implement into my life!

The only problem: the lists get lost in my jeans or somewhere in a hidden folder on my laptop. I’ve tried EverNote, and I’ve read Getting Things Done, but somehow, they always end up joining a chaotically dispersed archive, which is stored throughout the various nooks and crannies of my life. I should collect them and create an excel file of those things I’ve done in one column, and those I haven’t in another….I do so wonder which column would be longer…

Now, I’m not talking about things that I really need to do (get paying gigs, brush my teeth, take out the trash), I’m talking more about the things I ought to do (quit eating a half a bag of crisps/potato chips at night, quit picking at the polish on my fingernails when I should be researching how the hell I’m going to build that housing site with WordPress). I don’t have children to occupy my time. I don’t have to financially struggle. I’m living in the lap of luxury compared to most of the world, and yet here I am, wasting a perfectly good brain.

Just this morning, I wasted four hours doing god knows what. Ok, I’ll tell you what I was doing: I was on my phone reading informative articles:

  • Why millennials don’t understand Madonna
  • Horrific hairdos of Katy Perry
  • Dita von Teese’s tips on staying dewy and youthful (ok that one was actually useful)


I have a call with my friend Bryan this evening, a man who really got his shit together. I just need a little pick-me-up to remember that one foot goes in front of the other. One step at a time to accomplish what I actually want (while giving up that perfect fantasy life; that stupid, fake world where I only end up in its shadow feeling sorry for myself).

I took a hard-core, Tony Robbins-like seminar once. While I don’t remember 99% of it, I do remember this:

Make a statement about what you ultimately want. Then, work backwards from there. So for example: I want to be able to contort myself into ungodly positions of yoga. Working backwards, then:

  1. Go to yoga class for at least 21 days in a row (to develop a habit), which requires that I
  2. Show up at my first class, which requires that I
  3. Go to bed early so as to increase the likelihood that I will not have a mental civil war about getting up early, and also have my bag packed, which requires that I
  4. Get myself to a yoga store and buy one pair of hip yoga pants (t-shirts from home will suffice), which requires that I
  5. Wear the yoga pants, which requires that I
  6. Sign up to some class before convincing myself that my goal is futile, which requires that I
  7. Google which studios are near me, which requires that I
  8. Google positions to see what style of studio I should choose, which requires that I
  9. Discover which type of yoga most celebrates those positions and style I envision, which requires that I
  10. Imagine which positions I’d like to contort into.

So the first step is to just imagine which positions I want to try. Easy!

Ok, I feel motivated now, and I hope my rant has helped even one soul out there who struggles with motivation like I do. 🙂


Motivation MIA
Just a Saturday morning
The Competence Cycle


  1. So when you write your list of future accomplishments, write them as if you have already achieved them e.g. I am radiantly healthy and enjoying a regular yoga practice. Then keep them as affirmations and repeat them several times each day.
    I have faith that you can do this.

    • Hmmm I heard that once! So it’s like the brain doesn’t know the difference between you saying it and what is actually true. I remember reading about a war veteren who improved his golf game while in a prison cell he could’t even stand in, because he visualised his golf swing over and over, playing the game in his mind. I shall try to think of it as it’s already true.

      Thank you Suz!

      • The subconscious doesn’t differentiate between rubbish thoughts and genuine thoughts and since it is the subconscious that drives most of our life, it stands to reason to train it to think what we want. Does that make sense?

      • It does. 🙂 It’s something I once tried to practice intensely. I spent some years in a rather negative (guilt-ridden) state, falling off that wagon, but that’s changing drastically. Being happy naturally makes me feel happy thoughts about myself.

  2. you are a creator . . . create something really cool and give it away

    • JJ, I am going to give that a go. What a wonderful suggestion – thank you!
      Hmmm now just need to sort out what!

      • the secret is to make it beautiful and give it to a person in need of beauty . . .

        sometimes that can merely be a beautiful smile . . . or some cookies or . . . just plain old fashioned ‘kindness.

        Life is simple . . . and we are ALL fucked up in one way or another . . . right?

      • I really love that….to give it to someone in need. My sister-in-law (and good friend) is thoughtful like that. And yes, we are all fucked up! 😛 i had a good long chat with one of my girlfriends today, and we just laughed at how we all have our own special brand of drama at one point or another in our lives. I think one thing is to make sure you don’t get addicted to drama. Life doesn’t have to be hard..if we just focus on being happy and present. Not to say we can achieve happiness all the time, which is also totally unrealistic. Thx again JJ, and i will follow up with you soon on your inspiring tip!

        Next week, btw, i am volunteering, which is always soul-nurturing. 🙂

      • good . . . you’ll be fine. I can tell 🙂

  3. I’ve been struggling with motivation recently as well, but usually this is associated with my menstrual cycle and I am sure it will be better soon.

    • You make an excellent point…I don’t have my husband here to remind me now, as he usually did…I need to start paying more attention to how that affects me (as it most certainly does)!

  4. I am so motiva….(part 2 tomorrow)

  5. Motivation had always been an issue for me. I am probably too easy going for my own good.

    On the bright side of your simple meals…it’s healthier than what a lot of people eat and it sounds economical.

