Motivating the Mundane Monday

Oh my oh my….it’s been quite a while. I feel horrible for not posting in such a long time, but life has been happening, and it is happening in a good way. Let’s change this Mundane Monday into a Motivating Monday, shall we?

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Walk, Bike, Pogo This Way!

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Last week I walked to work and it felt great. Yesterday, I rode my bike to work  and I could not stop smiling! I felt like a kid again! What I am trying to get at, is this Things To Do Thursday, try getting somewhere, anywhere, differently.

Here are some options:

Walk – The great part about walking is that you only need a decent pair of shoes, which makes it completely cost-efficient.

Bike – You will get there much more quickly than walking, but cost does go up a little (unless you’re into fancy walking shoes). It’s easier and easier to find a bike at a yard sale or Target!

Skate – Rollerblades or the traditional quad skates are amazing. I know rollerblades may not be the coolest right now, but if you grew up in the 80’s & 90’s like I did, you know you still want to use them.

Carpool – When I lived in Los Angeles I only dreamed of having a co-worker or someone that worked around LA that I could carpool with. I even thought of putting a car seat in my car, but that would have been completely horrible and not to mention illegal. Even if your commute does not take two hours to get there, carpooling is fabulous for your mind and your wallet.

Public Transportation – I am envious of New York or countries where public transportation is king! I would love to hop on a subway or grab the “whatever it may be” into town. To be able to mingle with different people, aromas, and sights on a daily basis would be such a mind massage!

These were the only options I could come up with…besides Pogo, which I do not need to elaborate on. If you have any other ideas in mind, please let Polka Dot Tango know!!!!

If You Thought You Couldn’t, Think Again.

I know that this video has been shown just about everywhere, but sometimes it’s necessary to watch it more than once. So for Motivational Monday, take a couple minutes to watch Arthur Boorman take a hold of his life and beat the odds!!! You’re never too late to start doing what you want. 🙂

It’s Not That Serious!

Change Your View On Things

Change Your View On Things

These days there are so many ways to get motivation that sometimes you can’t help but wonder, “Do these motivators know what they are talking about?” I for one, am not an expert on motivating people. I am not a life coach, a therapist, or everyone’s best friend…I am just me, who in turn, is just like you. 🙂 There are those days where I am frantically searching for “that quote”. You know, the one with the pretty type and the inspiring image in the background that is supposed to give you that “ah-ha!” moment. I am a sucker for those quotes because they are a quick fix, but at the end of the day, can I really even remember what it said? Even after saying all of this, I am going to continue to post quotes, images, stories and other motivation mementos for those who follow Polka Dot Tango. Why? Because everyone is motivated differently and I hope that someday, a little Motivational Monday post will give someone even a glimpse of inspiration! So this Motivational Monday, I am writing a simple list as to what gets me inspired, happy and motivated!

Just wear it!

Just Wear It!

Wear Something Different

If I am feeling like I am in a rut, I try and wear something different. It could be a mix of old clothes you already have that could make a completely awesome outfit! Maybe there’s a piece of clothing you bought and have never worn. Been there done that! Wear it and feel good about it. I often find that I save clothes for a special occasion, but it’s not like I have a plethora of ball gowns in my closet (or even one), so why not wear something that you have been saving. I like to try and remind myself that each day is special and you should dress for you! Not only will you see the difference, but amazingly so will others. You will glow on the inside and out!

I Work Out!

I Work Out!

Move Your Body

Just move your body. This is the old stand by trick that works for most everyone to get a little motivation running through your veins. If you already “move your body”, then try moving your body in a different way. If you are usually lifting weights, try and go for a hike. Changing up your workout can be a challenge, but in the end, it proves to yourself that you can do more than you thought and it feels good!

Get Out!

Get Out!

Mix Up Your Surroundings

Just this weekend, I went to the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market with my family. It was like a detox/workout/massage for my brain and I LOVED IT! Being around new aromas, people, clothing, colors, foods was totally what I needed for some motivation for starting a business. Being immersed in a different scene can be exhausting, but your brain is taking in new information and it’s most likely waking up. The Farmer’s Market made me smile from ear to ear the entire time I was there, motivating me to push myself harder than I ever have before! Thank you LA, once again!

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Pop Open A Can of Creativity

Be Creative

This may seem like a daunting task to a lot of readers, but it is a relaxing and fun way (for me at least) to get motivated. You don’t have to be Warhol or Martha Stewart to be creative, so take it easy on yourself. Just doodle if that’s what it takes. Having fun and creating things is very inspiring and the great part is that everyone can do it. Once you’re done, you can either laugh and throw it in the trash or be proud and display your work!

Let Polka Dot Tango know what motivates and inspires you! We would love to hear all about it!!!

