I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

10 Things I Do to Stay Motivated

Friends, I think I’m burnt out. Or maybe just getting lazy as the fall weather comes through. Or just a procrastinator. Either way, I’ve been slacking lately with work. Sure, I’m getting my weddings done on time for my lovely brides and grooms – that always takes top priority – but as far as the rest of my work, it’s been put on the back burner this past week. Have you noticed I’ve been MIA on the blog for a whole week? Or that my Facebook page has been a tad stale (except for Blake & Jenelle’s sneak peek!)? If not, I don’t think we can be friends…:)

On the other hand, I’ve been enjoying my personal life quite a bit. Paul and I have been taking bike rides to the lake (I ride an old-looking mint-colored cruiser – if it had a basket and bell it would be absolutely perfect), walking Rusty, going out to breakfast at the new café in town, having bonfires with friends, enjoying reruns of I Love Lucy before bed (do we sound old to you??)…I really can’t complain. But then I think about work and it’s just been a hassle to bring myself to actually work. Unfortunately we are smack in the middle of our busiest time and to be honest, there is just no time for complaining and procrastinating any further, burnt out or not. That’s the price I pay for being my own boss – I need to kick my own butt sometimes. Right now I feel like others feel during the last two weeks of school (omigoodness – new revelation. I have senioritis. That’s the word I’m looking for.) and that just doesn’t fly. We have a vacation coming up that I really don’t want to have to work through and that means I need to kick it into high gear.

When wedding season first comes around it’s an exciting time, like the first week of school (sorry for all of these school analogies but it works). After a long summer of sleeping in and doing whatever I pleased, I would be so excited to have a set routine, schedule, and of course new school supplies (doesn’t everyone get excited for fresh paper and newly sharpened pencils??). Instead of school supplies I’m designing and buying branding items, paper products, gift supplies, and creating a rigid work schedule for every day of the week in every month of wedding season. As time goes on throughout the year, however, I slowly develop that senioritis feeling, especially when the end is near (only 4 weddings left this year – can’t believe how time flies!). And when that kicks in it’s time for me to become motivated again, excited to go to work and deliver witty and well-written blog posts (let’s not kid ourselves, I’m only witty half the time…), to create wonderful photographs for my dear brides and grooms, and to get back to my solid routine and rigid schedule.

Things I Do to Stay Motivated (in any aspect of my life, really)

1. Read. Holey moley this is so important to me. A good book can change my life completely. Read this post if you don’t believe me.

2. Write. Ditto to reading. And here’s a post to prove it.

3. Research. This sounds creepy but researching other photographers helps so much. You just can’t compare yourself to others – that’s a downhill spiral. I love reading my favorite photographers’ blogs or other inspirational blogs (my cousin’s is a weekly favorite) – it reminds me why I love doing what I do. Plus you can always learn a thing or two from others.

4. Photograph. This is a no brainer. But instead of photographing things I’m getting paid for, I photograph things I love to shoot for fun (although I still love shooting weddings…you know what I mean :)). Flowers are one of my favorite things to photograph. Why not pick up a bouquet at the store and shoot away?

5. Organize. Maybe this is weird for others but for me, nothing beats the procrastinator in me than a good few hours of organizing and cleaning. I’m looking at my desk and I already see many folders and papers that need to be organized and that just gives me goosebumps all over – I love organizing.

6. Enjoy life. Another no brainer. You can’t expect to be motivated about anything if you’re not enjoying life. Walks, bonfires, and just spending time with Paul (and Rusty, of course) is the best medication for me.

7. Eat breakfast. Is this a weird one? I don’t think so. I feel absolutely wonderful when I wake up and have breakfast. I don’t work, I don’t get on my phone, and I try not to watch TV (unless it’s Lucy) during breakfast. I just soak up the morning, preparing myself for the day.

