The older I get, the more I am certain that an important part of life is learning to give a good pep talk. It seems in any area of life, this is just a very good skill to have.
A good pep talk has some grounding to it. I've heard pep talks that just seem fabricated, and they do little to encourage anyone. A good pep talk starts with something of substance. Like with my kids, if I am giving them a pep talk to get their chores done, I may bring up how they cleaned so awesome before when they tried their best and set a challenging time limit for themselves! There's some substance to that. There's some ownership there for them, that they can have a good base here. I'm not just throwing them in to something unknown and telling them to master it. We connect the encouragement to something personal with them that gives them some beginning pride and inspiration.
Then the pep talk evolves a little in to a plan. It doesn't have to be a big plan. In fact it's better to be an overview for a pep talk. In the case of the kids again, if the chore was to clean the living room, it seems a big task as a whole. So we make a little plan, "You can do this! You'll just take care of the clothes (I don't know why they always undress a little in the living room, but there are ALWAYS clothes in my living room), then you'll take care of the trash, and then you'll take care of your own stuff. Boom, a plan, right there. Easy Peasy. The pep talk is walking them thru how they can get this done.
Then I wrap up the talk with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. For the kids, "And then when you finish, you'll have all that time left to go play!" Or eat ice cream. Or whatever inspires them to keep trying their best to get done. Now sometimes there isn't a big prize, of course. Sometimes the prize is just getting it done. And for the kids especially, just being done with the dreaded "chore" is a prize. I'm pretty sure I could call eating candy a chore, and it wouldn't taste as good to them because of that word "chore"!
Although my references were of the kids here, what inspired this blog was myself. I've been having to give myself quite a few pep talks lately. I've just felt like a slug for weeks. I know I'm getting a lot done. I can see that. But it doesn't feel like it. And all I really want to do is go lay in my bed and read a good book.
So I've been working on motivating myself, about work, about being the mommy-taxi cab, and even about standing upright to talk to my kiddos. I've had to give myself a pep talk about our Dave Ramsey stuff too, which usually is very inspirational. I was reading some posts out loud to the hubster this morning. I thought maybe it would be motivational for both of us to hear out loud how this road we are on is boring right now, but leading to a wonderful destination! It worked a little. Then I looked back at how far we've came. My place of beginning for my pep talk. Right now our rear view mirror looks pretty good at what we've accomplished on this journey. It is good motivation to keep going.
Tonight I am thankful for a good pep talk. Sometimes a person goes thru a valley, where the sun just keeps staying hidden beyond that next hill. But we'll keep pushing forward. There isn't another option here. I know the sun is up ahead somewhere, we'll find it!