 

 

 

Jawbone UP

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For months I had been talking about this Jawbone UP and constantly going back to the website to see if it would be worth purchasing. With a tagline of: Know Yourself. Live Better, you wonder, do I really know how healthy I am? So, one day I came home and there was a Jawbone UP sitting right next to my phone. “Someone” had enough of me talking about it that they went and purchased it for me. 🙂

So far, I have had the UP for about two weeks and I do feel better and have lost some weight, but not because the band did it, rather because I did it. Because I was able to see what I ate, how idle or active I was and maybe I am a bit of a carb lover, I was able to live a little healthier. I like to call my UP band my reminder. Yes you have to manually log in your food intake and some workouts, like weight lifting, but they have designed it to be soooooo easy. Also, it is very detailed so you don’t feel like you are getting a completely inaccurate reading.  In order for the entire UP system to work you need: a Jawbone UP band, the UP app, and of course yourself.

Here is a list of what the Jawbone UP helps you track:

Sleep and Nap Tracking

24/7 Activity Tracking

Food & Drink Tracking

Mood Tracking

Insight Engine

Idle Alert

Smart Alarm

10-Day Battery

Water Resistant Design

Day and Night Form Factor

Power Nap

Simple Sync

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This is what your home screen will look like on your UP App. This image was taken at the end of one of my days so that you can see how it logs everything in a simple chart. The purple column represents the amount of sleep I got, the orange represents my activity, and the green is my food and water. See how the orange column says 122%? I have a goal programmed into the program of reaching 10,000 steps a day, which can be difficult considering I am at a desk all day. I exceeded my goal this day and so the app lets me know!

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By clicking on the orange (active) column, it will give you the specifics on your entire day. Now, you don’t have to wait until the end of the day to see all of your stats, you can plug in your UP band to your phone, computer, or iPad, at any time and it will five you a reading up to the time you plugged it in.

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When clicking on the purple (sleep) column, this lets you know way more than many think they could know about their sleep.

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The green (nutritional) column, shows you if exactly what you ate. I obviously ate too many carbs and protein that day, but I’m not going to cry about it. It’s a real eye opener to see where you are getting your nutrition from.

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This is the screen that comes up when you are entering your food. Beyond Breakfast & Pastries, there are 7 more categories to choose from. Each category has a wide range of items to select from. In fact, there hasn’t been one food that I have not found. Better yet, at the top of the screen there is a scan button. You click on that and scan the barcode of the item you are consuming and all the info comes up, you just have to adjust how many servings you had. You can also take a photo of the food you ate, just in case you want to recreate it again.

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This image shows the more manual side of things, where you would log in anything that you did. Just like the nutritional part, there are a wide range of activities and you can adjust the intensity of your workout, the duration, etc.

Being active all my life and then becoming accustomed to being sedentary has been a hard transition for me. The Jawbone UP has helped me to remind myself that it is important for me to be healthy and not to just completely veg out. I would recommend this product for anyone who has enough drive to living a healthy lifestyle themselves, but needs just a little something to keep it up.

 

 

Moody Monday

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Stina Persson

For the last several weeks, I had been waiting for a response to a job I had truly truly wanted. It meant creative freedom, respect from fellow future colleagues, no more partial unemployment. It meant that I had found what I had lost. For the last five and a half years I have been trying to dig out of a hole and I believed that I may have just seen a glimmer of light. I opened my email anxiously on Friday and there it was…the “Golden Ticket”. I clicked on that email and began to read finding that my “Golden Ticket” had in fact been a scalped ticket. “We have decided to hire another candidate…”

Chest pain, stomach ache, head ache from attempting to hold back tears so that my co-workers would not know that I can be weak. My body was rejecting what my mind was coming to terms with. Immediately I attempted to call my dad, my mom, and my husband. No answers. If they did pick up the phone, what answer was I looking for? Finally, my dad picked up my second phone call and gives me wonderful words of encouragement. He always gives me peace of mind with his calm sound advice.  My husband calls me upset that the interviewer had given me the assumption that the job was mine, when in fact, it was up for grabs for anyone who applied. Then, my mom calls and says something strange. With confidence she says, “You know what? Be sad. Let yourself be sad, just don’t over do it.”

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Stina Persson

What? I am allowed to be sad? Myself and many others take pride in the fact that we can just “brush it off our shoulders” and move on. Yes, we might go home and have a balling session in an hour long shower, but no one knows it and all evidence goes right down the drain. “Oh. My eyes are only red because I got soap in them”.

Whenever I cry, I can’t help but think of Alice in Wonderland. Here she is, in this odd world, trusting strangers, and doing everything she can to get home, and she breaks down and cries. Until my mom told me, “Be sad”, I had always seen Alice as a wimp, an annoying cry baby I would try to avoid at all costs. Now I realize that yes, she cried, and so much so, that she was able to successfully move. on.

