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Surviving the Dog Days of Summer: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated

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For the last few weeks I have been in the throws of the dog days of summer. July and August are known to be the most hot and humid months of the year, and I'm feeling it. Lately, my energy is stifled and I'm feeling downright lazy. Every year around this time, I tend to have a dampened spirit and even less motivation. I know I'm not alone in this struggle of pushing though to continue productivity, so I wanted to share some of my personal motivation tips to keep you progressing too when ambition is at a lull!

Taking action toward accomplishing a task or making strides toward completing a project can be very rewarding. Either you are experiencing success by finishing a job, which improves motivation; and/or you are relieving some stress by tackling a chore you weren't excited to do. When you have zero enthusiasm, taking a first step is daunting, but you must take that step. Action -- even minimal action -- is always a good thing!

No excuses!
My big excuse lately is that it's too hot to run errands or begin an endeavor. I said that for a couple of days and then I remembered that in February my excuse is that it's too cold to run errands or start an endeavor. I finally realized that I've lived in the northeast for at least a decade and it's time to adjust my attitude to withstand the weather. So, my best advice for beating the dog days is to pay attention to your excuses and shoot 'em down if they're bullsh*t, or make a plan to work with and/or around them if they are legit reasons. Make "no excuses" one of your go-to mantras!

Maximize your energy!
Heat makes you tired so you may have to adjust how you take care of yourself during the hot summer days. Some suggestions are to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, 3 liters of water per day, some fresh air, breathe deep, eat clean and exercise at least 25 minutes per day!

Beware of the downward spiral!
We all need breaks once in a while; however, don't stand still for too long because dormant energy is a huge obstruction to progress. Neuroscientists have found that when someone experiences periods of low motivation, their ambition can significantly spiral downward when faced with difficult tasks. So, vacations and breaks: YES! Inactivity: NO! If you're faced with an overwhelming or unpleasant responsibility this August, break it down into simple steps if you need to just to keep the energy moving.

Get off the social networks!
A University of Michigan study shows that greater usage of Facebook resulted in a larger drop in mood. If you're already feeling a bit duller than usual, then perusing the Jones' fabulous vacation photos might not be the best mood-lifter. In addition, the U of M study warns of damaging self-esteem. In case you need an additional reason, social networks can be addictive and you may find yourself wasting valuable time when you could be doing something more beneficial for yourself.

Rock that playlist!
Science has shown that music and mood are naturally linked and you can access a mood or mindset simply by the music you choose. "Eye of the Tiger," "I Will Survive," "Don't Stop Believin...'" I know you have at least one of those in a playlist already. Put together some tunes that work for you and rock out. Bonus points if you dance (endorphin releaser)!