    Staying indoors sucks the life out of me. I’ve found going for long brisk walks makes me feel better. Haha..I was rolling my own cigarettes for a while too(not common in Canada). I like the unfiltered taste.

    • I do eat pretty healthy, generally speaking. Now just quit rolling. 😉

      I totally agree with your statement about taking walks. I often take them late at night, and they clear my head considerably. Back in the old days, doctors often perscribed fresh air as remedy for many ailments. Now, they just give you anti-depressents!

  6. Thanks for following my underdeveloped blog. I’ve browsed through some of your posts and can relate to a lot of what you write. Motivation – yes I need me some of that. 🙂

    • Hey no problem! Looking forward to reading your stuff too. 🙂 Why do you find it underdeveloped? Feel like you want to share more?

      • It’s just underdeveloped because I started it a while ago and haven’t really written much in it. I began with the lofty concept that “Visionaries Will Prevail” but realized that writing to that ideal was a bit beyond me. I’d like WordPress to feel a little cozier for me and perhaps gain a few followers who actually read my posts. For now I’ll be writing about my personal experiences and see where that takes me. Thanks for the comments and the likes. 🙂

      • I learned to not be a perfectionist and just write. I started with using my blog for my permaculture diploma, but it ended up going in an entirely different direction. I’m just letting it, and that’s a freeing process. 🙂 thanks for your comments and follow!

  7. cloud strife 86

    19 comments!? Hmmmm…someone’s getting popular. Seriously though, I’m glad you’re feeling motivated. You go girl!

  8. Matthias

    I find it interesting how a marriage and a divorce affects some women. I once knew a woman in college. I knew her during the last months of her marriage. She was always complaining and depressed. I helped her with her essays since I am a writer.

    Within weeks after her divorce, once she moved out and got her own apartment, it was like she bought a new pair of glasses and could see so much, so clearly. She was going in all different directions trying to take it all in at once.

    She changed in other ways also. She became more assertive and even aggressive. When she would ask me to read one of her essays, if I criticized even the smallest thing, like spelling, she would get angry. She seemed to be angry at all men. It was like all the pain that she had repressed over all the years of divorce was coming out on all men, and I just happened to be close.

    It didn’t take but a few weeks and she pushed me out of her life. It was like she was cleaning house and just wanted to get rid of everything of her past. I was just a man who helped her with her essays and listened to her about her marital problems.

    I was happy for her and her new feeling of independence and confused at the same time. Again, I just figured it’s like getting a new pair of glasses. So much life was missed in the darkness of her marriage and now she wanted to take it in all at once.

    I have no idea how she turned out. She pushed me out of her life rather harshly so I never returned. I hope it all works out well for her as I hope it works out well for you.

    I wish you all the best.

    • Hmmm I would guess that everyone reacts differently, whether man or woman (although maybe women are generally more vocal than men, of course not always). I would guess that if someone is hurt or feels abandoned, they may project that onto other people they associate with their former partner. Heartbreak alters us, it seems.

      Sounds like you felt hurt by her pulling away. As my friend Natasha told me once: “People do things.” Sucks though sometimes, the way people hurt us.

      Thank you for well wishes Matthias. 🙂

      • Matthias

        Well I was just more confused by her pulling away rather than hurt. For the first few months she sounded like you, enthusiastic and excited about her new life. Then, out of nowhere, it all changed. Just as your blog states, it is an evolution.

        She was reading all the self help books. Trying to find her place in the world as an independent woman. I enjoyed all her enthusiasm and, like watching a child a Disneyland, taking in all the beauty that she had missed out on. Your story of the cat reminded me of her when she first moved into her new apartment. Doing what she wants. Sleeping when she wants.

        I wasn’t that close to her. I was just a classmate who is a good listener so she used my ability to listen during the last months of her marriage to tell me about all the problems within her marriage. Of course, being a man, sometimes I would have rather been home watching the football game. But I care about people so I would stay, have another cup of coffee and listen.

        Sorry if I might be comparing you to her. What you write just reminds me of her. I hadn’t thought of her until I read your writing.

      • No worries I appreciate your honesty and If I didn’t want perpectives like this, I would relegate it to my journal. It does make me question a possible attachment to a little drama…just sort of sheds light there. It’s sort of like a painful high, change.

    • Your comment about doing it all at once has got me thinking, too. Thanks for that perspective.

  9. Hi Jami 😀 Thanks for your visit and comment. Loved it !
    When I was your age I went through divorce depression which took about 18 months to clear my head and move on so I know where you are at. No advice, just do what makes you happy as you are a sweetheart and deserve to be happy and keep rolling your own cigarettes. Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

    • Ralph thank you for your thoughts on divorce. The last week has been pretty tough…I miss my husband a great deal lately, which I suppose is normal! Haha and yeah, I need to be easy on myself. I’ve got a rough edge with certain things, which is fine. It’s all good. 😀 You have a great day, Ralph!!

      • Yes. It is tough Jami and it’s great that you are thinking about not being to rough on yourself, so all is good ! Thank you and have a lovely late night yourself my friend. 😀

  10. It’s official: You’re one of my heroes, Jami.

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