So that Friday night I attempted to let myself “be sad”. I pulled on my jammies, turned on those lovely Lifetime movies, and cuddled with my pup. Randomly, a crying outburst would sneak up on me and I allowed it to continue it’s path. Once Saturday morning came about, I felt a little refreshed. Not to say I was no longer disappointed, but rather accepted the fact. It was that morning I decided that my mission was to figure out what the heck to do next. Because after all, once Alice rode out her sea of tears, she didn’t stand still.

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Stina Persson

OMG…it’s 2013.

OMG...it's 2013

OMG…it’s 2013

2012 is gone and it’s time to move on. Obviously, I can not speak for everyone, but 2013 seems like it’s going to be a fabulous year! When I look back on last year, I can’t help but think of the tragedies and disasters that occurred, and how they affected the entire world. Fortunately, for many,  there were glimmers of success,  joyous occasions, and just plain old good days that helped to keep the world turning on a positive note. Here is what Maya Angelou had to say about last year and moving on to this year:

“In 2012 nature and the mad nature of some human beings caused us to wonder how can we go on. From super storm Sandy to the Colorado movie house shooting and the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we have been pressed to find some answers to the question, why, me why us, why now? As we come into 2013, we bring with us the need to find answers and the hope to find what can we do to prevent the recurrence of these despairing occurrences. I think we must commit to a commitment to all human beings and a decision to accept our responsibility to nature’s outpouring and human misbehavior. I wish that we could say with Horace Mann that each of us should be “ashamed to die until you have won some victory for mankind.” I think we must surrender the despair of unexpected cruelty and extend the wonder of unexpected kindnesses to ourselves and to each other. 2013 can bring us the chance to be kind to each other and kind to ourselves. We deserve each other and each others generosity.”

This year, let’s be light on our hearts and give out smiles like they are on the brink of extinction!! It’s not Monday, but let’s get some new year motivation going anyway!!!!

 

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This is a good one.

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A Cup of Motivation For You!

Good morning everyone and happy Monday!!! Lately, life has been a little hectic and unfortunately Polka Dot Tango has been neglected. Anywho, here is a little motivation for you this Monday and I hope that your week involves something fantastic! Whether it is getting one more thing crossed off your list, you receive an amazing compliment, or you do something totally awesome for yourself that you have wanted to do in a long time. Let us know what your plans are for this week and what type of motivation gets you to keep going. Have fun! 🙂

 

 

Good Health IS a Laughing Matter!

The other day I was laughing so hard at some stupid joke my co-worker made, I had tears running down my cheeks and I was kneeling on the floor. I could barely catch my breath and could not utter a word, yet I felt awesome! How is it that laughter has similarities to being in pain but it feels so good? This had me doing some research to see if there was even such a thing as benefits of laughing. I mean, yeah, it makes you smile, but is there more to it? Guess what? There is a heck of a lot more to it!!!! I checked out the Mayo Clinic’s website and they seemed to have the most realistic knowledge of the benefits of laughter…

Stress relief from laughter

A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the positive things laughter can do.

Short-term benefits
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.

How to improve — or gain — a sense of humor

Are you afraid you have an underdeveloped — or nonexistent — funny bone? No problem. Humor can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humor may be easier than you think.

  • Put humor on your horizon. Find a few simple items, such as photos or comic strips that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies or comedy albums on hand for when you need an added humor boost.
  • Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.
  • Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. And then return the favor by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you.
  • Knock-knock. Browse through your local bookstore or library’s selection of joke books and get a few rib ticklers in your repertoire that you can share with friends.
  • Know what isn’t funny. Don’t laugh at the expense of others. Some forms of humor aren’t appropriate. Use your best judgment to discern a good joke from a bad, or hurtful, one.

To help everyone jump start their laughing, I decided to get some jokes collected for you. They may not be side splitting, but I will guess that at least one side of your mouth will curl up in a smile!

How do you make a tissue dance?     Put a little boogie in it!

Two cannibals are eating a clown.    One says to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?”

What do you get when you play country music backwards?    “You get your house back, you get your car back, you get your wife back, you get your dog back…”

What do you call a cow with no legs?    Gound beef.

Tell Polka Dot Tango your favorite corny joke!!!

 

New Week, New Outlook!

Poster by Jay Graham

Hello all and welcome to Monday! How was the weekend and how do you think your week is going to go? Lately my weeks have been blending in with my weekends, creating a sort of dream-like (or nightmare-like) state. Working countless hours on the computer and countless hours on renovating a house can feel so overwhelming and leaves me exhausted, but in the end, I know that all of this work will result in something to smile at. Everyone knows that infamous quote, the one that I often roll my eyes at. Something about the journey, not the destination? Anyhow, I am on quite a journey as of lately and there better be some mai tai’s when I get to my destination! 😉

If you have any quotes, images, or motivational tips, let Polka Dot Tango know! We love those kinds of things!