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How Do You Motivate Yourself?

Today’s topic is motivation. Whether it’s to finish painting your bedroom or to lose a few pounds, kicking your own butt is often the hardest thing to do. As I look at my “To Do” list today, I feel majorly overwhelmed because I have so much to accomplish between now and August 7th. Eek! Though with every task I cross off comes this awesome feeling of accomplishment that can often make my entire day and directly influences my mood. When I hop into bed at night, I often review what I accomplished (or didn’t) and I notice how much better I sleep when my day was productive.

Bedroom of Leanne, poster from
SFgirlByBay for sale in her shop in a ton of colors.

Ah, motivation. Easy to say and hard to do! Whether you work for the man, or for yourself, it can be a challenge to press forward at times. Working for myself and having a measure of success in the freelance world takes a great deal more motivation than I ever imagined. When I went into work back in the day, seeing others around me in the office motivated me whether I interacted with them or not. Taking the T each day to Boston’s Financial District energized me, I felt motivated being packed on a train with a million others knowing we all were heading towards the same goal: to get to our jobs on time and hopefully make a difference. Hearing phone conversations over cube walls, walking by a jam-packed conference room, meeting colleagues for lunch, daily meetings with my boss — all of these things kept me fueled.

Working mostly from home, my challenge is that motivation must continuously come from within, along with creative ideas and solutions to any challenges that may arise during the day. In my past life, I could run across the hall to my colleagues desk to ‘tap’ her brain. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to drive myself forward. Fuel can run low, especially on days when the tasks at hand aren’t necessarily ones I enjoy doing (billing, taxes, coding, etc.).

How do I motivate myself? I often email someone that I know will reply that day and simply ask them how they are. I’ll arrange a call with a client or friend. Sometimes I’ll run to a local cafe for an iced chai just to get out of my environment for 15 minutes and socialize with the cashier (who knows me). Sometimes I take an afternoon time out to play this nutty game called Diner Dash for a 10-15 minutes. I make it a daily practice to shut down my computer and take a full 30-60 minutes off each day where I am completely unavailable to the world. During this time I read, enjoy lunch at my kitchen table (not at my desk!), stretch, play music, and if it’s cold or rainy, I’ll even light a few candles. Changing the environment for a short period of time helps. You know, KEEP CALM and then CARRY ON. :)

What about you, how do you motivate yourself?

(image from leanne)

Posted in Ramblings on July 17, 2008


I’m finishing up all of the inspiration packs so I can photograph them and post them here on decor8 in the morning along with how you can win one!

I’m also working with my designer to put the finished touches on the new decor8 – which unfortunately includes tagging over 3,000 posts and organizing a lot of content so if you wonder where I am I’m working behind on the scenes on blog-related goodies.

Back in a moment with our Get Real topic of the week…

Posted in uncategorized on July 17, 2008

Stationery Trends Magazine

I was so happy when Miss Kati at The Finer Things told me about the decor8 mention in the summer issue of Stationery Trends magazine. The article, “To Blog or Not to Blog” featured helpful blogging advice from the talented ladies behind Creature Comforts, One Good Bumblebee and The Finer Things. A few blogging points mentioned include: write what you are truly passionate about, remain authentic in how you present yourself and your work, and say what you mean — don’t lose your voice because you worry about others (though there is such a thing as blog etiquette so it may be a good idea to not trash a competitor or fellow blogger). All of these ladies author blogs that are “real” but also professional (they are business ladies with online stores) and though their words are uncensored, they are sincere and captivating — their content makes you want to come back for more.

And while it’s great to talk about your business, don’t make your work the entire focus of your blog. Ez from Creature Comforts has a great tip for bloggers, “Don’t make it about the products…It’s easy to tell if a blog is forced, and it quickly becomes obvious over time.” I have to agree with Ez, I’d much rather learn about the inspiration behind the work.

In this article decor8 is mentioned alongside Design*Sponge, Print + Pattern, Poppytalk, Design Crush, Design for Mankind, Hostess with the Mostess, Tastefully Entertaining, Style Me Pretty and Design is Mine.

I’d like to thank Stationery Trends and writer Christienne de Tournay Birkhahn for this special article. If you’d like to read it, please visit The Finer Things, she has it posted on her blog.

(image from stationery trends)

Posted in Press, Stationery on July 17, 2008

Grow House Grow! {hand-printed wallpaper}

Katie Deedy just sent me the most wonderful collection of hand-printed wallpaper that she creates and sells under the name Grow House Grow! in her Brooklyn design studio. This is a nice alternative to the wildly popular Cole & Son Woods pattern in case you happen to be looking for something slightly different.

Katie’s first collection is inspired by some of her favorite childhood friends, children’s books and memories and each roll is $150 USD or you can purchase them by the sheet in case you are more interesting in framing your favorite one. Currently there are three patterns available in three different colorways.

Congratulations on your brilliant new collection, Katie!

(images from grow house grow!)

Posted in Rooms on July 16, 2008


Some of my books

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