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Gabrielle Olmstead

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Catholic Teen: Tips for Productivity

Are you ever inspired to start a big project, then quit when you’re bored of it?

Does having the same classes, activities, and schedule feel repetitive and boring?

If you answered yes to either of these, you’re a lot like me. Without consistent motivation, it’s hard to excel at what you’re doing, especially during the school year.

If you’re in need of inspiration, there are a few things in particular that have helped me stay motivated.

Sometimes you need a visible reminder for your goals.

A vision board, also called a “dream board,” is a collage of things that inspire you. This can include (but is not limited to) pictures of places you would like to visit, famous people you look up to, quotes or bible verses you love.

What makes a vision board special is that it is unique to YOU and your interests.

You don’t have to put fluffy quotes like “Live, laugh, love” or others like that just because everyone says them; put in things that genuinely inspire you.

Get creative!

If you’re not sure what to do, or would like fun ideas for your board, Pinterest and YouTube are both full of artsy designs and ideas for vision boards.

After the board is made, hang it somewhere you will see frequently–in a bedroom, over a desk, etc. There is now a constant reminder of your goals!

My second tip is to have a playlist that inspires you!

The type of music and different lyrics you listen to certainly affect your mood, so songs to include on this playlist would be upbeat songs that make you feel energetic and happy, confidence boosters, etc.–the songs that make you want to turn the music up and sing along.

So next time you feel down, instead of listening to a Taylor Swift breakup song, you’ll have a whole playlist of uplifting songs to give keep you going.

I’m a junior in high school, so I’ve started thinking about what college and career I see myself in, but it is a hard decision.

I know someone majoring in communications (which is what I’m interested in) and she offered to let me shadow her for some classes to see what it would be like. This was extremely helpful for me; she answered all my questions, and I learned a lot because she has experience where I don’t.

No matter what your goals are, or what your situation is, there is someone who has been in your shoes.

If there is a certain career you’re looking into, talk to someone who has experience in that field; if you play a sport, you might benefit from talking to an athlete; if you’re having trouble with college decisions, ask someone you look up to for advice.

I love hearing people tell their stories and share their insights. Everyone around you has something they can teach you about what your goals should be–so talk to them!

Schedules, routines, and structure are important for success, but doing the same exact thing for too long can stifle motivation.

If you feel restless from repeating your schedule, make a change and try something new.

This could mean changing your environment–for example, doing schoolwork outside on a sunny day instead of at a desk (homeschooling has its perks).

Or it could even be adding something to your schedule–pursue a new hobby, take a dance class, go for a run every morning.

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