8. Get ready. This is honestly so hard for me to do. When I know I have work to do I can’t justify spending the hour and a half it takes for me to get ready in the morning. No, I’m not high maintenance. Have you seen my hair before it’s styled? It’s unbearable. And my acne makes my makeup routine take longer than the average bear’s. BUT, when I do take the time to take care of myself I feel so much better about the day and I honestly am so much more productive.

9. Unplug. Sometimes I’m guilty of checking my phone as soon as I get up. It’s an awful habit and I’m working hard to break it. I also check my phone when I’m working and that is also a habit I need to break. When I need to get in quality, productive time at work my phone needs to stay away (if you call and I don’t pick up, I’m just trying to be productive (sorry dearest mother!)). Unplugging also means getting off of social media. Facebook, you temptress. You know what you do to people when they’re just trying to get some work done.

10. Pot of tea. I couldn’t think of another one and I couldn’t leave it at 9. But then when I wrote “pot of tea” it actually makes sense. Whether it’s a pot of coffee or tea, we all need our little boost. :)

So, since it’s Monday, let’s try to stay motivated for the week, friends! Friday will be here before we know it, and that means a new wedding will be on the blog! Oh happy day!! :) xoxo

PS. I want to get more communication going on this blog – help me out, friends! Tell me something you do to stay motivated when senioritis hits you – let’s share some ideas. And be friends. :)

  1. Summer says:

    such great thoughts…and for me being outside always does the trick…but I love to take it a bit further and get outside and exploring somewhere I have ever been! Does wonders for me@

  2. Such a great post, I love it. I too love to read, it’s such a great getaway!

  3. rebecca says:

    I know this, as I have been burnt out for about a year now. A big step back is sometimes needed to put things in perspective and refresh your mind. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you are feeling this way. Just go with it and things will come back around when it’s time. ?

    • Nikki says:

      Thanks for the input, Rebecca! It’s so nice to hear I’m not the only one. :) You’re right – stepping back and just taking a break is so refreshing. :)

  4. Ginger says:

    Love this down to earth share and reality! I read and get outdoors to get motivated! Both work wonders for me

  5. sarah says:

    I love reading too. It truly is motivating and also refreshing. Great tips!

  6. Dana says:

    I know what you mean by the possibility burnt-out…. I run my own cleaning business and for me it is the same thing everywhere I go… so what I say to you to help your motivation is you have an amazing job… you capture memories… moments… emotions… and its wonderful that you have the talent that you do!

    2 you need to tell my friend Paul to hook you up with a bell and basket! LOL… they have them!

    I love the list of things to keep you motivated gives you variety!

    Love you!

    • Nikki says:

      What wonderful motivation. :) I wish you lived closer my love!! Then we could pep talk each other! :) Yes, Paul should get on that – perhaps for an anniversary gift?! :) Love you, friend! Tell TJ the same. :)

  7. JoAnne Mackley says:

    I started my Fall decorating today! I got the outside pretty much all done, now to get working on the inside…WHEW! The worst part is taking down all the summer decorations…I really should ‘downsize’ on the amount of decorating I do…but, I do enjoy the end results…so, that probably won’t happen this year! LOL

    Enjoy your week, Nikki!

    <3 JoAnne Mackley

    • Nikki says:

      Thanks so much for the comment, JoAnne! :) I love seeing the photos of your and Len’s adventures. :) I’m lucky that my living room colors are always fall colors, so I barely have to decorate in the fall. :) But you’re right, the results are wonderful when the decor is all finished and ready to enjoy. :) Have a wonderful week, JoAnne!! :)

  8. This is exactly how I felt in the middle of the summer during my big rush before maternity leave. Hang in there! Only 4 more weddings, and you’ll be rewarded with such a fantastic vacation in paradise. :) I love your list, too! Seriously, getting ready for the day makes SUCH a big difference! (P.S. Thanks for mentioning me, lovely!)

    • Nikki says:

      Oh Lovely, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! I feel like so lazy!! Paradise cannot come soon enough. :) And after (or hopefully before) we shall have our Dago Initiation party with Nugget. And it shall be wonderful. :) PS. I only note worthy people. :)